New Mission in Cape Girardeau

New Mission in Cape Girardeau, Missouri Celebrates Its Patronal Feast

Thanks be to God! With the blessing of Archbishop Peter, a new mission was established in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Cape Girardeau is the major regional hub of Southeast Missouri and is home to Southeast Missouri State University. In April, Archbishop Peter blessed the community to take on Venerable Justin (Popovich) of Chelije as our heavenly patron and entrusted us to the care of our local Dean, Archpriest Sergii Alekseev. The mission began at once to conduct Reader Services on Sundays in a rented section of an historic home in downtown Cape Girardeau across the street from the university.

On June 1/14, the day after the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, St. Justin Orthodox Church held its first Divine Liturgy and its first Patronal feast, for on this day the Holy Church commemorates the Translation of the relics of Venerable Justin of Chelije. Liturgy was served by Fr. Sergii with assistance from Subdeacon Ivan Alekseev and two choir members from St. Basil the Great Church in St Louis, MO.

After the Divine Liturgy, the first parish meeting was held. At the meeting, the mission rector read the greetings from Archbishop Peter and his best wishes for the success of the mission to bring many souls to Orthodox Christianity. It was very inspiring to know that, as we were serving our first Divine Liturgy, a ROCOR delegation – comprised of hierarchs and clergy (including representatives from our diocese) – was in Serbia and prayed before the relics of Venerable Justin. It was such joy to know that we our newly-born mission was remembered in those prayers.

Our mission is full of life (read: young children) and is the first in North America to be named in honor of this beloved saint. Many of the founding members were first acquainted with St. Justin by our former spiritual father Archpriest Justin Frederick in Texas who was himself named after the saint. The catechism we received was rooted in St. Justin’s teachings on the absolute centrality of the God-Man, Jesus Christ; the Church being one and unique as His Body; the importance of fidelity to the revealed Truth as found in the Orthodox faith; and the study of the lives of the Saints. This upbringing, so to speak, finds its natural place within ROCOR and was central in our desire to plant a ROCOR mission in Southeast Missouri. Please pray for our labors and the people in the Cape Girardeau region.

To learn more about St. Justin Orthodox Church - visit saintjustincape.org  and our Facebook page.

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