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DIOCESE OF SAN FRANCISCO AND WESTERN AMERICA: January 25, 2008
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Sends a Greeting to the Russian School at St Nicholas Cathedral

Dear in the Lord Fr Alexei, Brothers, Sisters and Children, peace unto you and God's blessings!

I extend my heartfelt greetings to all of you on the holiday of the Nativity of Christ and I prayerfully wish you success in your endeavors in the New Year! With all my soul I thank you for your kind attentions, for your warm words of greeting and kind wishes on my 80 th birthday!

There are a great many people in the world who would love to bring back their youth for no other reason than to study; people who berate themselves that much good, useful time has been wasted for naught. So, educate yourselves while you are young, do not whittle away, do not lose this precious time, for you will not have it again; a person is young only once.

We must always remember that we are Russian. Thank God, we have been able to preserve our faith in the diaspora, the treasure of Russian culture, the Russian and Church-Slavonic languages. It is crucial that we preserve this, that we increase this knowledge and disseminate it. And in order to achieve success in the great task inherited from our ancestors, we must make every effort, we must be attentive, earnest and hardworking. Then, with God's help, you too will become a consolation to your parents and a joy to us all, and a credit to the Church and Fatherland. May God bless that this be. Amen.

With love in the Born Christ,

+ Metropolitan Laurus,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Nativity of Christ, 2007/2008.