Tuesday, February 18 of this year saw an important development take place in the life of Orthodox Florida: the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, signed a directive creating a seventh diocesan deanery, encompassing the state of Florida, and bringing into the Eastern American Diocese the parish of Blessed Matrona of Moscow in Hallandale (near Miami). Assigned as the new dean of Florida is St. Matrona’s Church rector, Archimandrite Alexander (Belya).
With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov visited Miami at the start of February, and acquainted himself with the life of St. Matrona’s Church. Fr. Serge was glad to note that the parish rector, Fr. Alexander, had been successful in organizing the parish’s liturgical and spiritual life within a short timeframe. Thanks to the efforts of parish warden Ivan Belya, the Russian-language "Orthodox Florida" newspaper is issued regularly, and disseminated throughout Greater Miami. The paper helps acquaint local Russian speakers with the fundamentals of the Faith, instructing them on Church feast days, the lives of the saints and holy ascetics, and much more.
Fr. Serge especially notes Fr. Alexander’s ability to unite Orthodox people of various nationalities: St. Matrona’s is home to Russians, Ukrainians and Moldovans, Belarusians, and Georgians all praying together. This unity of the faithful helps spiritual fortify the multiethnic flock of the Eastern American Diocese. The creation of the new deanery and appointment of a new dean will undoubtedly have a positive effect on Orthodox life in Florida.
The following parishes comprise the Florida Deanery: