On Tuesday, 13 September, 2022, the members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, led by His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany, celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City. At the end of divine services, the archpastors performed a moleben for the opening of the Council, invoking the Holy Spirit to help in their work.
Attending the Council of Bishops were Metropolitan Mark; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of Western America and New York; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop John of Caracas and South America; His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe; His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan; His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle; His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse; His Grace Bishop Alexander of Vevey and His Grace Bishop Job of Stuttgart. His Grace Bishop George of Canberra participated electronically.
On Tuesday, 13 September, 2022, the election of the new Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia by its Council of Bishops took place. In accordance with the Act of Canonical Communion, signed on 17 May, 2007, the Council will send the Act of the election, drafted by the counting committee to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with a request to bless the electee to assume the duties of the First Hierarch entrusted to him by his brethren archpastors, and for confirmation of the election by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The rite of enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, newly-elected First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, will take place on Sunday, 18 September.
The schedule of divine services associated with the enthronement is as follows:
On Sunday, July 3, 2022, Father Deacon Sebastian Craffey was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America at the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA. Father Sebastian will be assigned to Holy Archangels Orthodox Church in Phoenix, AZ, which is under the rectorship of Priest John McCuen. Father Sebastian was ordained to the diaconate at Holy Virgin Cathedral on November 6th, 2021, and has served at Holy Archangels in Phoenix since that time, and joins a growing number of clergy serving the Orthodox churches in Arizona.
On Thursday, 30 June 2022, a remote meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Russia Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany. Participating in the meeting were His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
The bishops heard a report by Bishop Irenei, Secretary of the Synodal Inter-Orthodox Relations Department, on recent developments; Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem on affairs in the Holy Land.
On Friday, June 24th, 2022, the monastic communities and parishes of the Western American Diocese served a panykhida for newly-departed Metropolitan Hilarion who governed the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia from 2008-2022. Memory Eternal to our beloved Frist-Hierarch.
A Long-time cleric of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral on Los Angeles, Archpriest Alexei Poliakov, reposed in the Lord in the early hours of the morning yesterday the 11/24 of June, 2022.
Yesterday evening a panykhida was performed in Father Alexei’s name...
On Monday, 23 May, 2022, a meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Russia Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany. Participating in the meeting were His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
A series of decisions were taken during the meeting:
On Tuesday, 4/17 May, 2022, the 15th anniversary of the restoration of the fullness of Church unity within the Russian Orthodox Church, and the eve of the anniversary of the enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, a session of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR was held, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany.
The members of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad announced with great sorrow that on 3/16 May, the feast day of St Theodosius, Abbot of the Kiev Caves, Metropolitan Hilarion reposed in the Lord.
In connection with this, it was DECREED:
Today, May 16, 2022, the feast day of St Theodosius of the Kievan Caves, at two o’clock New York time, following a lengthy illness, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reposed in the Lord, in a NYC hospital.
His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, performed the “Canon of Supplication at the Parting of the Soul.” His Grace was joined by Archpriest Serafim Gan and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin). A pannikhida will be performed at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York at 7:30 pm tonight.
Further information will be provided shortly.
May God grant the Kingdom of Heaven to our Master and Father, the Eminent Metropolitan Hilarion!
of His Eminence HILARION
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Eminent Brother Archpastors, Honorable Fathers, Dear Brothers and Sisters:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
With a sense of jubilation in the Lord, the Victor over evil, hell and death, I greet you all on this luminous night of the Matins and Liturgy of the Pascha of Christ, this “feast of faith” which the great Chrysostom exhorts us to relish! Congratulations with the Bright Resurrection of Christ!
Homily Given at the Funeral of Fr. Ioan Comanescu
By the Right Rev. Bishop James of Sonora
At the Holy Virgin Cathedral - San Francisco, California
January 22, 2022
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
“My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.” (Ps. 119: 139). These words of the Prophet and King David in Psalm 119 capture the essence of...
His Eminence KIRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America has published Decree No. 4/2022E throughout the Diocese for the end to conflict in Ukraine. The original may be found here.
