Ss Peter and Paul Orthodox Church
98 West 28th Street, Bayonne, NJ 07002
V. Rev. W. Sophrony Royer, Rector

2016 FOCA Chapter 97 Chinese New Year Dinner

Fellowship and Celebration - Chinese New Year 2016 - 01/30/16

The Bayonne Chapter 97 of the FOCA (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America) celebrated their annual Chinese New Year Dinner after Great Vespers on Saturday January 30,2016. This is a tradition that has been going on for over a decade. This dinner is a fellowship and celebration for all the hard work that the members of the FOCA did the previous year. Delicious chinese food is always purchased from one of the local Chinese restaurants in town. A great time was enjoyed by everyone in attendance. 

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25th Anniversary of Father Sophrony's Ordination to the Holy Priesthood

Archpastoral Visit of His Eminence Archbishop Michael - 08/30/15

The weekend of August 29th and 30th was an inspirational and memorable one for the Orthodox faithful of Bayonne, NJ. Ss. Peter and Paul Parish hosted a visit by His Eminence, MICHAEL, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. The weekend was a time to gather in prayerful gratitude for the many blessings God bestows on the parish, and to celebrate the joyous event of Father Sophrony’s 25th Anniversary to the Holy Priesthood.

His Eminence attended both Great Vespers on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Archpriest Sophrony Royer, Rector of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, welcomed Archbishop Michael, as well as the faithful from other local Orthodox parishes in the vicinity. Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Michael, and was concelebrated by Fr. Sophrony with Archpriest John Fencik of neighboring St. Mary’s Parish, Bayonne (ACROD) and Archdeacon Michael (Suvak).  Subdeacon Mark Federoff assisted in the altar along with the Blessed Subdeacon Philip Benda and Reader Stephen Wasilewski (Parish Council President). At the conclusion of Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Father Sophrony was presented with a gramota for his 25 years of service to the Holy Priesthood and was given a Palitsa, with the image of the Theotokos on it, by Archbishop Michael.

A celebratory luncheon was held at the Knights of Columbus in Bayonne, NJ. Parishioners, guests, friends, and family of Father Sophrony heard many speeches and words of thanks in honor of Father. Present were His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese of NY and NJ, Archpriest Gary Breton, Dean of the Diocese of NJ and Archpriest John Fencik, rector of Saint Mary’s Orthodox Church.

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Celebration of Saint Andrew and Saint Nicholas

Orthros Service to Saint Andrew and Saint Nicholas - 11/30/14

A commemoration of the Holy Apostle Andrew "the First-Called" and Saint Nicholas "the Wonderworker" was celebrated at Saints Peter & Paul Orthodox Church in Bayonne NJ on Sunday evening, 30 November 2014. The New Jersey District of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) gathers at this time each year in remembrance of the organization’s patron, Saint Andrew. Fellowship followed in the church hall where His Grace, Bishop Michael, gave an inspirational talk about saints and their importance in our spiritual lives.
 
Daria Miskiv (FOCA, NJ District Governor) welcomed everyone and thanked those in attendance for generously supporting the scholarship fund collection.
 
Faithful members of FOCA and friends attending the annual service, along with Bishop Michael, were joined in celebration by: Archpriest Sophrony Royer (parish rector);  Archpriest Joseph Lickwar (Diocesan Chancellor, Rector of Saints Peter & Paul Church, Jersey City NJ); and Archpriest John Fencik (Rector, Saint Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Church, Bayonne NJ).

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Archpastoral Visit of His Grace Bishop Michael

Archpastoral Visit of His Grace Bishop Michael - 07/20/14

               The weekend of July 19th and 20th was an inspirational and memorable one for the Orthodox faithful of Bayonne, NJ. Ss. Peter and Paul Parish hosted a visit by His Grace, MICHAEL, Bishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. The weekend was a time to gather in prayerful gratitude for the many blessings God bestows on the parish, and to celebrate two joyous events as well.

