St. Michael's Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America
512 Summer St. Old Forge, PA 18518 / (570)-457-3703
Photo Gallery
Holy Pentecost

Holy Pentecost - 06/12/2022

Σ’πραζδνηκομ - Blessed feast of Pentecost with kneeling prayers! A joyous day for Michael Keklak became a catechumen!
Photos: courtesy of Fr Michael’s 10 year old son, Rodion

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DOEPA Clergy Continuous Education: Holy Unction

Holy Unction - 05/05/2022

On Thursday, 5th of May, St Michaels Orthodox Church welcomed special guest speaker, Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk. Fr. Victor is a graduate of St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary ('99), and was raised in the former atheistic Soviet Union. He holds a Master of Science degree from the prestigious Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology ('93). His talk entitled, “Unto the Healing of Soul and Body: The History and Theology of Holy Unction.”  was brought to the clergy of the diocese after many years of prayer and research in which it was enthusiastically received by all who were in attendance. Fr. Victor spent about 4 years researching the history, developement, and current practice of Holy Unction and used this knowledge as his thesis for his PH.d in Liturgics from Catholic University. 

The mystery of Holy Unction, as with the other sacraments of the Church, is a revelation of Christ's love for His creation. The service shows us that we do not act on our own from our own power. Rather, it is Christ who answers our pleas for help:

O Savior, who like incorruptible myrrh dost empty Thyself utterly in grace and purify the world, show divine mercy and bounty on the bodily wounds of him who in faith is about to receive Unction. (Troparion on Ode 4 of the Canon)

Thank you to Bev Elko and Marie Pasternak who came to help set up the lunch in support of our luncheon.  I would like to say thank you to Maria Augustine from Augustine's Club 17 ( who donated her world famous Old Forge Pizza for our luncheon! Thank you all!


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High School Graduation

High School Graduation - 06/27/2021

Justin Willams and Jacob Anderson graduated High School.  Justin received a gift from the Church and Jacob will receive his gift later.

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Blessing of Graves

Blessing of Graves - 05/14/2020

Due to the Pandemic with limited gatherings, the blessing of the graves took place without notification to the parish.  Over 1,500 graves were blessed in both Sibley and Minooka cemeteries.

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Visit from Bishop Mark

Visit from Bp. Mark - 05/23/2021

Our church enjoyed a beautiful visit from His Eminence Archbishop Mark.  Danny Jones and Pat Jones received a Gramata for all their dedication and work on behalf of the church.

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Katia's High School Graduation

Katya's Graduation - 08/04/2019

Katya graduated from high school and was given a spiritual book for her accomplishment.  She plans to attend Princeton University.

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First Confession

First Confession - 06/30/2019

Michael and Mia were given a copy of the Divine Liturgy book in recognition of receiving their first confession.

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Post Office delivery of Food

Post Office delivery of food - 05/11/2019

The U.S. Post Office collects food on the second Saturday of May and then distriubutes it to local Food Pantries.  St. Michael's Orthodox Food Pantry is one of those receipients and we are so greatful.  We received 5,405 lbs. this year and we are blessed to then distribute it to families in need in Old Forge, Duryea and Taylor.

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Baptism of David

Baptism of David - 03/09/2019

A glorious day for David and his Family.

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Installation of Parish Council

Installation of Parish Council - 02/03/2019

The installation of the Parish Council took place on Sunday, February 3, 2019

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Baptism of James

Baptism of James - 04/14/2018

We welcome James into our Church

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Pascha 2018

Pascha - 04/08/2018

Pascha Celebration

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Baptism of Abigail

Baptism of Abigail - 07/01/2017

A special day for Abigail and her family.

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Baptism of Wren Elizabeth

Baptism of Wren Elizabeth - 03/18/2017

A special day to celebrate the Baptism of Wren Elizabeth

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Bp. Mark serving

Bp. Mark serving - 03/05/2017

His Eminence Arch Bishop Mark served Divine Liturgy at our Church.

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Installation of Parish Council

Installation of 2017 Parish Council - 01/22/2017

His Eminance Arch Bishop Mark gave his blessing for the 2017 Parish Council members to serve.  The installation of the oath of office took place after Divine Liturgy on Sunday, January 22, 2017.

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125th Anniversary

St. Michael's 125th Anniversary - 11/06/2016

St. Michael's Orthodox Church celebrated its 125th Anniversary.  His Eminence Arch Bishop Mark was unable to make it due to his mother passing away on Friday, November 4th.  Sandra Condon, Jean Wasko and Dorothy Polanchik were awarded a Gramata.  A catered meal was enjoyed by everyone in our Hall basement.

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Nina's Retirement

Nina's change from full time to part time Choir Director - 06/26/2016

Nina changed her status from full time to part time Choir Director.  May God grant Nina many years.

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Jake Emily's Graduation

Jake Emily's Graduation - 06/12/2016

Jake Emily graduated from Scrant Prep High School.  Jake was presented with an Orthodox Study Bible and he is planning to attend St. Joe' University.

