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All Saints marks 100 years with celebration, gifts of faith

LITURGICAL CELEBRATION — The Rev. Frank Milanese, All Saints Greek Orthodox Church pastor, front, Metropolitan Savas of the Pittsburgh Metropolis, back left, and Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, back right, close out the Hierarchical Liturgy celebrating All Saints’ 100th anniversary Sunday. -- Summer Wallace-Minger

WEIRTON — All Saints Greek Orthodox Church celebrated 100 years in Weirton by looking forward with a call to turn outward with faith, hope and love and by giving the gift of giving.

Throughout celebratory events Friday, Saturday and Sunday, even while considering the church’s history, entwined and inseparable from that of the city, those speaking consistently spoke about reaching out to the community and sharing the tenets of Orthodoxy.

The church also made donations to the Shrine of St. Andrew in New York, which was presented to the visiting Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America; to the Pittsburgh Metropolis Canonsburg, Pa., facility, presented to Metropolitan Savas; the Weirton Christian Center, presented to Director Kim Weaver; and the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, presented to President Dennis Jones.

The church celebrated 100 years with a variety of events at which Demetrios and Savas were guests of honor, including a gala dinner and dance Saturday and a Hierarchical Liturgy celebrated by the two, archdeacons and area priests, followed by a celebratory luncheon.

Archbishop Demetrios presented the church with a silver Byzantine cross in recognition of the centennial.

ALL SAINTS CONGREGATION — Local and visiting clergy and the congregations of All Saints and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox churches pose on the front steps of All Saints following that church’s 100th anniversary celebration Liturgy Sunday. -- Summer Wallace-Minger

Michael Psaros, Weirton native, Archon, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America treasurer and son of All Saints, was the gala’s keynote speaker, and he spoke about the immigrant founders of All Saints; their experiences existing in both the Hellenic and American worlds, side-by-side; the “central pillar” of their Eastern Orthodox faith; their strength in their ability to overcome obstacles; their willingness to sacrifice for the younger generations; and how their background as steelworkers instilled a toughness and spirit of individuality while also teaching them to work as one.

“It took a special person to walk through those mill gates,” Psaros said. “It took many men to make one ton of steel.”

Psaros encouraged those in attendance to be inspired by the spirit of those early immigrants in recommitting themselves to Orthodoxy, encouraging their children to turn toward the church and turning toward the community and sharing their faith.

“Eastern Orthodoxy is not easy,” he said. “It demands a lifetime of learning humility.”

Metropolitan Savas also looked to the past and the future, noting that the Pittsburgh Metropolis was the home of many of those first parishes created by immigrants looking for work in mills and mines — many of which are celebrating their 100th anniversaries as well.

“You started together,” he said of All Saints and Weirton. “From the beginning of the city, you were here.”

He also spoke about the congregation’s love for the church.

Archbishop Demetrios spoke about “waves of Hellenism,” explaining that each stage of development, advancement and history in Greece was a new wave and Hellenism isn’t confined to only one thing.

“What is Hellenism?” he asked. “Some would answer: Greek culture. That is wrong. It is not Greek Culture.”

He spoke about the literature, art, architecture, philosophy, theology and democracy across periods from Classical to Byzantine.

Archbishop Demetrios also spoke about his past visit to Weirton.

“For 50 years, I have had a connection to Weirton,” he said.

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