EASTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
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Coconut Creek, FL: An Appeal from St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon Parish

Dear in the Lord revered fathers, brothers and sisters!

In March 2013, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, blessed the establishment of the parish of St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon. Providentially, the parish held its first Liturgy on Sunday, March 17, the eve of the Feast of the Uncovering of St. Luke’s relics. We are the only parish in the Diaspora dedicated to this saint, who has special relevance to our struggles as Orthodox Christians in the modern world. St Luke was an unmercenary physician, who worked tirelessly to save countless physical lives, while also attending to the spiritual sustenance of vast numbers of suffering Russians. He patiently endured persecution and exile in an atmosphere of state hostility to the Church, became a beloved priest and then bishop, and somehow was also able simultaneously to pursue excellence in scientific scholarship.

Our parish had a humble beginning in a chapel located within a school. By the grace of God, the parish grew steadily with the tireless efforts of our rector and school chaplain, Priest Demetrio Romeo. Many of the students and their parents became parishioners. At the same time, word of our parish reached the surrounding community and it began attracting people from a range of backgrounds, those of Russian descent and other traditional Orthodox nationalities, as well as a growing stream of American converts. We are one of the few parishes in South Florida worshipping in both English and Slavonic languages, and we are happy that our congregants who hold these languages dear live in harmony praising our Lord! On a typical Sunday, 50 to 65 people attend Liturgy.

Since the parish has been growing, the chapel has become increasingly overcrowded. This showed us that it was time to find a new location that would better accommodate our growing community. However, a series of events occurred over the past few months that sped up this process and forced the parish to move out of the chapel three days before the Nativity of our Lord. This was difficult for us, but we have accepted it as the clear and unmistakable will of our Lord. Providentially, at the eleventh hour, one of our parishioners offered to take in our orphaned community just before Nativity, and we are currently conducting services in a room at his place of business. We are very grateful for God’s protection and this parishioner. However, this accommodation is quite temporary and even more crowded than our previous chapel. Thus, we must find a more permanent home, where we can continue to flourish and grow. With prayer and faith, we are exploring properties and buildings that could accommodate us in the near term and give us an opportunity to build a traditional church edifice dedicated to St. Luke.

Our hierarchs, Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, fully support our intent to acquire or build a church, and they have explicitly directed us to do so. In obedience to them, we are seeking to raise the funds needed to plant our community of St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon in a fertile new home. We sincerely hope that you will help us in this endeavor!

With love in Christ,

The Parishioners of St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon

Fr. Demetrio can be contacted by phone at (954) 600-1834 or e-mail at frdemetrioromeo@gmail.com.

Donations are always joyfully welcomed; you can donate online here, or mail to:

Rev. Demetrio Romeo
Saint Luke the Blessed Surgeon
160 NW 37th Way
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
Attn: Building Fund

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