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CANADIAN DIOCESE: November 15, 2013
The Feast of the Parish of St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, in Waterloo, Canada

The parish of St Tikhon and New Martyrs of Russia celebrated its parish feast day on November 10th, 2013. To the great joy of the parish, all-night vigil and Divine Liturgy were led by His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada. He was joined by the parish rector Priest Evgeniy Shchukin, Protodeacon Vasily Milonow from Ottawa and Deacon Boris Bakhvalov from Toronto. During Liturgy, Fr Evgeniy was awarded the right to wear the nabedrennik. After the Archbishop’s sermon, two parishioners were given letters of recognition from the Archbishop for their tireless work in the parish. Olga Markina was congratulated for her long-time efforts in the choir since the founding of the parish community, and Elena Suhak received recognition for her work with the parish children’s school.

Following Divine Liturgy, everyone was invited to a banquet dinner, prepared by the hands of the sisterhood and with the help of the parish. All this further added to the family-like atmosphere of the event. Children of the parish school, together with their teacher Elena Suhak prepared a wonderful program for the guests. It was humbling to hear children read poetry about the life of St Tikhon and New Martyrs of Russia. Other musical performances from young parishioners and the choir then followed. In his speech at the banquet, the Archbishop Gabriel wished God’s help to the parish in the important journey of having their own church building, and stressed the importance of working with and educating the children of the parish, as “children are our future,” according to the Archbishop.

The parish in Waterloo has been in existence for over 12 years, and has had its own priest, Fr Evgeniy, for year-round services for the last 3 years. The parish is currently renting a space for the church, but hopes for God’s help to one day have its own building. The parish is mostly made up of newcomers from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, as well as local Canadians, long-time emigres, and other nationalities. For a second year, the parish school is successfully functioning at the church, with over 20 students enlisted. This is quite a lot of students for the small space available.

The parish wholeheartedly thanks Archbishop Gabriel and the visiting clergy for their attention and visit to their small yet growing parish. The feast day and the Archbishop’s visit were very much awaited by the parishioners, who were left with a feeling of joy after the celebration – for the Glory of God.