St Herman's Day Youth Conference of the Eastern American Diocese ends with Divine Liturgy

On December 25, 2022, the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers and feast of Venerable Herman of Alaska, the St Herman Youth Conference continued in Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ, with hierarchal Divine Liturgy, celebrated by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York.

Co-serving with His Eminence was Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, as well as:

  • Archpriest Ljubo Milosevic (parish rector)
  • Archpriest David Straut (rector of Saint Elizabeth the New-Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ)
  • Archpriest Alexis Duncan (rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY)
  • Archpriest George Lagodich (dean of St Nicholas Diocesan Cathedral in Montreal, QC)
  • Archpriest Oleg Mironov (rector of St Xenia of St. Petersburg Church in Kanata, ON)
  • Archpriest Michael Metni (cleric of Saint Nicholas Cathedral)
  • Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, NJ)
  • Archpriest John Johnson (rector of St Thecla Church in Kensington, MD)
  • Hieromonk Theodore (Stanway; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY)
  • Protodeacon Serge Ohotin (parish cleric)
  • Protodeacon Andre Garine
  • Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and
  • Deacon Anton Kouznetsov (cleric of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Atlanta, GA).

During the Hours, parishioner Kyril Kavetsky was tonsured a reader.

Leading the choir of conference participants was Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY). Adorning the icon stands throughout the church were flower arrangements created by the youth during the conference.

The church was filled with parishioners and local pilgrims who came to lift up their prayers before the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.

Before Holy Communion, Fr Theodore delivered a sermon on the topic of the Sunday Gospel reading, as well as the life of the patron saint of the youth conference – Venerable Herman of Alaska.

Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas greeted Archbishop Gabriel, the gathered clergy, and conference participants, urging them to remain steadfast in the Holy Orthodox Faith.

A group photograph was taken on the steps of the church, after which all once again gathered in the church hall for a luncheon.

The conference was made possible by a generous grant from the Fund for Assistance (FfA) to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which has been faithfully supporting the three St. Herman Conferences held every year in December: on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and on the West Coast, as well as by donations from the Eastern American Diocese and several parishes, who support this work with the youth with an open heart.

In the second half of the day, conferencegoers were able to develop questions on the topic of ecclesiastical and social issues.

A final banquet was held in the church hall masterfully prepared by the parish sisterhood. A bonfire was held outside, with youth embracing old and new friends before heading to their rooms and departing back to their home parishes early Monday morning, December 26.



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