Feast Day at St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

On Saturday evening, September 11, the bells pealed the joyful news to the parishioners of St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ, that His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan arrived to celebrate all-night vigil. Archimandrite Athanasy (Mastalski), Mitred Protopriest Boris Kizenko, Protopriest Lubo Milosevic, Priest Leonid Goferman, Igumen Joseph Jarostchuk and Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov, along with seminarian Konstantin Nogovitsin came for the holiday. Protopriest Serge Lukianov led the male choir, which had prepared a special repertoire for the occasion.

The following morning, during the hierarchal greeting of Bishop Gabriel with the traditional bread and salt, Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, Rector of the parish, welcomed Vladyka, noting that in these troubled times, he is a source of spiritual leadership. During liturgy, Bishop Gabriel was joined in service by Protopresbyter Valery, Protopriest Serge, Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk, Deacons Vladimir Tsurikov and Nicholas Lukianov, the choir being directed by Andrei Burbelo. The solemn service was truly inspiring, and in his sermon, Bishop Gabriel noted that a church's feast day is like a second Pascha, which was especially sensed in the common prayer and spiritual unity of all the parishioners and worshipers.

After the procession of the cross around the Cathedral, Deacon Nicholas read a gramata (decree of blessing) from Bishop Gabriel presented to long-time Subdeacon Alexander Lukianov, who is moving to another parish, for his zealous service to God over many years. After the service, Protopresbyter Valery invited all the worshipers to a trapeza feast, during which he addressed Bishop Gabriel and thanked him for his participation in their parish celebration.

St Alexander Nevsky Parish once again showed its generosity and invaluable support to Holy Trinity Seminary this year—third-year seminarian Konstantin Nogovitsin, who was born in Ishim, Siberia, invited by Protopresbyter Valery, was given a $1,500 scholarship. For seminarians who often have no way of paying for their education, such scholarships are often the only chance they have to cover their educational costs. In his word of thanks, the Deputy Dean of Holy Trinity Seminary, Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov, noted that it is not surprising that St Alexander Nevsky Parish in particular established this scholarship program for the Seminary. The life of this parish has been tied to the Seminary for many years—its former Rector, Protopriest Vasilii Boshchanovsky, was the author of a textbook on Pastoral Theology used by the Seminary, the present Rector and Assistant Rector, Protopresbyter Valery and Protopriest Serge, are both graduates of the Seminary, the Cathedral's Deacon Nicholas was a correspondent student of the Seminary, and the church and iconostasis were painted by Seminary graduates. Consequently, the importance of the spiritual education and guidance afforded by the Seminary is well understood by the parish, which has for many years offered stipends to help seminarians' educational needs. The parish's particular generosity was expressed at the end of the day in the form of a special collection made for Holy Trinity Seminary, which raised 1,300 dollars. Holy Trinity Seminary expresses its gratitude to the Parish of St Alexander Nevsky for its prayers and generous support.

Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov