On December 7, 2018, the clergy and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America’s Representation Church of the Great Martyr Catherine, Moscow, Russia, celebrated their patronal feast.
Representing His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, at the celebration was His Eminence, Archbishop Irénée of Ottawa and Canada. Presiding at the festal Divine Liturgy was His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk who, together with Archbishop Irénée, concelebrated with His Eminence, Metropolitan Niphon, Representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch to the Russian Orthodox Church; His Grace, Bishop Anthony of Moravic, Representative of the Patriarchate of Serbia to the Russian Orthodox Church; Archimandrite Seraphim, Representative of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia; Protopresbyter Vladimir Divakov, Secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow; Archpriest Leonid Kalinin; Archpriest Archpriest Daniel Andreiuk, Dean of Saint Catherine’s Church and OCA Representative to the Russian Orthodox Church; Archpriest Christopher Hill; Priest Nikolai Svetlovsky of Canada; Protodeacon Alexey Trunin; and Deacons Alexander Ershov, Dmitry Asratyan, and Kirill Dotsenko.
Representatives of the US and Canadian embassies—Anthony Godfrey, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Moscow, and Stefan Zhoben, Deputy Head of the Mission of the Canadian Embassy—also were present, as was the Apostolic Nuncio in Russia, Archbishop Celestino Migliore.
After the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated the parish’s clergy and faithful on their patronal feast and shared his fondness for the community, at which he had served from 1996 through 2001. He emphasized how Saint Catherine was a model of tenacity of spirit and loyalty to Christ, and how these same virtues must be manifest in the daily life of all Orthodox Christians.
Archbishop Irénée read greetings from Metropolitan Tikhon, the text of which appears below and in PDF format.
As a memento of the occasion, the clergy and faithful of Saint Catherine’s Church presented an icon of Saint Catherine and Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco to Metropolitan Hilarion. Gramoti signed by Metropolitan Tikhon also were presented to several parish benefactors in gratitude for their dedication to the community.
On December 6, the eve of the feast, the All-Night Vigil and the Akathistos Hymn in honor of Saint Catherine were celebrated by Archbishop Irénée, together with Fathers Daniel and Christopher, Priests Andrei Tregubov and Pavel Zuev, and several deacons.
Greeting of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon on
the Patronal Feast of the Great Martyr Catherine
Representation Church of Saint Catherine, Moscow, Russia
December 7, 2018
The commemoration each year of Saint Catherine the Great Martyr is a joyful feast for the Orthodox Church in America’s Saint Catherine’s Representation Church in Moscow. This day is a vivid sign of the spiritual unity and eucharistic communion between the Holy Church of Russia and the Orthodox Church in America.
Today we are witnessing a time of tension between the United States and Russia, to some extent returning our nations to old habits and suspicions. In relations among Orthodox Churches globally there is also controversy and alienation. It is all the more important to lift up every possible sign and experience of good will. In doing so today, we fervently pray for the “peace of the whole world and the welfare of God’s holy churches.”
On behalf of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America I extend cordial greetings to the Dean of Saint Catherine’s Church, Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, and the priests of the parish. I also warmly welcome the members of the diplomatic community in Moscow and wish them much success in their honorable labors to strengthen mutual understanding and peace in our troubled world. To the parishioners of Saint Catherine’s Church and all those gathered today, I extend my blessing in the words of the Divine Liturgy itself—may “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada