On Saturday, December 12, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, performed the lesser consecration and led the grand opening of the Church of Blessed Matrona of Moscow in Hallandale Beach (Miami), FL. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad was co-served by Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan (vicar of the Eastern American Diocese), and visiting hierarchs, as well as Archimandrite Alexander (Belya; dean of Florida and parish rector), diocesan clerics, and local clergy of various jurisdictions.
In honor of the occasion, the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God – was brought from New York City for veneration by the faithful.
The city’s mayor and other local government officials participated in the opening ceremony. The new church is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the greater Miami region.
Upon completion of the service, Metropolitan Hilarion awarded several gramotas and orders to those who had taken part in the founding and adorning of the new church.
The parish was established in 2011 with parishioners celebrating the divine services in a small rented space. They gathered funds for four years, and in 2015 managed to buy a building of the Methodist church with space for a kindergarten, a library, and a refectory.
According to various estimations, from 100,000 to 200,000 Russian-speaking Americans live in Miami and neighboring counties.