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NEW YORK: December 28, 2010
Pilgrims from Moscow Visit the Residence of the Primate of the Russian Church Abroad in New York

On Thursday, December 23, 2010, Archimandrite Zacchaeus, Dean of St Catherine the Great Martyr Church in Moscow, together with pilgrims accompanying him from his parish, spent the day visiting various Orthodox cathedrals in New York City.

The first stop on their tour was the Cathedral of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary of the Orthodox Church in America. The pilgrims from Moscow were warmly greeted by His Grace Bishop Michael of New York and the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of New York and New Jersey as well as the Dean of the Cathedral, Hegumen Christopher (Calin). After receiving the bishop’s blessing, the group was given a tour by the cathedral’s Archdeacon Michael (Suvak). Afterwards, Bishop Michael invited the group for refreshments in the cathedral hall where all shared in interesting conversation. After sincerely thanking the hierarch for a wonderful visit, the pilgrims from Moscow departed Holy Protection Cathedral for their next destination.

The pilgrims arrived at St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral where they were met by His Eminence Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk and Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA who personally provided them with a tour of the beautifully-renovated cathedral. After learning much about the historic cathedral, the pilgrims were given the opportunity to pray before the holy icons and relics contained therein. Following a period of quiet personal prayers, the pilgrims were invited by Archbishop Justinian to join him for a luncheon in the cathedral’s trapeza. There, the guests had the opportunity to share in informal conversation with the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and learn more about the life of parishes and institutions of the Moscow Patriarchate in North America. Following an extremely hospitable meal and interesting fellowship, the guests from Moscow left for their final stop on their visits to cathedrals in NYC.

In late afternoon, the pilgrims from Russia arrived at the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, where they were warmly greeted by the Secretary to the First Hierarch, Archpriest Serafim Gan. Father Serafim led the guests upstairs to the level of the mansion where the Cathedral of the Mother of God “of the Sign” is located. There, the pilgrims were given a tour of the cathedral which is the home to many holy icons and other items of pre-Revolutionary Russia. After a tour of the cathedral, the guests were welcomed by His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan and Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York.

Afterwards, the guests transferred to Fr Serafim’s office, where they had the opportunity to learn more about the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. In prayerful remembrance of the visit, the pilgrims were each presented with copies of the wonderworking Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Kursk Root” – the protectress of Russians abroad.

For photographs of the visit, visit the official website of the Church of St Catherine.