On Saturday, January 24, 2015, clergy and faithful from parishes across the west coast and beyond gathered at historic Holy Trinity Cathedral here for the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, during which Bishop-Elect Daniel [Brum] was consecrated to the Episcopacy as Bishop of Santa Rosa, Auxiliary to His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West.
On January 22, 2015, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and numerous representatives from the OCA Chancery, seminaries, and parishes gathered in the US Capital for the 42nd Annual March for Life, the 33rd Annual Rose Dinner, and related events.
Parishes across the Orthodox Church in America celebrated the Great Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord by blessing water—outdoors as well as indoors—in commemoration of the Baptism of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Clergy and faithful from parishes across the Midwest gathered at historic Holy Trinity Cathedral on the morning of Saturday, December 27, 2014 for the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, during which Bishop-Elect Paul [Gassios] was consecrated to the Episcopacy as Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest.
At the celebration of Vespers at Chicago’s historic Holy Trinity Cathedral on Friday, December 26, 2014 — the eve of his consecration to the Episcopate — Bishop-Elect Paul [Gassios] delivered an address to the bishops, clergy and faithful.
At invitation of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, a delegation representing Saint Vladimir’s Seminary visited the historic Holy Theological School of Halki December 16-19, 2014.
On Sunday, December 14, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with His Beatitude, Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East at Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Potomac, MD. Also concelebrating were His Eminence, Metropolitan Sabba and His Eminence, Metropolitan Vasileios.
On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the delegation of the Orthodox Church in America that visited the Russian Orthodox Church at the invitation of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’, returned to New York. They had spent their final days abroad in Saint Petersburg, where they were warmly welcomed by His Eminence, Metropolitan Varsonofy of Saint Petersburg and Ladoga, at the city’s historic Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God [“Kazansky” Cathedral]. Metropolitan Tikhon presented an icon and relics of Saint Innocent to Metropolitan Varsonofy. Many clerics from throughout the Saint Petersburg Diocese were in attendance, as were His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Vitebsk; His Grace, Bishop Kliment of Mordovia, and His Grace, Bishop Nazari of Kronstadt; Alexander Nikolaivich Govoronoff, Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Smolny Governorship; and others.
Closed during the Soviet era, the Kazansky Cathedral was used as a Museum of Atheism. In 2001, it was returned to the Church. Architecturally, it is well known for its close resemblance to Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, after which it was modeled. Its outdoor colonnade and statuary are immediately recognizable for their striking similarity to that gracing Rome’s Saint Peter’s Square. Restoration of the church, initiated in 2006, is still in progress.
While in Saint Petersburg, Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the OCA delegation were received and prayed at the Novodevichy Monastery; the Lavra of Saint Alexander Nevsky and its monumental Holy Trinity Cathedral; the Saint John of Rila Women’s Monastery, site of the grave of Saint John of Kronstadt; and the Chapel marking the grave of the Blessed Xenia of Saint Petersburg in the city’s Smolensk Cemetery. During the Soviet era, the chapel had been surrounded by a tall wooden barrier to prevent the faithful from entering therein and had been slated for destruction during the 1980s. After the fall of communism, the barrier was removed, providing access to the chapel. In the same cemetery, they visited the original burial grave of the renown Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko. In accordance with his wishes, expressed in his poem Zapovit [Testament], Shevchenko’s remains were later reinterred on Chernecha Hill [today Taras Hill] in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, where they remain to this day. They also visited the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in the city’s Fortress, wherein many members of the Imperial Family are interred. The church, the first built by Peter the Great in the city, reflects his passion for western architectural forms and style—interior as well as exterior—and reflects his calculated and striking departure from earlier ecclesiastical design.
In the nearby city of Kronstadt, Metropolitan Tikhon and the delegation were received at the Saint Nicholas Naval Cathedral and visited the apartment of Saint John of Kronstadt. The cathedral, modeled after Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia, was rebuilt after the fall of communism and stands as a prime example of the “Neo-Byzantine” movement that emerged in the late 19th century.
“We have much to learn from the Russian Church’s past, her suffering, struggles and rebuilding,” Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, reflected upon the delegation’s return. “It is also a colossal Church on a scale difficult for us to imagine—just in terms of clergy, the Russian Orthodox Church has a staggering 37,000 bishops, priests and deacons! But we have our own path and struggles, and by the grace of God I think we can be proud of how our Church was represented!”
[See related article.]
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, presided at the celebration of the Vigil and Divine Liturgy marking the Patronal Feast of the Orthodox Church in America’s Representation Church of Saint Catherine December 6-7, 2014.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, accompanied by His Grace, Bishop Alexander and members of the OCA delegation, visited the Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra in Sergiev-Posad on Friday, December 5, 2014.
