MONTREAL, Canada, June 9 2002
Metropolitan Laurus performed the Divine Liturgy and an ordination in St. Nicholas Cathedral in the city of Montreal.


The First Hierarch Visits the Cathedral City of the Canadian Diocese

On Saturday, June 8th, The First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, arrived in the seat of the Cathedral of the Canadian Diocese. This was his first visit as First Hierarch. Vladyka visited Montreal in order to familiarize himself with parish life, to hearten the flock, to examine the condition of the church building being reconstructed, and to ordain a new priest for the parish.

On Sunday, June 9th, Vladyka Metropolitan was greeted at the church entrance with bread and salt. At the Divine Liturgy, concelebrating with Vladyka Metropolitan was Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, chairman of the Synodal Architecture and Arts Commission. Fr. Valery was in Montreal to review the construction work in progress and on June 7th had given a talk on angels to the parishioners of the cathedral. Also serving with the Metropolitan were the priest of St. Nicholas Cathedral, Fr. George Lagodich and the rector of St. Xeniaˆs parish Kanata, Fr. Mark Burachek, with Protodeacons Frs. Victor Lochmatov and Mikhail Metni. During the Liturgy Protodeacon Mikhail Metni was ordained a priest for service in St. Nicholas Cathedral. Since Fr. Mikhail had sung in the choir and had been as an acolyte in the cathedral for many years, and had served as a deacon here, the event of his ordination took on a family nature, bringing joy and warmth to the parishioners. There were many worshippers in the church and the choir, strengthened for the occasion, sang beautifully under the direction of N. Androsoff.

Following the Liturgy there was a banquet in a rented facility not far from the Cathedral. The entire hall was decorated with flowers, and on the tables were Paschal kulichi and eggs prepared by the cathedral sisterhood. Following the prayer, the secretary of the parish council read a greeting to the Metropolitan. During the banquet Vladyka Laurus said a few words about the sorrow in his heart concerning the actions of the retired Metropolitan Vitaly. Greetings were read by Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov and Priest Mark Burachek. Fr. Valery talked about the grave consequences of the schism, about how a schism not only divides a church but also members of the same family. The newly-ordained Fr. Mikhail Metni thanked those who had supported him and had, together with his family, shared the joy of his receiving the rank of priest, and promised to try to serve the Lord God and His holy Church faithfully.

Considering that the Montreal parish has suffered and continues to suffer so much (the fire, the difficulties with construction, the schism), the visit of the First Hierarch, the community prayer, the truly spiritual contacts and the ordination of a new priest brought a ray of joy, strength and hope into the hearts of the parishioners.

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