St. Mark Of Ephesus
History of St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Mission

the 1920's
the 1920's
the 1920's
Saint Marks 1992 asphalt shingles
Saint Marks 1992 asphalt shingles
Saint Marks 1992 asphalt shingles
note the icons over the door
note the icons over the door
note the icons over the door
after it was sided - note the dome
after it was sided - note the dome
after it was sided - note the dome
Bishop Job of Blessed Memory

early history of the parish

Some early history notes of St. Mark of Ephesus, Kingston, MA

(by Fr. Mark Sherman, April 2013)

 

I know you have good researchers and historians, and you probably have all this information.  Nevertheless, I thought I would jot down the info that I could find from my early files of St. Mark’s, in the hope of providing a blessing!

  1. The idea of the mission began as an obedience in 1980 to Fr. David Black (later, Hieromonk Sergios and Bp. Sergios, variously of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, HOCNA, and an old calendar Greek Church) of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Boston “to begin a mission on the South Shore.”
  2. Early services began as Vespers and Presanctified Liturgies in our home in Norwell and the home of Anna McAfee in Hanover.   The first service was in our home on November 7, 1980 with Fr. Black.  However, the mission received only sparse support until His Eminence Job became Bishop of New England in January 1983.  Also in 1983, the mission received service and invaluable encouragement from Fr. Joseph Letendre of Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church, Chelsea; and music assistance from Paula (Griffith) Daubert, who later became choir director at Holy Trinity Cathedral.  Specifically, there is record of Friday Presanctified Liturgies at Anna McAfee’s home on April 8, 15, 22 (His Eminence Job attending), and 29, 1983.  There is also documentation of resuming after Bright Week 1983 “regular Tuesday night Vespers services.”
  3. Early participants in the effort to begin a mission were our family, and the families of Anna McAfee, Mary Alice Steinemer, Richard and Mary Adele Rudick, and Mark and Magdalena (Marge) Porter.  Also included were Sophie Silverman from Hingham and attorney Anthony Moses.
  4. An early document regarding the choice of St. Mark of Ephesus as patron for the mission states: “St. Mark provides us a pattern for upholding the faith against great odds.  In our world of shifting spiritual sands against the great tide of existential philosophy and secular humanism, this is precisely our calling.  O Blessed St. Mark, pray that we may have a share of your vision and courage!”
  5. The desired location for the mission was the Plymouth area due to its significant growth in the 1970’s.   Starting in mid-1983 we began looking for a suitable building for the mission.  On a day in July 1983 during a complete downpour, Anne and I drove by and spotted the Kingston building that looked like a great possibility.  We asked a neighbor who said it was the original St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, now located down the street, and that it was only used for storage and yard sales.  We went to the door of the Catholic Rectory and the priest, Fr. John Pettie, reacted negatively stating a number of obstacles for anyone else using the building.  

 

  1. On September 19, 1983, we met again with Fr. Pettie and offered to meet with members of his parish, stating that our proposal “may be seen as positive by your parishioners.  That is, the use once again of the building for the purpose for which it was established and consecrated – the offering up of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord.”  We subsequently met with members of the Catholic parish, and despite the original objections of Fr. Pettie, parishioners and perhaps diocesan authorities decided in our favor.   Negotiations for a lease spanned a year, including a meeting with Catholic Bishop Daniel Hart of Brockton and Fr. Pettie, and much correspondence.  Finally in Fall 1984, we completed the lease deed with Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston for $1 per year.  
  2. Wishing to have services in the Plymouth area (as opposed to further north in Hanover or Norwell), we rented the Silver Lake Chapel in nearby Plympton.  The first Liturgy in the Plymouth area was served there by Fr. Letendre on Saturday, September 24, 1983.
  3. In order to make a proper introduction to the Kingston community, we met with the Kingston selectman on November 1, 1983.  Fr. Joseph Letendre and I described Orthodoxy and our hopes to begin a Church at the meeting.  As a result, we received articles in the Independent Voice, the Silver Lake News, and the Brockton Enterprise.  (And we first met reporter, and later parishioner, Alice Hawrilenko!)
  4. We became incorporated as St. Mark of Ephesus Church, Inc., under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on February 1, 1984.  Officers were Mark Sherman, Anna McAfee, and Mary Rudick.
  5. In September 1984, it was a blessing to have Fr. Michael Margitich, who had retired from his U.S. Air Force chaplaincy, assigned as St. Mark of Ephesus’ first priest.  Fr. Michael set up and served the first Liturgy in the Kingston building (thought to have been October 13-14, 1984).  I served my diaconate at St. Mark’s (Sept ’84 to Jan ’85), was ordained priest at St. Mark’s by His Eminence Job, on Saturday, January 19, 1985, the Feast of St. Mark of Ephesus, and was attached to St. Mark’s until being assigned to Chelsea in early 1985.    

