The annual pilgrimage to the Monastery of the Transfiguration here was held Friday and Saturday, August 5-6, 2011, in conjunction with its patronal feastday.
The Vigil of the Feast was served by His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey; Archimandrite Alexander, Saint John the Theologian Monastery, Hiram, OH; and Deacon John Oleynik, Saint John the Baptist Church, Canonsburg, PA, with His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate in attendance.
Joining Archbishop Nathaniel and Bishop Michael for the celebration of the festal Divine liturgy was His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylania, along with 20 priests and two deacons from the OCA, the Romanian Episcopate, the Bugarian Diocese, the Antiochian and Greek Archdioceses, and the Carpatho-Russian Diocese. Archbishop Nathaniel, assisted by six priests, presided at the celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Unction, after which the Archbishop delivered the homily and the pilgrims were anointed.
Over 500 pilgrims joined the monastic sisterhood and received much spiritual nourishment, despite record temperatures in the 90s and high humidity. Pilgrims came from as far away as Connecticut, Maryland, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Ottawa, and Washington, DC.
One priest who attended the pilgrimage for the first time, on seeing the piety of the pilgrims said, “The Church is rich not only in its tradition but also is rich in its people.”
A photo gallery of the pilgrimage may be found on oca.org here.