Metropolitan Herman to make first official visit to Alaska

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman will make his first archpastoral visit as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America to Alaska August 6-11, 2002, where he will pray before the relics of his heavenly patron, Saint Herman.

Metropolitan Herman was elected at the OCA’s 13th All-American Council on July 22, 2002 to succeed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, who retired after 25 years as the Church’s Primate.

“The Diocese of Alaska is the ‘mother diocese’ of Orthodox Christianity in North America, having been established in 1840—forty-six years after the first Orthodox missionaries arrived in Kodiak,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “It is not only significant that Metropolitan Herman’s first archpastoral visit be a pilgrimage to this historic See, but that he also will be visiting the sites where his patron, Saint Herman of Alaska, ministered during his lifetime.”

Metropolitan Herman will venerate the relics of Saint Herman, which are enshrined in Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Kodiak, AK, upon his arrival on the island on Wednesday, August 7. Later the same day, he will chair his first meeting of the Board of Trustees of Saint Herman Orthodox Theological Seminary and celebrate the Akathistos Hymn to Saint Herman, followed by a tea, at 6:30 p.m. His Grace, Bishop Nikolai of Sitka, Anchorage and Alaska will host the Metropolitan while in Kodiak and throughout his six-day visit.

On Thursday morning, August 8, Metropolitan Herman will depart by boat for Spruce Island, where Saint Herman spent most of his life. After celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the island’s Chapel of Saints Sergius and Herman of Valaam, which marks the original grave of Saint Herman, Metropolitan Herman will return to Kodiak for the celebration of the All-Night Vigil Service on the Eve of the Feast of Saint Herman at Holy Resurrection Cathedral at 6:00 p.m. At 9:00 a.m. the following morning, the Feast of Saint Herman, he will preside at the Divine Liturgy and the banquet slated to follow at Kodiak High School.

On Saturday and Sunday, August 10-11, Metropolitan Herman will celebrate the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy at Saint Innocent Cathedral, Anchorage, AK. He will return to the OCA Chancery in Syosset, NY on Monday, August 11.