St. Nicholas Church

Auburn, New York

St. Nicholas Church

Founded 1909

Diocese: Diocese of New York and New Jersey

Deanery: New York State Deanery


28 Cross St
Auburn, New York 13021


Parish Contacts

109 S Herman Ave
Auburn, NY 13021
Home: 315-255-2998

Lay Leadership

Reader Nathaniel Donch
Reader Peter Speck


From East or West
Take the New York State Thruway to exit 40 (Weedsport).  Follow Rt 34 south approximately 8 miles.  Upon entering Auburn you will see the hospital on the left; continue for 2 blocks and turn right onto Cottage St.  Go 2 blocks.  Church is at the intersection of Cottage and Cross.

From north or south
Take Rt 81 to Rt 41 north (Homer); follow approximately 24 miles to Rt 20 west.  Take 20 west approximately 8 miles into Auburn.  At North St turn right and proceed through 4 traffic lights.  Take the next left (Cottage St).  The Church is 2 blocks down at the corner or Cottage and Cross Sts.

From Syracuse area
Take Rt 695 to Rt 5.  In Auburn turn right onto State St. Follow 4 short blocks and turn on Cottage St.  Church is one block down on corner of Cottage and Cross Sts.

Schedule of Services

6:00 PM Vespers.
Saturday Evening

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy (9:00 AM from June through September).
Sunday Morning

6:00 PM Vespers.
Eves of Great Feasts

9:00 AM Divine Liturgy.
Mornings of Great Feasts

For a complete list of upcoming services, please visit the Calendar on the parish website.

In addition to the major holy days, we celebrate all Soul Saturdays and the following lesser feast days:  Protection of the Theotokos (October 1), St Michael the Archangel (November 8), St Nicholas (December 6), Circumcision (January 1), Three Hierarchs (January 30), Birth of St John the Baptist (June 24), SS Peter and Paul (June 29) and Beheading of St John the Baptist (August 29).
Feast Days

Lenten Services include Liturgy of the Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesdays and Fridays (on the 5th Wednesday the Canon of St Andrew of Crete is served instead), and Liturgy on Saturday morning.
Great Lent

Services include Forgiveness Vespers following the Sunday Liturgy, Complines with Canon of St Andrew of Crete (Monday—Thursday), Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts (Friday), and St Theodore Saturday Liturgy.
First Week of Great Lent

Bridegroom Matins are served on Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday evening; on Holy Wednesday, Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts with Holy Unction is served.
Holy Week

Divine Liturgy served in the morning.  Call for times.
Lazarus Saturday

Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil is served in the morning; Matins with the Passion Gospels is served in the evening.
Holy Thursday

3:00 PM Holy Friday Vespers, 7:00 PM Holy Saturday Matins with Lamentations.
Great and Holy Friday

3:00 PM Vesperal Liturgy of St Basil followed by Agape Meal; 11:30 PM Nocturns.
Great and Holy Saturday

12:00 Midnight Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy.
Pascha (Easter Sunday)

An Akathist to St Innocent of Alaska is served once a week (days vary, please call for times).

Parish Background

St Nicholas Church was founded on December 1, 1908.  The missionary work and incentive to organize was started by Very Rev. Alexander Hotovitsky (now St Alexander, New-Martyr of Russia), Dean of the New York Cathedral.  Fr Alexander came to Auburn on August 26, 1908 at the request of Thomas Garbinsky to perform funeral services for Mary Zanoviak.

Spiritual needs of the Auburn faithful were tended to by Hieromonk Arseny, Abbot of St Tikhon Monastery, prior to the founding date.  On December 4, 1908, land was purchased on the corners of Cross and Cottage Sts and religious services were first held in a small house on the premises that had been remodeled into a chapel.  Fr Nicholas Duda was appointed Priest-in-Charge.

In March 1909, Fr Joanniky Keyo (Kivko) was appointed as St Nicholas’ first permanent rector.  In June 1909, permission was granted by Archbishop Platon to build a church (1909 has been recognized as the anniversary date of the parish throughout the years).  In addition to Thomas Garbinsky as President and Trustee, the first board included Basil Kimak, Joseph Pingryn, Gregory Maykovich, Halakton Melnick and George Brannick.  Membership in 1910 was 49 families, 34 single adults, 15 children ages 7 and older and 69 children under age 7.

Construction of the church cost $25,000.  The cornerstone was laid on Novembre 25, 1909.  The completed church was dedicated in a minor form on June 21, 1910 and pontifically consecrated by Bishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) in 1912.  In 1913 an adjacent house was purchased for use as a rectory.  The rector at this time was Fr Basil Bikoff.

Other early rectors included Fr Dimitrius Kaminsky, Fr Andrew Vanyush, Fr Anthony Diachenko (1921-1935), and Fr Basil Oranovsky.  In 1938, Archpriest John Yanchisin was appointed rector, serving with distinction as parish priest and for many years Dean of the New York State Deanery, until his passing away in 1962.

Following World War II and the return of numerous veterans, a program was undertaken to enlarge the church, this work being completed in April, 1947.  Membership peaked in 1948 with a total of 785 including children.  Auburn, like many small industrial cities, has suffered through several decades of factory closings and lost jobs, creating downward population trends.  Auburn at one time was larger than Syracuse, NY, and SS Peter and Paul Church in Syracuse is a daughter church of Auburn.  Auburn’s main employer today is Auburn Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison.

Following Fr John’s passing and burial in the parish cemetery (also purchased in 1909), Rectors to serve Auburn include Fr John Kozak, Fr George Cucura, Fr Daniel Geeza, Fr Vladimir Sovyrda, Fr Eugene Tarris, Fr John Lickwar and Fr Stephen Mack (the current rector), assisted by Protodeacon Michael Speck, a native son of the parish.

In the past 40 years much work has been done to beautify the church interior.  Large icons of the four Evangelists, St Nicholas, and Christ Enthroned adorn the church proper, and a large icon of the Theotokos adorns the ceiling in the Altar.  Life-sized icons of Church Fathers were added in 1987.  Many of the stained glass windows pre-date the church (1880s).  In addition, a new rectory was completed in 1972.

Two seminary graduates have come from Auburn:  John Sopchak from St Vladimir’s and Tom Bushallow from St Tikhons, both in the 1950s.  Two ordinations of deacons have taken place in Auburn:  Protodeacon Michael Speck and Deacon Anthony Lupo, both ordained by Archbishop Peter of New York.

In 2007, St. Nicholas completed the construction of a Parish Hall & Education Building.  The Hall was a seven year project.  It was completed with the help of BOCES (student) labor, and with the generous contributions of parish family members without the need to borrow any funds for its completion.  The Parish hall adds to our ability to serve our Auburn community.