    

 

First Priest of St. Marks

Father Michael Margitich was the first priest of our parish - serving from 1984 to 1988


Priests that have served Saint Marks

May 1988 - 1990
May 1988 - 1990
May 1988 - 1990
Fr. Terrence McGillicuddy 1992 - 2002
Fr. Terrence McGillicuddy 1992 - 2002
Fr. Terrence McGillicuddy 1992 - 2002
Fr. Robert Dick 2002 (supply)
Fr. Robert Dick 2002 (supply)
Fr. Robert Dick 2002 (supply)
Fr. Antoni Gori 2002 to 2006
Fr. Antoni Gori 2002 to 2006
Fr. Antoni Gori 2002 to 2006
Nativity 1990

from left to right:


Richard Rudick, Mary-Adele Rudick, Draga Grkovich, Fr. John Klingel holding Nilus, Paul Rudick, Mathushka Peggy holding Julianna, Danilo Grkovich, Lorraine Korotun, Matt Rudick


Back row: ? , Dr. Ljiljana Grkovich, Alex Grkovich


 

Summer Orthodox Youth Camp

St. Mark's youth at camp
St. Mark's youth at camp
St. Mark's youth at camp
People Magazine article from 12/21/1998




History of St. Mark of Ephesus Orthodox Church

(A Parish of the Orthodox Church in America)



Pre-History (construction of the church building)

1876 - St. Peter's Catholic Church in Plymouth felt that they needed a mission for Catholics in the Kingston area

1882 - Our existing church building was built to serve the Catholic faithful in the area – it was constructed under the direction of Father Hugh Smyth and dedicated July 9, 1882

1888 - The cemetery on Elm Street (behind our church) was opened

1908 - On September 3, 1908, His Eminence William Cardinal O’Connell, created the new parish of St. Joseph in Kingston as a mission of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and appointed the Reverend Andrew F. Haberstroh, S.T.L., as its first pastor, where he served for almost 14 years. According to a census taken, there were 107 families or 550 souls in Kingston proper. Amongst these were 47 Irish families, 19 French, 27 German and 14 Italian.

Father Haberstroh, the son of German immigrants, was born in Boston in 1872. A graduate of Boston College and St. John’s Seminary, he was ordained a priest in 1896, by the first Archbishop of Boston, the Most Reverend John J. Williams, D.D.

The fist baptism took place a mere four days after the parish was established. Alvano Laurence Vandini, born on May 24, 1908, was baptized on September7, 1908.

The first marriage was on September 22, 1908, uniting Mary Anna Basler and Carl Keller.

Catholics worshipped there until the 1930's when they outgrew the building and built a new church right down the street that we know as "St. Joseph's Parish."

They used the "old church" as a chapel for marriages and CCD classes, then rummage sale storage.



Saint Mark of Ephesus Mission begins
– the seed is planted

In 1980 Father David Black , Orthodox priest of Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral in Boston recognized the need for an Orthodox Mission to serve the spiritual needs of Orthodox communicants living on the South Shore of Boston.

November 7, 1980 - The first service (Vespers) was conducted at the home of  William Mark Sherman in Norwell.

April 5, 1983 – The now Subdeacon Mark Sherman wrote to Bishop Job regarding approval for Friday evening Presanctified Liturgies on the South Shore.  These services were held at the homes of the faithful in Norwell, Hanover, Hansen and Halifax.  Fr. L. Joseph Letendre (Secretary of the Boston Deanery) offered to come down to serve at the house of Anna McAfee.  Silver Lake Chapel and the Old Methodist Church in Norwell were also used briefly for $25/week.

1983 - Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Articles of Organization listed the following:

          President: Mark William Sherman (Norwell) 

          Treasurer: Mary Adele Rudick (Halifax)

          Clerk: Anna Lois McAfee (Hanover) and Bishop Job (Cumberland, Rhode Island)

1983 - By-Laws were written at an Organizational Meeting:

          Officers were elected: Warden- Subdeacon Mark Sherman.

