At the invitation of Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco & Western American, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, took part in the celebrations in honor of the feast day of the Holy Hierarch John, Wonderworker of Shanghai & San Francisco.
This year, the celebrations began on Friday, June 30, and continued on Saturday, July 1. In 1994, at the glorification of the Holy Hierarch John, the Council of the Russian Church Abroad adopted a resolution to hold the celebrations in honor of the saint on the nearest Saturday to the day of his repose – Saturday, July 2, 1966.
Bishop Nicholas arrived in San Francisco on Thursday evening, June 29, and the following morning prayed at Liturgy in Our Lady "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Cathedral. The popular celebrations began on Friday evening: the clergy and faithful greeted Archbishop Kyrill, who led the All-Night Vigil. The Thursday evening prior, the reliquary holding the full relics of St. John was placed in the center of the church for veneration by the faithful.
On Saturday, July 1, Archbishop Kyrill celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Bishop Nicholas and Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, 28 priests and 10 deacons. Singing at the divine service was the choir under the direction of conductor Vladimir Krassovsky. Joining the Russian faithful praying in church were pilgrims from the Serbian, Greek, and American Churches. The clergy communed the faithful from three chalices. Bishop Irenei addressed the faithful with a sermon. His Grace spoke about the labors of St. John, and called on the people of God to strive to imitate his life.
Upon completion of Liturgy, a procession with an icon containing relics of St. John was held. Archbishop Kyrill congratulated everyone gathered with the feast; answering this congratulation, Bishop Nicholas thanked His Eminence for his invitation to pray before the relics of St. John and interact with the clergy and parishioners of the Western American Diocese. The cathedral sisterhood organized a festal luncheon for the clergy, worshippers, and guests.
On Sunday, July 2, the feast day of the Holy Apostle Jude, Archbishop Kyrill celebrated Divine Liturgy in Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral, co-served by Bishop Nicholas, cathedral dean Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, and Archpriest George Gutorov from Moscow.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas addressed the faithful with a sermon on the topic of the Gospel reading – the example of deep faith shown by the pagan centurion, who asked Christ the Savior to heal his servant. His Grace called on the faithful to perform deeds of charity for their neighbors, showing love and attention to them.
On Monday, July 3, Archbishop Kyrill and Bishop Nicholas visited Our Lady of Kazan Church on the Russian River, where they continued their brotherly interaction and discussed issues relating to Church life in their respective dioceses.