Diocesan Youth Apostolate Established

October 11, 2005

JOHNSTOWN, PA -  His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas announced his plans for the institution of the Diocesan Apostolate for Youth Ministry. In a letter sent to all diocesan parishes, dated October 5, 2005, His Eminence, as promised in his address at last month's National ACRY Convention, further outlined his vision and goals of the apostolate. Underscoring His conviction that such a youth ministry be a major diocesan priority, His Eminence has announced his appointment of several diocesan priests to assist him with this important new diocesan ministry and the commencement of their work in early November.

The following is the text of His Eminence's letter:

Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers, Monastics, and Pious
Faithful of our God-fearing Diocese

Slava Isusu Christu! Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Fathers and Faithful:

With sincere hope and constant prayer, I am pleased to announce the institution of a new Diocesan effort. By the authority invested in me by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and theHoly Synod of Constantinople, I hereby establish the Diocesan Apostolate for Youth Ministry.

In recognition of the increasingly materialistic and non-Christian forms pervading our society, and of the escalating need for an equally effective ministry to all our Diocesan Youth, I am appointing an Apostolate to pursue the follow objectives:

(a) It will work to nurture Orthodox spirituality in the life of our youth.

(b) It will work to educate our youth in the Orthodox response to modern concerns and ethical issues.

(c) It will work to strengthen the commitment of our youth to their families.

(d) It will seek to overturn the current problem of older youth leaving Church life at 18, and returning back to Church only when their babies need to be baptized and catechized. I will seek to strengthen the commitment of our youth to their local parish and to the Diocese.

(e) It will seek to prepare our youth for the vocations of Orthodox marriage and family in the modern age.

(f) It will seek to prepare young men and women for tonsure to the monastic vocation, and young men for entry into the vocation of the priesthood.

One of the first programs to be accomplished by this Apostolate will be a new annual Diocesan Youth Meeting to be held at Camp Nazareth. The first such meeting will be held on the weekend of June 2- 4, 2006 in conjunction with Family Day and the 3Oth Anniversary of Camp Nazareth. This program, called NAZARETH YOUTH SOJOURN, will be an intensive, enjoyable experience of Orthodox spirituality, fellowship and vocational challenge.

The clergy listed below have been appointed to this Apostolate. They will be meeting at Camp Nazareth on November 7th -8th for their primary and formative retreat.

Very Rev. Jonathan Tobias, Director

Rev. Andrew Fetchina, Secretary

Very Rev. Proto. Stephen Dutko, Historian

Very Rev. Proto. James Dutko, Assistant Historian

Very Rev. Proto. Kenneth Bachofsky

Very Rev. Mark Leasure

Very Rev. Peter Paproski

Very Rev. Samuel Sherry

Very Rev. Miles Zdinak

Rev. Michael Chendorain

Rev. Michael Ellis

Rev. Matthew Moriak

I ask you in light of the gravity of this urgent purpose to pray fervently for the success and faithfulness of this Apostolate. The future is the harvest field, ready for harvest and the future is today in the hearts of our God-sent youth.

Assuring you of my supplications on your behalf, and my fondest blessings, I remain

Most sincerely yours in Christ,