MOUNT CARMEL - St. Michael's Orthodox Church paid tribute to the Rev. Andrew Dedick, a former rector of the parish, and Matushka Anna Dedick, during a special memorial service Feb. 9.

Father Dedick was the rector at St. Michael's from 1938 until 1967, when he suddenly fell ill. Parishioners noted that Father Andrew and Matushka Anna became truly the "Father and Mother" of the parish and were endeared not only to the congregation but to those of other denominations in the community.

Parishioners recalled they cared about the parish and its people and were driven to educate the parish in Orthodoxy. Several parishioners remember the rectory as a second home where families spent evenings visiting with Father and Matushka.

Father Andrew was born in Old Forge and was ordained in June 1916 at the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York. After arriving at St. Michael's Orthodox Church in July 1938, he became active in the church and community. Under his influence, the church property experienced many renovations, including modifications of the domes to include placement of three stainless steel crosses.

In addition, vestments, vessels and new icons were acquired. A large granite cross was erected at the parish cemetery, the location where "Father and Matushka" were laid to rest in honor of their work.

Dedick, well known for his writings, prepared many articles for the local newspaper. He also prepared and issued educational pamphlets in both Russian and English languages. He translated the Gospel lessons into modern English. His yearbooks were very informative and received recognition from many. He was honored for his literary work with a certificate of acknowledgement from the U.S. Congressional Library in Washington, D.C.

"Father and Matushka" Dedick were parents of two sons and two daughters. Elizabeth Carter, the only surviving member of the immediate family, resides in Virginia. Matushka Anna died Feb. 9 and Father Andrew died March 17.

During the tribute service in February, the parish reaffirmed its commitment to spread Orthodoxy and help the community.

St. Michael's Orthodox Church is located at 131 N. Willow St. in Mount Carmel. Visitors are invited to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at 9 a.m. each Sunday.