Gabriel of Manhattan visits Christ the Savior Church and Hermitage
of the Holy Cross Skete
It is always
a special joy for a parish to host the visit of a bishop. So it
was for the parishioners of Christ the Savior Church in West Virginia,
for whom it was no small happiness to see Vladyka Gabriel serving
divine liturgy in their small church. On Friday evening, September
18, Priest Paul Akmolin served vespers and matins for the parishioners
and pilgrims. On Saturday morning, September 19 (October 2 n.s.),
at 9 am, divine liturgy began with the greeting of Vladyka Gabriel.
Vladyka was joined by Schema-Hegumen Geroge from Holy Trinity Monastery,
Hieromonk Seraphim and Hieromonk Alexander from nearby Hermitage
of the Holy Cross, Priest Onouphry Keith from Ashville, TN, Priest
Paul Akmolin, the Parish Rector, Hierodeacon Andrei and Hierodeacon
Cyprian and Deacon Daniel. The service was adorned with the beautiful
singing of the parish choir.
At the end
of liturgy, Vladyka gave a sermon on the importance of patiently
enduring sorrows and misfortunes. Vladyka noted that as in one's
personal life, so in parish life can problems and troubles arise,
and all sorts of temptations, for the enemy of mankind does not
sleep and eternally tries to sway the faithful from the path to
salvation. For this we must try to obtain humility and avoid pride,
for pride is the root of all evil.
After the service,
the sisterhood prepared a trapeza luncheon. At the conclusion of
the trapeza, Vladyka thanked the parish for their warm reception,
and the choir for their magnificent singing. In his speech, he also
spoke of recent events relating to the departure of Fr Ambrosius,
and also of the importance of missionary work in parish life, consisting
of witnessing Orthodoxy.
After the trapeza,
Vladyka, along with the clergy, visited the Parish Warden, who could
not attend the service due to reasons of health.
week of the Elevation of the Cross, Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan
conducted divine services at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, an
English-language podvorie of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville.
At the present time, Hieromonk Seraphim and 15 American monks reside
there. Schema-Hegumen George (Schaeffer), Steward of Holy Trinity
Monastery in Jordanville, is the spiritual father of the podvorie.
Gabriel with the clergy.
Gabriel with the clergy and parishioners of the English-language
Parish of Christ the Savior Church.