In addition to the “Prayer for Ukraine,” which is inserted by the Priests of the Diocese into the appointed place in the Divine Liturgy, we urge all the faithful to pray for peace amongst those in conflict. The following are prayers blessed for this purpose.
At approximately 3:00 am on the Great Feast of Theophany, a longtime member of the Western American Diocese and cleric, Archpriest Ioan Comanescu, reposed in the Lord.
Father Ioan is survived by his widow, Matushka Efthemia, and their four sons.
He was ordained to the deaconate for the Western American Diocese at Holy Virgin Cathedral in 2001...
Christmas Message by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics and all the faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Beloved in the Lord archpastors, all-honourable presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters,
I extend my cordial greetings to all of you on the great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.
On this radiant night the whole creation rejoices,...
With profound gladness I greet my fellow archpastors, honourable fathers, monastics, parishioners and the worshipers of our churches, scattered throughout the world, with the Nativity of Christ, the Baptism of the Lord and the New Year! May the Lord send us all the joy of the coming of the Son of God into the world. Both the struggle of our faith, and its fruits in our days, must be grounded in this joy: the joy that comes from hearing the angelic doxology and the triumph of the Incarnation of God the Word!
This past year was difficult and sorrowful for many of us, but it was also filled with divers blessings and gifts for which we must offer up our gratitude to our Benefactor. We have reached this festal season because Divine Providence did not abandon us. If we have been able to carry forth to this time the duties lain upon us, it is solely because the Lord Himself has granted us health, power, nourishment and clothing, and has poured out upon us His help, and the gift of patience for the unfolding of our life’s path. In addition to this, how many blessed gifts have been communicated to us in the holy sacraments, in the fast, and in the prayer and mystical life of the Church!
Christmastide always evokes feelings of love and gratitude in the believing heart. Let us also raise up in these days our own gratitude to God, let us bring our love to Him and to our neighbours, and let us convey our own Nativity gift to the temple, in which we are honoured with the wondrous, personal encounter with Christ and saving communion with Him. Let us open our hearts, dear fathers, brothers and sisters; let us receive the Son of God Who has come to earth; and let us worship Him together with the magi, rejoicing in His love and mercy towards us. Amen.
With love in the New-Born Christ,
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad
The Nativity of Christ, 2021/2022
On December 7, 2021 in the city of Kiev, the mother of Russian cities, a new church was consecrated in the Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, The church is dedicated to the Venerable Monk Agapite of Pechersk, who is considered the first doctor of Kievan Rus.
Not arbitrarily does the Orthodox Church pray for deliverance from deadly pandemics (epidemics) and fatal ulcers in each Divine Liturgy, calling on the holy healers, including the Venerable Agapite. Through his prayers the sick were healed. He also gave them herbs to take that he cooked as food for himself and because of the herbs they began to call him doctor. He treated the brethren of the monastery, ordinary laymen and even Prince Vladimir Monomakh himself expecting nothing in return. The venerable one was an image of humility, of unshakable faith, and he turned many to Christ. And now we, too, have the audacity to ask that through the prayers of the Venerable Agapite, “the Lord heal us in body and spirit and help us live our lives so that we will be the children of eternal salvation” (in the words of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius).
In preparation for the 70th anniversary of the Church of All Russian Saints founding next year, the Burlingame CA parish successfully completed the renovation of church cupolas. The painting and gilding of five church cupolas were performed in less than 2 months. This was an expensive project encompassing scaffolding, painting the four blue cupolas, the cost of the double-weight 24k gold leaf, and the laborious work of applying 36,000 sheets of gold leaf to the cupolas and to the 132 stars on the blue cupolas.
The XV Annual Saint Herman’s West Youth Conference of the Western American Diocese was held at St. George Russian Orthodox Church in West Jordan, Utah, from December 27 to 31, 2021.
The Chairman of the Youth Department of the Western American Diocese, Archpriest Michael van Opstall, along with a committee of youth counselors and the parishioners (particularly the Sisterhood) of Saint George Orthodox Church, of which Father Michael is the Rector, organized the first in-person youth conference of the Diocese since the Covid quarantine restrictions of March 2020.
Over 50 youth participated in the conference representing a broad area of our Diocese. His Grace JAMES Bishop of Sonora presided over...