St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA
- Who We Are
- Parish Life
- Calendar & Schedule of Events
- Schedule of Services
- Biographies of Serving Clergy
- Parish Council Information
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- Tour of the Church & Explanation of Icons
- Testimonies from Parishioners
- Useful Information
- Sacraments Policies
- Guidelines for Prayer Life
- Fasting Guidelines
- Church Etiquette
- Guidelines for Memorial Services, (Trisagion Prayers for the Departed)
- Guidelines for Reading the Epistle
- Guidelines for Reading the Bible (Church Lectionary of Daily Readings)
- Thoughts/ Guidelines for Alms- Giving
- Photo Gallery
Biographies of Serving Clergy
THE VERY REVEREND DAVID HESTER
The Very Reverend David Hester, an Archpriest of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, is the pastor of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre. He was born in Baltimore, attended Mt. St. Joseph High School, St. Charles College, and has his BA from St. Mary Seminary College. He has an STB from the Gregorian University, Rome, an STM from the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, California, and an SEOL and SEOD from the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome, Italy. He defended his Doctoral Dissertation on “The Monasticism and Spirituality of the Italo-Greek Monks—9th-12th centuries” in 1988.
Father David has served on the faculties of Theological College, Washington, DC, and of St. Mary Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland, where he taught Church History and Patrology.
In 1990 he became the pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he served as priest for ten years, and in 2000 became the pastor of St. Mary, Wilkes-Barre.
In addition to the parish, Father David is on the faculty of the Antiochian House of Studies, and of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary, where he teaches Patrology and Church History.
Father David is married to Kh. Anne Hester, who has a Doctoral Degree in Counseling from Loyola College, Columbia, Maryland, and is a licensed couselor in Pennsylvania and a member of the American Psychological Association. Anne, who was born in Hazleton, is on the faculty of Penn State, Hazleton, where she teaches Psychology and is the director of the BA Program in Letters Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Psychology and Sociology. She also serves as a university faculty senator.
Quote of the Holy Fathers
A brother went to see Abba Silvanus on the mountain of Sinai. When he saw the brothers working hard he said to the old man, “Do not labor for the food which perishes (John 6:27). Mary has chosen the better part (Luke 10:42).” The old man said to his disciple, “Zacharias, give the brother a book and put him in a cell without anything else.” So when the ninth hour came the visitor watched the door expecting someone would be sent to call him to the meal. When no one called him, he got up, went to find the old man and said to him, “Have the brothers not eaten today?” The old man replied that they had. Then he said, “Why did you not call me?” The old man said to him, “Because you are a spiritual man and do not need that kind of food. We, being carnal, want to eat, and that is why we work. But you have chosen the good portion and read the whole day long and you do not want to eat carnal food.” When he heard these words the brother made a prostration saying, “Forgive me, Abba.” The old man said to him, “Mary needs Martha. It is really thanks to Martha that Mary is praised.”
It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped when giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God’s Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God.
St. John of Damascus (8th century)
It is necessary to establish a pattern of going to church as often as possible, usually to Matins, Liturgy and Vespers. Have a longing for this, and go there at the first opportunity and if you can, stay without leaving. Our church is heaven on earth. Hasten to church with the faith that it is a place where God dwells, where He Himself promised to quickly hear prayers. Standing in church, be as if you are standing before God in fear and reverence, which you express through patience, prostrations, and attention to the services without wandering thoughts.
Saint Theophan the Recluse (19th century)
The bread you do not use is the bread of the hungry. The garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of the person who is naked. The shoes you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot. The money you keep locked away is the money of the poor. The acts of charity you do not perform are the injustices you commit.
Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia (4th century)