St. Innocent Orthodox Church


St. Innocent Orthodox Church
St. Innocent Orthodox Church
Z Founded in 1967 Z Moscow Patriarchal Parishes Z
23300 W. Chicago _ Redford, MI 48239 _ 313-538-1142 _ Fax: 313-538-8126
Church Website: _ E-Mail: [email protected]
St. Innocent Monastic Community: 9452 Hazelton, Redford, MI 48239 _ 313-535-9080
PASTOR: Rt. Rev. Mitered Archpriest ROMAN STAR _ Cell: 313-319-0590
Dean, Central States Deanery, Patriarchal Parishes
DEACON: Rev. Dn. Michael Comerford
EPISTLE: Romans 10:1 – 10 (#103)
SUBDEACON: Dr. Joshua Genig
GOSPEL: St. Matthew 8:28 – 9:1 (#28)
ATTACHED: Sister Ioanna
CHOIR DIRECTOR: Elizabeth Star Hatfield
READERS: Robert Joseph Latsko & George Hanoian
JULY 24, 2016
Miraculous Myrrh-streaming Icon of
St. Anna, Mother of the Theotokos —
Feastday of her repose, Monday, July 25th
COMMEMORATED TODAY: Holy Martyrs and Passionbearers Boris and Gleb, in Baptism Roman and David (1015). Martyr Christina of
Tyre (ca. 300). Ven. Polycarp, Archimandrite of the Kiev Caves (1182).
FOR THE REPOSE OF: Estelle & Joseph Star; Anna & John Witkowski; Michael Sr. & Margaret Rusko; Mary, Andrew, Daniel,
Michael & Lottie Yakuber; Ross & Margaret Falsetti; Helen, John & Carole Andrayko; Peter & Theresa Harvilla; Betty Martell; Frances
& Todd Smoly; Peter Glover; Irene Adams; Ethel Elizabeth & Wayne Joshua deVyver, David Horka; Michael Rusko; Anna Lichagina,
Yelena & Zinaïda Korniyevskaya; Joseph Nossal; Michelle Tucker; Todd Comerford.
Joseph Miskiv, whose anniversary of his repose is Monday, 25 July, by niece Matushka Rose Marie & Fr. Roman
FOR THE HEALTH OF: Archimandrite Seraphim; Priest Daneil, Matushka Debra & Corrina Shirak; Deacon Michael, Matushka Mary
Ellen & Julius Comerford; Matushka Mary Donahue; Subdeacon Joshua & Abigail Genig; Reader Robert Latsko, Reader George & Betty
Hanoian, Rose Nossal, Mary Glover, Nancy Cupp, Vasiliki Stamoulis, Gerald Martell, Azbehat, Donald Yakuber, Carl deVyver, Jo Anne
Nicholas, Joan Rusko, Daria, Joseph Nossal, Ed Manier, Martha Genig; Jennifer (Madias) & child; Marianna Wess & new-born child.
Donald Yakuber, who celebrates his birthday on Thursday, 28 July
Anna Genig, who celebrates her Name’s Day Tomorrow, 25 July
(Regular Wednesday & Friday fasting)
6th Sunday After Pentecost
9:15am Hours & Akathist &/or Canon; & Confessions
10am DIVINE LITURGY; Followed by Coffee Hour
Feast days this week: Mon. 7/25: Repose of St. Anna; Tues, 7/26: St. Jacob Netsvetov & St. Paraskeva; Wed, 7/27: St. Panteleimon
In Memory Eternal of: John (anniv. 7/5) & Anna (anniv. 7/19), Joseph & Estelle, Margaret, Olga (anniv. 7/21), Joseph (anniv. 7/25, Marsha,
Richard (anniv. 7/22), Tom, Samuel & Mary, & all other departed family; and For the Health of: Fr. Roman, Matushka Rose Marie, Elizabeth,
Larry, Caitlin, Zachary, Gregory, Tamiko, Thomas & all other family members.
