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St. Raphael of Brooklyn Liturgy and Church Clean Up Day, Saturday, November 4

St. Raphael of Brooklyn

St. Raphael of Brooklyn Divine Liturgy begins at 9am on Saturday, November 4. Church clean up begins following Divine Liturgy, around 10am.

St. Raphael of Brooklyn
St. Raphael of Brooklyn

Who Was St. Raphael of Brooklyn?

St. Raphael was born on or near the Synaxis of the Archangels, November 8, 1860, to pious Orthodox Damascenes, Michael and Mariam Hawaweeny. Due to the violent persecution of the Christians of Damascus in July, 1860, which saw the martyrdom of the Hawaweeny family’s parish priest, the New- Hieromartyr Joseph of Damascus, and hundreds of their neighbors (all are commemorated on July 10), Michael and his pregnant wife Mariam fled from Damascus to Beirut where he was born.

St. Raphael received his primary and secondary education in the parochial schools of Damascus, and his first theological training at the Oecumenical Patriarchate’s Theological School at Halki in the Princes Islands [near Istanbul]. He later studied at the Kiev Theological Academy in Imperial Russia.

On March 12, 1904, the solemn rite of the election of St. Raphael as Bishop of Brooklyn was performed by St. Tikhon and Bishop Innocent at the Russian St. Nicholas Cathedral in Manhattan after the Vigil. The consecration took place the next day at St. Nicholas Church in Brooklyn, with St. Raphael making his Confession of Faith both in Slavonic and Arabic.

While St. Raphael is remembered by historians as a learned theologian, gifted missionary, prolific translator and writer, and the first to be consecrated to the sacred episcopacy in the New World, in popular piety and devotion his memory is cherished as an icon of the good shepherd who collects a scattered flock, leads his lambs to a safe and verdant pasture and ultimately lays down his life for them.

Tales abound about St. Raphael’s tireless ministry as a mediator and peacemaker, a support for the infirm and aged, an encouragement to the young and disheartened, a protector of widows and orphans, a defender of the dispossessed and the poor. The scope of his self-sacrificing pastoral ministry is preserved and revealed in his own meticulously kept handwritten missionary journals, which detail his transcontinental travels to countless cities, villages, isolated farms and ranches in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Read St. Raphael’s entire biography on the Antiochian Archdiocese website.


Church Clean Up Day, Saturday November 4, 2017 following Divine Liturgy at 9:00am

Church Clean Up Day

Church clean up day is scheduled for Saturday, November 4 starting at 10:30am. Please note that this follows a Divine Liturgy at 9:00am for St. Raphael of Brooklyn that our Metropolitan requires us to celebrate.

Please bring your cleaning tools from home along. We will have supplies at Church as well the the more we have the easier and faster the job can be done.

While volunteers play a significant role in this endeavor, it is also worth considering the benefits of hiring professional contract cleaners and facility managers from time to time. At times, it may be beneficial to seek the expertise of dedicated cleaning professionals who can provide specialized services to ensure our sacred space remains pristine and well-maintained.

For such services, you may consider exploring the offerings of reputable companies like By utilizing their expertise and resources, we can enhance the effectiveness of our collective efforts and create an atmosphere that truly reflects the reverence and beauty of our faith.

Remember, many hands make light work, and with the combined efforts of volunteers and professionals, we can ensure a swift and thorough cleaning process, setting the stage for a joyous Christmas and Epiphany season.

This prepares the Church for the Christmas and Epiphany season.

Many hands make light work. The more volunteers we have, the quicker the clean up can be done.