My Church’s Centennial Celebration

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Marvin Sickles.

This past October, I had the honor of being the co-chairperson of my church’s Centennial Celebration. It was an amazing experience to be part of the excitement leading up to the grand weekend. Seeing old friends and family come together to honor a rich history was even better.

My church is Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Immigrants from Greece and the surrounding countries founded the church, like many other places of worship in this country. Initially, services were conducted in the nearby Russian church hall with Father Germanos presiding. In three short years a building was erected at 300 Maplewood Avenue in Ambridge. By 1919, the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Ambridge was consecrated by the Most Reverend Archbishop of Rodostolou Alexander. The Reverend Father Demetrios Ragos was the first priest.

Sixty years later, on October 19, 1979, the parish moved to a new location after a 25- year building program. My own father, Michael Jamis, served on the building committee. His Grace Maximos of Pittsburgh and Metropolitan Barnabos of Greece officially opened (Thyranoixia) the church. Reverend John Kiramarios was our priest at that time.

A Celebration of Faith and Time-Honored Tradition

My two sisters, mother, and I attended the 2016 Centennial weekend’s festivities. It began with a Friday night ‘Roaring 20’s’ kick-off party! I saw many friends from my childhood, and this was an especially rewarding experience. Saturday night was our beautiful gala event with speeches, a historical video presentation, three-course dinner, and live band with dancing. Every family received a Holy Trinity ornament for their Christmas tree.

The day after the Gala was Sunday. Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh celebrated the Liturgy, and our own Father Emmanuel Lillios and our past parish priest, Father Anastasios Garaboa, were also present. The great beauty of this Liturgy, combined with the historic celebration of our 100 years, gave me a deep sense of a connection to my ancestors.

I love my church. I look at the parishioners, and I know they are my second family. No matter what has happened or what will happen in my life, they are always there for me. My spiritual father is present as well, ready to guide and encourage me on my life journey. I am grateful for my church, Holy Trinity of Ambridge, PA, for all it has been and will be.

To see pictures of Holy Trinity’s Centennial Celebration visit http://www.htgoc.org/.

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Joanne Jamis Cain is a steward of the Holy Trinity…
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