Bishop 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.

During the 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.

Bishop Gabriel with the clergy.

Bishop Gabriel with the clergy and parishioners of the English-language Parish of Christ the Savior Church.