On Sunday, November 6, His Grace, Bishop Jerome (Shaw), paid an archpastoral visit to St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church in Utica, NY, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy. The visit was timed to coincide with the parish’s patronal feast, which took place on Tuesday, November 1.
On Tuesday morning, parish rector Archpriest Michael Taratuchin celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Priest Ephraim Willmarth (cleric of nearby Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville), Priest George Goodge (rector of St. George Antiochian Church in New Hartford, NY) and parish Deacon Michael Sementsov.
On Friday, November 4, a meeting of the St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Fund convened, with His Eminence Peter, Archbishop of Chicagsky & Mid-America, joining in by phone. The Fund board discussed the activities over the past year and ongoing aid to our faithful around the world. The Memorial Fund has been active since 1954, helping many in need.
On Sunday morning, Bishop Jerome arrived in Utica, and was greeted by Fr. Michael, who offered warm words of welcome. His Grace then celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by the rector, Priests Dmitri Don, Ephraim Willmarth (clerics of Holy Trinity Monastery), and Daniel Franzen (cleric of the Mid-American Diocese), Protodeacons Joseph and Alexander Jarostchuk (clerics of Holy Epiphany Church in Boston, MA) and Michael Soloviev (cleric of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY), and Deacons Michael Pavuk (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery), Michael Sementsov (parish cleric), and Konstantin Aleshin (cleric of the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY, accompanying His Grace).
The feast day was well attended, with the parish choir singing beautifully.
Bishop Jerome addressed the faithful with a sermon in Russian and English. In Russian, he spoke on the Epistle reading and the words, "No man is justified by the works of the law" (Gal. 2:16) ‒ what justifies us is our being part of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, which is always present in its entirely at every Divine Liturgy. This means that all of the saints are with us, so that Saints John of Rila and John of Kronstadt, Saint Arethas and his companions, and all the rest of the Church, are with us. In English sermon, His Grace spoke on the Gospel reading about the Rich Man and Lazarus. Earthly riches are like "Monopoly money," which has a value only during the game. The true riches we can obtain are the place that the Lord has prepared for us in His Kingdom.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, a traditional moleben was served with a procession around the church.
After the service, a festal banquet was held at Valley View Country Club in Utica. Those in attendance enjoyed one another’s company, and discussions ranged from liturgical subjects to current Church events.