Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ascension Thursday Mass — 11:55 AM

Dear friends in Christ,

The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist for the Feast of the  Ascension will be celebrated on Thursday, June 6th, at 11:55 AM. Come over your lunch hour. You will be blessed!

Last Sunday was the last Sunday in Eastertide and was a very good day at church. In addition to Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick was administered. I have seldom seen more food during fellowship outside of our monthly potluck luncheons. Fellowship lasted well into the afternoon, and then Cheri and I took Holy Communion to the sick and enjoyed more fellowship. We didn’t finally get home until around 5:30 PM, some twelve hours after rising — exhausted, but happy. 

This coming Sunday is the Sunday after Ascension. We will be singing the ancient hymn, Hail thee Festival Day! This beautiful hymn is a favorite of mine, and I know it is a favorite of yours as well. 

This morning I posted a new article on our parish Facebook page. It comes from the New Liturgical Movement, and is titled, “Let Latins be Latins, and Greeks be Greeks: On Remaining Faithful to Distinctive Identities.” It is a very good article and can be read here:

God is good and loves each of us as though there were only one of us. We love Him because He first loved us. Let us serve God with joy as sons and daughters of a loving and merciful heavenly Father. Soli Deo gloria!

Don’t forget to spend time in prayer and Scripture reading. Have a great week. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you soon!



Fr. Victor Novak
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Wednesday, April 24, 2019




6:30 PM The Mass of the Last Supper; the Procession to the Altar of Repose; Vespers; and the Stripping of the Altar

GOOD FRIDAY — April 26

10:00 AM Matins

Noon The Way of the Cross 

6:30 Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified and Vespers at the bier.

A relic of the true Cross may be venerated after Vespers.

HOLY PASCHA or EASTER — Saturday Night, April 27

10:00 PM The Paschal Vigil, also called the Easter Vigil. 

The Vigil includes the Blessing of the New Fire and Paschal Candle, the Prophecies, and the Litany, followed immediately by the Mass of the Resurrection. Red Easter eggs will be distributed after the Liturgy.

A festive celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will follow Holy Mass in our parish hall.

There will be no Services on Sunday morning.

Everyone is invited and Visitors are always welcome

Thursday, January 3, 2019

CHRISTMAS SERVICES — Sunday, January 6 and Monday, January 7

SUNDAY MORNING, January 6 — Fourth Sunday in Advent

9:15 AM Matins
10:00 AM Holy Mass

SUNDAY EVENING, January 6 — Christmas Eve

7:00 PM Solemn Evensong
A Christmas Party in our parish hall will follow Solemn Evensong

MONDAY MORNING, January 7 — Christmas Day

11:55 AM Sung Mass of Christmas

Even if you have already celebrated Christmas please join us. Who can get enough of Christmas? Come and celebrate a Christ-centred Christmas with tens of millions of Orthodox Christians, a Christmas without commercialism and secularism.

Everyone is invited and visitors are always welcome.  Come and worship our newborn King and join us for a joyous Christmas party. Jesus is the Reason for the Season. It is His birthday we are celebrating. O Come let us adore Him!

A Western Rite Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Thursday, December 13, 2018

PREMIER SCREENING — Father Nicola Yanney: Apostle of the Plains

On Sunday, December 16th, a Premier Screening of an hour-long, professionally produced documentary video on the life of Fr. Nicola Yanney of Kearney, Nebraska, titled,  Father Nicola Yanney: Apostle of the Plains, will be held at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Omaha, Nebraska immediately following the morning Liturgy.

Fr. Nicola, who died one hundred years ago in 1918, lived a life of great sanctity and of commitment to advancing the Work of the Great Commission. A century after his repose, his sanctity and selfless ministry continues to have an impact on the Church today.

In the late 1800’s, Nicola Yanney and his wife immigrated from Syria to Nebraska. Nicola was seeking a quiet life on his farm near Kearney. A chance encounter with St Raphael of Brooklyn changed all that. Nicola would be the first priest ordained by St. Raphael. 

Fr. Nicola Yanney would go on to serve thousands of Orthodox Christians across the Great Plains as a circuit riding priest in the early 20th century. Fr. Nicola, a regular man placed in extraordinary circumstances, is an American example of the beauty of our Orthodox Catholic faith.  

Returning to Kearney after one of his trips, Fr. Nicola arrived just in time for the Spanish Fu outbreak to hit the town. The Spanish Flu spread in three waves — the first and least deadly wave came in the spring of 1918. The second began in late summer, peaking in October, when it killed 195,000 Americans in one month.