The delegation was hosted by the Lavra’s Vicar, His Eminence, Archbishop Feognost of Sergiev-Posad. [His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill is the Lavra’s Abbot.] Metropolitan Tikhon and the delegation were met at the entrance gate by members of the monastic brotherhood. Immediately they were taken to the Church of the Holy Spirit to venerate the relics of Saint Innocent [Veniaminov], who prior to becoming Metropolitan of Moscow had served in North America as a missionary priest and later the Mission’s first ruling hierarch. They then were taken to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, where they venerated the relics of Saint Sergius of Radonezh. The frescoes in this cathedral are the work of Saint Andrei Rublev and Daniel Chorniy, two of medieval Russia’s most prominent iconographers.
After visiting the main Dormition Cathedral and the other Lavra churches, the delegation made its way to the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary, located on the monastery grounds, where they were greeted by the student body in the Academy chapel. They then viewed exhibits in the Academy Museum that provide a comprehensive overview of iconography, vestments, liturgical items, and related applied arts, as well as personal items of some of the former Patriarchs.
Archbishop Feognost hosted the delegation as his private residence and chapel, where he presented Metropolitan Tikhon with a five-foot tall icon of Saint Tikhon of Moscow. Metropolitan Tikhon, in turn, presented him with relics of Saint Herman of Alaska and an icon of Saint Juvenaly.
After concelebrating the Divine Liturgy with His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill, in the Dormition Patriarchal Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, His Grace, Bishop Alexander and members of the OCA delegation visited the city’s Donskoy Monastery. In the monastery’s “New” Cathedral of the Don Icon of the Mother of God, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the celebration of a Service of Thanksgiving in honor of Saint Tikhon of Moscow, whose relics are enshrined therein. After venerating Saint Tikhon’s relics, Metropolitan Tikhon presented the monastic brotherhood with relics of Saint Herman of Alaska and an icon of Saint Juvenaly the Martyr.
By way of background, the Donskoy Monastery was established in 1591 AD. Its “Old” Cathedral was constructed shortly thereafter, while construction on its larger “New” Cathedral began in 1684. Saint Tikhon fell asleep in the Lord at the monastery on the Great Feast of the Annunciation in 1925 and laid to rest in the “Old” Cathedral. Two years later, the monastery was closed by the communist regime. Earlier, the relics of Saint Tikhon had been hidden.
After the monastery was reopened in May 1991, the search for Saint Tikhon’s relics began in earnest, with the blessing of His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksy II. Shortly after the monastery was opened, the “Old” Cathedral was the target of an arsonist fire, resulting in significant damage to all but the church’s altar. Excavations in early 1992 yielded the discovery of a burial vault beneath the cathedral which, while including a slab bearing Patriarch Tikhon’s name, was found to be empty. Further excavations yielded the discovery of the Saint’s relics, which had been hidden carefully within the cathedral’s heating ducts. His oak coffin was found with a marble slab that read, “Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Tikhon,” and included the dates of his enthronement and repose. In April 1992, the relics were enshrined in the “New” Cathedral, where they are venerated to this day.
Saint Tikhon holds special significance for Orthodox Christians in North America, as well as in Russia, inasmuch as he served as the Bishop, and later Archbishop, of North America from 1897 until 1907. In addition to his personal holiness and his example of Christ-like suffering and repose, he is well remembered for convening the First All-American Sobor held in Mayfield, PA in 1907, shortly before his departure from America. The theme of the Sobor—“How to Expand the Mission”—was selected by Saint Tikhon. It also is the theme of the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, slated to convene in Atlanta, GA in July 2015.
On Thursday, December, the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple, His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon; His Grace, Bishop Alexander; and the clergy members of the OCA delegation at the historic 15th century Dormition Patriarchal Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon presented a copy of the Icon of the Sitka Mother of God to Patriarch Kirill. The celebration coincided with the 97th Anniversary of the Enthronement of Saint Tikhon of Moscow in the same cathedral. Saint Tikhon served as Bishop, and later Archbishop, of the North American Diocese from 1897 to 1907.
On Wednesday, December, 3, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation were received at Moscow’s Spaso House by His Excellency, the Honored Ambassador John Tefft, US Ambassador to Russia, and his wife Mariella.
“Years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a service in the beautiful Orthodox church in Juneau, Alaska,” Ambassador Tefft recalled as he welcomed Metropolitan Tikhon and the members of the OCA delegation. “It reminded me of the very long history of the Orthodox faith in America. That history has been traced back to 1794, when eight missionaries from Russia’s northern Karelia region arrived in Kodiak, Alaska.
