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All Services Suspended through March 31

His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek has issued a directive that effective immediately all parishes of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania are to immediately cease all services, activities, social gatherings, etc. with the exception of the following: 

Each parish priest may open his church on the coming two Saturday afternoons (March 21 and March 28) for two to three hours of his choosing for the faithful to come and offer a private prayer and light candles. While we are not encouraging people to do this in light of the governmental guidelines, it is realized some people will gain much strength from this visit. It is imperative that people in high-risk categories (i.e., senior citizens/individuals with on-going health problems/people not feeling well currently) not consider this act. Individuals are reminded to maintain “social distancing” during this visit and avoid interacting with large numbers of people.

Holy Trinity’s “open houses” as described above are 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday and next.  

His Eminence’s directives go on to say:

Except for so-called “death-bed confessions,” confessions are suspended until this period of time has concluded. (This, of course, does not preclude informal spiritual discussions between our priests and our parish penitents via the phone and emails…) 

You can reach the parish’s clergy through the Parish Office—814-231-2855 (phone); (text/email)—which remains open with as regular hours as possible should a need arise in our parish family or the broader community. While routine pastoral visits are to cease per His Eminence’s directives, our clergy, following proper personal safety protocols, are still available to you to respond to any emergency situation requiring immediate pastoral attention.

Attached is a service that can be prayed by the faithful of the Archdiocese regularly in front of their prayer corners concerning this virus. The Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, while closed to visitors during this period as per Holy Synod directives concerning all OCA monasteries, will probably continue to live-stream the monastery’s services; their web address for more info is:

The work of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church continues even though we cannot gather as Christ’s people. With Fr. Ignatius’ blessing Matthew 25 met virtually earlier today with the deacons to postpone the Lion’s Pantry Drive and Soup-er Sunday to the Sundays of October, but will continue to offer immediate assistance to the State College Food Bank and other charities. We will have more on this in letters to the parish and in the April Trisagion, but in the meantime, please remember the parish through your stewardship if you are able.

Related: Official Announcement on the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh website

Sunday School Moves to Trinity House this Sunday

IMG_9906 (1)Trinity House Ministry Center officially opens on Sunday, January 10. For students in the Sunday School and their parents, here is some important information regarding classroom changes:

  • Parents, teachers, and students will assemble in the Parish Hall at 9:00 a.m. sharp! for our opening prayer and then proceed immediately to our classes with the the Sunday School teachers:
    • Students in the Pre-K and Kindergarden class will  meet in the Holy Trinity Nursery (i.e., Father John’s former office in the Parish Hall);
    • Students in grades 1-5 will meet in the Trinity House Lower Level entering via the rear  entry door;
    • Students in the middle school (Conference Room) and high school (Atty Lounge, Second Floor) classes will enter Trinity House Main Floor using the Sparks Street (front door) entrance.
  • The driveway between Holy Trinity and Trinity House will be closed for the safety of students traveling to and from class. Motorists will be asked to enter the parking areas from Calder Way and Lark Alley only.
  • At the conclusion of the classes (9:45 AM) students in grades Pre-K to 5 will return to the Parish Hall to meet up with parents so that you may go together to the Liturgy.
  • Older students will be dismissed directly from class to return to the church for the Liturgy.

Next Sunday (January 17) during the Parents Session (we will meet in Trinity House Lower Level) Deacon Mark will lead parents in a discussion on these new procedures and make adjustments as necessary using your feedback.

Holy Trinity Closes on Adjacent Property

Trinity House Blessing

Following a molieben (prayer service) of Thanksgiving to God following the Divine Liturgy on November 23, Fr. John led the parish in procession to bless and tour the newly bought facility. For more pictures, visit

by Fr. John Reeves

It’s official now: we closed on the former American Cancer Society building on the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos in the Temple (November 21) and our newly named Trinity House became ours.

The generosity of many parishioners and non-parishioners alike has enabled us to take this leap: Forward, Together, in Faith.

Over the next three months, we will review bids, hire a contractor, and oversee work on the project, hoping that we can move in sometime in February. But, as with any building or remodeling program, end-dates end up being flexible. If we can’t get in by then, we’ll simply take time this Lent working on being patient.

If you still would like to contribute to Phase II—a gift to be paid out over the next three years—and/or to donate all or a portion of the ADA restroom on the main floor (Phase III), your benefactions would be joyfully received.

Chapel Opens New Doors to the Community

In other news, beginning with Vespers this Saturday, December 6, the Chapel of the Holy Spirit will begin worshipping in the MACC on 67 Elm Street in Beaver Springs—the same location of the Family Fun Nights. The Chapel’s temporary relocation opens doors for new-comers, inquirers, and those that have expressed a need for a more central and accessible location. For a full schedule and directions, visit

Donate Online to Trinity House

Trinity House Logo (portrait)

Yes, I want to give to Trinity House!

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is currently accepting secure online donations for Phase I until we reach our goal of $50,000 by the closing date (November 15, 2014). Your tax-deductible donation will be added to the church’s down payment, making Trinity House Parish and Campus Ministry Center a reality.



We also have immediate opportunities for donors to sponsor a specific room:

ADA Restroom  ($10,000)   Donated!
Campus Center   ($7,500)   Donated!
Conference Room  ($7,500)   Donated!
Guest Suite  ($3,500)   Donated!
Kitchen  ($5,000)   Donated!

Donations can be given in honor or in memory of a loved one. If you would like to make a gift for Phase III, please email or call the Parish Office at (814) 231-2855.

Capital Campaign for Trinity House Launched

Trinity House Logo (portrait)When parishioners were asked what Holy Trinity would be like in five years if God had His way, the answers were as diverse as the parish’s membership. But one common thread emerged—a desire to grow and be faithful to God’s calling. To help make a home for those that Christ has added, the Forward, Together, in Faith Campaign for the Trinity House Parish and Campus Ministry Center was launched on October 20.

One-third of the $340,000 needed to purchase Trinity House has already come from Holy Trinity’s Building Fund. To minimize the impact of the remaining debt that comes from financing a project like this, donors will have an opportunity to partner with the parish.

There are several ways to share in this vision:

Phase I

$50,000 in cash by November 15 for the down payment.

Phase II

$100,000 pledged over the next three years (2015-2017) to reduce significantly the mortgage principal.

Phase III

Sponsorship of specific rooms. (Each area will be completed when funds become available.)

Contact Holy Trinity at or (814) 231-2855 to learn how you can join the campaign.

Trinity House Moves Closer to Reality

by Fr. John Reeves

September has flown by. As was noted in last month’s Trisagion, the parish voted overwhelmingly to purchase the American Cancer Society building next door (123 S. Sparks St.) for $340,000, successfully meeting one of the three main criteria for the parish to secure the property.

The other two criteria have also been met: At its September meeting, Council authorized inspections of the property and delegated authority to Chuck Beechan and me to arrange for financing. The inspection revealed a sound building with mainly cosmetic issues to be dealt with after closing. Furthermore, Council endorsed a new vision for the building and renamed the structure, “Trinity House Parish and Campus Ministry Center.”

The proposed floor plan of the new ministry center and existing spaces are as follows:

  • Click to Enlarge.

    (Click on the image to enlarge.)

    The Lower Level will be used primarily for Sunday School and activity space for younger children. The parish will also make use of the ample storage space that is already in place.

  • The Main Level will include a reception area, administrative offices, and a conference room for use by ministry groups and the Parish Council.
  • The Upper Level will become the home of a new campus ministry center, featuring a lounge and study area, along with an office for Deacon Alex. In addition, a guest suite will be furnished for visiting clergy and alumni. On Sundays, middle and high school classes will meet here as well.
  • In our existing building, the Parish Hall will be rearranged to accommodate more tables with seating for fellowship;
  • My office will become a classroom for the pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Sunday School class. When class is not in session, it will serve as a Nursery for young children and their mothers.
  • The current administrative office will be reconfigured to include the Bookstore and additional storage, if necessary.

Darren Torbic is putting his civil engineering profession to work by designing new options for increased parking and additional green space behind both the church and Trinity House, as well.

One of the benefits of the financing we secured for the new building is that Fulton Bank is giving us an opportunity to consolidate the existing mortgage with the new one with an interest rate of 4.05% for the first five years, amortized for 25 years. Banking with Fulton will be convenient for the Chapel as well (they have branches throughout Synder County). Closing is expected on or around November 15.

Look in your mailboxes this month for more on Trinity House. Inside will be information about how you can partner with the parish in order to raise a total of $150,000 over the next three years to lower the mortgage principal and invest in our future.

All my best for a good month.   — Fr. John

Introducing Trinity House

Trinity House Logo

What’s in a Name?

When the parish authorized the purchase of 123 S. Sparks St., a new name became
necessary—we could not keep calling it the “American Cancer Society building” forever. Providentially at last night’s Council meeting, parish leadership endorsed a new vision for the building next door, and with this new vision, comes a new name.

Entitled Trinity House Parish and Campus Ministry CenterTrinity House for short—this new name provides a snapshot of the multiple uses envisioned on its three levels: Sunday School classes, administrative offices, meeting space, and a new home for Holy Trinity’s growing campus ministry. When completed in 2015, Trinity House will be only the second-known Orthodox campus ministry facility in the US.

Closing is expected around Thanksgiving. February is forecast as a possible opening date, allowing for needed refurbishing, painting, and new floor coverings.

Parish Votes to Purchase Adjacent Building

123 S Sparks StAt a meeting of the parish today, members voted to approve a $340,000 offer to purchase the building adjacent to Holy Trinity (123 S. Sparks St.), which the American Cancer Society has owned for the past twenty years. The vote tally was 60 votes in favor, 7 votes against, with 2 abstentions.

Closing on the building is expected in November. In the meantime, the Parish Council will explore several options to maximize its sustainability and usability in order to meet our needs, the needs of our community (Penn State and State College), and the Church beyond our parish.

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