                                 Treasurer - Mary Adele Rudick

                                 Secretary- Anna McAfee

                                 At-Large - Mary-Alice Steinemer

                                 At-Large - Anthony Moses

           Fr. Joseph Letendre would receive $50/week for gas and two Liturgies a month.

1983 - Dn. Mark Sherman noticed a building that seemed vacant at 261 Main Street in Kingston.  Dn. Mark contacted Fr. Petty, Catholic priest of St. Joseph's concerning renting the building.

1984 - Later Fr. Petty agreed and a lease was signed for $100/month with the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

Nov. 9, 1984 - The Town of Kingston granted a Certificate of Occupancy

1984 - Fr. Michael Margitich retired as an Air Force Chaplain and was officially appointed by Bishop Job to be our first priest.

Jan 1985During the Patronal Feast of Saint Mark of Ephesus Deacon Mark Sherman was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop Job

1985 - Fr. John Bacon filled in when Fr. Michael was on vacation at $35

Nov. 1985 - 75 people attended the Patronal Feast Day Liturgy

1986 - Church By-Laws were revised and adopted.

1986 - St. Marks officially recognized as no longer a mission of the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Boston.

1986 - Father Michael wrote that the community had invested approximately $6,000 in repairing the building to bring it into compliance with State and local building codes.

1986 - Fr. Michael was in a car accident and requested to go west due to health reasons

1986 - A 5-year lease was sought from the Catholic Archdiocese

1986 - We hosted a Mission Sunday for the Deanery

1988 - 1st Bazaar held (using the Beal House). Co-chairs were Anthi Stampul and Betty Cortissoz.

1988 - Andrei Dubrovsky tonsured as reader

May 1988 through 1990 - Father John Klingel was rector

1990-1992  -  Supply priests including Fr. Vasily Lickwar from Cumberland, Rhode Island serviced the church

11/1992-4/2002  -  Fr. Terrence Paul McGillicuddy was rector.

1992 - Bookstore established - Laura McGillicuddy

1993 - 1st Photo Directory was made.

1993 - St. Vladimir's Octet choir came.

1994 - Hosted the Diocesan Assembly (John Carver Inn and the Beal House)

1994 – we sponsored a presentation by renowned Orthodox speaker Franky Schaeffer - held at Memorial Hall

1994 - Fr. John Reeves came to talk on Church Growth



A Church of our Own
– the roots grow deep

1995 – Through the generous support and strong leadership of John (warden) and Anna Wozniak - St. Mark's bought the church from the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The cost was $70,000 and the church was purchased without a mortgage! 

The church had $20,000. in available monies and John and Anna Wozniak offered to pay $35,000 with the parishioners matching the rest with donations of $1,000 per family.  This helped pull our community together and allowed us a strong sense of permanence.

Many renovations were made to bring the building up to code including a new electrical system, lighting, paint and other repairs (sponsored in large part by the generous donations of John and Anna Wozniak and Sandy and Steve Laferte).

Parishioners donated many items including new altar items such as lanterns, the Tabernacle and Gospel as well as icons, a full set of Clergy and Acoltye garments etc.

May 6, 1995 – Ordination of Deacon Milan Medakovich to the Diaconate



Faith and Works
– the branches bear fruit

199? – Saint Mark’s is honored to host a visit by His Eminence the Metropolitan of the OCA

1996 - Women's Group established. Patty Sowpel, President – through the present the Women’s Group has seen many leaders and participants – and continually funds ministry in and out of our community including support of the Plymouth Coalition for the Homeless

1998 - 2nd Photo Church directory made.

1998 - St. Vladimir's Seminary Octet choir returns for 1998 Concert.

2002 - Fr. Robert Dick, interim supply priest

2002 - Hosted New England Diocesan Assembly (Sheraton Inn in Plymouth and Beal House)

8/2002-8/2006  - Father Antoni Ronald Gori - rector

2004 - 3rd Photo Directory made

2005 - Peace Garden created - Nancy Haddad & Cookie Bakas

2006 - Finance Committee established at the request of and by vote of the community - George Sowpel, chairman

2006 – Special Parish Meeting votes to approve financial reserves for the building, operations and an $8,000 rainy day fund – community responds by funding all three accounts – a financial plan is agreed upon by the community

9/2006 - present - Fr. James Ransford Robinson - Rector

2007 - Bishop Nikon installed as Bishop of New England and Hartford

January 2007 – Peter Condrick and Shell Shortes made Subdeacons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

early history of our community

Some early history notes of St. Mark of Ephesus, Kingston, MA

(by Fr. Mark Sherman, April 2013)

 

I know you have good researchers and historians, and you probably have all this information.  Nevertheless, I thought I would jot down the info that I could find from my early files of St. Mark’s, in the hope of providing a blessing!