                His Grace attended both Great Vespers on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Archpriest Sophrony Royer, Rector of Ss. Peter and Paul Church, graciously welcomed Bishop Michael, as well as the faithful from other local Orthodox parishes in the vicinity. Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Grace Bishop Michael, and was concelebrated by Fr. Sophrony with Archpriest John Fencik of neighboring St. Mary’s Parish, Bayonne (ACROD) and Archdeacon Michael (Suvak).  Subdeacon Mark Federoff assisted in the altar along with Reader Stephen Wasilewski (Parish Council President), and newly tonsured Reader Philip Benda, who was tonsured during Sunday’s Hierarchical Liturgy. Philip is a lifelong parishioner of Ss. Peter and Paul, and his tonsuring to the rank of Reader, and blessing to wear the subdiaconal orarion, was a joyous event that reflected his deep commitment to his Orthodox faith. This pastoral visit also coincided with another happy event, the 90th birthday celebration of Mr. Wilfred Royer, father of the parish’s rector. Everyone on hand was pleased to congratulate both Philip and Wilfred. May God grant them many years!

                A luncheon after Divine Liturgy was enjoyed by all attendees. Events such as these are vital to the spiritual life of our Orthodox community. Parishioners and guests alike were inspired by His Grace’s words and prayers, as well as enriched by the chance to reconnect with friends and relatives from near and far.

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Akathistos Service to St. Nectarios

Akathistos Service to St. Nectarios - 11/09/13

On Saturday, November 9, 2013 an Akathistos Service to St. Nectarios was celebrated for the saint's feast day at Ss. Peter & Paul's Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church, Bayonne, N.J.  Joining the parish rector, Fr. Sophrony Royer, was Fr. John Fencik of St. Mary's Orthodox Catholic Church in Bayonne. Several parishioners from St. Mary's, likewise, joined the faithful of Ss. Peter & Paul's in attendance. Responses were sung by the parish choir under the direction of Ss. Peter & Paul's choir director, Emily Fencik. Healing Prayers, taken from the Akathistos Service for the Sick, were read at the service's conclusion, and everyone in attendance was anointed with holy oil from the lamp at St. Nectarios' tomb in Greece. It was a spiritually uplifting experience for the Orthodox community in Bayonne. 

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Christian Outreach - Sandwich Making

Saturday Sandwich Making July 2013 - 07/27/13

The parishioners of Sts. Peter & Paul Orthodox Church gathered together during the months of April and July to share their time and lend a hand for a worthy cause. 

Every weekend in April and July, the volunteers devoted themselves to making over 700 sandwiches and bag lunches per month for the needy of Hudson County.  Sandwiches were brought weekly to the St. Lucy Shelter in Jersey City, and 100 bag lunches—containing sandwiches, water and a snack-- were handed out each Saturday to the guests of the Cluster Soup Kitchen housed at Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Bayonne, NJ.

  The parishioners of Sts. Peter & Paul wish to express their gratitude to the warm and welcoming volunteers from St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church who oversaw the administration of the soup kitchen during both months. The parish plans to continue this worthwhile initiative in the future. It is very inspiring for all involved to be able to work in the spirit of Christian unity with our brothers and sisters from another Christian denomination, but it is the needy of Bayonne who benefit the most.

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Antonia Rotko Library Collection

Exhibit of Books Displayed - Bayonne Public Library - 07/13/13

Our parish is very proud to sponsor an exhibit of books as well as religious and cultural artifacts of Eastern Europe at the main branch of the Bayonne Public Library. The exhibit contains a broad range of books on the topic of Orthodox Christian spirituality. The books represent a collection entitled “The Antonia Rotko Collection on Orthodox Spirituality,” and their purchase was made possible through a generous donation made to Sts. Peter and Paul Church by Antonia Rotko after her passing in December of 2010.  Antonia was a lifelong member of the parish, and was also an avid reader of books on the topic of Orthodox Christian spirituality.  In light of this, it was agreed that a collection of books donated to the library in her name would be a fitting testament to her memory. It is hoped by everyone at the church that this collection of books will increase awareness of Christian Orthodoxy among readers and spiritual seekers alike. 

