Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fr. Michael Oleska's visit from Alaska

Event: 28 July 2013
Updated: 11 Sep 13

Visit by V. Rev. Michael Oleska
The weekend of July 26 - 28 we enjoyed the visit of the V. Rev Michael Oleksa who celebrated services including Divine Liturgy Sunday July 28 and a Memorial Service (Panikhida) on Saturday morning July 27. He brought with him several historical icons from Alaska and was at the church for the commemoration of Saint Yakov and Saint Innocent of Alaska.   
At the end of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, he accepted our parish's invitation to be the new priest at St. Dimitri, beginning October 2013.
Father Michael Oleksa, Ph.D., was born in Allentown, PA. He went to Alaska in 1970 from St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York at the invitation of the Alutiiq village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Over the next three decades he served as a Russian Orthodox priest in over a dozen Alaska Native villages. In 1988 he completed his doctoral degree at the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Presov, Slovakia, with an emphasis in Native Alaskan History during the Alaska Russian period (1741-1867).
Recognized as an "Elder" by the Alaska Federation of Natives, a Distinguished Public Servant by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, and honored by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Governors Association.   Father Oleksa is a leader in the development of cross-cultural education in Alaska, an educator of Alaskan teachers, and a student of Alaska Native languages and cultures. He recently has published a book in collaboration with the Association of Alaska School Boards entitled "Another Culture/Another World" that explores the great diversity and common humanity of Alaska's cultural mosaic.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Singing the National Anthem on the Fourth of July

Event: Fourth of July 2013 at Bandelier National Monument
Updated: 15 Sep 2013

On the Fourth of July Birgitta and I were privileged to have been asked to sing the National Anthem at the swearing in ceremony of 15 new U.S. citizens at the Bandelier National Monument. It was a important milestone for them and us.