Thursday, September 8, 2016


Dear friends in Christ,

I am attaching for you a link to an article that I encourage you to read. It is titled, New Converts Flocking to Ancient Christian Church. It is about Fr. Richard Petranek who came to the Orthodox Church after 30 years as an Episcopal priest and his growing parish in west Houston, filled almost entirely with converts to the ancient faith. It is a wonderful story, very much like ours at Holy Cross parish, and is being repeated all across the country and around the world as Christians from traditions as different as the Amish to traditional Roman Catholicism, and everything in between, find their way home to the ancient and original Christian Church.

Today, 23% of all Orthodox Christians in America are converts, as are about a third of the clergy and 43% of the seminarians. They come from every Christian tradition, and from none. In our own Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) we have three bishops who are converts: one from Roman Catholicism and two from Anglicanism. Anglicans make up the single largest group of converts to the Orthodox Church, and there are hundreds of Orthodox priests are who are former Anglicans. This tremendous growth is being seen all around the world. 

In the Western Rite we have the fullness of the Apostolic Faith, while preserving our English and Celtic cultural, liturgical and spiritual patrimony in full sacramental communion and visible unity with the 300 million-member Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church is Catholic, meaning that she is both Eastern and Western, and is the Church for all peoples of all races, nations and ethnic groups on earth. If you want to be where the Holy Spirit is at work and the Church is on the move, you need to be a part of the 2,000 year-old Orthodox Catholic Church. Everyone is always welcome, and we have a place for you. Come and see! 

Here is a link to the article:


Please mark your calendar for Sunday, September 25th, for our annual Summer Church Picnic at Halleck Park in Papillion. As in previous years we have reserved a covered pavilion and the picnic will begin immediately after the Sunday Liturgy. This is a free event so invite your family and friends. Everyone always has a wonderful time and there is always plenty of good food.  


Christian Education classes for all ages will resume this coming Sunday morning at 8:45 AM. The adult class will be taught by Michael D. Michael is an excellent and very popular teacher at Holy Cross. He will be  teaching from the book, Welcome to the Orthodox Church - An Introduction to Eastern Christianity, by Frederica Mathewes-Green.

Welcome to the Orthodox Church - An Introduction to Eastern Christianity contains 24 chapters. Michael’s class will last for 24 weeks and he will be covering a chapter per week. No one is required to purchase the book, but I recommend that you do so if you can. If you own the book and read each chapter in the week leading up to the class you will get even more from the class, but whether or not you obtain a copy of the text book, please come to the class. You will learn a lot from it.

This is the class to bring your inquiring or questioning family members and friends to. I am really looking forward to it. I have read the book, so I know that you will enjoy reading it and will learn a lot from it, and Michael is an excellent teacher who always comes to class well prepared.

Philip Jenkins of Baylor University writes, “Plenty of books deal with Christian theology in weighty and abstruse ways, but few apply the theology so wholly to the everyday lived realities of life, and in such easily accessible prose, as does Welcome to the Orthodox Church. Take warning, though: if you do read this thoughtful, passionate book, you run the risk of having to take the claims of Orthodox Christianity very seriously indeed."

Patty Joanna Rebne writes, “In the beginning of the book, Frederica tells us what her husband, an Orthodox priest, writes on the whiteboard when he starts a catechism class:

‘What you will not learn in this class: Orthodoxy.
What you will learn in this class: About Orthodoxy.’
Frederica holds to this truth in her book. You will learn a lot about Orthodoxy in this book. But becoming Orthodox is experiential. Knowing Christ is experiential, relational. It’s not a head-game; it’s not about what you know. Without denigrating dogma, Frederica does the most important thing: she uses the words of Christ to call us to Christ – ‘Come and See.’
Come and read…you will be glad you did. But don’t stop there. Come and see.”

You can purchase Welcome to the Orthodox Church - An Introduction to Eastern Christianity, by Frederica Mathewes-Green, from Ancient Faith for $19.99. Here is the link:

Or you can purchase it from Amazon for $16.99. Here is the link:

Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 11th, and plan to attend. Believe me, you will be glad that you took this class!


As always, please be sure to remember those most in need and bring a donation of food with you on Sunday for our parish food bins. The needs are great and the Open Door Mission and Lydia House need our help. Thank you!


Sunday Christian Education for all ages is at 8:45 AM, followed by Matins at 9:15 AM, with the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM. Fellowship and refreshments in our parish hall follow the Liturgy.

Holy Cross Orthodox Church is a faithful, friendly and vibrant parish and we have a place for you. Everyone is always welcome so invite your family and friends. I’ll be looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!



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