“Lift up and stretch your hands, not to heaven, but to the poor; for if you stretch forth your hands to the poor, you have reached the summit of heaven; but if you lift up your hands in prayer without sharing with the poor, it is worth nothing…”
~St. John Chrysostom
As we traverse the days of the Great & Holy Lent, in addition to our commitment to increased prayer and a dedicated fast, we, the clergy and laity of St. Anna Parish, will support the children of St. Innocent Orphanage. Each week, we will ask for alms in support of these adolescent or teenage boys who are in the care of the Orphanage because they were either removed from their home by social services, ran away from home due to abuse or their parents are deceased or imprisoned. On Sunday, April 17th, we will receive Rev. Fr. Nicholas Andruchow, the Chaplain and Associate Director of the St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage & Project Mexico. During his visit, we will learn more about this ministry, offer our monetary support, consider the “pantry partners program” and discuss our first home building trip, to be scheduled for 2017. May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ keep the children and the staff of St. Innocent Orphanage in His care as we lift up and stretch out our hands to the summit of heaven!
About Rev. Fr. Nicholas Andruchow, Chaplain & Associate Director
After finishing his undergraduate degree in Restaurant Administration at Widener University, he joined the United States Peace Corps and served the impoverished for 2 & ½ years in the Caribbean. Although baptized and raised in the Russian Orthodox Church, it was here in the jungles of the Caribbean that Fr. Nicholas fully committed himself to Christ. Shortly after finishing his service with the Peace Corps, he was asked by Project Mexico to lead their business development program. He worked for the orphanage for three years, running the onsite pig farm and training the orphan boys in basic entrepreneurial skills. During that time he married his wife, Merilynn Kouris, of Salt Lake City, and started their family living two of the three years at the Orphanage. Thereafter, Fr. Nicholas began his studies for the holy priesthood at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. Upon graduating from Seminary, Fr. Nicholas was assigned to the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox mission in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he served for 9 ½ years. In this time, he was approached by Project Mexico to serve as the spiritual director for the only Orthodox Christian Orphanage in North America. After much prayer and contemplation, Fr. Nicholas and his family, with the blessing of Metropolitan Gerasim