Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Chapel opened in 1995 at 28 Dog Lane in Storrs. Erected in an authentic Byzantine style, the Chapel’s interior has icons and frescoes painted by artists from Greece. The Chapel is part of the Center for Hellenic Studies Paideia at the University of Connecticut. The Center also includes the adjacent Makedonia building, built in 1997, where courses are offered on Greek and Byzantine language, history and culture. These are the first and only Greek Orthodox Church and Center for Hellenic Studies in an American State University.
The church at 569/579 Clinton Avenue in Bridgeport was built in 1961 as St Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church. The church was founded by Macedo-Romanian immigrants in 1924 under the name of the Cultural Society of St. Vasile. It became St. James Romanian Orthodox Church in 1928. The church acquired its first building that same year, at 150 Lee Avenue in Bridgeport. The church moved to Clinton Avenue after its Lee Avenue building burned down in 1958. In 2009 the church held its first services in a new building at 504 Sport Hill Road in Easton. The church had rented space at St. Nicholas Antiochian Church in Bridgeport for three years while the new building was constructed. The former St. Dimitrie Romanian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport is now Iglesia Cristiana Renacer Inc.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Willimantic began in 1916. A two-story at 226 Valley St was converted to a house of worship and rectory for its first pastor, Rev Joseph Kurila. Fr Joseph lived on the top floor with his family while the bottom floor was converted into a chapel. On November 3, 1948, the Holy Trinity Community purchased a parcel of land on the corner of Valley Street and Mansfield Avenue on which to build a permanent church. The foundation was poured in 1950, but due to financial limitations the church was not completed and consecrated until 1958. Church membership experienced a decline in the 1980s and 1990s, but has grown again since 2000 with the active support of the UConn Orthodox Christian Fellowship.
The parish of St. Alexis was founded in 1995 in Clinton as a mission of the Orthodox Church in America. The parish was named for St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre. Originally a Carpatho-Rusyn Eastern Rite Catholic (Uniate) priest, Alexis Toth came to America in 1889 to serve at St. Mary’s Greek Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Confronted by a Roman Catholic clergy which, seeking to Americanize Catholic immigrants, was hostile to to ethnic parishes, St. Alexis and his parish entered the Russian Orthodox Church in 1892. He would be responsible for many conversions of Uniate Catholics to Orthodoxy. St. Alexis died in 1909 and was canonized in 1994 as St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre by the Orthodox Church in America. The church in Clinton, at 108 East Main Street, was constructed in 1997-1999 to plans drawn by the firm of Hibbard and Rosa, Architects of Middletown.
The original Saint Mary’s Orthodox Church in Waterbury, founded primarily by Ukrainian and Russian immigrants, was built in 1906-1908 on Crown Street. In 1968, the parish purchased 12 acres of land on North Main Street for the future site of a new church. Work began in 1972 and the cornerstone of the Crown Street church was transferred to the newly completed Nativity of the Holy Virgin Mary Church in 1974. Adjacent to the church, a new rectory was built in 1975 and the new Saint Mary’s Orthodox Center in 1980-1981. Read the rest of this entry »
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, at 54 Park Avenue in Meriden, was built in 1954-1955 and the icons were painted by Ivan Dikey in the early 1960s. Dikey was one of the only trained iconographers in America at the time. The parish was originally formed in 1911 and the first church building on Bunker Avenue, completed the following year, was later destroyed for the construction of Interstate 691.
In the 1890s, a group of Slavic immigrants, who had settled in Bridgeport, sought to leave the Greek Catholic Church (affiliated with Rome) and join the Orthodox Church in America. After meetings with Fr Alexis Toth (canonized in 1994 as St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre) and Bishop Nicholas of San Francisco, Holy Ghost Orthodox Parish was established in 1894. The church was dedicated on Palm Sunday, 1895, with Fr Toth celebrating the first Divine Liturgy. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia donated six bells to the church. They had been cast in honor of his coronation in 1896. Upon arrival in New York, the bells were held up in customs for payment of a large import duty, but a special bill was passed by Congress and signed by President McKinley allowing the bells to enter the United States duty free. The parish grew and a new church was built at 1510 E. Main St and dedicated on Palm Sunday, 1937. It was rededicated in 1981, with the sealing of the relics of St. Herman of Alaska, brought by His Grace, Bishop Gregory of Sitka, Alaska, replacing the missing relics of St. Barbara.