The collection of books and artifacts were on display until the end of July in the cases located on the first floor of the library to the right of the entrance.

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Toys for Superstorm Sandy - A Success!!

Parishioners of SS Peter and Paul wrapping gifts for victims of Superstorm Sandy - 12/16/12

Toy Drive is a big success!  Thank you to everyone who donated to the toy drive organized by the National Junior Department of the F.O.C.A.  In addition to piles of toys mailed directly to the three churches, close to $3,000 in monetary donations from faithful in parishes from Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, New Jersey and Upstate New York were sent to the Bayonne Chapter of F.O.C.A. Thanks to these monetary donations, members of both the Bayonne and Jersey City Chapters purchased and wrapped over 300 toys which were then delivered to three parishes located in areas hardest hit by the storm: St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church in Toms River, NJ; Holy Trinity/St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Staten Island, NY; and St. Paul Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead, NY.  It was the sincere hope of all involved that these presents would bring some Christmas joy and comfort to the youngest victims of Hurricane Sandy.

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90th Anniversary Celebration

Visit of the Miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos - 10/10/12

Our church celebrated the 90th Anniversary of its founding in October, 2012. Three events marked this milestone in the parish history. The first of these was on October 10th, when the Miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos came for a visit. “It was an incredible  joy and such a great blessing for our parish to be among those churches that the Holy Icon of the Mother of God visited during the tour to East Coast this Fall” said Father Igor Kseniuk, parish Rector; “Upon entering the church with the Icon, I saw tears in eyes of many of those who gathered for this special evening – a sign that the Grace that radiates from the Icon reached into the deepest parts of their hearts”. The Akathis to the Mother of God was sung.  His Grace The Right Reverend Michael, Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey presided, joined by the Diocesan Chancellor Archpriest Joseph Likwar, the Dean of New Jersey Deanery Archpriest Samuel Kedala, along with 10 other members of the Diocesan and local clergy as concelebrants. Almost 250 people prayed at the service, followed by anointing with a distinctively fragrant myrrh that comes from the Icon. “The anointing itself took almost two hours”, said Father Igor, “but people of all ages, young and old, adults and with little children were patiently waiting in line to be anointed. I am thankful to the Lord that we all were able to have that personal experience of Mother of God touching our hearts and prayerfully sharing with us her Son’s Grace.” At the end of the service, the keeper of the icon, Reader Nectarios, presented to the parish a beautiful copy of the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God which will be placed in the church for prayerful services and veneration.

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Opening of the Church Library - 10/14/12

The second event was on October 14. After the Divine Liturgy an official opening of the Church Library with Molieben being served took place in the parish hall. Books for the library came from different sources – some were already in the church, and some were either donated or purchased for the parishioners’ donations with a dedication to their loved ones. At the end of the service, Father Igor expressed his heartfelt thank you to all sponsors of the library, as well as to Matthew Galati, church librarian, who spent numerous hours in organizing, categorizing and cataloguing the books. Among his remarks, Father Igor also indicated that “religious education is a vital tool on the path to our salvation, and its importance cannot be underestimated.”

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Main Celebration - 10/28/12

The third and the final celebration took place on the weekend of October 27th-28th. On Saturday, His Grace Bishop Michael was present at Great Vespers, followed by Panikhida for all the departed members of the parish. At the Panikhida, Father Igor was joined in prayers by the Dean of New York City Deanery, Archpriest Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk, and the Rector of a neighboring parish – St. Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Church – Archpriest John Fencik. It was an important service to commemorate all the departed parishioners, who were part of the church history during those 90 years. At the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy next day special prayers of thanksgiving to the Lord were offered on behalf of all present at the service. His Grace Bishop Michael and Father Igor were joined by Archpriest John Fencik of St. Mary’s Church, and Archdeacon Michael Suvak of the Holy Protection Cathedral in New York, NY. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy Vladika Michael presented five gramotas to the most dedicated members of the parish – John and Helen Wanko, Marge Cimbolic, Olga DeMay, and Theodore Benda. Due to his illness, gramota for Theodore Benda was presented to him by Father Igor upon his next visit to the hospital. Following the Divine Liturgy, a banquet completed the celebration. It was a truly prayerful, inspiring, and wonderful weekend to conclude the festive events of this important milestone in the parish history.

