On Christmas Day, January 1949, Russian Eastern Orthodox Church services were held in Phoenix, AZ for the first time--served by Fr. Nicholas Hubiak from New Jersey. On November 25, 1951, the Saint Peter and Paul Russian Eastern Orthodox Greek Catholic Church was formed with the appointment of Archimandrite Peter Zaychenko, formerly of Chicago, IL, by Archbishop John of San Francisco and the Western United States.
Archimandrite Peter purchased residential property at 1614 E Monte Vista Rd, where services were held and it later became the Church. The parish totaled about twelve families at the time. On November 12, 1955 Archimandrite Peter Zaychenko fell asleep in the Lord and willed the residential property to the parish. In 1956 the parish built an addition onto the original house to accommodate up to 80 worshippers. Adjoining property was purchased in 1961 for a future church building and in March 1967, with the blessing of Archbishop John, the parish received its building permit.
dedicated by the Most Rev Archbishop John of San Francisco and the Western United States. He was assisted by Fr. Dimitri Gisetti, Dean; V Rev John Karateew, pastor; as well as other Orthodox clergy. The new church can now accommodate more than a threefold expansion in worshippers and is an outstanding example of what a dedicated and united parish group can accomplish when interested in serving God and promoting the Orthodox Faith.
The focus has always been on people. Specifically on people's salvation, based on hearing the Word of God preached and defined in the context of a true and loving Christian community.
In order to provide a clear witness to Christ and His Gospel to all, it was decided to evolve from solely Church Slavonic / Russian and to use English exclusively in the worship services. For the most part, the transition has been made and today we find ourselves again ministering to many of the new Russian speaking people seeking out an Orthodox Church for worship.
On November 9-10, 2001, the parish observed its 50th anniversary.
Typically one will find approximately 150 to 200 adults and children gathered together to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on a given Sunday. Our worshippers represent a cross section of people of various ages, occupations, and ethnic backgrounds, living throughout the greater metropolitan Phoenix area. The character of our community reflects our effort in placing special emphasis on personal participation in the life of the Church, spiritual growth, and commitment to Christ and His teachings.
Continuing education and discussions among our members are priorities within our parish. Immediately following communion on Sunday's Divine Liturgy, children ranging in age from pre-school through young adult attend Church School classes (September - May). Adult Education (Orthodox Faith Studies) classes are also offered. In addition, other educational programs on various subjects are scheduled and announced periodically.
Parishioners and visitors are invited to share fellowship over coffee and bagels in our social hall following Divine Liturgy every Sunday. Periodically, lunches, dinners, and fellowship gatherings are scheduled in various locations, sometimes in connection with open discussions on various topics with pastoral guidance, i.e. Orthodox Faith Study.
Indeed, the true church is built with "living stones". Believers who by their Baptism and Chrismation have entered into the life of the Church and who are united in a common confession of faith and the Body and Blood of Christ themselves become the "Body of Christ". The fields are, as the Scriptures tell us, ripe for harvest; but the laborers are few. May God bless our efforts toward the building of His Church in love and truth.
We invite you with open arms to worship and share fellowship with us anytime.
June 20, 2021, Sunday
Pentecost, Divine Liturgy followed
by Kneeling Prayers, 9:00 a.m.
June 28, 2021, Monday
Vespers, 6:00 p.m.
June 29, 2021, Tuesday
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
Divine Liturgy, 9:00 a.m.
We will celebrate the Feast of our heavenly patrons, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, with Vespers and the Divine Liturgy on June 28 & 29. Our traditional luncheon to celebrate the feast and to observe Independence Day will take place after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 4.
CONGRATULATIONS AND MANY YEARS! We express our congratulations to Archpriest David Balmer who was recently granted the dignity of wearing the palitza by the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America. Father David was honored in this way in thanksgiving for his fidelity in serving Christ’s Holy Orthodox Church. May the Lord grant Father David and Matushka Mary many continued years of service to the Flock of Christ! MANY YEARS!
REMEMBERING WITH GRATITUDE- This year marks the70th Anniversary of the founding of our parish and the 53rd Anniversary of the Consecration of Saints Peter and Paul Church, we remember all the Clergy and Faithful who founded our parish (1951), who built the “new” church and witnessed its consecration (1968), and who, through all these 70 years since the founding of our parish, have faithfully served Christ’s Flock here in our parish community. We especially remember Archbishop JOHN (Shahovskoy), the Archbishop of San Francisco, who founded our parish and placed it under the spiritual guidance of Archimandrite Peter (Zaychenko). Archbishop John also consecrated the church during the pastorate of Archpriest John Karateev, rector of our parish from 1962 to 1972. And we give thanks to God for all the clergy and faithful parishioners, gone to their rest before us, who, through their faith, sacrifices, and dedication, have provided us with the gift that is ours as members of this God-protected flock. May the Lord grant them rest with the saints! May their memory be eternal!