  1. The idea of the mission began as an obedience in 1980 to Fr. David Black (later, Hieromonk Sergios and Bp. Sergios, variously of the OCA Bulgarian Diocese, HOCNA, and an old calendar Greek Church) of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Boston “to begin a mission on the South Shore.”
  2. Early services began as Vespers and Presanctified Liturgies in our home in Norwell and the home of Anna McAfee in Hanover.   The first service was in our home on November 7, 1980 with Fr. Black.  However, the mission received only sparse support until His Eminence Job became Bishop of New England in January 1983.  Also in 1983, the mission received service and invaluable encouragement from Fr. Joseph Letendre of Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church, Chelsea; and music assistance from Paula (Griffith) Daubert, who later became choir director at Holy Trinity Cathedral.  Specifically, there is record of Friday Presanctified Liturgies at Anna McAfee’s home on April 8, 15, 22 (His Eminence Job attending), and 29, 1983.  There is also documentation of resuming after Bright Week 1983 “regular Tuesday night Vespers services.”
  3. Early participants in the effort to begin a mission were our family, and the families of Anna McAfee, Mary Alice Steinemer, Richard and Mary Adele Rudick, and Mark and Magdalena (Marge) Porter.  Also included were Sophie Silverman from Hingham and attorney Anthony Moses.
  4. An early document regarding the choice of St. Mark of Ephesus as patron for the mission states: “St. Mark provides us a pattern for upholding the faith against great odds.  In our world of shifting spiritual sands against the great tide of existential philosophy and secular humanism, this is precisely our calling.  O Blessed St. Mark, pray that we may have a share of your vision and courage!”
  5. The desired location for the mission was the Plymouth area due to its significant growth in the 1970’s.   Starting in mid-1983 we began looking for a suitable building for the mission.  On a day in July 1983 during a complete downpour, Anne and I drove by and spotted the Kingston building that looked like a great possibility.  We asked a neighbor who said it was the original St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, now located down the street, and that it was only used for storage and yard sales.  We went to the door of the Catholic Rectory and the priest, Fr. John Pettie, reacted negatively stating a number of obstacles for anyone else using the building.  

 

  1. On September 19, 1983, we met again with Fr. Pettie and offered to meet with members of his parish, stating that our proposal “may be seen as positive by your parishioners.  That is, the use once again of the building for the purpose for which it was established and consecrated – the offering up of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord.”  We subsequently met with members of the Catholic parish, and despite the original objections of Fr. Pettie, parishioners and perhaps diocesan authorities decided in our favor.   Negotiations for a lease spanned a year, including a meeting with Catholic Bishop Daniel Hart of Brockton and Fr. Pettie, and much correspondence.  Finally in Fall 1984, we completed the lease deed with Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston for $1 per year.  
  2. Wishing to have services in the Plymouth area (as opposed to further north in Hanover or Norwell), we rented the Silver Lake Chapel in nearby Plympton.  The first Liturgy in the Plymouth area was served there by Fr. Letendre on Saturday, September 24, 1983.
  3. In order to make a proper introduction to the Kingston community, we met with the Kingston selectman on November 1, 1983.  Fr. Joseph Letendre and I described Orthodoxy and our hopes to begin a Church at the meeting.  As a result, we received articles in the Independent Voice, the Silver Lake News, and the Brockton Enterprise.  (And we first met reporter, and later parishioner, Alice Hawrilenko!)
  4. We became incorporated as St. Mark of Ephesus Church, Inc., under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on February 1, 1984.  Officers were Mark Sherman, Anna McAfee, and Mary Rudick.
  5. In September 1984, it was a blessing to have Fr. Michael Margitich, who had retired from his U.S. Air Force chaplaincy, assigned as St. Mark of Ephesus’ first priest.  Fr. Michael set up and served the first Liturgy in the Kingston building (thought to have been October 13-14, 1984).  I served my diaconate at St. Mark’s (Sept ’84 to Jan ’85), was ordained priest at St. Mark’s by His Eminence Job, on Saturday, January 19, 1985, the Feast of St. Mark of Ephesus, and was attached to St. Mark’s until being assigned to Chelsea in early 1985.    

    

 


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