Holy Trinity History
On December 5, 1976, a small group of Orthodox Christians assembled at East Stroudsburg State College to celebrate Vespers with His Grace, (then) Bishop Herman and Fr. Daniel Donlick, along with Mr. Nicholas Lezinsky of Allentown serving as lay coordinator. It was there on the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas, that these faithful worshippers commenced on what was to become Holy Trinity Eastern Orthodox Church of Stroudsburg. Following this first service, from January 1977 through June of the same year, Divine Liturgy was celebrated on Sundays by Fr. Sebastian (Gyza) of St Tikhon's Monastery in the conference rooms of the Howard Johnson Motel in Delaware Water Gap and at the Pocono Hilton Hotel in Stroudsburg.
On July 17, 1977, through the help and guidance of Bishop Herman, the mission parish moved to the St Mark's Summer chapel in Delaware Water Gap, where Fr. Sebastian continued serving the needs of the people. The building was rented for five years from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton. The parishioners were responsible for the payment of the utility costs. The building had no running water and no meeting rooms for church activities.
From January to July of 1978 , Fr. Joseph Toroney then took on pastoral responsibilities at the parish with Jacob Fremenko and David Lezinsky serving as choir directors for the first Liturgy.
In July, 1978, Fr. Daniel Donlick was assigned duties as pastor of the fledgling parish. Seminarian John Onofrey, came to the parish in June of 1980, and served as choir director until his ordination into the priesthood. Mrs. Dorothy Strzelczyk then accepted the responsibilities of choir director where she continues to serve faithfully in this position
Under the capable and spiritual direction of Fr. Donlick, a Land and Building Search Committee was formed consisting of parishioners Spas Raikin, Ruby Raikin, Helen Kessler and Sonya James. For four years, these individuals searched the central area of Monroe County, PA for affordable land and buildings. During this time, under the leadership of Leopold (Paul) Bonisese and the St. Anne’s Guild (parish women’s group), our parishioners conducted various fund raising activities, such as concerts, bake sales, craft projects and flea markets and a pledge drive was initiated to prepare for the purchase of a property..
On November 4, 1982, the mission parish purchased an existing church structure, centrally located in the Stroudsburg-Pocono area. Fr. Donlick and the parishioners celebrated Divine Liturgy in the new church building on December 5, 1982, the sixth anniversary of the founding of the parish.
Then in November, 1986, Fr. Donlick was assigned full-time responsibilities as Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary and as Secretary-Treasurer of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. At that time, Fr. Neal Carrigan was assigned pastor of Holy Trinity Parish.
We rejoiced, as attendance and membership increased substantially. However, as the parish grew, the limited space within the church was inadequate to accommodate our growing family. With the encouragement of Fr. Carrigan, a nearly five-acre parcel of land was purchased in 1990, and an aggressive building fund drive was initiated. Before long, a 4000 square foot post-and-beam church structure and a beautiful new church hall were constructed. Much of the needed funds were donated by parishioners and friends of the parish. Pierogie and chowder- making became a way of life for most of the parishioners. Many hours of hard work through these Pierogie and Chowder sales were donated by scores of people in an effort to reduce the cost of construction and landscaping.
The new church was dedicated and consecrated on September 28,1996 by Archbishop Herman, along with many diocesan priests concelebrated with his Eminence and hundreds of faithful, neighbors and friends attending, offering prayers, love and support.
In September of 2001, the church celebrated its 25th anniversary with Archbishop Herman and other clergy concelebrating. As part of this celebration, we were also blessed as well to construct three new cupolas and a bell tower.
The next year In June of 2002, we said good-bye to Fr. Neal Carrigan, and joyously welcomed our first full-time priest Rev. Fr. Nicholas Solak III, PhD and his family.