All Saints of North America (Hamilton, Ontario) Celebrates 20th Anniversary

April 23, 2023

Nearly one hundred friends and clergy from the last two decades gathered on Sunday, April 23rd (Thomas Sunday) in Hamilton, Ontario, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of All Saints of North America Orthodox Church.   

Following the morning festal Liturgy, clergy from Toronto, Niagara, and Ottawa joined His Eminence Archbishop Irénée at the head tables for a grand banquet to mark the missionary work of the parish over twenty years.

A replica of the Icon of the Mother of God of Three Hands from Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos was presented to Archbishop Irénée to mark the occasion.

A retrospective photo presentation was given, offering memories from the earliest years of the parish in St. Stephen’s Anglican Hall, and through their sojourn above the Olivieri Dental Office.

Hamilton City Councillor Tom Jackson presented rector Archpriest Geoffrey Korz with two commemorative plaques on behalf of the City, one marking the church anniversary, and one recognizing his twenty years in the priesthood. He also presented the parish with a City flag, to accompany the many flags of the saints that adorn the parish flagpole throughout the year (see the Saints section of the parish website at www.asna.ca for a full library of flags of the saints of the Orthodox Church).

Guests especially enjoyed the personal stories of the history and growth of All Saints of North America Church, from its early beginnings and struggles to the present day. The Olivieri family shared their recollections of the years the Divine Liturgy was served each week above their dental office, and the labour of love invested by many faithful involved in transforming the disused office into an Orthodox temple and church hall.

Nadezhda Titova - honourary grandmother to everyone in the parish - gave a warm address on her first meeting  - by God’s providence, in a grocery store - with Father Geoffrey, and her warm welcome into the parish.

Father Geoffrey concluded the evening with an address, including the following remarks: "Our beloved Saint John Maximovitch reminds us how the Lord often allowed His Church to go through various trials, during which, of course, it seemed that her end and destruction had come. But after these trials, the victorious truth shone even brighter!

"Even today the Orthodox Church is going through terrible trials. It is at times like these that we should call to mind the hymn that we sang outside the doors of our churches at Pascha: Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered! (cf. Ps. 67:2) Let us only take care, so that we do not find ourselves among these enemies...

"The last twenty years have shown us the faces of so many friends of Christ, so many who love His Church and the missionary work of His Church – for no other reason than to share Christ’s Church with the world, without losing a single drop of the Holy Tradition received by the saints and Fathers.

"We thank God for all these friends and brethren – especially for all our benefactors: some extremely generous benefactors, who would never have found their way to help our parish, had it not been for the grace of God...

"May God bless you and strengthen you, as we continue this missionary work for another twenty years!"