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Dania Beach, FL: Archpastoral Visit to St. Matrona of Moscow Cathedral
On Sunday, November 18, as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of St. Nicholas Monastery in North Ft. Myers, FL, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, paid an archpastoral visit to St. Matrona of Moscow Cathedral in Dania Beach, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy.
 
Concelebrating with His Eminence were: Bishop Saba of Eastern America (Georgian Orthodox Church), Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan (vicar of the Eastern American Diocese), Bishop Victor of Artzis (vicar of the Diocese of Odessa), Archimandrite Alexander (Belya; cathedral rector), Archpriest Vitaly Kosovsky (rector of St. Elias Church in Kiev), Archimandrite Stephan (Hilchuk; cleric of St. Nicholas Monastery in Ft. Myers), Archpriest Nicholas Bargoot (rector of St. Panteleimon Mission in Lake Worth, FL), Archpriest Serge Prisakaru (cathedral cleric), Archdeacon Serge Kosovsky (archdeacon to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church), and Deacon Rostislav Zadorozhny (cleric of St. John the Forerunner Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY).
 
The building of St. Matrona Cathedral, which earlier belonged to a Methodist community, was consecrated in December 12, 2015. Prior to the consecration, the church was renovated, with a new marble floor installed. Over the past three years, capital renovations were made, with large-scale reconstruction of the cathedral and neighboring buildings, replacement of the air conditioning systems, and installation of hurricane-proof windows. The first floor of the cathedral was remodeled, and now houses a comfortable guesthouse. 
 
St. Matrona parish is Russian-speaking, but parishioners include Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Moldovan, and faithful from other nationalities of the former Soviet Union. Those who wish to do so donate their hard work, time, and funds to benefit the parish. Old traditions are being reborn here, with those interested ordering icons of saints (either their patrons, or those near to their hearts) and donating them to the cathedral. This is all done with the blessing of the rector, who orders the holy icons from iconographers at the Kiev Caves Lavra, so that they will all be completed in the same style as they adorn the cathedral. Thus did the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, the icon of the "Queen of All," and icons of the Holy Martyrs Tatiana and Irene recently appear in the church.
 
For the first time in the United States, the tradition of reading the "Sleepless Psalter" has been revived here. The Psalter is read by sisters of mercy, who come to the cathedral from Kiev and Jerusalem.
 
The cathedral’s Sunday School works with four groups of children, who are taught Russian Language, Law of God, and Singing by professional teachers.
 
Benefactors Alexis and Katherine Lukianov aided in the organization of the school space, and now children of all ages can study in a number of classrooms.
 
Every Friday in the cathedral, an akathist is served to Blessed Matrona of Moscow, while on the eve of various feasts, an akathist is served for those unable to pray at Liturgy on the very day of the feast.
On November 18, the feast day of the Holy Hierarch Tikhon, Patriarch of All Russia, a multitude of parishioners and guests from throughout the city came to pray at the hierarchal Divine Liturgy. Their prayer was especially joyous in the presence of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, accompanied in Miami by her guardian – Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. Many communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries that day. 
 
Upon completion of Liturgy, Bishop Victor of Artzis addressed the faithful with a sermon, directing their attention to the day’s Gospel reading, which speaks of the Savior’s raising of Jairus’ daughter.
 
"From the example of the resurrection of this girl, we must realize that, for God, nothing is impossible. We must only learn to trust in Him, as her sorrowing father did. He called on God from the depths of his heart – and the Lord sent him what he asked for. We often ask God for help in one situation or another, or purchase many candles, but only when we will learn to call on God from the depths of our heart, when we ask God’s mercy not only for ourselves, but for those around us, will the Lord come to our aid.
 
"We think that our spiritual life consists of sometimes going to church, and occasionally trying to keep the fasts. But we forget about the meaning of Christianity – about the love that must abide between us, by which the Lord will know that we are His disciples.
 
"If we will not learn to reconcile, if we will not learn to forgive or to observe the first commandment of love, then we will not be called sons of God in eternity."
 
Metropolitan Hilarion thanked the archpastors, clergy, and faithful for their shared prayer, and awarded several active participants of parish life with the Jubilee Order of the Nun-Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth.
 
The archpastors, clergy, and laity exited the church and beheld the new cupolas, installed just the day before. Metropolitan Hilarion blessed a memorial plaque on the side of the cathedral dedicated to the memory of Grand Duke Vladimir Cyrillovich.
 
Upon their return to the church, the faithful were able to venerate pieces of the relics of the Holy Great-Martyr & Trophy-Bearer George and the Holy Martyr Eutropius’ head (given to St. Nicholas Monastery from the Vatican’s collection).
 
The Sunday School students then presented a remarkable concert for the hierarchs, clergy, and parishioners. After this, a luncheon was held, during which those present reminisced on parish life. Many words of gratitude were offered to the visiting hierarchs and guests.
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Dania Beach, FL: Archpastoral Visit to St. Matrona of Moscow Cathedral - 11/18/18

Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - P. Lukianov

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