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Orthodox church celebrates 103 years in Jeannette

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
Maria Tyger | The Jeannette Spirit
The Rev. Lawrence Daniels is helping his parish celebrate its 103rd anniversary this year.

It would be difficult to find another city with as many monumental anniversaries as Jeannette has had this year.

Include SS. Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church on Scott Avenue as one of them.

The church was founded in 1910 by Russian immigrants, under the patronage of the Czar of Russia, Nicholas II, and the church is celebrating its 103rd anniversary this year with a display of its history.

Relics including newspaper clippings (some written in Russian), articles, letters and vestments from the past, called the Kobasa Collection, have been on display at the church throughout the month of October.

Leading the church and celebration is the Rev. Lawrence Daniels, 75. Supported by his wife, Sophie, and the church administrator Daniel Henry, Daniels has been the pastor of SS. Cyril and Methodius for a little over a year.

He was ordained in 2012 after serving as a deacon for 36 years, the last 10 of those years served in Jeannette.

He and his wife share a daughter, Rebecca, who lives in Greensburg, and a son, John, who lives in Charlotte, N.C. They also share two grandchildren.

Daniels said he grew up in the faith and after he was ordained as a deacon in 1976, he assisted the then-archbishop in the divine liturgy in the Jeannette church.

He and his wife, along with other parishioners, have worked diligently to bring the church closer to the community. He has set up a learning center, a place to read and study, beside the church that is open every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center has several methods of study, which include video, music and books, some dated early in the church, to more contemporary books.

The couple also works hard to keep up with the ornate and beautiful presentation of the church.

“We sin through the senses and through these senses we return to God,” said Sophie Daniels. “The beauty of the church reminds us of God.”

The church offers great vespers every Saturday at 6 p.m., reading of the hours and confession at 9:45 and the divine liturgy is held every Sunday at 10 a.m.

Stop at the church to meet this special couple and celebrate at SS. Cyril and Methodius, as well as share in the deep history of the City of Jeannette.

Maria Tyger is a contributing writer.