PRAGUE: September 15, 2008
Bishop Peter of Cleveland and Bishop Melety of Hotinsk and Their Delegations Participate In a Pilgrimage
An official meeting took place on September 13, 2008, between His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; His Grace Bishop Melety of Hotinsk, Vicar of the Chernovtsky and Bukovino Diocese; and members of the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad on one part, and His Eminence Archbishop Jan of Presovska; His Grace Bishop Tichon, his Vicar; and members of the Presovska Diocese of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia on the other.
During the meeting, held at the Diocesan headquarters, the possibility of reestablishing monastic life in the old Ladomirovo monastery was discussed. At the present time, it is a parish of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. Other matters relating to the desire to strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation and collaboration were discussed.
After a luncheon hosted by Archbishop Jan in honor of the guests, the bishops and other clergymen headed for Ladomirovo, where they participated in a pilgrimage of the Orthodox Christians of Slovakia to this holy place. This celebration was established by Archimandrite Vitaly (Maximenko), and his fellow monks in 1924, and is held every first Sunday after the Beheading of St John the Forerunner.
Archbishop Jan and Bishop Peter performed the minor blessing of the waters, after which all-night vigil began. The clergymen and pilgrims, gathering from throughout the territory of Czech and Slovak Church prayed all night, singing molebens and akathists, making confession and preparing to receive the Holy Gifts of Christ. On September 14, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Archbishop Jan along with the other bishops to an enormous gathering of worshipers. At the end of the services, Archbishop Jan welcomed Bishop Peter and Bishop Melety, and the delegation of the Russian Church Abroad.
In his response, Bishop Peter expressed joy at the Divine Liturgy they served in the Ladomirovo church, which is dear to all faithful members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. It was here that His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of blessed memory embarked upon his path of service to God and mankind. By celebrating Divine Liturgy here, the delegation fulfilled the final wish of the late hierarch. Bishop Peter then gave a white klobuk belonging to Metropolitan Laurus as a gift to Archbishop Jan to include in a museum to be established to memorialize the monastery here.
Later that evening, a reception was organized by the sister and brothers of the late Metropolitan Laurus, during which the participants shared their recollections of the late hierarch.