In October 2011, after 20 years at St. George Church in Sacramento, California, Father Mark Melone became the new pastor at St. Joseph in Laurence, Massachusetts.
His calm, steadfast dedication to the Eastern Christian liturgical cycle in all its fullness left a lasting legacy of worship for both parishioners and newly-installed pastor Father Brendan McAnerney, in whose capable hands the parish now rests.
Father Mark’s focus on the Divine Liturgy as the center of the parish’s community life established long-term stability at St. George. His focus served as an anchor through a major church and rectory remodel in the mid-90’s, and several years later a complete hall remodel.
“Everything starts here,” Father Mark said as he pointed to the altar. He showed through his words and actions that spiritual growth cannot take place without conscientious and constant participation in church services. To paraphrase his welcome message in St. George’s 25th anniversary book: “What I see every time I serve the Holy Liturgy are not only holy icons on the walls, but living icons trying to be holy.”
Many of the holy icons hanging on St. George’s church walls were written by Father Mark. His talents as an iconographer provide tangible evidence of his devotion as well as enable parishioners to demonstrate their own devotions by venerating specific saints. The holiness of the church’s interior stems, too, from the images he painted on the church’s walls and ceilings. Father Mark’s iconography remains a visible reminder of the abiding spiritual and artistic legacy of his many years at St. George.