St. Michael's Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America
512 Summer St. Old Forge, PA 18518 / (570)-457-3703
Welcome to St. Michael's Orthodox Church!
St Michaels Welcomes their new Priest
Say Hello to our new priest

By way of introduction, St Michael's would like to introduce you our new Priest. Fr Michael was assigned to us on March 28th, 2022.  Fr Michael Shepherd has spent his entire life serving others and spent most of his adult life serving in the US Army. Fr Michael has been all over the world and enjoys meeting people from other cultures and countries. He is a graduate of Troy State University in 2012 with a BS in Criminal Justice and at that time had hoped to become a Juvenile Probation Officer after leaving the military. During his 22 years in the US Army, Fr. Michael served both as an enlisted soldier and as an officer. Fr. Michael loved serving in the US Army and some of his most memorable assignments were in the 82nd Airborne Division, being a Drill Sergeant, and later as an officer where he trained second lieutenants to function as unit Human Resource Managers at the Soldier Support Institute at Fort Jackson, SC. He holds many decorations and recognitions for his military service, including the two Bronze Star Medals, one with “V” Device for valor. He has attended many professional military schools and has received many badges to recognize his specialized military training as an Infantryman, a Paratrooper, a Jumpmaster, Total Army Instructor Certified, and a Drill Sergeant.

Fr Michael and Matushka Emilia have been married for 24 years and have four wonderful children: Blaise, Maximus, Rodion, and Savina. They all love serving the Church as much as Fr Michael does. All the children (where they have a blessing too) serve either in the altar with Fr Michael or sing in the choir loft with Matushka Emilia. Fr Michael and his family love spending most of their time outdoors by camping, hiking, and riding bikes. Matushka Emilia has earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance & Accounting and a Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Fr. Michael was ordained to the Holy Diaconate July 2nd, 2016 by His Eminence Alexander, Bishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South and after 22 years of serving in the US Army, he and his wife decided it was time to listen to God’s calling and enter into seminary. Fr Michael was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Soul Saturday (May 26) Memorial Day Weekend 2018 at St. Tikhon’s Monastery by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. Fr Michael is now a 2020 Master of Divinity graduate of St Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

Since graduation, Fr Michael has served in the diocese as a supply priest and we are exciting that he now serves St Michaels permanently.  Please come and say hello to Fr Michael, Mat. Emilia and his children!

Quotes from the Saints

Words of Salvation:

100.  Avoid intellectual speculation, which so often does not concern your personal eschatology.  In the next life, these speculations will be of no use.  This is why simple people are normally more successful in the spiritual life than the intellectuals.

103.  We must have a sharp conscience, so that every night we can examine ourselves and what we did during the course of the day and see what we did wrong, what good we failed to do, and what we did poorly.  Then, we should ask God's forgiveness for all these things.

104.  Always judge your thoughts and discern where they have come from: from God or from the devil.  Vigorously and without any discussion, flee from all those thoughts which come from the devil.  If you have given yourself over to sin, repent and ask God's forgiveness.  Never let yourself remain in a state of sin and just give yourself over to whatever might come.

Elder Sergei of Vanves



Avoiding Isolation
17 Sep 2021 at 10:32am

Friends in High Places
16 Sep 2021 at 11:30am

Demanding Miracles
15 Sep 2021 at 11:55am

Conversion of Heart
14 Sep 2021 at 12:13pm

13 Sep 2021 at 11:04am

Recent Photos

St. Michael's Orthodox Church
512 Summer St.; Old Forge, PA 18518
Detailed Map

The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

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St. Michael Orthodox Church is part of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, which is presided over by The Most Reverend Mark (Maymon), Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. Our mission is bringing the joy of Christ's resurrection to those who have never heard the Good News, and to strengthen and encourage the faithful who reside within Old Forge and the local area. 

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The Holy Scripture is a collection of books written over multiple centuries by those inspired by God to do so. It is the primary witness to the Orthodox Christian faith, within Holy Tradition and often described as its highest point. It was written by the prophets and apostles in human language, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and collected, edited, and canonized by the Church.

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Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit.

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