From February 17-27, with the blessing of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, Eastern American Diocesan Council member Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine paid a working visit to the Moscow Diocese.
Over the course of these days, Fr. Alexandre visited Moscow’s Novospassky, Vysokopetrovsky, St. Andrew, Holy Protection, and Sretensky Monasteries, Christ the Savior Cathedral, Holy Epiphany Cathedral, and the Church of the Holy Apostle James.
Upon his arrival in Moscow, Fr. Alexandre was received at Novospassky Monastery by Metropolitan Dionyius of Voskresensk, chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate and First Patriarchal Vicar for Moscow. His Eminence posed questions about ecclesiastical and liturgical life in the parishes of the Russian Church Abroad in America during the pandemic.
During his visit to Moscow, Fr. Alexandre concelebrated at Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 20, in Christ the Savior Cathedral, alongside Archpriest Michael Ryazantsev, and on February 22 in Holy Epiphany Cathedral prayed at a panihida for the ever-memorable Patriarch Alexey II, led by Metropolitan Arsenius of Lipetsk and Zadonsk.
On Monday, February 21, Fr. Alexandre met in Holy Epiphany Cathedral with Matushka Maria Ageykin and the children of the cathedral’s ever-memorable rector, Archpriest Alexander Ageykin, who reposed on April 21, 2020 – one of the first clerics to repose due to complications from the Coronavirus. Fr. Alexandre interacted warmly with Matushka and served a litia at the rector’s grave. On behalf of Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Nicholas, and the clergy of the Diocese, Fr. Alexandre laid a bouquet of white roses on the tomb.
On Wednesday, February 24, Fr. Alexandre visited the Education Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church at St. Andrew Monastery, where he met with its chairman, Archpriest Maxim Kozlov.
Fr. Alexandre also held other meetings during his trip to Moscow, including a discussion with the secretary of the Kursk Diocesan Administration, Archpriest Andrew Ivanov, also visiting Moscow. During their talk, both sides expressed their hopes for renewing visits of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon to the Kursk Diocese, once the pandemic has subsided.
On Saturday, February 27, the diocesan representative concluded his visit to Russia, returned successfully to New York City, and brough with him an icon of Blessed Matrona of Moscow gifted to the faithful of the U.S., which will later be taken to the Florida Deanery.