On Saturday, April 29, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern American & New York arrived at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY, of which he is the rector, and led the divine services in Nativity of the Mother of God Church on the eve of the feast of Venerable Zosimas of Solovki, Heavenly patron of the Synodal Candle Factory, which operates on the hermitage grounds.
At Divine Liturgy, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad was co-served by His Grace, Bishop Jerome, Archimandrite Elevferiy (Skiba; dean of Inexhaustible Chalice Church in Brooklyn, NY), Archpriest Dionisy Nalitov (rector of St. Panteleimon Church in Hartford, CT), Abbot Eutychius (Dovganyuk; cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of Long Island & the Hudson Valley), Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov; abbot of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ), Priest George Temidis (parish cleric), Protodeacons Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY) and Dionysius Lvov (Synodal cleric), and Deacons Alexey Pnev (parish cleric) and Eugene Utnyukhin (cleric of St. Panteleimon Church).
At the Little Entrance, His Eminence awarded Fr. George Temidis the right to wear the purple skufia.
Upon completion of the Liturgy, everyone exited to the wide patio outside the main entrance to the church building for a moleben with a blessing of the water. Metropolitan Hilarion walked throughout the factory, blessing it with holy water, and afterward, posing for a photograph with the director, Protodeacon Dionysius, and his staff members.
When everyone returned to the church, the Metropolitan spoke in his sermon about Venerable Zosimas, patron saint of bees, touching on the saint’s history and healings from the 15th century. After the sermon, Protodeacon Dimitri read aloud the Metropolitan’s directive, naming Fr. George Temidis his deputy rector for the New Kursk Root Hermitage.
All of the clergy and guests were invited to a bountiful luncheon, set up through the cooperative efforts of Fr. Dionysius and the parish sisterhood. During the luncheon, Archpriest Ion Arama (rector of Holy Annunciation Church in Flushing, NY) joined everyone with his family. Although there was a bit of a wait for the shish kabobs, everyone was joyful and the atmosphere was festive. Many of the guests stayed to enjoy the territory, taking advantage of a beautiful, sunny spring day. They walked throughout the cemetery and down through the woods to the chapel by the pond. They even braved the rickety bridge to get to the island in the pond, and some even climbed on the fallen tree, which came down on the chapel and well in 2011, after which the chapel needed to be restored. The newly restored chapel was blessed in 2015 to the same Passion Icon of the Mother of God to which it was dedicated when first built in the 1960’s.