On Saturday, August 19, the great feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, celebrated Divine Liturgy in Holy Transfiguration Church in Baltimore, MD in honor of the parish’s patronal feast day. Co-serving with His Eminence were Archpriest Victor Potapov (dean of the Capital Region), parish rector Archpriest Ion Barbus, and Protodeacon Dionysius Lvov (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City).
The parish of Holy Transfiguration Church in Baltimore was founded in 1963 by a family of Russian émigrés – Vladimir and Anastasia Norko. They purchased the building, where a church and parish hall were built, with an apartment for the priest on the second floor.
The first rector, Archpriest Nikolai Makowelski, served at the church until his retirement in 1984. After his ordination in 1996, Fr. Rostislav Sheniloff became the parish’s second rector; for many years, he had been a parishioner, reader, and choir singer in the church. This was a time when Baltimore was home to a large community of Russian émigrés. Fr. Rostislav began performing the divine services in Church Slavonic. After many years without a permanent priest, parish life began to revive, a sisterhood was founded in honor of the Holy Myrrhbearing Women, and classes began to be held to teach give children a spiritual and cultural education. The church was also restored, with a new iconostasis built, the icons for which were painted in the Old Russian style by Fr. Theodore Jurewicz, a student of Archimandrite Cyprian (Pyzhov).
The labors of the former rectors are now being continued by the current rector of Holy Transfiguration Church, Archpriest Ion Barbus. At the Little Entrance, for his faithful service to the Holy Church, Fr. Ion was awarded the jeweled cross.
Both regular parishioners and guests attended the feast in church. Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated the faithful with the feast, and presented diocesan gramotas to parish laborers: Ion Spac, Dimitri Aresenjev, Vadim Jelihovschi, Mihail Boleac, and Nicolae Anton. A festal luncheon was provided for the clergy, parishioners, and guests.