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DIOCESE OF CHICAGO AND DETROIT: July 31, 2006
His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus Leads the Celebration of the 25 th Anniversary of St Vladimir Parish in Ann Arbor

At the invitation of His Grace Bishop Peter, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Detroit, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, officiated at divine services on the 25 th anniversary of St Vladimir Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. His Eminence was joined by Bishop Peter and Bishop Longin of the New Gracanica Metropoliate of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Besides the bishops and parish clergyman, Priest Gregory Joyce, other local and visiting clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Serbian Orthodox Church participated. On the feast day, during Divine Liturgy, clergymen of the American and Antiochian Orthodox Churches attended, including His Grace Bishop Mark of the local Antiochian Church. The parish choir sang magnificently under the direction of Yulia Easson-Meyer, and over 100 Orthodox Christians partook of the Holy Gifts on the parish feast day of their heavenly protector, Holy Grand Duke Vladimir.

After Divine Liturgy and a procession of the cross, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus gave gramatas from the President of the Synod of Bishops to Protopriest Paul Karas, who was the Parish Rector at the time of its founding and played a leading role, laying the foundation for the growth of the parish; and to Milovoje Radulovic, who on this day concluded 25 years of selfless service as Parish Warden. His Eminence also noted Eugene Konstantinovich Poplavsky, who headed the recent expansion project of St Vladimir Church. His Eminence Vladyka gave Mr Poplavsky a magnificent carved icon of the Mother of God made by Reader Zachary Martinchek, a parishioner of St Vladimir's. Bishop Peter gave diocesan gramatas to Ms Gloria Hovan and Mr Peter Doll for their earnest labors for St Vladimir Parish, and in particular for their organizing the 25 th anniversary celebrations. After the services, a reception was held at a local hotel, where speeches were read denoting the highlights of the first 25 years of the parish, a documentary film segment on the anniversary was shown, and the parish women's dance troupe performed for the guests.

Metropolitan Laurus departed for New York the evening of the feast while the local parishioners returned to their homes thanking God for His great mercy in allowing His House to be planted and to grow for 25 years in their midst, and with a renewed commitment to support their parish home and to strive for the Pearl of Great Price brought to the Russian Land by their heavenly patron over a millennium ago.