Royal Doors Lamp: In Memory of Husband, Joseph; Son, Kenneth; parents, Michael & Margaret Rusko, & John & Martha Nossal, by Rose Nossal
Altar Candelabra: In Memory of Parents, Nicholas and Susan Yakuber, by son, Donald Yakuber
Altar Candles (2): In Memory of Irene Adams, by Goddaughter, Rose Ann Everhardt
Iconostasis Lamps: In Memory of Parents, Ethel Elizabeth & Wayne Joshua; Robert David H; & Health of brother, Carl, by Sister Ioanna
Candles on the Solea: In Memory of Peter & Theresa Harvilla, Norman & Monica Holst, & Ricky Ellis, by Jason & Debra Truskowski
Table of Oblation Lamp: In Memory of Parents, Helen & John Andrayko, Sr. & sister, Carole Andrayko, by John Andrayko, Jr.
Reliquary-Icon Lamps: Sts. Innocent, Tikhon & Herman: Health of Joseph/Sue; Robert/Diane; Pat/John; Joseph B., Jared, Jay; Rachelle/Aaron,
Gabriel; Tricia, Lindsey; & In Memory of sisters, Anna, Margaret, Theresa & Irene; & brothers, John, Edwin & Michael by Rose Nossal
Reliquary-Icon Lamps: Sts. Elizabeth & Raphael: Health of the Genig and the Just Families, by Subdeacon Joshua & Abigail Genig
Reliquary-Icon Lamps: St. Seraphim & St. Alexis: In Memory of Ross & Margaret Falsetti, by daughters, Rose Ann Everhardt & Margie Martell
Reliquary-Icon Lamps: St. Hilarion & Sts. Alexandra & Martha (AVAILABLE)
Reliquary-Icon Lamps: St. Nestor & St. Gerontius (AVAILABLE)
Joseph & Estelle Star, by son Father Roman and family
Paul & Alexandra Yupco, Basil & Ellen Starinshak, by grandson, Father Roman and family
John & Anna Witkowski, by daughter, Matushka Rose Marie and family
Samuel & Mary Kupec, by granddaughter, Matushka Rose Marie and family
Parents, Helen & John Andrayko, and sister, Carole Andrayko, by John Andrayko
My husband, Joe; my sisters, Margaret & Ross Falsetti, Anna & Mike Elaschat, Theresa & Pete Harvilla, Irene, & brothers, Michael, John &
Edwin Rusko; niece, Rose Mary & Dean Hough; Joe’s brothers, Raymond & Walter Nossal, & sisters, Theresa, Florence & Helen Nossal,
by Rose Nossal ++ + Pete & Theresa Harvilla, by Mary Ann Harvilla & Kay Truskowski + + + My husband, Michael Rusko, by Joan Rusko
Parents, Ethel Elizabeth & Wayne Joshua; David H; Nina I; Marion P; Fr. Photius; Mo. Benedicta; Archm. Roman; Sally & Edward, by Sr Ioanna
Child Lana Wilson, Shirley Troyer, Betty & Paul Stelmaszek, Marsha Olsen, by Becky Jurczyszyn
Thelma Ratcliff, Louis Pitts, Gloria Robinson, Reginald Bell, by Manier Family
Elizabeth & Lawrence, Caitlin & Zachary, by parents & grandparents, Father Roman & Matushka Rose Marie
Gregory & Tamiko Star, by parents, Father Roman & Matushka Rose Marie
Children, Grandchildren & Great-grandchildren; Monk Fr. Sdn. Tikhon (Dade); by Rose Nossal
Father Roman & Matushka & family; Sister Ioanna; John Andrayko; Nancy; Mary G; Jo Anne N; Grandson Joey (in the Navy Reserves) &
all people in the Armed Forces; & all the people of St. Innocent Church, by Rose Nossal
My Mom, Jaime Truskowski, by Kay Truskowski + + + Family & Friends, by Mary Ann Harvilla & Kay T.
Brother, Greg & Donna; nephew, Gregory & Liz; & nephew, Alex, by Mary Ann Harvilla & Kay + + + Ed Manier, by Mary Ann Harvilla & Kay
Archimandrites Nafanail, Gregory & Seraphim; Fr. Roman & Mat. Rose Marie; Fr. Lawrence & fam; Fr. Laurence & fam; Fr. Daneil & fam; Dcn.
Michael & fam; Mat. Mary D; Carl; Sdn Fr. Tikhon; Sdn Andrew; Sdn Joshua, Abigail & children; Rdr Robert; Robert M; David Samuel, Sky
& Avi; Jo Anne/Nick; Athanasius; John A; Ed/Tiffany; Kim & fam; Vasiliki; Rose; Emil; Billy/Fonda; Donald Y; Marianna & new-born baby,
by Sr Ioanna + + + John Andrayko (May God watch over him), by Rose Nossal + + + Rose Nossal, by John Andrayko
(1)Leia & baby, Reece & Mike Wilson; (2)Joan & Bob Jurczynszyn, Toni & Richard Bussen; (3) DamonTristan, Briann Saylor, Levi Troyer; (4)Liz
Tomachewski & Andrea Faust, Nathan; (5)Paul & Pete, Jacob, Krista, Claire, Matt & Jacob Stelmaszek, by Becky Jurczyszyn
H & S of: all Manier children & grandchildren; Jennifer Kelley(cancer returned); Donna Williams (MS); Brittany (family issues), by Ed & Tiffany
Katrina Korniyevskaya & friend Maria (safe travel), by mother, Julia + + + Health of Julia & all Family, by Julia K.
1) GOOD NEWS! OUR PARKING LOT WILL BE PAVED SOON! At long last, our dreadful, crumbling 25-year-old parking lot is going to
be paved soon — by late summer or early Fall (prior to our 50th Anniversary year of 2017). Whenever Fr. Roman gets the call that the company
is ready to come, they will begin on a Monday morning, and intend to finish so the parking lot can be used the following weekend. It is a big,
expensive job: the existing asphalt will be entirely removed, the ground leveled and a many-inch deep foundation laid, and then the asphalt will
be laid over that. The lowest of 3 bids is $21,000. Any assistance offered would be most welcomed, whether a one-time offering, or monthly.
2) KITCHEN & COFFEE HOUR NEEDS: We always can use cases of bottled spring water (8 oz.). Thanks to all who have donated items.
3) WEEKLY “ST. INNOCENT ORTHODOX STUDY GROUP,” led by Subdeacon Dr. Joshua Genig, Wednesday Evenings, 6:30-7:30 at St.
Innocent Church hall.
4) MANY ON-GOING THANKS to John Andrayko and Rdr. George Hanoian for mowing & weed-wacking the lawn every week; and to
all those who regularly help maintain the beautiful church flower gardens, & the bushes/flower beds along West Chicago. Volunteers needed.
pm, or on your computer/smart-phone, live, at This website also has an archive of all its previous programs. Excellent!
6) ANOTHER NEW ARTICLE ADDED TO OUR CHURCH WEBSITE: Sdn. Joshua’s meditation about last Sunday’s Gospel, the
Healing of the Centurian’s Servant. We now add Subdeacon Josh’s 12th Meditation article, in addition to his 11th Meditation added one week
ago. Also check out the FIVE NEW SAINTS’ LIVES ARTICLES added 2 weeks ago, plus the July Calendar, Check out hiSdn. Josh’s previous
10 articles, and our growing collection of 20 Saints’ Lives (mostly of the saints whose icons are on our church walls) under the ARTICLES tab
on our church website. The 7 new Articles & July calendar are listed with links on our Home Page:
(c.1360-70 - c.1427-30)
Feast Day: July 4th
St. Andrew Rublev (pronounced roob-lyoff) wrote and proclaimed the Gospel with paints rather
than with words — he was an iconographer (a person who writes/paints icons). His icons have been
regarded for almost 600 years as so perfectly shining forth the divine splendor and radiance, joy and
love—witnesses to the truth of Orthodoxy—that other iconographers have been directed to use his
icons as models. He worked with the best iconographers of his day, painting some of the most
important churches in northern Russia. Through his most famous icon, the Holy Trinity, he has
eloquently preached a beautiful sermon about the nature of the Holy Trinity. St. Andrew is
frequently depicted holding this Holy Trinity icon (as he is here). The Orthodox Church teaches that
the divine Word and Light can be proclaimed just as powerfully in written-in-paint icons, as in
written-in-ink words. “We proclaim our salvation in words and images [icons],” we sing in the Kontakion
for Orthodoxy Sunday.
