Diocese of San Francisco and Western America: December 26, 2006
A New Iconostasis is Blessed For the Chapel at St Nicholas Cathedral, Built On the Site of the Repose of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco

His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America ordained two readers at the feast day celebrations at St Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, WA: Oleg Shmitof and Alexei Morozov. During the minor entrance, Priest Luke Huggins of St Silouan Russian Orthodox Church in Walla Walla, WA, was awarded the kamilavka, and the Rector of St Nicholas Church in Vancouver, Canada, Priest Evstafij Hripunov, was given the violet skufia.

After the Great Entrance, His Eminence ordained a new priest for St George Mission in Salt Lake City, Father Michael van Opstall. Fr Michael has a doctorate in mathematics and is enrolled in the Orthodox Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Detroit. He teaches at Utah State University. He will combine his professional work and pastoral duties in this new parish of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America.

After the Eucharistic canon, Monk Paul of the All-Merciful Savior Monastery on Vashon Island, WA, was ordained a hierodeacon. Fr Paul will serve at the monastery.

After Divine Liturgy, a procession of the cross went to the parish hall, where 40 years ago, St John of Shanghai and San Francisco died. At the time of his repose, he was holding the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God. A chapel was established in this room. The holy bishop's cassock is displayed here in a special frame. In celebration of the fortieth anniversary of St John's death, St Nicholas Cathedral commissioned an iconostasis to be made in Belarus, which was delivered just days before the Cathedral feast day. The parishioners erected it on the eve of the holiday, where it was later consecrated by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill. The site of the death of St John is a holy place not only for the parishioners of St Nicholas and the rest of the Diocese, but for all those who honor the memory of the great ugodnik (pleaser) of God, St John.

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