On November 3/16, 2021, the feast of the Consecration of the Church of St. George in Lydda, the altar table at St. George parish in Michigan City, Indiana, originally blessed by St. Raphael of Brooklyn 107 years ago (September 4, 19140, was re-vested. The St. George parish is the oldest of the parishes in the diocese, so it has not been necessary to perform this rite elsewhere. Eventually the white cloth that the altar table is vested in at the Great Consecration begins to deteriorate. This had happened in Michigan City, and so that white cloth needed to be replaced. The parishioners desired to have this accomplished on a feast of St. George, and this lesser feast day worked best for all involved. Archbishop Peter was to have performed the rite, but unfortunately His Eminence fell ill on the morning of the service. Therefore, Vladyka blessed Archpriest Gregory Joyce, Secretary of the Diocese, to lead the services in Michigan City this day.
Archbishop Peter plans to visit Michigan City at the earliest opportunity to serve the Divine Liturgy and redo the work accomplished by the priests on November 3/16 in the hierarchal fashion. When a hierarch consecrates a temple the cord holding the white garment in place is wrapped around the altar in a different manner than it is when a priest consecrates a temple. What happened this day in Michigan City was not a consecration, but the practice from the Great Consecration was followed to be consistent.
In addition to Fr. Gregory, Archpriest John Schmidt (OCA – Retired), and the Rector of the parish, Hieromonk Raphael (Tadros) participated in the Divine Services for the feast. Following the Divine Liturgy Fr. Gregory conveyed Archbishop Peter’s greetings and blessings to those gathered. A lunch was then held in the parish hall for all in attendance.