Celebrating 50 years a sweet anniversary

Church of the resurrection in Monroeville, PA. celebrates 50 years.

Father Don Bolls and his parishioners celebrated the 50th anniversary of Church of the Resurrection in Monroeville, Pa. Sept. 29 with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archbishop William Skurla. Its first Divine Liturgy was celebrated Sept. 7, 1969 at the
Number 4 Fire Hall in Monroeville.

Sept. 29 saw the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Church of the Resurrection in Monroeville, Pa. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Metropolitan William Skurla, Very Rev. Robert Pipta served as Master of Ceremonies and seminarians assisted.

Clergy guests included Fathers Bob Karl and Joel Barstad, as well as Fathers Ron Larkin and Joseph Raptosh, who spoke at the luncheon about the church’s past. The luncheon itself was held in the church social hall and included picture displays and items of historical interest, a buffet dinner including the ladies’ delicious homemade by Father Don Bolls Church of the Resurrection, Monroeville, Pa. cookies, a slide carousel of photos old and new, and ethnic music by the band Zajedno.

The approximately 150 people in attendance seemed to thoroughly enjoy everything and appreciative comments were the order of the day. Lastly, Father Dennis Bogda, beloved founding pastor of the church, who went to rest in the Lord only a few days before the event, was lifted up and remembered for his energy, imagination, and love for this and all the churches he served.

Many thanks to all who made this celebration possible. Church of the Resurrection’s first Divine Liturgy was Sept. 7, 1969, as 120 people attended inside the Number 4 Fire Hall in Monroeville. It would become the parish’s home for the next two-and-a-half years. The parish was named for the central mystery of Eastern theology.

In Feb. 1970, 4.66 acres of land were purchased on Center Road to build a permanent structure to house the growing congregation. Groundbreaking was March 7, and construction began shortly thereafter. The complex — church, social hall, and apartment for the pastor — was completed in Dec. 1971.

The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Christmas Eve. On Sept. 9, 1979 the parish observed its 10th anniversary. The celebration included a dedication of the church and the laying of the cornerstone. The 1980s brought a more intensified debt reduction plan and purchase of adjacent land, which included a house to be used as a rectory.

This purchase brought the total property to about seven acres. Interior painting and additional icons on the walls beautified the nave of the church before the congregation celebrated its 25th anniversary on Sept. 13, 1994. By the summer of 1997, a permanent icon screen was completed, and an icon of the Christ Pantocrator recessed
into the center of the nave ceiling.

Two large chandeliers were hung in the nave in the fashion of Byzantine tradition, and a set of six cast iron bells imported from Russia were purchased.