Conference and Retreat of the Eastern American Diocese
8-10, a Clergy Conference and Retreat of the Diocese of Eastern
America and New York was held at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
in Howell (Lakewood), NJ, which included confession and communion
and the celebration of the pre-sanctified liturgy, at which His
Eminence Metropolitan Laurus officiated.
March 8, His Grace Bishop Gabriel and the rectors of several parishes
gave reports. Bishop Gabriel spoke on the life of the Synodal Cathedral
in New York, which, noted Vladyka, is not a regular parish with
its own parish council and annual parish meetings, but a stavropighial
church of the First Hierarch. The clergymen of the Cathedral conduct
daily services, aided by clergymen from surrounding areas, and are
also burdened with various administrative duties delegated to them
by the Church Administration. There are also quite a few visitors
every day who come to consult with a priest, purchase something
from the Synod Bookstore, light candles in the lower Chapel of St.
Sergius, request a moleben (service of supplication) or a pannikhida
(memorial service), etc. Bishop Gabriel also spoke about the life
of the recently-founded Parish of the New Martyrs and Confessors
of Russia in Brooklyn, whose rector is Protopriest George Kallaur.
Vladimir Malchenko spoke on life at Holy Trinity Parish in Toronto.
Fr. Vladimir said that it was the opinion of Bishop Gabriel that
this parish is one of the most populous of our entire Russian Church
Abroad. Fr. Vladimir is amazed at the piety and strong faith of
of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Protopriest Victor Potapov,
said that church life in the nationís capital is “vigorous.” St.
John the Baptist Cathedral has five clergymen and two choirs. All-night
vigil is served on Saturdays in English at 4 pm and in Church Slavonic
at 6:30 pm. The Rector and his assistant try to hold regular discussions
with their parishioners, the choirs hold frequent rehearsals, which
result in a broader repertoire. The Rector noted that worshipers
commune from two chalices on Sundays. Fr. Victor hopes that a chapel
will be built in the local cemetery where the churchís parishioners
are buried, so that memorial services could be held on days of the
Commemoration of the Departed. In the near future, the Cathedralís
singers will hold a benefit concert at the local Antiochian cathedral
to help Orthodox Serbs in Kosovo. Fr. Victor spoke also on the topic
of a pilgrimage to Serbia that he organized last year. He served
in several ancient monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Shevzov, who was elevated to the rank of protopriest on Wednesday,
March 10, added to Fr. Victorís report of the recent presentation
made by Bishop Artemje of Raska and Prizren at the parish hall of
St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington DC. The text of this
presentation was distributed to the participants of the Conference.
Duncan briefly spoke on the life of the English-language Parish
of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in Atlanta. He reported
that there are 30,000 new immigrants from Russia living in Atlanta,
and so a portion of the services is held in Church Slavonic. Other
priests made presentations on their parishes as well.
were discussed besides pastoral matters, including the financial
situation of the Diocese and recent events in the life of the Russian
Church Abroad since the Expanded Pastoral Conference held in December
of last year in Nyack, NY. His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus reported
that his official visit to Russia to meet the leadership of the
Moscow Patriarchate and veneration of the holy places in the fatherland
is scheduled for the second half of May of this year. His Eminence
announced who was selected for the delegation that will escort him
to Moscow, and who was appointed to the Committee on discussions
with the corresponding committee of the Moscow Patriarchate. This
Committee, established by the latest Council of Bishops, convened
in February and met with the members of the Synod of Bishops.
of Priest Alexis Duncan and Hieromonk Andrei (Kostadis), the rector
of Holy Protection Church in Glen Cove, NY, drew interest and led
to a lively exchange of opinions.
All the services
were conducted with solemnity and accompanied by the heartwarming
singing of the choirs of the clergy of the Diocese and of St. Alexander
Nevsky Cathedral. At the end of divine liturgy, words of gratitude
were delivered, and a Communique was adopted; it was also decided
to propose to the Diocesan Council that a Diocesan Conference be
convened this autumn; to ask the Diocesan Council to review the
financial situation and to hold regular pastoral meetings to encourage
the clergymen in carrying on their service to the Holy Church, and
finally to discuss other current matters.
was organized by Protopriest Sergei Lukianov under the supervision
of the Rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Protopresbyter
Valery Lukianov, for whom we pray the Lord to grant all that is
good, and for the parishioners, that He grant them peace and spiritual