Holy Apostles Orthodox Church is a parish of the diocese of New York and New Jersey under his Eminence Archbishop Michael and is part of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), a synod of bishops in union with the Worldwide Orthodox communion and indigenous to North America. Her origins are traced back to the Russian mission in Alaska in the late 18th century. It is a multi-lingual and multi-ethnic Church (Russian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Romanian, Native Alaskan, and Anglo) whose mission is to bring the good news to all peoples on this continent.
Our community though having a Slavic heritage is comprised of many ethnic backgrounds including Syrian, Egyptian, Serbian, Italian, and many others, and all our services are in English. It is a small community that provides a caring and intimate spiritual environment. If you are looking for a new church home, simply wanting to visit, or interested in learning more about the Orthodox Christian faith please come and see. All are welcomed.
Want to know about the history of the parish? Click HERE.
What is the Orthodox Church?
The Orthodox Christian Church is among the oldest Christian traditions and traces its history back to the apostles. It comprises the Christians historically from the Eastern lands: Russia, Greece, the Middle East, and even Ethiopia and India.
To those familiar with Western Christianity (Protestant and Catholic) her way of seeing the faith will often differ. The Church is seen as a hospital and instead of rules there is medicine. Mystery and experience are emphasized in the spiritual life. And it is still a Church which asks a lot from its followers. The prayer is intense and fasting is a regular part of the Orthodox Christian's life as is charity and works of mercy.
From ancient rituals to ornate iconography the Orthodox Church is a place of beauty. Its worship is filled with incense, bright colors, and chant that reflect the beauty of God. It is also a place of deep spirituality that heals and transforms lives. It is a people who love, forgive, and strive for unity. It is a family sharing in each other's joys and hardships. It is home for the rich and poor, the old and young, the sick and the healthy. It is a Church for sinners, spiritual seekers, the wounded, the different, and the marginalized. It is a place for all races. It is a Church for all of Mankind.
Though the Orthodox Church can seen ancient and exotic its rich spiritual tradition is still available to those living in our modern world and to Americans of all backgrounds.
The Archbishop governs his diocese whose territory includes the states of New York and New Jersey. His diocese is comprised of 55 parishes with three liturgical languages in use (Russian, Georgian, and English). He is the spiritual shepherd of the diocese and provides leadership for his clergy and their parishes.
The Archbishop is a native of Binghamton, NY and was raised in the Orthodox faith. He felt called to the priestly ministry early in life and before he was bishop of this diocese served as a parish priest for many years and taught at St Tikhon's Seminary in Pennsylvania. He is currently the Rector of the Seminary and continues to teach in addition to his other duties.
Bishop's Residence & Chancery Offices:
33 Hewitt Ave., Bronxville, NY 10708
914-779-6580 (Phone) 914-779-6581 (Fax)
Father Matthew Brown, Rector
Reverend Matthew Brown has been serving as Rector to Holy Apostles since 2013. He is married to his wife Matushka (Russian for little mother, the customary title for a priest's wife) Elizabeth and has three children: Elias, Genevieve, and Augustine. He studied at St Tikhon's Seminary and earned his bachelors in Philosophy & Religion from Spring Arbor University in Michigan. He was raised in the Methodist church and converted to the Orthodox Christian Faith during college. He also currently serves as Secretary of the Diocese and Editor-in-Chief of the Diocesan publication Jacob’s Well.
Rectory: 16 Bergen Street, Glen Rock, NJ 07452
Deacon John Holoduek
Deacon John was assigned to Holy Apostles beginning in June of 2017. In addition to his liturgical duties, Deacon John preaches and visits the sick.
Minor Orders are the minor clergyman below Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. They have specific functions to carryout in the Divine Services and also help the higher clergy in other ministries of the church.
Peter Eagler, Subdeacon
Benjamin Kalemba, Subdeacon
Peter Dutko, Tonsured Reader
John Holoduek, Jr., Tonsured Reader
Patricia Lagerstrom, Blessed Reader
Acolytes: Serge Dutko, Mark Piro, Elias Brown, and Daniel Craig
The Parish Council is elected by the parishioners and exists to advise the clergy and help them carry out work of the church.
Mary Ann Vislocky, Churchwarden
Rebecca Fiorini, Assistant Warden
Larry Grasso, Treasurer
Daria Miskiv, Financial Secretary
Patricia Ward, Recording Secretary
Mark Piro, Trustee
Patricia Lagerstrom, Trustee
Linda Pekaar, Trustee
Appointed offices to carry out specific ministries in the parish.
Juliana Kery, Choir Director
Matushka Elizabeth, Church School Director
Subdeacon Peter Eagler, Sacrastin
Programs & Ministries
Church School is headed up by Matushka Elizabeth and is held prior to liturgy every Sunday morning at 9:15 AM. It serves pre-school and elementary aged children. Church school is open to all children regardless of whether the parents are members of Holy Apostles. Those interested in helping with this ministry should speak to Elizabeth.
Holy Apostles sponsors the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) on the campus of Montclair Sate University. This on-campus club brings Orthodox college students and those interested in the Orthodox Christian faith together in prayer, study, and service to others. The OCF meets weekly during the school year to hang out, pray, and to have discussions on faith.
Regular visits are made to the homebound of our community by the priest and other laypeople. This ministry includes providing the homebound with weekly bulletins, a monthly newsletter, and handwritten notes be fellow parishioners to keep them connected.
Holy Apostles choir, directed by Leonard Davis, sings for all the services: vepsers, liturgy, and other holy days. Singing in the choir is an important way to serve the Church and fellow worshipers. It beautifies our prayers and draws us closer to God and one another. It you would like to sing in the choir and serve in this way, speak with Leonard Davis.
In addition to appeals from IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) Holy Apostles engages in two other charity collections Center for Food Action and Warm the Children. Food for the Bergen county food pantry is collected on an ongoing basis. See George or Mary Vislocky for questions. School supplies and clothing for orphans in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia are given in support for Warm the Children program. Mary Zizik is the coordinator for this effort.
Bible Study & Literature and Theology Book Club
Periodically throughout the year Bible Study sessions are offered, Typically during the Fall & Lent. Past topics include the book of Genesis, the book of Job, and the Scripture readings for Christmas. Check the upcoming events section of the website or the events calendar for a schedule of the upcoming session. Or contact Father Matthew.
The Literature and Theology book club meets monthly for discussion. Books are chosen which have both strong religious or spiritual themes and which are serious works of literature. Past books include Charles William's "War in Heaven", C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", Shasuku Endo's "Silence", the Russian classic "The Way of the Pilgrim", and the French children's classic "The Little Prince". See the upcoming events section or the online calendar for a schedule of meetings.
Altar Servers and Readers
Every week parishioners assist in the divine services by helping in the altar and by reading prayers and scripture. If you are interested in volunteering for this ministry see Father Matthew to see how you can become involved.
Altar Servers: Sub-deacon Peter Eagler, Sub-deacon Ben Kalemba, Serge Dutcko, Mark Piro, Daniel Craig, Elias Brown, Joshua George, Terrace Dalgakiran.
Readers: Sub-deacon Peter Eagler, Sub-deacon Ben Kalemba, Peter Dutcko, Patricia Lagerstrom
Handmaidens: Sasha Avrutis, Beatrice Olderog, and Genevieve Brown
Parish Bake Sale
Each year two bake sales are held; one on Christmas and the other at Pascha (Easter). Several days of baking are scheduled in the months preceding the events which provide opportunities for parishioners to build community. This year's proceeds will go to help build a new handicap ramp. Peter Eagler is the coordinator for these events.