St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church
A parish of the Orthodox Church in America
Becoming Orthodox

If you're considering being received into the Church, please see Fr. Silviu. The process which you may expect is as follows.

First, make sure that you fill out and hand to Fr. Silviu the "contact info form," which you will find in the first room of the church and can also be printed here. This form will put you in touch with the parish and with Fr. Silviu. As you become more certain of your intention to join the Holy Orthodox Church and you express it to Fr. Silviu, expect him to ask you to participate in liturgy as often as you can, certainly on a regular basis. Once you do so for a few months (at least four or five) and you become an active participant in the life of the parish, Fr. Silviu will offer to make you a catechumen during a short service before a Sunday Divine Liturgy. By this time, you should have also chosen the sponsor or godparent who will guide you in the faith and who will also have to accompany you in your catechumenate classes! Also, do keep in mind that the catechumenate is not a time for decision on whether to join the Church, but it is a firm commitment that you will do so. If you renounce your catechumenate, in the eyes of the Church you are a lapsed person, or an apostate.

After being made a catechumen, you will join the next catechumenate program, with classes which meet every week for approximately five months (find more info about the program on its own page). Therefore, expect the entire joining process to take between 10 and 12 months. Do know: Fr. Silviu will not receive into the Church anyone with irregular church attendance and with irregular class participation!

During the program, you will plan a date to be received into the church, with Fr. Silviu. There are certain feasts which are proper for this purpose: Pascha (more than any other feast), Pentecost (7 weeks after Pascha), Nativity of the Lord (Dec 25), and Epiphany (Jan 6). The service of reception itself includes Baptism, Chrismation (anointing with the holy oil or "chrism" which is the seal of the Holy Spirit), and the receiving of Holy Communion for the first time. After the end of the catechetical program and before the services of reception you will go to confession for the first time, which again you will schedule with Fr. Silviu. Also, at this time you will be asked to sign a pledge of membership in the parish. 

Immediately upon your reception you are a full member of the parish, expected to contribute actively to its well-being. One year after reception into the Church you will be able to vote at the annual parish meeting and to run for parish office; also after one year you may volunteer to work with children and youth, after the prescribed screening and training.

Mailing Address
St. George the Great Martyr Orthodox Church
PO Box 667
Pharr, TX 78577
704 W Sam Houston
Pharr, TX 78577
Email and Phone