On September 1st the day the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates the Church New Year Archbishop Mark of the Diocese of Eastern, PA celebrated Divine Liturgy in Wilkes-Barre, PA at Holy Resurrection Cathedral. Archpriest Valdimir Petorak was awarded the Mitre by Archbishop Mark and he will now be known as Mitred Archpriest Valdimir. He is serving his 65th year in the priesthood. Also in attendance were two new Catechumens David Varosky and Thomas Lyall along with the faithful of Holy Resurrection Cathedral.
Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral was founded in 1894 by Fr. Alexis Toth. Fr. Alexis was originally a priest of the Byzantine Catholic church and from the Carpathian Mountain region of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
He came to the United States, having left behind a deceased wife and children, in order to become the pastor of St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. When he arrived in the US he presented himself to the Roman Catholic bishop of Minneapolis, John Ireland. Ireland gave Fr. Alexis a very "cool" reception, making negative comments about the ethnic foundations of St. Mary's community and also questioning the legitimacy of Fr. Alexis's priestly ordination due to the fact that he had been married. Ireland's comments, and haughty attitude overall, caused Fr. Alexis to question his association with the Byzantine Catholic church in the United States. Fr. Alexis reported to the members of St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic parish Bishop Ireland's comments and after much prayer and discussion, Fr. Alexis and the community decided to petition to be received into the Russian Orthodox Church of America. As a result Fr. Alexis contacted the bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church in America, who resided in San Francisco. The people of St. Mary's raised the necessary funds to send Fr. Alexis to San Francisco and when he arrived he was received into the Orthodox Church as a priest. He returned to St. Mary's in Minneapolis from where he continued to reach out to Byzantine Catholic communities throughout the United States convincing them to return to the Orthodox Church. His work resulted in some 20,000 Byzantine Catholics returning to the Orthodox Church.