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Reception into Orthodoxy of Tonya Barbara Galati

Many Years to Tonya Barbara Galati - 01/26/12

On Thursday, January 26th, 2012 His Grace Bishop Michael presided over the service of Reception into the Holy Orthodox Faith for Tonya Barbara Galati, who on the following Sunday, January 29th received her first Holy Communion in the Holy Orthodox Church. Welcome to our spiritual family, dear Tonya Barbara, and may the Lord our God bless and preserve you and all your family for Many, Many Years!

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Sandwich Outreach

On Saturday, December 17, 2011, our parishioners gathered together to reach out to those less fortunate. The faithful of the parish donated their time, effort, and generous gifts to make “Sandwich Saturday” a great success.  The residents of the Hoboken Shelter, located at 300 Bloomfield Street in Hoboken, NJ, were the recipients of the sandwiches that were made and delivered by parishioners.  Everyone who participated in the event agreed that reaching out to those in need is important not only during this holiday season, but all year round. 


"The True Meaning of Christmas" Lecture

"The True Meaning of Christmas" Lecture

On Wednesday, November 30, 2011 His Grace Bishop Michael visited our parish with a special presentation – “The True Meaning of Christmas”, which was a beautiful exploration of the meaning of this wonderful feast as conveyed to us through scripture, the liturgical services and hymns, as well as the various holy traditions of our Orthodox Church. A question and answer period followed the presentation. Light refreshments and fellowship were held in the Church Hall after the lecture.

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Choir Recognition Day

Choir Recognition Day

On Sunday, October 2, 2011 we celebrated Choir Appreciation Day, recognizing singers with twenty-five and more years of ministry as Orthodox musicians. Congratulation to our honorees:

Vladimir Nehrebecki - 45 years singing in choir, 31 of those – as our Choir Director

Marge Cimbolic – 65 years singing in choir

Eva Benda – 46 years singing in choir

Andrea Bacsik – 40 years singing in choir

Tais Fedetz – 31 years singing in choir

May the Lord Our God continue to bountifully bless your service to Him for many more years to come. Mnogaya Leta!

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Archpastoral Visit of His Grace Bishop Michael

Eis Polla Eti Despota! - 08/21/11

It was a joyous experience for all of us when His Grace Bishop MICHAEL spent the weekend worshiping with the faithful and friends of our parish. Bishop Michael’s presence and inspired words of wisdom brought peace and consolation to those who attended the Great Vespers on Saturday evening and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning on the weekend of August 20th and 21st 2011.

The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy held on Sunday morning was truly a spiritually enriching event. Bishop Michael and Father Igor Kseniuk, Rector of the parish were joined by Archdeacon Michael Suvak of the Holy Protection Cathedral in New York, NY and visiting Sub-Deacon Alexander Vlachos of Christ the Savior Church in Paramus, NJ. Serving in the Altar were also Reader Stephen Wasilewski, President of the Parish Council, Philip Benda and Maxim Kseniuk. During the service Bishop Michael presented an award of Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to parish Rector, Fr. Igor – the nabedrenik (the Thigh-Shield) – in recognition of his deep commitment to Christ and dedicated service to His holy Church. Service was abundantly beautified by inspirational singing of our parish choir under the direction of Matushka Anna Kseniuk.

The Liturgy was followed by a luncheon in the church hall, during which the faithful had opportunities to speak with our beloved spiritual shepherd and archpastor, His Grace Bishop Michael, and receive his blessing. In recognition of the excellent work being undertaken across the diocese and to support Vladika’s Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors fund, a check was presented to Bishop Michael on behalf of the Parish Council by Vice President Reader Christopher Bygonaise. The weekend was one filled with spiritual joy, enrichment, and cherished fellowship. We wish Bishop Michael Many Years! Eis Polla Eti Despota!