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St. Thomas Sunday Easter Egg Hunt

St. Thomas Sunday Easter Egg Hunt - 05/08/2016

An Easter Egg hunt was held after Divine Liturgy on St. Thomas Sunday.

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Pascha - Blessing of Baskets

Pascha - Blessing of Baskets - 05/01/2016

A beautiful service of Pascha was celebrated following with the blessing of baskets.

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Baptism of Miroslav - 04/30/2016

Miroslav was baptized into the Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday.  May God grant him many years.

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Bishop Mark's visit - 04/20/2016

His Eminence Archbishop Mark celebrated Presanctified Liturgy with our church.

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Sunday School Presentation on their Patron Saint

Sunday School Presentation of their Patron Saint - 02/21/2016

The Sunday School students gave a short presentation to the church at the end of Divine Liturgy on their Patron Saint.  Each of the students made an icon of their Patron Saint.

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OCMC Missionary Archimandrite Fr. Juvenaly Repass visit

OCMC Missionary Archimandrite Fr. Juvenaly Repass - 12/20/2015

OCMC Missionary Archimandrite Fr. Juvenaly Repass came to our church to help raise funds for this trip to Guatemala.  Fr. Juvenaly taught Sunday school and he also informed us of his plans to Guatemala.  We were blessed to have Fr. Juvenaly spend the weekend with us.

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Fr. Theodore Orzolek's 50th anniversary to the Priesthood

Fr. Theodore Orzolek's 50th anniversary to the Priesthood - 12/19/2015

A Molieben was served on behalf of Fr. Theodore Orzolek's 50th anniversary to the priesthood.  A luncheon followed at Arcaro and Genell.  May God grant Fr. Theodore many years.

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Bp. Mark's Visit

Bp. Mark's Visit - 11/01/2015

St. Michael's Church graciously welcomed His Eminence Arch Bishop Mark to celebrate Divine Liturgy and for fellowship.  His Eminence awarded a Gramata to John and Irene Pritchyk, Al Pritchyk and Al Horek for their many years of service to the church.

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Church Yard Sale

Church Yard Sale - 09/26/2015

Our Church Yard Sale was a success.  Many people enjoyed the shopping, food and desserts.

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Church School Blessing

Church School Blessing - 09/06/2015

Sunday School started today and there was a molieben for the teachers and students after Divine Liturgy.

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Blessing of new vestments and lampadas

Blessing of new vestments and lampadas - 07/05/2015

Al Horek donated the two Lampadas in memory of Marie Horek.  Martha Matechak donated the gold vestments in memory of Ned Matechak.

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St. Thomas Sunday

St. Thomas Sunday - 04/19/2015

Easter egg hunt.  Nancy Jurnack moving.  Blessing of over 1,500 graves.

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Pascha - 04/12/2015

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Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday - 04/11/2015

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Good Friday

Holy Friday - 04/17/2015

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Fr. Steven Votovich visit

Fr. Steven Votovich, dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary visits our Church with Miracle working icon of St. Anna - 02/01/2015

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Church Yard Sale

Church Yard Sale - 09/27/2014

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Fr. Peter's 9th Anniversary to the priesthood and John's birthday

Fr. Peter's 9th Anniversary to the Priesthood and John's birthday - 09/24/2014

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Children's First Confession

First Confession - 07/27/2014

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Bp. Mark's visit

Bishop Mark's visit - 05/25/2014

Bp. Mark visited our Church with Deacon Gabriel for Divine Liturgy and a pot luck meal.  We were blessed by his visit.

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Dr. Eli Stavisky - Honorary Doctorate

Dr. Eli Stavisky received Honorary Doctorate from St. Tikhon's Seminary - 05/24/2014

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Church Easter Egg Hunt

Church Easter Egg Hunt - 05/04/2014

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Pascha - 04/20/2014

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Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday Liturgy and Baptism - 04/19/2014

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Holy Friday

Holy Friday - 04/18/2014

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Mission Vespers

Mission Vespers - 03/30/2014

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Blessing of the Parish Council

Blessing of the Parish Council - 03/30/2014

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Blessing of the Graves

Blessing of the Graves - 05/01/2022

St. Michael’s Parish had Panikhida Service in both St. Michael's Cemetery at Sibley and Minooka Cemetery on Sunday morning, May 1st after Divine Liturgy. We were able to remember all those who have departed this life before us, our fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, cousins and other relatives, and to pray for their salvation. The last time this was done was in 2020 due to the pandemic and after Panikhida Fr. Michael blessed over 1500 graves in both cemeteries.  

We are very grateful to all parishioners who were able to come and participate. Thus they fulfilled the words of the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 13, 7. He commanded us to remember our fathers and mothers, who handed to us the most precious thing in this world, which is the Orthodox Faith.

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St Michaels Welcomes their new Priest
St Michaels Welcomes Fr Michael Shepherd and his family to Old Forge

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!

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