When people think of faith, they think of going to church every Sunday, saying the Our Father every day, and that’s about it. Before Syezd [St. Herman Youth Conference – ed.], that was the attitude I had toward my faith, too.
In theory, the idea of parting with your iPhone and moving to a remote hamlet to tend bees and experience spiritual fervor is an appealing one, especially in 2019.
On Monday, December 16, Matushka Slavica Milosevic, wife of Archpriest Ljubo Milosevic (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ), reposed in the Lord.
On Sunday October 27, after a lengthy battle with cancer, Reader Michael McKenney (Dr. William McKenney) reposed in the Lord. He was 63 years old. Reader Michael taught business at Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Mississippi, and at Bethel University in Tennessee.
From Saturday, September 22, to Wednesday, October 3, 2018 a delegation of the Russian Church Aboard, led by His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, visited the Diocese of Kursk with the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. Delegation participants shared their impressions with journalist Nina Stavitskaya.
On Monday, September 23, Matushka Barbara Townsend, wife of Archpriest John Townsend (rector of St. Mary of Egypt Church in Roswell (Atlanta), GA), reposed in the Lord. She was 77 years old.
On Wednesday, September 11, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) commemorated victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, according to the senior priest of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, Archpriest Andrei Sommer.
On Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th of June, Deacon Andrei Psarev, Associate Professor of Canon Law and Russian Church History at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY, participated in two sessions of the Inter-Council Assembly held in Moscow
Nicolas Schidlovsky, Ph.D., began his tenure as the new dean of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary and professor of Sacred Music on Thursday, August 15, succeeding Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster, Ph.D., who has retired as dean and professor of Moral Theology.
On Monday, August 12, Nina M. Soloviev, longtime parishioner of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, reposed in the Lord. She was 95.
Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia has become one of the most rapidly growing monastic communities in the Russian Church Abroad. Media Office correspondents spent a week living at the monastery in order to gain a better understanding of the daily life of monks.
On Thursday, July 25, following a long and serious illness, Archpriest John Moses, cleric of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Harrisonburg, VA, reposed in the Lord.
The below article by Ludmila Keller was published in 1987 in "Orthodox Russia" Issue #15, in anticipation of the Millennium of the Baptism of Rus’, the main celebrations of which the Russian Church Abroad held at St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ.
On Wednesday, June 12, Matushka Marina Girard, (wife of Archpriest Laurence Girard; +2012), reposed in the Lord after a long and serious illness.
On Saturday, June 1, after a long and serious illness, Deacon Andrei Zavalin, cleric of St. Innocent of Moscow Mission in Nashville, TN, reposed in the Lord.
The shortest flight from New York to New Zealand is 18 hours, with a layover in Los Angeles. It was there that Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan traveled after the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
Over two and a half months ago, Subdeacon Nectarios Yangson was rushed to the emergency room several times in the span of two days with an incredibly high sugar count of 651, the root cause being a negative physical reaction to a steroid medication prescribed to him after his two-month-long bout with pneumonia.
The decision to canonize the Russian martyrs of the 20th century was made in principle by the Council of Bishops in 1971 when, in response to a multitude of appeals by parishes abroad, and clergy and faithful in the USSR, the bishops of ROCOR adopted a resolution stating, "The Council of Bishops kneels in piety before the holy struggle of the Russian New Martyrs and consents to their glorification."
September in Moscow was uncharacteristically sunny and warm. Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky) of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY – one of 34 members of a delegation from the Russian Church Abroad accompanying the Kursk Root Icon to Russia in 2009...
This fall, I got to visit the American South for the second time in my life. Last year, I was in the Greater Atlanta Area, and this time I was in the parish of St. Nektarios of Pentapolis in Lenoir City, TN.
Rector of Dormition of the Mother of God Church in Bluefield, WV, Priest Mark Tyson left the Patriarchate of Constantinople and joined the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
At the request of the editorial board, Archpriest Serafim Gan, chancellor of the ROCOR Synod of Bishops, Secretary to the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, commented on the latest decisions of Patriarch Bartholomew and assessed the actions of the Phanar.
