Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
With incredible pain we have received the news about the tragic events in the Kemerov Diocese which swept away the lives of a multitude of children. Now, moved by the Christian sense of sympathy and brotherly love, we are praying for the repose of those who have been lost and for the health of those lying in hospitals. And, we call for all possible assistance to all affected families through the Benevolent Memorial Fund of St. Archbishop John (Maximovich).
This great archpastor of the Russian Diaspora always hastened to the aid of the suffering, those in tribulation and those weighed down by the cross of life. He hastened with concrete help, with kind words of love, consolation, hope and prayer.
Let us follow, even if in small measure,...
On Sunday, March 18, 2018, the Parish Choir of the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, California, presented its annual “Lenten” choral recital, featuring works heard at Great Lent and Passion Week services. The concert was dedicated to the memory of Metropolitan Laurus, who reposed ten years ago on March 16, 2008. Before the first selection, all who were present chanted “Eternal Memory” for +Metropolitan Laurus, Prince Vladimir Galitzine (+ 22-FEB-2018) and Dmitri Hvorostovsky (+ 22-NOV-2017). Several concert selections are familiar sacred works performed by Hvorostovsky.
On behalf of the Diocesan Council of the Western American Diocese an Appeal for the collection of funds for the renovation of Saint Tikhon's House in San Francico, CA, was read to the diocesan clergy at their Great-Lenten Retreat held from March 12 to 14, 2018.
As part of the program of the Lenten Pastoral Retreat of the clergy of the Western American Diocese which had been held from March 12 to 14, 2018, our bishops, priests and deacons gathered in Old Holy Virgin Cathedral to perform a panykhida for ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus who reposed on the Sunday of Orthodoxy 10 years ago (+ 3/16, 2008).
Archpriest Alex Kotar, Dean of the Northern Deanery of the Western American Diocese and Archdeacon Peter (Karakozoff) performed the panykhida. His Grace Bishop Theodosy, His Grace Bishop Irenei and the participanting clergy of the conference chanted and prayed.
Memory Eternal to our beloved and ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus, a true Teacher of the Faith and father to so many!
With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, our Ruling Bishop, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America has been granted a leave of absence for the purpose of addressing his health.
The Orthodox holy object, myrrh-streaming icon of the Theotokos “Appeasing of Malicious Hearts”, otherwise named “Shot with Seven Arrows” has visited Los Angeles. The icon has arrived from Moscow and stayed in California for two weeks. On February 1, the icon was delivered to the St. John of Kronstadt Retirement Home. Russian Orthodox residents of the Home met the icon with joy and love. It was the first relic of such caliber that had visited their Home chapel.
1st / 14th January 2018: Significant progress is being made on a long-term frescoing project at the Monastery of St. Paisius in Safford, Arizona, a women’s monastery in the Western American Diocese that is operated with the blessing of both our Diocesan Bishop, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, as well as the Head of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America, His Grace Bishop Maxim.
Construction of the central temple of the Monastery, known in monastic terminology as the catholicon, was completed some years ago, and the enormous basilica-style edifice dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (feastday 15th / 28th August) rises high above the desert landscape and is visible for miles in all directions.
The Great Schema Archimandrite Averky (the former Archimandrite AnastassyZagarsky) passed away today, in Russia, at the age of 102. Father Anastassy served many parishes in San Francisco, including the Kazan church, Old Cathedral, St. Tikhon's and St. Sergius. Upon retirement, he was attached to the new Holy Virgin Cathedral for a few years and later moved to a monastery in Tula.
I was invited to attend as a young adult volunteer the Eleventh Annual Saint Herman's West Youth Conference, held in Seattle, Washington, December 26-28, 2017. It was hosted by the St. Nicholas Cathedral Parish. I was joined by seventeen other volunteers whose backgrounds ranged from being cradle Orthodox to recent converts. Our ages spanned from the early twenties to the mid-thirties. The common denominator for all of us was not only to grow our own spiritual lives, but to help grow the spiritual lives of the Orthodox youth.