NEW YORK: October 19, 2004

Synodal Protodeacon Eugene Burbelo Makes a Pilgrimage to Russian Orthodox Holy Sites in Ukraine

In early September, Protodeacon Eugene Burbelo and his wife, Klavdia, visited Kiev. As reported by Protodeacon Eugene, "Besides other holy sites, we visited Holy Trinity-St Jonah Monastery, where Grigorii Ivanovich Maiboroda was tonsured into the minor schema in 1923, given the name of Gelasii. In November 1927, he was ordained as a hierodeacon by the late Archbishop Georgii.

"I learned," continued Protodeacon Eugene, "from Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney and the Australian and New Zealand Diocese, that the Prior of Holy Trinity-St Jonah Monastery, Archimandrite Jonah, is collecting materials on the residents and history of this holy monastery. We were warmly greeted by Fr Jonah, who showed us the church, the crypt of Archimandrite Jonah (named Peter when tonsured into the schema), and told us the history of the monastery. We gave Fr Jonah a few things which belonged to Fr Gelasii, for instance, his prayer beads, cuffs, photographs; I also told them what I knew about this remarkable, meek, loving and spiritual person, who served the Church for 67 years."

Fr Gelasii was an archdeacon at the Synodal Cathedral in New York and served with Metropolitan Anastassy of blessed memory. In 1966, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite and was a spiritual father of the clergy and parishioners of the Cathedral. He died on October 19, 1994.

Thanks to the efforts of the Prior of Holy Trinity-St Jonah Monastery, Protodeacon Eugene and Matushka Klavdia were able to also visit Pochaev Lavra and other holy sites.