How do iconographers fulfill such a high calling—to let God speak to people through their
icons? It is by working together with divine grace, and by living a holy, pure and simple life. And
how does one live a holy life? Most of the saints, including St. Andrew, lived to serve God above all
else, and worked hard to overcome their self-centeredness (that gets in the way of God speaking
through them) by strict fasting, abstinence, prayer, frequent reception of the Holy Mysteries, helping the needy, and by cultivating the spiritual
attitudes of humility, patience, joy, peace and love. Sometimes, as with St. Andrew, the Holy Spirit leads persons to express great love for God
and His creation by becoming monks. St. Andrew further expressed his love of Divine Beauty in his painting/writing of icons, through which
God still speaks loudly and clearly to people today.
St. Andrew was born near Moscow, and as a youth, knew St. Sergius of Radonezh, who had founded the Monastery of the Holy Trinity
about 45 miles from Moscow. It was at this monastery, now known as the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, where St. Andrew became a monk,
and where he has long been venerated as a saint. He painted his Holy Trinity icon for the Holy Trinity Church there, where St. Sergius’ tomb
still is today. St. Andrew also lived, worked and is buried at the Savior-Andronikov Monastery in Moscow. Those who knew St. Andrew testify
to his strict ascetic and holy life and his great love for all. God granted him to have visions and contemplate the immaterial Divine Light. After
his repose, he appeared in a vision, clothed in radiant garments, to his friend and fellow monk-iconographer, Daniel Chornii. Although many
have testified to his sanctity, the greatest testimonies are his icons themselves. None but a true saint could have produced such marvels of
beauty and truth.
(c.1314 - 1392)
Feast Day: July 5th (& September 25th)
St. Sergius of Radonezh is the patron saint of Russia, father of northern Russian monasticism, and
founder of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Sergiev Posad. Few people have had such a profound
influence on Russian life as St. Sergius and his monastery. He was a great mystic and ascetic, whose life
spanned much of the 14th century, at the time that Russia was occupied by the Mongol Tartars. Even
as a child the future saint was devoted to the Holy Trinity and sought the monastic life. After the
repose of his parents, in 1334 the 20-year-old youth went into the deep forest, about 45 miles northeast
of Moscow, to seek spiritual solitude as in a desert. He lived a very austere ascetic life, marked by
extreme poverty, hard physical labor, and profound humility and simplicity. After a few years of
solitude in the forest, disciples started to gather around him, and Russia was forever changed. Through
the labors of St. Sergius’ disciples, the northern forest wilderness blossomed with numerous
monasteries, which were to play a very significant role in the subsequent life of Russia (and America).
In St. Sergius’ great humility, he rejected all honors: only reluctantly did he accept ordination as priest
and appointment as abbot of his own monastery; and he flatly refused to accept the office of
Metropolitan of Moscow. The many spiritual gifts granted to him include powerful and effective
prayer, clairvoyance, spiritual direction, and numerous visions. He reposed in 1392.
St. Sergius’ church, monastery and life’s work were dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The Holy
Trinity expresses the unity between the 3 Persons of the One God, and hence, also symbolizes the spiritual vision of the restoration of all
things to their original unity, including Russia. St. Sergius recognized that the Russian Church and the Russian people were united, and that
unification of Russia lands was required for their mutual well-being. Thus, with St. Sergius’ spiritual guidance and blessing, the Grand Prince
of Moscow, St. Dimitri Donskoi, united the fragmented Russian principalities under Moscow’s leadership, and in 1380, defeated the Mongol
Tartars. As a result, Moscow became the center of Russian life, and St. Sergius and his Holy Trinity Monastery have been looked to for
guidance and support ever since.