The local and state governments imposed a quarantine. Some of Fr. Nicola’s parishioners were sick, and despite the quarantine, Fr. Nicola took the reserved Sacrament and began going house to house, anointing them, and giving them Holy Communion. A young man in the parish died, and then a toddler. Fr. Nicola served the funerals. More and more people came down with the flu. Fr. Nicola’s own health continued to deteriorate — he was weak, his breathing worsened. He had to have known that he was dying.

He ministered to his people until he physically could not continue and literally collapsed. This calls to mind the Lord himself, whom Fr. Nicola imitated and served — having loved his own, he loved them to the end (John 13:1). His last words to his sons were, “Keep your hands and your heart clean.” He died at midnight, as October 28 turned to October 29.

Here is a link to a two minute trailer on the documentary. You will want to see it and share the trailer with others:

Father Nicola Yanney: Apostle of the Plains will be screened immediately after the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist on Sunday, December 16th. The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist is celebrated at 10:00 AM, and the documentary will be shown during our fellowship and refreshment time and should begin around Noon. 

You will not want to miss this professionally produced documentary on the life on Fr. Nicola Yanney, produced by our very own Chris Potratz. There is sanctity among us. Holiness is real and is achievable. Be sure to attend, and to invite family and friends. Hearts will be touched and lives changed…

We’ll be looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!

7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Thursday, November 8, 2018

ALL SAINTS DAY AND ALL SOULS DAY — at Holy Cross Orthodox Church, November 14 and 15

ALL SAINTS DAY — Wednesday, November 14

Holy Mass will be offered on Wednesday, November 14th, at 11:55 AM for the Feast of All Saints. 

All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows Day, Hallowmas, the Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints, is a Christian festival celebrated in honour of all the Saints, known and unknown. The celebration begins at Vespers on the Eve of All Saints Day — All Hallows Eve (All Saints Eve) — and is the day before All Souls' Day, which commemorates the faithful departed. All Saints' Day is part of the season of Allhallowtide, which includes three days: All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

Thankfully, since we are on the Old Calendar we can keep All Hallows Eve without the profane practices by which it has been desecrated in more modern times. It is a time to remember the vast company of Saints, known and unknown, among whom we desire to be included, along with all whom we love. It is an evening for reflecting on the Saints, reading their lives, asking their intercession, and resolving to follow their examples.

ALL SOULS DAY — Thursday, November 15

Holy Mass will be offered on Thursday, November 15th, at 11:55 AM for All Souls Day.

All Souls Day or the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, follows All Saints Day. On All Souls Day, faithful Christians remember deceased relatives and friends, and pray for the repose of their souls. The annual celebration of All Souls Day is part of the season of Allhallowtide, and includes All Saints Day and its vigil, All Hallows Eve.

In the Holy Scriptures we read,

“For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead, and because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Maccabees 12:44-46).

Please join us for the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist on All Saints Day, and on All Souls Day — “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Maccabees 12:44-46).

Everyone is invited and visitors are always welcome. We are a faithful, friendly and vibrant parish, and we have a place for you. 

See you on there!

7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Sunday, October 28, 2018

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, HOLY MASS — Our Lady of Walsingham

We will be celebrating the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 11:55 AM, on Tuesday, October 30, for the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. This is a very important Feast for us as Orthodox Catholics, so please join us for Holy Mass if possible.

Our Lady of Walsingham is a title used for the Blessed Virgin Mary. The title derives from the appearance of Our Blessed Lady to Richeldis de Faverches, a devout Saxon noblewoman, in AD 1061 (when England was still part of the Orthodox Church), in the village of Walsingham in Norfolk, England. Let us never forget that when Rome fell away into heresy and schism in 1054, the Church in the British Isles remained Orthodox, and remained so until the Norman Invasion of 1066, which was preached as a Crusade to bring an “erring” English Church under Roman authority. 

Lady Richeldis had a Holy House built in Walsingham which became a shrine and place of pilgrimage, — and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham is the most renowned and beloved sanctuary of the Mother of God in the whole of the British Isles. 

The Holy House, containing the simple wooden structure which Richeldis had been asked to build in imitation of the home in which the Annunciation occurred, became both a shrine and the focus of pilgrimage to Walsingham. The chapel was founded in the time of St. Edward the Confessor, about 1063, the earliest deeds naming Richeldis, the mother of Geoffrey of Favraches as the founder. An Augustinian priory was later established at the Shrine.

In 1538, at the direction of the Royal Tyrant Henry VIII, the priory was closed, the buildings were looted and largely destroyed, the sub-prior executed, and the image of Our Lady carried away to London and burned; but the memory of it was less easy to eradicate. Sir Roger Townshend wrote to Cromwell in 1564, that a woman of nearby Wells, had declared that a miracle had been done by the image of Our Lady after it had been carried away to London. He had her put in the stocks on market day to be abused by the village folk but concluded 'I cannot perceyve but the seyd image is not yett out of the sum of ther heddes’. The site of the priory with the churchyard and gardens was granted by the Crown to Thomas Sydney. All that remained of it was the gatehouse, the chancel arch and a few outbuildings.

