Updated: 11 Sep 13
Visit by V. Rev. Michael Oleska
The weekend of July 26 - 28 we enjoyed the visit of the V. Rev Michael Oleksa who celebrated services including Divine Liturgy Sunday July 28 and a Memorial Service (Panikhida) on Saturday morning July 27. He brought with him several historical icons from Alaska and was at the church for the commemoration of Saint Yakov and Saint Innocent of Alaska.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, he accepted our parish's invitation to be the new priest at St. Dimitri, beginning October 2013.
Father Michael Oleksa, Ph.D., was born in Allentown, PA. He went to Alaska in 1970 from St. Vladimir's Seminary in New York at the invitation of the Alutiiq village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Over the next three decades he served as a Russian Orthodox priest in over a dozen Alaska Native villages. In 1988 he completed his doctoral degree at the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Presov, Slovakia, with an emphasis in Native Alaskan History during the Alaska Russian period (1741-1867).
Recognized as an "Elder" by the Alaska Federation of Natives, a Distinguished Public Servant by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, and honored by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Governors Association. Father Oleksa is a leader in the development of cross-cultural education in Alaska, an educator of Alaskan teachers, and a student of Alaska Native languages and cultures. He recently has published a book in collaboration with the Association of Alaska School Boards entitled "Another Culture/Another World" that explores the great diversity and common humanity of Alaska's cultural mosaic.