St. Mary's Orthodox Church

Centennial Jubilee

1909 -2009



217 First Street

Coaldale, Pa 18218

Telephone - 570-645-2772

Website -


Pastor Rev. Daniel Mathewson

Retired, Attached V. Rev. Paul Ropitsky


President Richard York

Vice President. John Evetushick

Recording Secretary Nancy Lorchak

Financial Secretary Kay Maliniak

Treasurer Helen King


Peter Harahus Stephen Redash

John A. King Marie Skripnek

John W. King BarbaraTeno

Russell King Harry Wyshosky

Wash King Ronald Yurchak

Benjamin Macalush


Geri King Marie Yurchak.

Helen Ostrosky



Honorary Chairman Rev. Daniel Mathewson

Chairperson Nancy Lorchak

Treasurer Helen King


Banquet & Decorating Helen King, Peter Harahus

Rose Harkins & John Yaroma

Centennial Book Fr. Daniel, Kay Maliniak

Stephanie Chmel, Helen King & Nancy Lorchak

Historian & Publicity Stephanie Chmel

Hospitality - Church & Banquet.. Geri King, John W. King

John Evetushick, Ben & Olga Macalush

Photography Michael Ropitsky, Eleanor Sidoriak

Reservations Helen Sheers

Traffic Control Richard York


Metropolitan Jonah, Primate




P..0. Box 675

Syosset. NY I 17791 1-0675

Tel: 510.922.0550

fax: 516.922.0954


September 6, 2009

Priest Daniel Mathewson

St. Mary Orthodox Church

217 First Street

Coaldale, P A 18218

Dear Father Daniel and Beloved Faithful: On the historic and joyous occasion of the Centennial Jubilee of St. Mary Orthodox Church in Coaldale, I am overjoyed to extend to all of you my heartfelt congratulations and warm best wishes.

As you commemorate this milestone and thank God for 100 years of blessings, pause to
pay tribute to the rectors and faithful associated with this parish since its establishment.
Their enduring faith and tireless labors have yielded exemplary spiritual growth,
continued material progress, and outstanding support of the Diocese of Eastern
Pennsylvania and the Orthodox Church in America.

This 100th Anniversary, however, is not merely about yesterday; it is about tomorrow. In
the days ahead, new and different challenges must be faced by our Church. The future
will be bright for us only if we are willing to devote our time and efforts towards bringing
the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a society that has strayed from His path. Our Lord must be
the object of our worship, the theme of our sermons, the pattern of our life, and the
inspiration of our ideals. Others must see the Lord Himself when they visit our church.
For this to happen, every member of our parishes must be totally dedicated to serving our

Your heavenly patron, the Most-Holy Theotokos, is the greatest example of a human life
completely dedicated to serving the Lord in humility and self-sacrificing love. My prayer
is that each of you will work daily to lead this kind of a spiritual life and thus be an
example for others to follow.

We are justifiably proud of the accomplishments of your community over the past 100
years. The task ahead is to build upon the foundation that you forebears' efforts have set,
that you may leave a similar legacy to the next generation of faithful who call St. Mary
Church their home.

With the bestowal of my archpastoral blessing and with paternal love, I remain

With love in Christ,


Archbishop of Washington and New York

Metropolitan of All America and Canada


September 6th, 2009

Glory to Jesus Christ!

All the faithful and friends of The Nativity ofthe Theotokos Parish,

One hundred years seems like a long to us finite beings, but to our heavenly one day is as
a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. So to Him we are still just beginning! St. Mary's here in Coaldale certainly has a legacy oflongevity and perseverance since 1909. As a local parish of immigrants and foreigners to this American land, they wanted true authentic Orthodox Christianity not a "look alike" faith or a connection to the Roman Church. Being from the Byzantine Rite they broke away and came into the arms of the Holy Orthodox Church here in America. Setting out on this journey meant they would have to give up all to follow Christ and His Church.

The Orthodox Church, as the Body of Christ, has grave responsibilities. Her main
responsibility is to remain humble, and to show love to all they come into contact with, whether neighbors next to our parish property, or visitors from far away. Her calling is to fulfill the commission of Christ, to be lights to the world, to bring the healing medicine of the Gospel to all who will come to receive.

It is imperative that in the 100 years ahead that St. Mary's, as a local expression of the
True Faith, renews her traditional commitment to the Gospel of her Fathers-the Apostles and the Saints of our Holy Church. This Gospel is first of all, a Gospel of love and acceptance. This Gospel is a message oflove of the sinner-with acts of compassion to those in need outside of our own immediate community.

In order to express the True Gospel to a needy community, the Holy Spirit also asks that
we now lay aside all earthly cares and shed our "security blankets", letting go of the man made traditions that have held us back and reach forward for the prize of the high calling in Jesus Christ. St. Paul writing to the Philippian Church, and to us, says about his own reliance upon the dead tradition of his heritage,

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goalfor the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren,join infollowing my example, and note those who so walk, as you have usfor a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven,from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself(3:7-21}.

Our determination, like the great saint, must be the same: to walk by the same rule, to focus our attention on Christ Jesus and to pray, and to lead others to this citizenship in heaven. Seeking our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ with our whole heart, mind soul and strength, and by prayerfully and actively loving those around us, we can bring the light of Divine knowledge to them. Then our past years will come to be refined by fire, and we will attain unto salvation. Let us allow these coming years to be more fruitful, to be marked by our love for God and one another, so that we can work out our own salvation, and then those around us will be drawn through the power of the Holy Spirit to Christ's Holy Church for their salvation.

May God grant you many years!!

In the Love of Christ. Fr.David,

Rev. Fr. Daniel Mathewson


Congratulations and Many Years are in order today to the parishioners of St. Mary s Orthodox Church in Coaldale, Pa. On the 100th anniversary of the founding of their Church.

This event marks not only a numerical level of sustaining a parish for100 years but also sustaining a highly spiritual parish. No parish can thrive without a strong presence of prayer, tradition and devotion to our Lord and to the church itself.

We look back 100 years when our grandparents, parents came to

this country. They had very little possessions but they had their faith in God and with His help they knew that they could better their lives. Coal was the main industry where most of the men worked, it was hard and dangerous work but they survived and kept their faith. Working in the mines and factories and other jobs, along with raising a family they continued to keep the mainstay in their lives, 'the Church. " Many sacrifices were made and the church survived. We must never forget the devotion that our ancestors showed toward the church in the early years to present times.

Everyone here today in body or in spirit can be proud of what this past century has accomplished in Coaldale. This beautiful Church and the wonderful people came together to make a family that had bonded together. This enables each and everyone of us to hold the church close to our hearts.

In these trying times, in our material minded world today, we must not lose our focus towards our Lord and Savior and His Church. We must maintain the level of intensity that our forefathers had when they first came to this country. We must remember that our forefathers built a thriving home for all Orthodox to worship in the tradition they were born with. They built a beautiful Russian style church where they were able to practice their spiritual duties of prayer, and the devotion to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as set down by the holy Fathers of the early church. This is what made St. Mary s the parish what it is today.

Now it is our responsibility, our time to continue on with their work. It is our time to continue to pray for them, pray for each other and pray for the continuation of St. Mary's Orthodox Church here in Coaldale for another century.

May God Grant Many, Many Years to the congregation of St. Mary's here in Coaldale.

V. Rev. Paul Ropitsky


98th Patornal Feast of St. Mary's Orthodox Church - September 8, 2007