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 1985 – During 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