Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Deaconate of Protodeacon Nikolai Porshnikoff in 1988
(Russkaya Zhizn', San Francisco, February 10, 1988)

The honoring of Protodeacon Nikolai Porshnikoff on the 25th anniversary of his service as in the deaconate was held in a solemn and heartfelt atmosphere. Upon the end of divine liturgy at the Cathedral, a moleben was served after which Protodeacon Nikolai was granted a decree of blessing from the Synod of Bishops, and from the Cathedral Parish, an orarion and cuffs.

Then, in the auditorium of SS Cyrill and Methodius High School, a reception was held to honor the beloved and respected protodeacon. A great host of clergymen, headed by His Eminence Archbishop Anthony, each strove from the depths of their soul to color their exhilaration with the profound faith and utter devotion of Fr Protodeacon Nikolai. All the greetings and words of praise touched upon the fact that Protodeacon Nikolai Porshnikoff was wholly devoted to serving God, that his deep faith affects and inspires everyone, and his dedication to the Church, always underscored by his valuable gifts towards the adornment of the Cathedral and other Russian churches, could not be expressed in words alone. Mitred Protopriest John Shachneff congratulated the honoree with the warmest of words. Then, Protopriest Konstantin Zanevsky and Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko greeted Protodeacon Nikolai, as well as Hegumen Kyrill [now Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America—ed.], Priest George Kurtow, Priest Mark Gomez and Priest Vladimir Mordvinkin. Protodeacn Vitaly Sabelnik fondly recalled his meetings with Fr Protodeacon in the Seminary, where he is remembered to this day, while Priest Sergei Kotar and Priest Alexander Krassovsky remembered and thanked him for his guidance during their early priesthood.

The event, so splendidly organized, was all the more resplendent with two choirs and all the Cathedral's altar boys present.

The universally-beloved Warden, Eugene Aleksandrovich Khrapov warmly greeted the honoree, as always, in terse yet succinct expressions. Peter Petrovich Gubin was even more laconic: "I love you more than anyone!" The Senior Sister also expressed herself from the heart: "I put my soul into the pirogs [I baked]!"...Earnestness is the most important thing.

In Vladimir Krassovsky's speech, the spiritual bond between the choir's singing and the intonations of Fr Protodeacon was stressed. Furthering the point of this spiritual connection, V. Krassovsky called Fr Protodeacon a source of inspiration for the choir. The choir presented Protodeacon Nikolai with an icon of St Efrem the Syrian, and from Vladimir Krassovsky personally, an icon of Apostle Jude, brother of the Lord [on whose feast day St John of Shanghai and San Francisco had reposed—ed.].

Many times, amicably and voluminously, was Many Years sung both to the First Hierarch and to our Ruling Vladyka Anthony, and many times to Protodeacon Nikolai. Among the many greetings, the most heartwarming was that of Fr Vitaly to the parents who reared Protodeacon Nikolai.

The warm, amicable and at the same time solemn celebration of the 25th anniversary of Protodeacon Nikolai Porshnikoff's service lasted until late evening. This was truly a joyful and rare event for all.

--An eyewitness.

From the Editors: The funeral of Protodeacon Nikolai Porshnikoff will be held on Tuesday, November 30, upon the conclusion of a liturgy for the dead at the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow." The funeral will be conducted by His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland along with the local clergy. The burial will be at the Serbian cemetery outside of San Francisco.