St. Sergius’ original wooden Holy Trinity Church burnt down and was replaced in 1422 by a white stone church, for which St.
Andrei Rublev did much of the iconographic work, including his most famous Holy Trinity icon. This icon is an eloquent expression and
testimony to St. Sergius’ spiritual vision of the beauty of salvation. In the process of building the stone church, St. Sergius’ relics were
uncovered, and it was discovered that after 30 years, his relics remained incorrupt. His relics were placed in a reliquary in his Holy Trinity
Church, readily accessible for veneration. Ever since the discovery of his incorrupt relics, untold numbers of healings and other miracles have
occurred. Every day, all day long, pilgrims come and venerate St. Sergius’ relics, and are profoundly touched by being in St. Sergius’ presence.
ST. SERAPHIM OF SAROV (1759 - 1833)
Feast Day: July 19th (& January 2nd)
St. Seraphim is one of the most beloved saints in the 20th and 21st centuries, not just in Russia, but
throughout the Orthodox world. In a period of spiritual decline and darkness, his was a light that has lit
up the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and continues today in the 21st century, even brighter than ever.
Almost an exact contemporary of St. Herman of Alaska, their humble and simple ascetic personalities are
quite similar. St. Seraphim is loved for his Paschal joy and love with which he embraced all creatures,
greeting people year-round with the exclamation, “Christ is Risen!”; for his humble and patient acceptance
of all things at the Lord’s hands, including lengthy illnesses and being beaten almost to death; for his
emphasis on the acquisition of the Holy Spirit as the goal of the Christian life, using prayer, almsgiving,
fasting and charitable works done for Christ’s sake as a means of achieving that goal; and for his intimacy
with the Holy Birthgiver-of-God and her appearing to St. Seraphim in visions, and healing him. Holy
Father Seraphim is known for feeding bears and other wild animals when he lived in a cabin in the woods;
for the 1,000 days and nights he spent praying on a rock near his forest cabin; for the experience of the
warmth, radiance, peace and joy of the Uncreated Light, which he allowed to envelop his disciple,
Motovilov; and for countless miracles.
The future saint, Prochor Moshnin, was born in 1759 in the city of Kursk of a pious merchant family.
When he was 10, the Mother of God healed him from a severe illness through her Kursk-Korennaya Icon.
As a youth, Prochor spent as much time as possible in church, and used the gift of reading to devour the Bible, the lives of the saints, the
writings of the Church Fathers, and liturgical books, which he continued to do for his entire life. His heart’s desire was to dedicate his life
to serving God as a monk and thus, at age 19, he obeyed an Elder’s counsel to go to the Sarov Monastery, where he spent the rest of his life.
After 8 years, during which time he nearly died—until he was healed by the Mother of God—he was tonsured a monk, and then a deacon.
While serving at the altar, he frequently saw angels, and once, on Holy Thursday, he was transported in ecstasy for several hours by a vison
of Christ Himself. At age 34 Fr. Seraphim was ordained priest, and then his elder entrusted to him the spiritual care of the sisters at the
nearby Diveyevo Women’s Monastery, which became “his” Diveyevo. He then also received permission to live by himself in the forest,
praying, reading the Church Fathers, and every week, reading the entire New Testament. At age 45 he was beaten by robbers and left for dead.
During his long recovery, the Mother of God again appeared to him with the Apostles Peter and John the Theologian, and said of him: “He
is one of ours.” After this he recovered, but was always bent over and walked with a cane. More years of seclusion in the forest and in his
monastery passed, and then the Mother of God directed him to receive people who came to him for spiritual comfort and guidance. For 7
years, thousands of pilgrims came seeking assistance from the Elder, as people have continued to do throughout the 20th, and now, 21st
century, especially after his glorification in 1903. His wonder-working relics were miraculously discovered and returned to Diveyevo with
triumphant joy in July 1991.
Feastday: July 15th and
Feastday: July 11th
Grand Prince of Kiev and “Equal to the Apostles,” ST. VLADIMIR altered the course
of history for the last thousand years, because he brought the Orthodox Christian Faith to the
people of all the Russias, and everywhere that the Russian people brought Orthodoxy—across
Siberia to the Pacific, to Japan, to Alaska and North America and to Western Europe. Disillusioned
with the emptiness of paganism, Grand Prince St. Vladimir chose the Orthodox Faith, moved by
its beauty, after very careful thought and investigation. When he was baptized in the city of
Kherson, he received miraculous healing of both his spiritual and physical blindness. His conversion
was so deep, that he became a truly changed man. With the zeal of an Apostle, St. Vladimir labored
tirelessly to bring the True Faith to his people, to establish a genuinely Christian society, and to do
everything possible to follow Christ’s command to love one another. It was like second Pentecost,
when in 988 the “Baptizer of Russia” arranged for his people to hear the Word of God, to repent
and be baptized in the Dneiper River. He had the city’s idols destroyed. He sent out missionaries
and built churches, monasteries, schools, orphanages, hospitals, and homes for the poor, sick and
elderly. He provided carts of food to be delivered to the needy. He abolished capital punishment and freed many prisoners. St. Vladimir
prayed for the spiritual enlightenment of his people: his 1,000-year legacy of faith has borne abundant fruit.
When Prince St. Vladimir accepted Byzantine Christianity, and allowed Christ to dwell in his heart and transform him, and thereby
to transform the generations of people who followed him, he was following in the footsteps of his grandmother, Grand Princess ST. OLGA.
St. Olga had been a shrewd and crafty woman, who ruled Kiev alone for almost 20 years after her husband died. On a visit to Constantinople
(c. 957) she was baptized, the first of the family of the Kievan Grand Princes to accept Christianity. Thereafter, St. Olga was totally
transformed by her conversion, and she inspired many others by her saintly life. Regarded as the pre-dawn light that heralds the sunrise, and
the spiritual mother of the Russian people, St. Olga sowed the seeds of Orthodox Christianity in Russia, which would take root and bear fruit
a few decades later, through her grandson, Grand Prince St. Vladimir.
The above Saints’ Lives are from: RECENTLY CANONIZED ORTHODOX SAINTS: Their Lives and Icons, published by St. Innocent/Firebird Videos, Audios &
Books, Redford, MI. The ICONS are at St. Innocent Orthodox Church, Redford, MI. Iconographer: Archpriest Fr. Theodore Jurewicz
Juneau, AK (OCA); June 17, 2016 — Alaska Governor Bill
Walker and First Lady Donna Walker joined His Grace, Bishop
David at Saint Nicholas Church here on June 5, 2016 for the
dedication and blessing of a new monument erected in memory of
the many Aleuts who lost their lives in internment camps during
World War II.
“Before the Japanese invasion of Attu and Kiska, Alaska in 1942,
some 800 Aleuts living in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands had
been forced to resettle
Bishop David blesses monument to Aleuts
to camps in southeast
who perished during WWII internment.
Alaska,” explained
Bishop David. “It was
estimated that over ten percent of the evacuees perished during
this little-known era of World War II history.”
Archpriest Thomas
Andrew, Rector of the
Assumption of the Holy
Virgin Church, Kenai,
AK and Chancellor of
Boris Merculief and General Jake Lestenkof
the Diocese of Alaska,
unveil the monument.
was present for the
blessing, as were General Jake Lestenkof and Boris Merculief of
the Aleutian and Pribilof Island Trust, which sponsored the monument.
Following the blessing, a reception was held in the historic old
rectory, which today serves as Saint Nicholas Church’s parish hall.
Bp. David with [from left] Fr. Thomas Andrew, Reader
Andrew Ebona, and Governor and First-Lady Walker.
The following day—June 6—Bishop David offered welcoming remarks
and the invocation at the dedication and opening of Alaska’s new Father
Andrew P. Kashevaroff Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum in
downtown Juneau, AK.
