Bishop Alexei Visits Holy Apostles with Wonderworking Sitka Icon - 03/28/24

On March 28, the parish of Holy Apostles in Mechanicsburg hosted His Grace, Bishop Alexei of Sitka and Alaska, along with the Wonderworking Sitka Icon of the Mother of God. Their tour will span from March 25 to April 4, across the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., upon the invitation of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon. With the blessing of His Eminence, our Archbishop Mark, clergy, parishioners, and visitors of Holy Apostles Church participated in a special Akathist service, venerating the revered icon and receiving blessings from His Grace, Bishop Alexei. Serving with His Grace was V. Rev. Timothy Hojnicki, Rector of Holy Apostles Church and Dean of the Frackville Deanery, V. Rev. Raymond Browne, Chancellor of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, V. Rev. Mt. Nicholas Molodyko-Harris, Attached to Holy Apostles Church, V. Rev. Stavrophor Ilia Balach, Attached to St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Steelton, PA, V. Rev. John Onofrey, Rector of St. Herman of Alaska Church in Shillington, PA, V. Rev. Stephen Vernak, Rector of Christ the Saviour Church in Harrisburg, PA, V. Rev. Leonid Schmidt, Attached to Holy Apostles and Priest-in-charge of the Gettysburg Mission, and Rev. Vjekoslav Jovičić Rector of Holy Ascension Church in Frackville, PA.

The Sitka Icon, commisioned by St. Innocent and crafted by Russian Iconographer Vladimir Lukich Borovikvsky in the late 18th century, holds deep significance, associated with numerous miracles attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Sitka. Currently housed at the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel in Sitka, Alaska, the icon stands as a focal point of faith and devotion. "The Greatest Treasure of the Orthodox Church in North America" His Grace, Bishop Alexei remarked. His Grace also addressed the challenges facing the Diocese of Alaska, highlighting the needs of clergy in his diocese.

In support of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska, contributions can be sent via mail to PO Box 230108, Anchorage, AK 99523, or securely made through their website at

"Rejoice, Gentle Protectress of the faithful of North America! Most Holy Theotokos save us!"