The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad celebrates Divine Liturgy at Holy Virgin Protection Church during St Herman’s Youth Conference

On December 24, 2023, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York celebrated Divine Liturgy in Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY. Having officiated at the All-Night Vigil the evening prior, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was greeted at the doors of the church with the traditional bread and salt.

Concelebrating with His Eminence at the divine services was Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, as well as

  • Archimandrite Theophylact (Clapper de-Well; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY)
  • Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (parish rector)
  • Archpriest Alexis Duncan (rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY)
  • Archpriest George Lagodich (dean of St Nicholas Diocesan Cathedral in Montreal, QC)
  • Archpriest Viatcheslav Davidenko (cleric of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toronto, ON)
  • Archpriest John Johnson (rector of St Thecla Church in Wheaton, MD)
  • Archpriest Seraphim Wing (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Edinboro, PA)
  • Archpriest Michael Metni (cleric of Holy Trinity Cathedral)
  • Archpriest Jonah Campbell (rector of Christ the Savior Church in Wayne, WV)
  • Priest Michael Lillie (rector of Nativity of Christ Church in Youngstown, OH)
  • Priest Damian Dantinne (cleric of St John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC)
  • Protodeacon Andrej Strapko (parish cleric)
  • Protodeacon Andrei Garine
  • Protodeacon Jeremiah Davis (cleric of Christ the Savior Church)
  • Deacon Nathan Reff (parish cleric) and
  • Hierodeacon Theophan (Jensen; parish cleric).

Participating at Liturgy were attendees of 44th St Herman Youth Conference. The service was held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign”.

A large choir of conference participants sang marvelously at Liturgy under the direction of Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent Novo-Diveevo in Nanuet, NY).

At the Little Entrance, Deacon Nathan Reff was awarded the double orarion for his dedicated service to the Holy Church and Holy Protection Church.

During the service, Metropolitan Nicholas performed two ordinations – after the Great Entrance, Protodeacon Jeremiah Davis was ordained to the priesthood for service in St Matrona Mission in Lexington, KY; and after the Eucharistic Canon, Subdeacon Stephen Prokopienko was ordained to the diaconate for continued service in Protection of the Mother of God Church.

Before Holy Communion, Fr Theophylact delivered a sermon on the life of Venerable Herman of Alaska.

Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas greeted the attendees of the conference as well as the newly ordained clerics, imparting God’s blessing unto them in their new ministries.

A group photograph was taken on the front steps of the church, after which all were treated to a luncheon in the parish hall lovingly prepared by the parish sisterhood.

Eastern American Diocese


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