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Holy Baptism of Reagan Joanne Galati

Many Years to Reagan Joanne Galati! - 07/30/11

On Saturday, July 30th, 2011 the youngest daughter of our faithful parishioners Matthew and Tonya Galati, Reagan Joanne Galati was brought into the Orthodox faith through the services of Holy Baptism and Chrismation, becoming our youngest parishioner. On the following day, Sunday, July 31st, she received her first Holy Communion. May God bless and preserve you Joanne, your parents and godparents for Many, Many Years!

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Happy 70th!!!

Happy 70th Anniversary!

Our prayers and best wishes to Valentina & Theodore Benda, who celebrated their 70th Anniversary of Marriage on May 4th. May God bless you and preserve you in health and happiness for Many Years! Mnogaya Leta!

 

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Ice Skating for Orthodox Youth - 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The NJ District of The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (F.O.C.A.) again sponsored the unforgettable ice-skating event in Ice Rink of Bayonne High School followed by a social at our Church Hall.

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Archpastoral Visitation

Archpastoral Visitation of His Grace, Bishop Michael - 11/28/10

On November 27-28, 2010 our faithful were filled with great joy, as our beloved Vladika Michael, Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey visited our parish with his first archpastoral visitation. His Grace was present at Great Vespers Saturday night and celebrated a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy following morning. On both services he delivered homilies that were inspiring as well as full of pastoral love.

 

In celebrating the Liturgy, the parish rector, Rev. Igor Kseniuk was joined by visiting Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak and Protodeacon Michael Sochka. Stephen Wasilewski, Parish Council President and Christopher Bygonaise, member of our church choir were tonsured into the order of Readers during the Liturgy.

 

At the conclusion of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy the faithful gathered for lunch and fellowship in the Church Hall. Glory to God for a truly wonderful visit from our beloved Hierarch. Eis Polla Eti Despota!

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Holy Chrismation of Jacob Galati

Many Years to Jacob Galati!

On Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 our spiritual family was joined by Jacob Galati, son of our faithful parishioners Matthew and Tonya Galati; he was received into Orthodoxy through the service of Holy Chrismation.Following day he participated in the service of Churching of the Child, and received his first Holy Communion. May God bless and preserve you Jacob, your parents and godparents for Many, Many Years!

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2010 - 2011 Church School Year Beginning

2010 - 2011 Church School Year Opening - 10/03/10

This year our Church School started on Sunday, October 3rd. A Molieben for the beginning of the new Church School year was served after the Divine Liturgy.

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Patronal Feast - 2010

Ss. Peter and Paul's Day Picnic - 06/29/10

The feast of Ss. Peter & Paul was celebrated in our parish with great joy and heartfelt prayers to our heavenly patrons. A Great Vespers with Litya on the eve of the feast was followed by the Divine Liturgy next morning and a parish picnic in the evning on the day of the feast.
O Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, Pray to God for us!

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"Ice Skating in Bayonne"

Ice Skating in Bayonne - 01/31/10

On Sunday, January 31, the NJ District of The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (F.O.C.A.) sponsored ice-skating event in Ice Rink of Bayonne High School followed by a social at our Church Hall. Delicious food, great fellowship and excellent opportunity to meet fellow orthodox friends from other parishes of our Diocese made this event absolutely unforgettable.

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Flea market - 2009

Flea Market - 10/17/2009 - 10/31/09

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2009 - 2010 Church School Year Beginning

2009 - 2010 Church School Year Opening - 10/04/09

 Our Church School Year opening was on Sunday, October 4. A Molieben for the beginning of the new church school year was served after the Divine Liturgy.

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Carpathian Club's Picnic

Carpathian Club's Picnic - 09/20/09

On Sunday, September 20th, 2009 our Carpathian Club celebrated their 90th Jubilee. Congratulation! Many Years! (Pictures were taken by a friend of our parish Tonya Galati - Thank you Tonya!)

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"Bad" Weather in Bayonne?...