On Tuesday, October 30, Monk Cornelius (Mattei) of the Monastery of St. Dionysios the Areopagite in St. James, NY, reposed in the Lord. He was 68 years old.
This past July, with the blessing of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, visited the Holy City of Jerusalem in order to observe and lead the anniversary commemorations in honor of the Centenary of the martyric deaths of New Martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara
During the spring, a great relic was brought from the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City to St. Elizabeth Convent in Minsk, Belarus: a reliquary with the right arm of the Holy Nun-Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, and a piece of the relics of Nun-Martyr Barbara.
On Monday, July 23, after a brief illness, Archpriest Stephanos Shagoury reposed in the Lord.
It has been my particular honor to create a magnificent shrine and reliquary for the Russian Royal Martyrs. The shrine was commissioned by an American convert to Orthodoxy as a gift to the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, a Russian Orthodox monastery in Wayne, WV.
On Monday, January 8, as part of his broader ROCOR Studies project, Deacon Andrei Psarev (assistant professor of Russian Church History and Canon Law at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY) visited St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, where he conducted an interview with its rector, Archpriest Victor Potapov.
On Thursday, June 14, Abbot Gabriel (Kvasnikov), rector of Holy Trinity Church in Mebane, NC, reposed in theLord suddenly. He was 49 years old.
On Friday, May 25, the leave-taking of the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, senior-most cleric of the Russian Church Abroad, Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, reposed in the Lord.
Baptized at 25 years of age in Kiev, after serving in the army, he entered a music college, from which he graduated with a major in guitar. Later on, he and his guitar headed to the Jewish Autonomous Region (Oblast’).
On Saturday, February 24, Schema-Archimandrite Averky (Shvetsov-Zagarsky), eldest cleric of the Belyov Diocese and the Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery in Anastasovo, Tula Oblast, reposed in the Lord. He was 102 years old.
On Clean Thursday, February 22, after a difficult and lengthy illness, Prince Vladimir Kirillovich Galitzine reposed in the Lord. Prince Galitzine was a renowned dignitary in the life of the Church and Russian-American society, and for over 40 years served the Holy Church in his position as warden of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City.
More than a century ago, the founding fathers of Holy Dormition parish came here, to southwest Pennsylvania, leaving behind everything that was near and dear to them: their homes, families, and customs. They knew that, without hope in God’s providence, they would not survive. And out of this great faith, fidelity toward and love for God, in 1917 these people founded an Orthodox parish.
An icon of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos containing a piece of the omophorion of the Mother of God is visiting the churches and monasteries of the Eastern American Diocese. Brining the icon from Moscow is the general director of the Russian National Creative Workshop "Art-Project," LLC, and director of the International Foundation for Mutual Development & Strengthening of Spiritual Unity and the Religious & Historical Values of Russian Orthodoxy in the Homeland & Abroad "Under the Protection of the Theotokos," Eugene (Evgeny) Korolev. Mr. Korolev first visited the Diocese in December 2015, when a monument to the Reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church was dedicated at the Diocesan Center in Howell, NJ.
In 2017, St. Vladimir Church in Miami, FL celebrated its 70th anniversary. The festal divine services were held on November 11-12, led by His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. At lunch after Divine Liturgy, parish cleric Priest Mykhailo Mykhailenko delivered a report about the church’s history:
Russian Church life in Florida was begun by Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) in 1937 – who was himself later appointed Bishop of Florida – in a big city in the south of the state. In the mid-1940s, construction began on the first Russian church in Florida. Its founders were from the first and second waves of immigrants and included seven dwarfs – professional performers, who arrived in Miami at World War II broke out. Among them were Ivan and Pelagia Velikanov, and Vasily and Maria Filin. Their names appear on a memorial plaque at the entrance to the church.
On Wednesday, November 8, Archpriest Wsevolod Drobot, longtime cleric of the Eastern American Diocese, reposed in the Lord. Fr. Wsevolod’s clerical service lasted 57 years, and he had been rector of Nativity of the Mother of God parish in Albany, NY.
