The historic Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of Our Lord, erected in 1896 but originally founded in 1824 and later serviced by Father John Veniaminov, was re-consecrated on September 15, 1996 by His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS. Father John Venianminov, who served the parish and worked with native Tlingits of the region, would later become Bishop Innocent of Kamchatka and Alaska in 1840, and Saint Innocent, Enlightener of the Aleuts and Apostle to America in 1977. He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church at the request of the Orthodox Church in America.
The Cathedral of the Ascension entered U.S. history in the 1940s when the structure was damaged by bombings during the Second World War
Joining Metropolitan THEODOSIUS in the liturgical celebrations of that weekend were His Grace, Bishop INNOCENT (Gula) of Anchorage, His Grace Bishop HERMAN of Yakutia, Siberia (Moscow Patriarchate), and the following clergy: Archimandrite Innocent (Fryntzko), Fr. Nicholas Molodyko Harris, Diocesan Chancellor, Fr. Paul Merculieff, Fr. Jerome Cwiklinski, Fr. Michael Courey (Greek Archdiocese), Fr. Timothy Perry, and Fr. Ivan Gumlickpuk.
The new altar which was consecrated on September 15 was constructed from wood obtained from a local reclamation project. As the new wooden structure was placed over the old altar, portions from the sacred relics of St. Innocent were sealed inside. The Cathedral structure, originally erected in 1896, was also restored and blessed.
On September 16, His Grace, Bishop INNOCENT of Anchorage served the Hierarchical Divine liturgy on the anniversary of his consecration
At the Grand Banquet Sunday afternoon, where Fr. Timothy Perry served as Toast Master, hundreds of Orthodox faithful, religious and government leaders were in attendance. Accompanying His Grace, Bishop HERMAN of Yakutia were representatives of the Yakutia Republic Ministry of Peoples Affairs. His Excellency, Vladimir Toporov, Minister, and Professor Shashigan, of the Venianminov Bicentennial Committee, were all in attendance from Yakutia.
Following liturgical and social events on Unalaska, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS traveled to Sitka September 19-22 for the convening of the Diocesan Assembly of the Diocese of Alaska.