“Since that time, the Orthodox Church in America has spread throughout North America, and now numbers 700 parishes, missions, communities, monasteries, and institutions in the United States, Canada and Mexico,” he continued. “I congratulate Metropolitan Tikhon and the other delegation members on the important role that the Church has played in our multi-religious society.
“As you know, the political relationship between Moscow and Washington has been strained in recent months,” he went on to say. “But as the US Ambassador in Moscow, I believe it is important for both religious and secular organizations to continue people-to-people communication and regular exchanges between our two great countries. Spaso House is the perfect place for us to gather today because it has been a centerpiece of US-Russian relations for more than 80 years. I urge you to take a look at the photos on the walls here, which remind us of the important cultural events that have brought together Americans and Russians, in good times and in less good times, for many years.”
Metropolitan Tikhon presented Ambassador and Mrs. Tefft with a print of a painting of an Alaskan village.
Also present were the Canadian Ambassador, His Excellency, John R. Kur; the Charge d’Affaires of Ukraine, Mr. Ruslan Mikhaylovich Nimchinskiy; the Bulgarian Ambassador, His Excellency, Boyko Kotzev; the Serbian Ambassador, His Excellency, Slavenko Terzic; the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, and numerous other ranking religious and civil leaders; and representatives of a variety of educational institutions.
[See related story.]
On December 3, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and the delegation representing the Orthodox Church in America met with His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’, at the Danilov Monastery. The meeting opened with the celebration of a Service of Thanksgiving in the Patriarchal Chapel.
On Sunday, November 23, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Allison Park, PA on the occasion of the parish’s patronal feastday. During the Liturgy, Stephen Boyd was ordained to the subdiaconate by Archbishop Melchisedek. The hierarchs were welcomed by Archpriest Michael Senyo, Cathedral Dean. The hierarchs were feted at a festive banquet marking the occasion.
On Saturday, November 22, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, together with His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate and His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, concelebrated a Service of Thanksgiving in conjunction with the blessing and dedication of new and expanded facilities at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA. Despite icy weather that prevented many from attending the services, the monastery church was filled beyond capacity. Following the service, the hierarchs, each led by two sisters, blessed the monastery’s new areas while the Abbess, Mother Christophora, addressed those gathered in the church. At the conclusion of the service, the over 200 guests enjoyed touring the facilities and shared delicious food and fellowship. In addition to local faithful, visitors also were present from Michigan, Ohio, New York and Maryland.
One day earlier—the Great Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple—Metropolitan Tikhon concelebrated the festal Divine Liturgy in the monastery church with Archbishops Nathaniel and Melchisedek.
The fall session of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America was held at the Chancery here October 21-23, 2014.
On its opening day, the Holy Synod elected His Grace, Bishop Irénée to the vacant Episcopal See of Ottawa and Canada and Igumen Paul [Gassios] to the vacant See of Chicago and the Midwest. Igumen Daniel [Brum] was elected Bishop of Santa Rosa and Auxiliary for the Diocese of the West.
On Tuesday, October 21, 2014—the opening day of the fall session of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America—His Grace, Bishop Irénée of Québec City and Igumen Paul [Gassios] were canonically elected to the vacant Episcopal Sees of Canada and Chicago and the Midwest. In addition, the Holy Synod elected Igumen Daniel [Brum] to serve as Auxiliary to His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West as Bishop of Santa Rosa, CA.
On Saturday, October 18, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, accompanied by Archpriest John Jillions, OCA Chancellor and other representatives of the Orthodox Church in America, attended the Ground Blessing for the Saint Nicholas National Shrine on the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, presided at the Blessing and Doxology for the Shrine, which will replace Saint Nicholas Church which was destroyed in the attack on the World Trade Center.
Visit the comprehensive site that documents the construction of the Shrine here. A video of the ceremony may be found here.
See related stories here and here.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon attended the annual Assembly of the Diocese of the West at the invitation of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin. The Assembly took place at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Phoenix, AZ, October 7-9, 2014.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
The Liturgy and festivities that followed marked the 700th anniversary of the birth of Saint Sergius of Radonezh, in whose honor the chapel is named, as well as the 100th anniversary of the Chancery property, originally known as the Westwood Estate.
The fall 2014 session of the Metropolitan Council of the Orthodox Church in America opened on Monday, September 22. Council members participated in a retreat on the topic of stewardship. The Metropolitan Council will meet through Thursday, September 25.
