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SAN FRANCISCO: November 1, 2013
News From the Western American Diocese

• On the feast day of Holy Martyrs Faith, Hope, Love and Sophia, one of the senior clergymen of the Western American Dicoese, Rector of the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, CA, Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, celebrated the 40th anniversary of his clerical service. On Sunday, September 29, 2013, his parishioners honored Fr Stefan and his matushka Tatiana Olegovna. Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, along with his vicar, His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle; Fr Stefan; Protopriest Andrei Sommer of New York; Protopriest Alexei Kotar of Seattle, WA, and Protopriest Boris Henderson of Denver, CO. At the end of services, in accordance with a decision by the Synod of Bishops, Archbishop Kyrill gave Fr Stefan the Synodal Medal of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign,” Third Degree.

• During October, the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” held molebens every day before the relics of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-Worker, with prayers for the strengthening and recovery of normal life of all the Russians who suffered from the catastrophic flooding in the Far East.

• On October 3, 2012, the renowned publicist, Russian patriot and Editor-in-Chief of Russkaya Zhizn [Russian Life], and long-time teacher of Russian history at SS Cyril and Methodius High School in San Francisco, Vladimir Nikolaevich Belyaev, died. A hierarchal pannikhida to servant of God Vladimir was performed in the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” on Monday, October 7. Mr Belyaev’s funeral and burial took place in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

• On Saturday, October 12, 2013, the 20th anniversary of the uncovering of the relics of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco was celebrated in the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco, which is also the holiday of the school dedicated to the saint. Divine Liturgy in the lower church was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle along with two participants in the uncovering of the relics, witnesses of the uncorrupt state of his body, Protopriest Peter Perekrestov and Protopriest Sergei Kotar. After the ambo prayer, Fr Peter read a sermon devoted to the uncovering of the saint’s relics in 1993, and the blessings of God that accompanied the event. Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the main cathedral before the saint’s crypt by clergymen of the San Francisco Deanery and representatives of various Local Orthodox Churches. At the end of the service, the clergymen and worshipers from both services, including members of a delegation from Holy Mount Athos, joined with students and teachers of St John Orthodox Academy and SS Cyril and Methodius High School, performed a moleben before St John’s reliquary. Bishop Theodosius then read an inspiring sermon, during which he stressed that it is not enough to merely know about the life of St John, but to strive to emulate his way of life.

• On October 12, 2013, a newly-formed St John Mission of the Western American Diocese in the city of Kennewick, WA, celebrated its patron saint’s day on the anniversary of the translation of his relics. It was the first hierarchal Liturgy in the community’s history, celebrated by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America.

• On October 11-14, 2013, the 11th International Orthodox Film Festival was held in the city of Kiev, Ukraine. Winning an award was director Yuri Dukin of Florida for his film on St John (Maximovich).

• On October 18, 2013, Jean-Claude Larchet, French philosopher, patrologist, theologian and writer, visted the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow.” He authored 23 books, over 100 articles, and some 400 edited works (some of his writings are being translated into Russian). After divine services, Mr Larchet met with the Senior Priest of the cathedral.

• On October 26, 2013, the Museum-Archives of the Russian Center in San Francisco, with the blessing of Archbishop Kyrill, hosted an exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty, which included a collection of previously-unknown letters written by Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, daughter of Emperor Alexander II. The exhibit is financed by the Russian Center and the Congress of Russian Americans.  

• On October 29-31, 2013, St Seraphim Church in Seaside (Monterey, CA) hosted the autumn clergy conference of the Western American Diocese. The main speaker was Priest Georgy Dakhdu, on the topic of Evangelization and Church Tradition. Before Liturgy on Thursday, a new altar table was consecrated, created by Protopriest George Kurtov to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanovs and the reestablishment of unity within the Local Russian Orthodox Church. Fr George labored over the carving over the course of nine months, and it was placed in the altar of the church on the 25th anniversary of the first rector of the parish, Protopriest Gregory Kravchina.