Father Benedict on St Nicholas Parish History
When the Slavic immigrants came to Brookside and founded this Orthodox Parish in 1894, they were preparing not only a place in which they could worship in the True Faith, but a legacy for their descendants.
For over 120 years this Parish has existed as an island of Orthodoxy in a land predominately Protestant. A great number of marriages have been solemnized, baptisms and chrismations performed, and burial provided for those fallen asleep in the Faith. Innumerable Divine Liturgies have been celebrated, and uncountable numbers of prayers offered in the Temples of this Parish by faithful and pious Orthodox Christians down through the years. The peace and solace of the knowledge of the Truth Faith of Christ has comforted them through their lives.
And not only the descendants of the immigrants, but increasing numbers of converts, children of converts, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of converts have become members and call this Parish their home Parish. God has provided for them even as he provided for the descendants of the pious immigrants in 1894.
God has indeed provided for us. Once feeling somewhat isolated in this area from the Orthodox mainstream, we have come to know that we are, indeed, an integral part of world-wide Orthodoxy, brothers and sisters to countless millions around the globe, and especially that we are a part of the glorious Church of Russia; the Church of Saints, of martyrs and peerless servants of Christ. We feel a strong bond, not only those of Slavic descent, but those of us of other European descent, with the Church of Russia, and we give thanks to Almighty God that He has made us part of Her.
As we begin the second hundred years of the existence of this Parish, may each of us rededicate ourselves to the continuation to St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, and to the furtherance of the True Faith in harmony and love as Parish Family.
Most Holy Mother of God, pray for us!
Very Reverend Archpriest