On Friday the 9th and Saturday the 10th of June, His Eminence, Metropolitan Jonah, led the All-Night Vigil and celebrated Divine Liturgy in St. John the Russian Church in Ipswich, MA. The services were held in honor of the 40th anniversary of the parish’s founding, as well as of the ordination of its rector, Archpriest Spyridon Schneider.
Concelebrating with His Eminence were Fr. Spyridon, Archpriests Chad Williams (rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Memorial Church in Richmond, ME), Michael Crowley (rector of St. Xenia Church in Methuen, MA), and Brendan Crowley (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Enfield, CT), Priests Constantine Newman (rector of Holy Trinity Greek Church in Concord, NH), Constantine Desrosiers (cleric of St. Xenia Church), and Maximos McIntyre (rector of Holy Protection Mission in West Brookfield, MA), Archdeacon Seraphim Solof (cleric of St. George Antiochian Cathedral in Worcester, MA), and Deacon Alexander Doohovskoy (cleric of St. Xenia Church).
Prior to the start of Liturgy, His Eminence ordained Reader Photius Zelinski a subdeacon, and after the Eucharistic Canon, ordained him to the diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon Photius will fulfill his service at St. John the Russian Church.
Following Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Jonah led a festal procession to the church well, where parishioners and pilgrims gathered for the lesser blessing of the waters. This was immediately followed by a magnificent festal luncheon.
Clergy and laity offered congratulations to Fr. Spyridon on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his ordination, and he reminisced about how the hand of God and the intercessions of St. John the Russian had established the Ipswich parish and saw the community through profoundly joyful and sometimes difficult times. During the reminiscences, Fr. Spyridon gave special recognition to Matushka Xenia, who has labored tirelessly on behalf of the parish for all forty years, Reader Joseph Picard and Ariadne Clifton, who have been with the parish from the beginning, Monk Herman, Reader James Hanson, warden Matthew Lavita, Mark Knudsen, who offered a toast on behalf of the parish, Juliana Schneider and Seraphima (Schneider) McLean, who have labored from the beginning and all of the parishioners who have selflessly contributed to the life of the parish.