On Sunday, October 15, Matushka Martha Ermakov, of McKeesport, PA, reposed in the Lord. She was 88. She was born August 23, 1929 in Olyphant, PA (near Scranton) and was the daughter of the late John and Martha Russen Sweda. She was the wife of the late Archpriest Dimitri H. Ermakov.
In our age of technology, our enemies want us to feel down and upset, but we can’t let them do that. We must be joyful and happy. I’m no priest or deacon, but I know that God wants all of us to be happy. He doesn’t want anything to stand in our way.
When I remember Vladyka Laurus, what I remember the most important was how he truly loved the Church, how he loved the Russian Church, and how he was always measured in all things... Vladyka taught by example or by his short words or comments ("short" meaning concise: he did not have to say too much to guide us).
On Tuesday, August 29, 2017, the feast of the Holy Image of the Savior "Not Made by Hands," the Eastern American Diocese prayerfully marked the 40th anniversary of the repose of Archpriest Peter Motscharsky (long-time rector of Holy Trinity Church in Astoria, NY). In honor of this anniversary, the diocesan Media Office would like to offer our readers the eulogy spoken at Fr. Peter’s funeral, delivered by his son-in-law, Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, and translated into English for the first time.
Archpriest Victor Potapov is a cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, rector of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, is well-known not only in the United States, but in Russia, as well. For over 30 years, he led spiritual broadcasts on "Voice of America" radio.
On August 21, 1987, longtime cell attendant to Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) of Eastern America & New York, Protodeacon Nikita Chakirov, reposed in the Lord. In honor of the 30th anniversary of the repose of this zealous laborer of the Eastern American Diocese, we offer our readers an article written in memory of Fr. Nikita by Matushka Irina Lukianov (Boston, MA).
On Sunday, August 13, 1967, on the eve of the Dormition Fast, the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City hosted the hierarchal consecration of the dean of students of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY - Archimandrite Laurus (Škurla) - as Bishop of Manhattan, with an assignment to the position of secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and vicar to her First Hierarch, Metropolitan Philaret of Eastern America & New York. Metropolitan Philaret led the consecration, joined by a multitude of hierarchs and clergy.
With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar), abbot of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross, presently located in East Setauket, NY, announced that the Brotherhood will be leaving its current location to establish the Brotherhood of the Holy Hieromartyr Dionysios the Areopagite. Until 2010, the monastery was under the omophorion of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, and is now under the canonical authority of Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Recently, the Brotherhood faced a difficult decision; by choosing to remain within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, a change of residence is now necessary.
When "Yura" started kindergarten, he knew only three phrases in English, which was not rare for the families of Russian émigrés, who tried to delay the assimilation of their children. Even today, you will find Americans who speak flawless Russian. Long Island was home to one of the many post-WWII Russian communities which pooled their money one penny at a time to build their own modest churches in neighborhoods with large mansions, among which are St. Seraphim and Holy Intercession Churches.
On Wednesday, April 5, after a protracted, serious illness, Archdeacon Eugene Burbelo (long-time cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City) reposed in the Lord. He was ordained by Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) in 1955.
On Friday, January 27, Monk Joseph (in the world Reader Isaac Lambertsen), longtime laborer and gifted translator of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reposed at age 67 after battling cancer. Edward Lambertsen was born on October 22, 1949. He grew up in the town of Scotch Plains, NJ, where he graduated high school in 1967.
On Wednesday, November 9, Archimandrite Innocent (Potter; cleric of the Eastern American Diocese) reposed in the Lord. He was 67. Fr. Innocent was born in Nova Scotia in 1949. Though of Russian heritage, he began his service in 1989 in the old calendarist "Genuine Greek Orthodox Church of America," where he was tonsured a reader and ordained subdeacon, deacon, and priest by Metropolitan Paisios (Loulourgas).