Augustinian monk Fr. Alfred Hope Patten, appointed as the Anglican Vicar of Walsingham in 1921, ignited Anglican interest in the pre-Reformation pilgrimage. It was his idea to create a new image of Our Lady of Walsingham based on the image depicted on the seal of the medieval priory. In 1922, it was set up in the Parish Church of St Mary and regular pilgrimage devotion followed. From the first night that the image of Our Lady was placed there, people gathered around it to pray, asking the Mother of God to join her prayers with theirs.

Before the first World War, Russian Orthodox Archbishop Seraphim of Paris blessed a plot of land close to the nave of the Shrine Church, where it is hoped one day to establish a permanent place for Orthodox worship. Throughout the 1920s the trickle of pilgrims became a flood of large numbers for whom, eventually, the Pilgrim Hospice was opened (a hospice is the name of a place of hospitality for pilgrims) and, in 1931, a new Holy House encased in a small pilgrimage church was dedicated and the image of Our Lady translated there with great solemnity. In 1938 that church was enlarged to form the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. At the consecration of this enlarged church, a delegation from the Russian Church, led by Archbishop Nestor and Archimandrite Nicolas Gibbes, was present. Father Patten combined the posts of Vicar of Walsingham and Priest Administrator of the Anglican shrine until his death in 1958.

At Pentecost 1944, a small and temporary Chapel for Orthodox worship within the walls of the Anglican Shrine was established by Polish Orthodox Archbishop Sava of Grodno. It is still being used by Orthodox pilgrims. Despite the small size, it has an icon screen and everything necessary for Eastern Rite Orthodox worship. 

Among the Orthodox who visited the Shrine after the war was the Serbian Orthodox bishop St. Nicholai Velimirovich. For several years, the Serbian Orthodox priest Fr. Nadjanovich lived permanently at Walsingham. Since 1961 there have been regular Orthodox pilgrimages to the Shrine. In 1964, the Orthodox Confraternity of Our Lady of Walsingham was set up, under the patronage of Metropolitan Athenagoras, with Greek, Russian, Serbian, and English Orthodox representatives on the Council. Today there are at least two Western Rite Orthodox parishes in America named after Our Lady of Walsingham.

The Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham falls on October 15 (October 28 on the Civil Calendar), but this year October 15/28 falls on a Sunday, so it has been transferred.

I hope that you will join us for Holy Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham on Tuesday, October 30, at 11:55 AM. 

Pray for us O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Our Lady of Walsingham — Pray for us!

7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Monday, October 15, 2018

FALL HAYRACK RIDE, BONFIRE AND POTLUCK — Saturday, October 20 at 5:00 PM

Our annual Fall Hayrack Ride, Bonfire and Potluck at Santa’s Woods will be held this coming Saturday, October 20. The Hayrack Ride begins promptly at 5:00 PM.

Santa’s Woods is located between Omaha and Blair, Nebraska on Highway 133. The address is: 3764 NE-133, Blair, NE 68008. When you arrive at Santa’s Woods just follow the signs for Holy Cross until you get to our private campfire area.

A beautiful Fall day is forecast for Saturday — Sunny, and in the 50s.

The cost is just $9.00 for adults, and $6.00 for children ages 5-12, with children under the age of 5 free. This is not a parish fundraiser. We are only charging what Santa’s Woods charges the church.

A Hayrack Ride, Bonfire and Potluck at Santa’s Woods has been a Fall tradition at Holy Cross parish for years, and is an annual event that everyone looks forward to.

Santa’s Woods is a working farm. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind you as you take in the sights and sounds of the relaxing countryside and the fresh country air. Spend time with friends and family before and after the ride in our very own private, wooded campfire area where we will have picnic tables, lights, electric outlets, a porta-potty and fresh water for our use. 

The Hayrack Rides is approximately 45 minutes long. We will roll along in a comfortable hay-filled wagon over 100+ acres of endless, scenic wooded trails! After the Hayrack Ride we will find a roaring fire in our campfire area, where we will enjoy a delicious Potluck meal under the stars. Logs will surround the campfire where we can sit and enjoy the fire, and roast hotdogs, marshmallows and smores. 

Our annual Fall Hayrack Ride, Bonfire and Potluck is always a fun time for everyone of all ages, with good food and warm fellowship out in the country on a working farm. This is an event that you will not want to miss! 

Bring a covered dish or a crock pot for everyone to enjoy. VISITORS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME! Everyone, adults and kids alike, will have a great time. The Christian life is the Good Life at Holy Cross Orthodox Church. See you there!