On May 21, the Sunday of the Blind Man, His Grace, Bishop Jerome, paid an archpastoral visit to St. Nicholas Church in Poughkeepsie, NY, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy. After the greeting of the archpastor by the parish warden and rector – Archpriest Alexander Donchenko – Liturgy began. Bishop Jerome was co-served by Fr. Alexander, Priest Nectarios Alejilat (Arabic Mission), Priest George Temidis (deputy rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY), and Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY).
The parish of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God at the New Kursk Root Hermitage came to Poughkeepsie to jointly celebrate the feast, which is traditionally held on the Sunday nearest May 22, the feast of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas the Wonderworker. Both parishes, per long established tradition, come to each other’s feast days.
Liturgy was sung very harmoniously by the local choir, while more and more worshippers arrived as the service progressed.
Bishop Jerome delivered a sermon on the reading from Acts regarding "a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination," who testified of the Apostles, "These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation" (Acts 16:16-17). His Grace also spoke regarding the Gospel reading, wherein the scribes and Pharisees, blinded by their hatred, could not see the miracle performed by Christ in healing the blind man, but sought only how they might accuse the Lord.
Upon completion of the service, Bishop Jerome presented a diocesan gramota to the parish’s longtime warden, Alexey Klimoff.
Liturgy was followed by a short moleben to the Holy Apostle John the Theologian and Holy Hierarch Nicholas the Wonderworker, after which there was a rich and varied dinner including Russian, American, and Middle Eastern cuisines.