On Friday, October 21, Archpriest Andrei Semyanko (former rector of Holy Presentation Church in Stratford, CT) reposed in the Lord after several years of failing health. He was 89 years old. Born in Poltava in 1927, the future Fr. Andrei was the son of Ivan and Eugenia Semyanko. He received his education at Lomonosov Gymnasium. After immigrating to America, Andrei was tonsured a reader and ordained a subdeacon by Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko; +1960)...
On Wednesday, September 28, Archpriest Gregory Williams reposed suddenly in the Lord at age 75. His passing saw an immediately outpouring of testimonies bearing witness to his love for all those around him. Born in April 23, 1941, Fr. Gregory was the son of William and Mabel Lee Williams. In 1980, he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood by Bishop Gregory Grabbe.
On Wednesday, August 24, Protodeacon Thomas Branch, cleric of St. Vladimir Church in Miami, FL, reposed in the Lord. He was 66 years old. Born in Ft. Worth, TX, Fr. Thomas adopted Orthodoxy as an adult. In 1972, he married Catherine Kaschak. In 1990, he was ordained a subdeacon by Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), head of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. He completed seminary courses in that jurisdiction in 1993.
On Thursday, June 23, Deacon Herman Ricketts reposed suddenly in the Lord at his home in Johnstown, PA. He was 54. Originally from the East Coast, Fr. Herman moved to California and was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco & Western America on December 4, 2010...
On Monday, June 13, Archpriest Theodore Shevzov (cleric of St. Nicholas Church in Stratford, CT) reposed in the Lord after several years of failing health. He turned 87 years old on June 8. Born in Yugoslavia in 1929, Fr. Theodore was the son of Ivan I. Shevzov and Vera M. Pavlovskaya.
On Friday, February 6, Archimandrite Athanasy (Mastalski), longtime rector of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Philadelphia, PA, reposed in the Lord. He was 69 years old. Fr. Athanasy was born on June 24, 1946 in Philadelphia. In 1975, he was ordained a deacon, and in the following year a priest, by Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky).
On Thursday, January 14, Archimandrite Martin (Hohlfeld), cleric of the Eastern American Diocese, reposed in the Lord. He was 75 years old. Fr. Martin was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1941. He converted to Holy Orthodoxy and, in 2010, was tonsured a reader and ordained subdeacon, deacon, and priest by Bishop Jerome of Manhattan.
On Tuesday, January 12, Matushka Hannah Romeo, wife of Priest Demetrio Romeo (rector of St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon Church in Coconut Creek, FL), reposed in the Lord after a long battle with cancer. She was 48. Born Cari Shereck, Matushka and Fr. Demetrio accepted Holy Orthodoxy together as adults.
On Tuesday, November 17, Priest Gregoire Legouté, cleric of the Haitian Mission of the Eastern American Diocese, reposed in the Lord. He was 53 years old. He is survived by his Matushka Rose, and their two daughters, Anastasia and Chrissy. Memory eternal to the newly reposed Priest Gregoire!
At 11:50 PM on Sunday, August 9, on the feast of the Holy Great-Martyr & Healer Panteleimon, patron of Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV, Schemamonk John (Dezorzi) peacefully reposed in the Lord. The Canon for the Departure of the Soul was read when he reposed. Fr. John was a member of the brotherhood of Holy Cross Monastery from 1998 until 2006...
On Monday, June 8, Matushka Nadezhda Drobot, wife of Archpriest Wsewolod Drobot (former rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY) and mother of Protodeacon Nicholas Drobot (cleric of Holy New Martyrs of Russia Church in Norwich, CT), reposed in the Lord.
On Sunday, March 23, Abbot David (Pierce; rector of Holy Dormition (Holyrood) Skete in Jacksonville, FL), cleric of the Eastern American Diocese, reposed in the Lord. He was 54 years old. Fr. David was born in Alabama in 1959. In 1996, he was ordained a hierodeacon, and the following year a hieromonk.
On Wednesday, January 8, the feast of the Synaxis of the Mother of God, Abbess Irene (Alexeev), rectress of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" reposed in the Lord. She was 91 years old. Mother Irene served as convent rectress for over 20 years, beginning in 1992...