St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, NY, Marks the 90th Anniversaryof the Russian Church Abroad

On Saturday, December 11, 2010, His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander of Astanai and Kazakhstan and His Eminence Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, head of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, celebrated Divine Liturgy at St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, NY, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Their Eminences were joined by Protopriest Michael Protopopoff, Administrator of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand; Protopriest Victor Tseshkovsky of the New Kursk-Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY and auxiliary priest of the Church of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Brookly, NY; Protopriest Serafim Gan, Rector of St Seraphim Church; Hegumen Veniamin (Korolev), Prior of Kursk-Root Hermitage of the Kurks Diocese in Russia; Protopriest Sergei Lukianov, Secretary of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York; Protopriest Andrei Sommer, Senior Priest of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign; Protopriest Evgeny Goncharenko; Hegumen Nikodim (Baslyanikov), aide to Archbishop Justinian; Hieromonk Roman (Krassovsky) of Holy Trinity Monastery, and Priest Alexandre Antchoutine of neighboring Intercession Church, along with Protodeacon Paul Wolkoff, Protodeacon Igor Panachev, Deacon Nicholas Olhovsky and Deacon Eugene Kallaur. The wonder-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God was present at the service.

Also worshiping at Liturgy were members of a delegation from Kursk: in addition to Hegumen Veniamin, present were Hierodeacon Rodion and Vyacheslav Nikolaevich Lysykh, Director of the Kursk Oblast Historical-Cultural Center Kursk-Root Hermitage.

After the service, Fr Serafim welcomed the visiting archpastors, giving Metropolitan Alexander and Archbishop Justinian gifts of hierarchal staffs in memory of the event, expressing his wish that these archpastoral staffs would always be a consolation and aid for the clergy and flock entrusted to them. In response, Metropolitan Alexander gave the parish a gift of an icon of Righteous Prince Alexander Nevsky, depicted holding the Fedorov Icon of the Mother of God. In his archpastoral sermon, Vladyka Alexander remembered his first visited to St Seraphim Church in 1989, when its rector was Protopresbyter Mitrophan (Znosko-Borovsky, +2002), who later became Bishop of Boston and Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese.

After the service, a trapeza was offered at the parish hall, during which long-time parishioners Oleg Gennadievich Sampsidis and Rostislav Vladimirovich Polchaninoff gave brief histories of the great exodus of the White Army and the Russian emigres from Crimea, and on the importance of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. At the end of the trapeza, Fr Serafim thanked the clergymen, sisterhood, choir and all the participants in the celebration.

Photographs and video can be viewed at the the official website of the Eastern American Diocese (www.eadiocese.org) and of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA (www.russianchurchusa.org)

Mr Polchaninoffs lecture will soon be available at the official website of St Seraphim Church (www.stseraphimschurch.org).

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