NEW YORK: 30 March 2023
The services of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

On March 12, the second Sunday of Great Lent, that dedicated to the Holy Hierarch Gregory Palamas, His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, paid an archpastoral visit to Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY - his first visit in the rank of Metropolitan. With this visit, he continued the tradition started in the 1960s by Archbishop Averky (Taushev; +1976) and continued by Metropolitan Laurus (Škurla; +2008). Every year, these archpastors came not only during for the parish’s patronal feast, but also on the second Sunday of Great Lent.

Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were: Archimandrite Theophylact (Clapper-DeWell; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY), Archpriest Pimen Simon (rector of Nativity of Christ Church in Erie, PA), Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (parish rector), Protodeacon Andrej Strapko (parish cleric), Protodeacon Nikifor Franklin (cleric of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacon Nathan Reff (parish cleric).

During the Sixth Hour, His Eminence elevated Reader Nicholas Kontogiannis to the rank of subdeacon. And after the Eucharistic Canon, he ordained a Monk-Subdeacon Theophan (Jensen) a hierodeacon.

Upon completion of Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan presented Fr. Gregory with a jubilee pectoral cross in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Church Abroad, and presented the parish a wonderful icon of the Synaxis of Mordovian Saints from the cell of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral; +2022).

For their dedication and work on behalf of the Holy Church and the parish, His Eminence expressed his primatial gratitude by awarding the following persons with a diocesan gramota: Vasily K. Stresz, Irina A. Parker, Elena B. Glebova, Elena E. Vinogradova, Marina A. Frankunas, Olga G. Solodova, Olga S. Nesterenko, and Klaudia S. Budanova.

On Friday, March 17, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York paid an archpastoral visit to St. Michael Church in Wayne, NJ, where he performed the Sacrament of Holy Unction.

Serving alongside His Eminence were: Archpriest Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Archpriest George Zelenin (parish rector), Abbot Eutychius (Dovgan; abbot of St. Nicholas Skete in Freehold, NJ), Hieromonk Theognost and Priest Andrew Podymow (clerics of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY), Priest Alexei Klar (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), and Deacon Andrei Logvinenko (parish cleric).

A multitude of parishioners and faithful from other churches took part in the Sacrament.

Metropolitan Nicholas addressed those gathered with an instructive sermon on Great Lent, after which the priests anointed those participating in Holy Unction with blessed oil.

Parish rector Fr. George spoke about the new church, where two Paschas have now been served, beginning in 2021.

The parish obtained the land in 2014, on September 19 – the feast of the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Colossæ. "Since that time, virtually all of the foundational events in the parish have taken place on that feast," noted Fr. George. "Even during the construction of the church, it turned out that, below the spot where we planned to build was an underground river, at a depth of nearly six feet. We did not expect this at all, and we had to make special engineering decisions and install a deep foundation. As a result, out church stands ‘on a spring,’ just as in the story of the miracle of the Archangel Michael.

"We searched for land to build the church for over 15 years. It was a miracle that we found this place, where there had been a Protestant church. We began to customize the property with the building of a wooden chapel dedicated to the Icon ‘Unexpected Joy,’ and we began construction of the church in 2018, completing it mostly in the beginning of 2021.

"The carved iconostasis is of white stone, as are all of the decoration materials – we ordered the granite and stone from China a year before the start of construction. The iconostasis was ordered specially to fit the icons of Archimandrite Cyprian (Pyzhov; +2001) from our old church (they are in the bottom row), while the icons of the upper row were ordered in Russia, giving the iconographers the task of painting the icons in Fr. Cyprian’s style; which, I believe, they succeeded at. Literally two weeks ago, the last of the icons were installed in the iconostasis.

On Sunday, March 19, the feast of the Veneration of the Cross, Metropolitan Nicholas officiated at Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York. That evening, he performed the Sacrament of Holy Unction in Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn, NY.

Serving the Sacrament alongside His Eminence were: Archpriests Andrei Sommer (dean of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), Vasily Zelenyuk (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), Paul Ivanov (parish rector), Vasyl Yurina (parish cleric), Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ), and Paul Kang (head of the Korean Mission).

On March 20-22, His Eminence led the Great Lentan Northern Pastoral Retreat at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

On March 25-27, the First Hierarch visited St John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, where he performed all-night vigil and celebrated the Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great. That evening Vladyka Nicholas led the rite of Holy Unction along with the cathedral’s Rector Archpriest Victor Potapov, his clergymen and visiting clerics.

On the evening of March 29, the eve of the 5th Week of Great Lent, His Eminence performed the matins and the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete at the Synodal Cathedral; he was joined by Cathedral Dean Archpriest Andrei Sommer and Archpriest Serafim Gan.

From the website of the Eastern American Diocese


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