On Sunday, September 21, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, joined by His Grace, Bishop Michael, presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy marking the 50th Anniversary of Holy Transfiguration Chapel, Princeton, NJ and the oldest Orthodox Christian Fellowship [OCF] chapter in the US.
Concelebrating were Archpriest Daniel Skvir, rector; Archpriests Sergius Kuharsky and Paul Shafran; and Protodeacons Joseph Matusiak and Michael Sochka.
Many Princeton and OCF alumni were present as Metropolitan Tikhon presented Father Daniel and the community with a Gramota.
At the festive luncheon that followed, Metropolitan Tikhon and Bishop Michael addressed attendees, as did the Rev. Dr. Alison L. Boden, Princeton Dean of Religious Life.
It was in the early 1960s that a group of five Princeton undergraduates formed the Orthodox Christian Fellowship of Saint Photios on the university campus. This initial group met informally and traveled to local parishes on Sunday mornings. An occasional service would be held on the campus by visiting clergy.
September 1964 marked the celebration of the first Divine Liturgy to be held on a regular basis on the campus, with a room in Murray Dodge Hall serving as the Orthodox Chapel of the Transfiguration. Archpriest Constantine Buketoff, who had recently retired from his parish in Brooklyn, NY, served as the chapel’s first pastor, but illness curtailed his service before the academic year ended.
In August 1965, Prof. John Turkevich, Higgins Professor of Chemistry at Princeton, was ordained and appointed Orthodox Chaplain. He served in that post for 24 years until January 1989. During this period, the chapel and the OCF welcomed a host of Orthodox prelates, dignitaries, and faithful from around the globe. On several occasions, the OCF sponsored services which filled the University Chapel to its capacity of 2,000. For more than a decade, Father Georges Florovsky, the eminent Orthodox theologian, participated in OCF chapel services. Biblical scholar Georges Barrois also counted the chapel as his Spiritual home. OCF-sponsored lectures and guests have included Nicholas Zernov, Fathers John Meyendorff and Thomas Hopko, His Grace, Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware), and His Grace, Bishop Irineu of Cluj, Romania.
Transfiguration Chapel serves not only the Princeton OCF undergratuate and graduate students, but also the local Orthodox faculty and townsfolk. The congregation includes members from various ethnic Orthodox groups—Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Albanian, Romanian, and Antiochian. The Sunday Divine Liturgy, celebrated each week at 10:00 a.m. during the academic year, is served almost entirely in English, with responses sung by a four-part choir. The present Orthodox Chaplain, Archpriest Daniel Skvir—one of the OCF’s original founders—has served since January 1989. (Other founders of the Princeton Orthodox Fellowship who have entered the priesthood include Archpriest Arthur Liolin of the Albanian Orthodox Church and Priest Anatole Lyovin).
Aside from Sunday Liturgy, services are held during the Christmas holy days, Epiphany eve, Great Lent, and Holy Week. All services are open to Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike; visitors and new members are welcome to join the Princeton Orthodox community.
The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America’s 88th National Convention was held at the Wyndham Hotel in historic Gettysburg, PA during the last weekend of July. Among those in attendance were His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon; His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania; and His Grace, Bishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania.
Established in 1927 as the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs to unite Orthodox Christians in faith, fellowship and service, the FOCA petitioned the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to be officially recognized by the OCA. At its 1998 national convention, the organization adopted its present name. It maintains chapters in dozens of parishes across the country.
Read more here.
On Monday, July 21, 2014, abbots and abbesses or their representatives from several of the Orthodox Church in America’s monasteries were welcomed to the Chancery in Syosset, NY by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon at the opening session of a conference for monastics. The day ended with the celebration of Small Compline in the Chancery’s Saint Sergius of Radonezh Chapel.
After the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Tuesday morning, the participants gathered for a day-long session. Among the topics discussed were major challenges facing the OCA’s monastic communities, selection of leaders, the special concerns of women’s and men’s monasteries, application and formation processes, the role of psychological testing, spiritual guidance and mentorship, finances, and the needs and demands of the surrounding community [dioceses, parishes and society in general]. Also to be considered during the gathering are ways the Orthodox Church in America can offer the monasteries its assistance and help.
The conference concludes on Wednesday, July 23.
Among those attending are Igumen Gabriel, Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA; Mother Gabriella, Dormition Monastery, Rives Junction, MI; Mother Christophora, Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City, PA; Brother Christopher and Sister Celia, Monks and Nuns of New Skete, Cambridge, NY; Mother Raphaela, Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery, Otego, NY; Hieromonk Innocent, Monastery of Saint John of Shanghai, Manton, CA; Mother Sergia, Presentation of the Virgin Monastery, Marshfiled, MO; and Igumen Gerasim, Hermitage of Prophet Elias, Dickie Bush, AB, Canada.