Fr. Andrew Petrovich Kashevaroff
Sixteen years in the making, the facility—known locally as SLAM—is
named in honor of Archpriest Andrew Petrovich Kashevaroff, an
Orthodox priest of Russian and Alaska Native heritage who was born in
Kodiak on September 19, 1863. The son and grandson of missionary
priests, Father Andrew served the Church as teacher, choir director,
inspector, deacon, and priest for over 60 years in many locales
throughout Alaska. He was also the first librarian and curator of the
Alaska Historical Museum and Library when it relocated to Juneau in
1919. During his tenure there, he collected thousands of items for the
museum, providing an insight into Alaskan history of incalculable
significance. Father Andrew fell asleep in the Lord on April 3, 1940.
(International Orthodox Christian Charities)
Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — A Saturday basketball clinic taught dozens of
Alaska youth more than just the basic ball handling skills of the game.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) hosted one-day youth
basketball and mentoring clinics in Anchorage and the village of Napaskiak to
provide a fun, sports-focused environment and to reinforce healthy lifestyles and
substance abuse prevention. The clinic introduced the at-risk youth to positive
role models through the game of basketball and taught them how to build
positive practices into their lives to lessen risk-taking behavior.
Retired professional and college players Andrew Cladis, Andrew Snelgrove and
Patrick Johnson volunteered as mentors. "The reason I got into coaching was to
impact young people, and the opportunity to connect with at-risk kids and
hopefully give them some positive messages to take forward in their lives was
a no-brainer for me," said Johnson, who played for Duke University and is now
head coach of Men's Basketball at Citrus College in Glendora, California.
Andrew Cladis, a former professional player in Europe, added, "Basketball
teaches qualities of character like working hard and handling adversity, and
seeing the young people in Anchorage and Napaskiak demonstrate these traits,
even in small ways during the clinics made this a success."
Following basketball drills with former pros, IOCC US Country
Representative Dan Christopulos led a discussion that allowed
the Alaska Native youth to interact with the player mentors and
learn about tools needed to deal with every day challenges.
Patrick Johnson, a former Duke University basketball
player, runs drills with teen boys and girls at an IOCC
basketball and mentoring clinic in Anchorage. The oneday clinics in Anchorage and the village of Napaskiak
were aimed at providing a fun, sports-focused
environment to reinforce healthy lifestyles and
substance abuse prevention among Alaska Native
Substance abuse among Alaska Native youth is double the national
average. At the same time, the majority of Orthodox priests in Alaska are
Alaska Natives. IOCC has been working with the OCA Diocese of Sitka
and Alaska and St. Herman Orthodox Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, to
implement a substance abuse prevention training program for
seminarians and clergy that will reach some of the most remote villages
and communicate these messages to people within the Alaska Native
community. "We are grateful for IOCC's continuing support of our
seminarians and clergy to learn the most effective methods in preventing
substance abuse," stated His Grace Bishop David of Alaska, "and are
particularly pleased that these basketball and healthy lifestyles clinics
allowed our youth in Alaska to concentrate on building positive habits
in their lives that will protect them from so many contemporary negative
influences. Battling the effects left from years of negative influences is
an ongoing struggle for us, and thanks to the efforts of IOCC, we are
now ma k i n g
important steps in
the right direction for our clergy and youth."
While substance abuse ravages Alaska Native families, Alaska Native youth
are passionate about basketball and eagerly participate – even in the smallest
villages where it is difficult to find enough children to form teams in the
schools. The clinic provided an ideal outlet to engage the youth in a positive
way about topics that are critical to leading healthy lives.
The clinic wasn't just centered around the game. IOCC US Country
Representative Dan Christopulos also led a discussion that allowed the youth
to interact with the players and learn about the tools needed to deal with every
day challenges. "Playing basketball is so much more than sports." said
Christopulos. "This program aims to provide youth with healthier lifestyle
choices and the rewards that come with making those choices."
His Grace Bishop David of Alaska (back row, center)
hosted IOCC staff and volunteers in the village of
Napaskiak, Alaska for a day-long basketball clinic. The
clinic is part of a larger effort between IOCC and the
OCA Diocese of Sitka and Alaska and St. Herman
Orthodox Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, to implement a
substance abuse prevention training program for
seminarians and clergy that will reach some of the most
remote villages.