DIOCESE OF CHICAGO AND MID-AMERICA: 3 August 2023
On Thursday evening, July 27, and Friday morning, July 28, 2023, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern American and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, visited St Vladimir parish in Ann Arbor, MI, to preside at the “second Pascha” of the parish. Archbishop Peter served at the ORPR Youth Camp, as the temple which is at the center of the camp there is also named after the Great Prince Vladimir.
A very violent thunderstorm, with winds of 80 mph and above, swept through Ann Arbor on Wednesday, July 26. Many trees were toppled, and electricity was widely knocked out in the region. St Vladimir parish has a full building generator, but nonetheless, the Divine Services for the parish feast day were warm in all senses of that word, both literally and figuratively. The joy of having Metropolitan Nicholas lead the services, however, perished all thoughts of physical discomfort, as the parish family gathered to laud their heavenly protector.
In addition to Metropolitan Nicholas, the following clergymen participated in the Vigil on July 27:
Following vigil a meal was held for Metropolitan Nicholas, attended by the parish council, choir, and clergy.
Pictures of the Vigil can be found here: https://stvladimirchurch.smugmug.com/2023/Thursday-July-27-2023/
On Friday morning, Metropolitan Nicholas arrived to the pealing of the parish bells and was met by the Parish Warden Alexey Mitchell, as well as a group of the parish children, dressed in traditional costumes and bearing the tradition bread and salt.
Having been vested in the midst of the parish church, His Eminence led the Divine Liturgy in the temple overflowing beyond capacity. Most all those present partook of Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy from three chalices. Following the reading of the Thanksgiving Prayers Metropolitan Nicholas led the cross procession around the church, blessing the church with water which had been sanctified before the meeting of the Metropolitan that morning.
In addition to the clergymen listed above, these clergy participated in the Liturgy on July 28:
After the procession and the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy Metropolitan Nicholas greeted the gathered clergy and parishioners, thanking Archbishop Peter for the opportunity to serve in Ann Arbor. His Eminence then presented Fr Gregory Joyce a ROCOR Centenary Jeweled Cross. Fr. Gregory, on behalf of the St Vladimir parish, presented Metropolitan Nicholas a copy of the icon of St Mardarije of Libertyville, painted by Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski. The icon depicts St Mardarije, who went to his Heavenly Reward while in Ann Arbor seeking treatment for Tuberculosis at the University of Michigan Hospital, working in his study. With Archbishop Peter’s blessing St. Mardarije is the patron saint of the parish’s Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy.
Pictures of the Divine Liturgy can be found here: https://stvladimirchurch.smugmug.com/2023/Friday-July-28-2023/
A meal was offered to the many faithful gathered at the only parish in Michigan named after St. Vladimir under the beautiful Michigan sky, the parish having erected a large tent for the occasion.
Following the meal Metropolitan Nicholas was given a tour of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy building which is under construction and slated to be completed by the beginning of the school year on September 1/14, 2023.
Pictures of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy can be found here: https://stvladimirchurch.smugmug.com/2023/A2OCA-Tour-Friday-July-28-2023/
The web site of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy can be found here: https://www.a2oca.org/