NEWS FROM THE DIOCESES
 
WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE: July 6, 2004

His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus Serves in San Francisco

On July 2, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus prayed in the altar of the Cathedral of San Francisco during divine liturgy, after which he spoke at the All-Diaspora Russian Orthodox Youth Conference at a round table on prayer and divine services. Among the participants of the round table were Archbishop Mark of Berlin, Germany and Great Britain, Priest Serafim Gan and Nun Ambrossia, the Prioress of Gethsemane Convent in Jerusalem. After the presentations, His Eminence Vladyka and the round table participants answered questions posed by the youth. That evening, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus prayed in the altar of the Cathedral during the reading of the rule for Communion, during which the Conferees and pilgrims made confession. Then His Eminence officiated at all-night vigil on the eve of the feast day of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco (Maximovich), and the following morning, divine liturgy at the Cathedral along with Their Eminences Archbishop Mark and Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Their Graces Bishop Alexander of Buenos Aires and South America, Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, Bishop Michael of Boston and Bishop Peter of Cleveland. During liturgy, His Grace Bishop Ambroise of Vevey stood in the altar and partook of the Eucharist. After the service of supplication with a procession of the cross around the Cathedral, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, on behalf of the clergymen in attendance, read the following address to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus:

Your Eminence Vladyko!
Bless us!

Celebrating the memory and the 10th anniversary of the church glorification of St. John, we express our heartfelt greetings to Your Eminence on the 50th anniversary of your clerical service, which was quietly marked at Holy Trinity Monastery last week. On this important and holy day we prayerfully wish you Godís help, good health and courage, and ensure you of our filial devotion and love. We are grateful to you for your wise leadership of our ecclesiastical ship and prayers, which impart our hearts with peace and calm. Your Eminenceís eternal well-wishers:” (followed by the signatures of the bishops and all the serving clergymen).

That evening, His Eminence Vladyka performed vigil at the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, along with its Rector, Protopriest Stephan Pavlenko, Protopriest Gabriel Makarov, Rector of St. Nicholas Church in Brisbaine, Australia, Priest Peter Shashkoff, Rector of Protection Church in Los Angeles, Priest Vladimir Boikov, clergyman of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, Priest Serafim Gan of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York, Hieromonk Roman (Krassovsky) of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville and Priest Joakim Provatakis, along with Protodeacon Vitaly Sabelnik and Deacon Sergei Shumiloff. At the end of vigil, a trapeza feast was offered, during which the Parish Rector warmly greeted His Eminence Vladyka and his brother clergy. In his response, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus thanked Protopriest Stephan and the other clergymen, most of whom had received their spiritual education at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, and addressed the participants of the just-ended All-Diaspora Youth Conference who were present with an edifying sermon.Protopriest Vsevolod Drobot, Protopriest Gabriel Makarov, Priest Peter Shashkoff, Priest Serafim Gan also spoke, and P.A. Roudenko offered a few words on behalf of the youth.

On July 4, on the 5th week after the Pentecost, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus performed early liturgy at the Cathedral in San Francisco along with Their Eminences Archbishop Mark and Archbishop Kyrill, Their Graces Bishop Alexander, Bishop Michael and Bishop Peter, and Protopriests Peter Perekrestov and Sergei Kotar, Hieromonk Theodosius, Priests Andre Papkov and Serafim Gan and Protodeacons Eugene Burbelo, Vitaly Sabelnik and Nicholas Triantafillidis and Deacon Dimitry Yakimovich. His Grace Bishop Ambroise partook of Holy Communion in the altar. After breakfast, Metropolitan Laurus and the bishop with him made a trip to Fort Ross along with Hieromonk Theodosius of St. Tikhon Church in San Francisco, Reader Nicholas Olhovsky, the cell-attendant of the First Hierarch, and Nicholas Kostur, a fifth-year seminarian, and others. On the way back to San Francisco, the bishops visited the Church of SS Peter and Paul in Santa Rosa, where they were warmly greeted by the Rector, Protopriest Alexander Krassovsky and the Parish Sisterhood, who prepared a trapeza luncheon. His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan officiated at the later liturgy at the left-hand altar of the Cathedral, which was consecrated in honor of St. John of Kronstadt the Miracle-worker, along with Protopriest Yaroslav Belikow and Priest Vladimir Boikov, along with Archdeacon Andronik (Taratuchin).

The following day, the regular session of the Synod of Bishops began, held at the Library of Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000) of San Francisco and Western America, on the second floor of St. Tikhonís Church, which recently became the Diocesan headquarters. St. John (Maximovich) lived here at one time. This was also at one time an orphanage for children the Holy Vladyka brought from China and the Philippines. An ever-burning lampada burns in the Saintís cell, and molebens are often served there for those who left a legacy for prayers. On the day of the Birth of John the Forerunner, the members of the Synod of Bishops will serve there.

Protodeacon Vitaly Sabelnik intones the litany for peace in Burlingame, behind him is Protopriest Stephan Pavlenko, Rector of the church.

His Grace Bishop Michael, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, Deacon Dimitry Yakomovich, His Eminence Archbishop Mark and His Grace Bishop Alexander at Fort Ross.

Hieromonk Theodosius, His Eminence Archbishop Mark, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, His Grace Bishop Michael and His Grace Bishop Alexander at the chapel in Fort Ross.

Fort Ross.