June 5, 2012
Virginia Beach, VA: Bishop Jerome led the patronal feast day in St.
Joseph of Optina Church
Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th of May, the feast day of the
Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, divine services were held
St. Joseph of Optina Church in Virginia Beach, VA, in honor of
the parish’s patronal feast day (May 22) and in celebration of the
twentieth anniversary of the ordination of parish rector, Archpriest
Seraphim Stephens. His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop
Jerome of Manhattan, led three services over the weekend. On
Saturday evening, the All-Night Vigil was led by Bishop Jerome,
co-served by parish clergy: Fr. Seraphim and Priest Jason Dechenne.
The following morning, the feast of Venerable Joseph of Optina,
which is traditionally celebrated May 9/22 was also marked in honor
of the patronal feast day of the parish and the archpastoral visit
of Bishop Jerome. Serving the Liturgy was His Grace, Bishop Jerome,
the parish clergy, and Archpriest Onouphry Keith (rector of St.
Nicholas Church in Fletcher, NC, and a former cleric of the parish).
During the Little Entrance, Bishop Jerome awarded Fr. Jason the
right to wear the nabedrennik. Upon completion of the Liturgy, on
behalf of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His
Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, a
diocesan gramota was bestowed by Bishop Jerome upon Archpriest
Seraphim and Matushka Zenobia Stephens for their faithful and
dedicated service to the Church for the past twenty years.
After the Liturgy, a festal banquet was held at a local hotel
ballroom. The luncheon was well attended by parishioners and Fr.
Seraphim’s family and friends.
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