Los Angeles to Host Fall Pastoral Conference

image[November 8, 2007] The Transfiguration Cathedral, jointly with the Holy Protection parish in Los Angeles, is preparing for the upcoming four day fall Pastoral Conference of the clergy of the Western American Diocese. The Conference dates are November 12-15.

Besides the daily services, fellowship, and discussions on pastoral and general Church matters, the Conference schedule also includes two talks on Holy Scripture and its place and meaning in worship and missionary outreach, reports by the diocesan Youth and Church Music Departments and a liturgical instructional seminar.

The 10th Anniversary of Brother Jose's Repose is Marked in San Francisco

image[October 31, 2007] The 10th anniversary of Brother Jose Munoz's repose was solemnly marked at the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco. Brother Jose was the keeper of the Montreal Iveron Myrrhstreaming Icon of the Theotokos. The Panikhida for Br. Jose was served by the Cathedral Dean, Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, Archpriest Serge Kotar and the Rector of San Francisco's Kazan Church, Hieromonk Juvenal. The responses were sung by the Cathedral parishioners and students of St. John's Academy. Br. Jose's sister, Angelina Munoz, was also present at the service. In his homily, Father Peter said that the blood of martyrs is the "seed" of the Church. Although at the present time there is no open mass persecution of Christians in Russia or the West, nevertheless all of us have an opportunity to be, if not martyrs, at least confessors for the faith of Christ. The Lord has also seen fit to allow our generation of Christians to have martyrs of its own. It is without a doubt that the blood of murdered Orthodox Christians such as Archimandrite Philoumenos in the Holy Land, Hieromonk Vasily and the two Optina monks in Russia and Brother Jose in the West, is today’s "seed", which is ripening and will produce a harvest in Christ's Vineyard.

Following the Panikhida, the faithful venerated a copy of the Iveron-Myrrhstreaming Icon and were blessed to be annointed by myrrh from the original (the Montreal Iveron Icon began streaming myrrh 25 years ago). The cotton ball permeated with the myrrh was given to Fr. Peter by Brother Jose three months before the latter's death in Athens.

The First Annual St. Herman's West Orthodox Youth Conference to be Held on Vashon Island in the Pacific Northwest

image[October 30, 2007] With the blessing of Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western-America, the First Annual St. Herman's West Youth Conference is being organized by the Diocesan Youth Department under the chairmanship of Priest Boris Henderson.

The conference will include lectures and discussions on topics that concern today's Orthodox youth. It will also provide the youth with chances to make new friends through a variety of social activities. The conference is for youth 15-25 years old. The needs of both high school students and college-aged youth will be addressed.

The conference is scheduled for 3 days (plus 2 travel days – 5 nights total), December 21-26, and will be held at the Camp Burton Conference Center on Vashon Island (near All-Merciful Saviour Monastery), Washington, 30 minutes away from Seattle.

For additional information and to register, see the St. Herman West website.

Annual Memorial Service on Mare Island Scheduled

image[October 28, 2007] On November 3, Demetrius' Saturday (Commemoration of the Dead), the memorial service for the eight Russian Orthodox sailors who died in 1863 and 1905 and were buried on Mare Island (near Vallejo, California), will be served at 11:30 AM.

Clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese will take part in this annual Panikhida, as well as representatives of various Russian organizations and the Saints Kyrill and Methodius Russian Orthodox High School.

For information on these sailors, read the article prepared by the Archpriest Silas Ruark.

Ordination in Palo Alto

image[October 27, 2007] On Sunday, October 27, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Protection Church in Palo Alto (California). He was accompanied by Holy Virgin Cathedral's (San Francisco) protodeacon, Father Nikolai Triantafillidis.

At the Small Entry, His Eminence elevated the parish Rector, Father Vladimir Derugin, to the rank of archpriest. After the Cherubic Hymn, Vladika ordained the parish deacon, Father John Comanescu, to the priesthood.

Father John Comanescu remains attached to the Holy Protection parish in Palo Alto. The clergy of the Western American Diocese congratulate their brother in Christ, Father John, with his ordination to the holy priesthood.

Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff at the Moscow Theological Academy

image[October 22, 2007] Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff, a clergyman of the Western American Diocese, and the rector of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, took part in the feastday of the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary (Protection of the Mother of God) and in honoring the Rector of the Moscow Theological schools, Archbishop Evgeny of Verey, on the occasion of his 50th birthday. The liturgy on October 14 was celebrated by His Holiness Patriarch Alexey at the Protection Academy Church. Later in the day, a solemn convocation was held at which His Holiness greeted Archbishop Evgeny and bestowed upon him the Order of St. Daniel, second class, for his labors in the field of theological education, as well as his work on the joint committee on talks with the Russian Church Abroad. Father Alexander Lebedeff greeted Vladika Evgeny on behalf of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad. Archbishop Evgeny has visited the Western American Diocese twice, the last time in September 2007, with the "Reigning" Icon.

Photos of the feastday and celebration. Photos by Rev. Aleksei Harlamov.

Russian Patriarchate Choir to Perform in California

image[October 18, 2007] The acclaimed expressive, bass-heavy sound of the 13 member, all-male a cappella Russian Patriarchate Choir (under the direction of Anatoly Gridnenko) will make its California debut in October. Following its critically acclaimed, sold-out engagement at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival in 2005, this ensemble will perform in UCLA's Royce Hall (October 22), the Orange County Performing Arts Center (October 24) and Berkeley's First Congregational Church (October 26).

Metropolitan Laurus Blesses New Bells in Seattle

image[October 10, 2007] On Sunday, October 7, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, Washington. The responses at the service were sung by the participants of the XX Annual Church Singer Conference.

This year the Saint Nicholas parish in Seattle is marking its 75th anniversary. One of the jubilee projects for the parish was to order new bells from Russia. Following the Liturgy on October 7 Metropolitan Lausrus blessed the bells.

Myrrhstreaming Icon of Saint Anna to Make Its First Visit to San Francisco

image[October 3, 2007] On Wednesday, October 17, the Myrrhstreaming Icon of the Righteous Anna will be in San Francisco for one day. The greeting of the Icon is scheduled that day for 7:00 PM, at the Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral (6210 Geary Boulevard) in San Francisco. A Molieben (Service of Intercession) with Akathist will be served immediately after the greeting of the Icon.

The Icon of Saint Anna was commissioned by Archimandrite Anastassy (Mastalsky) in Jerusalem. It was painted at the Mount of Olives Convent and blessed on the Tomb of Christ. Father Anastassy is the rector of the "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Church in Philadelphia. Myrrh began streaming from the Icon on May 9, 2004, and most commonly streams from St. Anna’s eyes.

News From the Pacific Northwest

image[September 26, 2007] On Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America served at the Saint Silouan of Mount Athos Church in Walla Walla, Washington, on the occasion of its upcoming parish feastday. At the Divine Liturgy Vladika Kyrill ordained Reader Innocent Philo to the rank of deacon.

[September 28, 2007] On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Lifegiving Cross, the rector of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia Church in Mulino (Oregon), Priest Sergei Sveshnikoff, blessed a big cross which was set up on Route 213 by his parishioners.

[September 29, 2007] The XX Annual Church Musicians' Conference will be hosted by the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, on October 4-7. The Conference is honoured to have His Eminence, Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, celebrate the Vigil and Liturgy with the participants of the Conference and the faithful of Greater Seattle.

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