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CHICAGO: February 12, 2013
“Bear Ye One Another's Burdens”

“Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). It is these words of Apostle Paul that well describe a recent event in Chicago.  

On Sunday, February 10, 2013, in Chicago, a benefit concert of liturgical music took place at Holy Resurrection Cathedral of the Serbian Orthodox Church to benefit Peter Gudkov. 

Thirty-seven-year-old Peter Gudkov, family man, father of two daughters, singer and soloist of Sretensky Monastery Mens’ Choir of Moscow, fell gravely ill and is in need of a bone-marrow transplant, which will cost over $150,000. Participating in the event were the Archbishop’s Choir of Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Chicago, IL, under the direction of Michael Gill, and the Branko Radicevic Serbian Cathedral Choir under Elizaveta Neskova. The concert was blessed by His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, by the initiative of parishioners  and singers of Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral and the support of their Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters. Present at the concert were His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica (Serbian Orthodox Church), His Grace Bishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Church) and Serbian Consul General Desko Nikitovic in Chicago.  

It may seem strange to speak of a benefit concert as of some sort of anomaly. Especially in our time, in the internet era, for Orthodox websites provide plenty of information on charitable works such as the building of new churches, the opening of Orthodox orphanages and hospitals, etc. Indeed, when one sees the scale of such scale, the heart is filled with hope, joy for the Church of Christ and our Fatherland, we are filled with blessed inspiration. We are becoming accustomed to common charitable events and we sometimes even turn a cold shoulder. But let our hearts not cool, let us remind ourselves that every work of love which is performed in the name of Christ is a joy and a truly great event, for at this moment of kind self-sacrifice, Christ Himself comes very close to us, as never before. If we heed the words of the Apostle to bear each other’s burdens, then Christ Himself will help us in our efforts.

May the Lord bless you all! 

Deacon Leonty Naidzions, 
Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, Cathedral.