At the invitation of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia [ROCOR], His Eminence, Metropolitan Laurus, Protopresbyter Robert S. Kondratick, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, and the Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky, Assistant to the Chancellor for External Affairs and Interchurch Relations, attended a festive banquet here on December 10, 2003.
The banquet was held in celebration of the Feast of the Kursk-Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign and the 100th anniversary of the glorification of Saint Seraphim of Sarov. The banquet also marked the mid-point of the All-Diaspora Pastoral Conference of ROCOR clergy at the Church of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, Nyack, NY, at which nearly 150 ROCOR clergy, together with hierarchs from North America and abroad, gathered to consider relations between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate.
Among the guests at the banquet were three priests of the Moscow Patriarchate who have come to the United States to address the clergy convocation - Archimandrite Tikhon [Shevkunov], Abbot of Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery; the Very Rev. Maxim Kozlov, Moscow Theological Academy; and the Very Rev. Georgy Mitrofanov, St. Petersburg Theological Academy. The Rev. Alexander Abramov, a cleric of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Representation Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in New York City, also was among the invited guests.
The Pastoral Conference will be followed by a meeting of the Bishops’ Council of the ROCOR. As has been widely reported, it is anticipated that Metropolitan Laurus will visit Moscow early in 2004 at the invitation of His Holiness, Patriarch Alexy.