On Sunday, July 20, 2014, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, at the invitation of and with the blessing of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at Saint Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral, New York, NY, with His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, marking the 700th Anniversary of the birth of Saint Sergius of Radonezh.
The main celebration of this joyous celebration was held at the Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra in Sergiyev Posad, Russia, at which Patriarch Kirill presided. In addition to representatives of the local Orthodox Churches—the Orthodox Church in America was represented by His Grace, Bishop Mark, and Archimandrites Sergius of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA and Alexander, OCA Representative in Moscow—tens of thousands of pilgrims filled the Lavra complex for the celebrations. [Additional information and photos will be posted on the OCA web site as they are received.]
The Orthodox Church in America was represented at the celebration of the 700th Anniversary of the birth of Saint Sergius of Radonezh in Moscow and environs during the third weekend of July 2014.
With the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, the OCA was represented by His Grace, Bishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA; and Archimandrite Alexander, OCA Representative in Moscow and Dean of the OCA Representation Church of the Great Martyr Catherine.
Tens of thousands of pilgrims participated in the main celebration and Divine Liturgy, which took place at the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra in Sergiyev Posad, some two hours northwest of Moscow, at which Bishop Mark and Fathers Sergius and Alexander concelebrated. Presiding at the celebration was His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. Hundreds of bishops and clergy participated in the celebration, including representatives of the sister autocephalous Churches. During the celebration, the delegations were especially hosted at the Church of Saints Kirill and Maria, the parents of Saint Sergius.
Bishop Mark and Fathers Sergius and Alexander were received by Patriarch Kirill at Moscow’s Danilov Monastery. They also visited the Representation Church of Saint Catherine, where Father Alexander and the parish clergy and faithful offered them a warm welcome.
In related news, Metropolitan Tikhon, at the invitation of and with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy marking the 700th Anniversary of Saint Sergius’ birth with His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, at New York’s Saint Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral on Sunday, July 20. See related story and gallery.
On the weekend of June 28-29, 2014, the faithful of SS. Peter and Paul Church, Endicott, NY, celebrated their 100th Anniversary. Present for the celebration were His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon; His Grace, Bishop Michael; and His Grace, Bishop Mark, who were welcomed by Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, Rector, and the parish faithful. The church was filled to capacity for Sunday’s anniversary Divine Liturgy.
Informally organized in 1912, at which time the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in a private home, the parish was formally established in 1914. Priest Constantine Leontovich served as the parish’s first pastor.
On Friday and Saturday, June 13-14, 2014, the faithful of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church, Cumberland, RI, welcomed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon for the celebration of the completion of the first phase of the restoration of the parish’s historic church. The hierarchs were welcomed by Archpriest Vasily Lickwar, Rector, and the parish faithful, who filled the church for the services.
Established by immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires as a community of the North American Ecclesiastical Mission on March 25, 1907, the parish was organized by Archpriest Jacob Grigorieff under the pastoral guidance of Archpriest Alexander Hotovitsky, who was canonized in 1994. The church was consecrated on September 3, 1908, by His Eminence, Archbishop Platon [Rozhdestvensky] of North America and the Aleutian Islands.
His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese represented the Orthodox Church in America at the consecration of the recently completed Resurrection of Christ Cathedral in Tirana, the capital of Albania, on the weekend of May 31-June 1, 2014.
His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, presided at the consecration and Divine Liturgy, together with His Beatitude, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania and the Primates and/or representatives of the world’s Orthodox Churches. Archbishop Nikon was among those who concelebrated. [See details in related story posted June 2, 2014 at www.ocmc.org/resources/view_article.aspx?ArticleId=1066.]
In addition to participating in the services and other events surrounding the consecration, Archbishop Nikon addressed the students, faculty, and missionaries at Saint Vlash Seminary; visited the neighboring Home of Hope, a residence for abused and abandoned children; and visited numerous other sites.
Archbishop Nikon presented a personal gift of the relics of Saint Tikhon of Moscow to Archbishop Anastasios.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, was the guest of His Eminence, Metropolitan Silouan, Bishop of Buenos Aires and Patriarchal Vicar for His Beatitude, Patriach John X of Antioch and All the East for the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, at the Archdiocese’s headquarters here on Wednesday, May 28, 2014—the Leavetaking of Holy Pascha. Accompanying Metropolitan Tikhon were Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, and Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of the Office of External Affairs for OCA.