On Tuesday, May 23, the feast day of the Holy Apostle Simon the Zealot, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan visited the Eastern American Diocesan Center in Howell, NJ, and celebrated Divine Liturgy in Our Lady of Tikhvin Church. His Grace was co-served by:
- Archpriest Alexander Belya (dean of New York City)
- Archpriest Mark Shinn (rector of St. Andrew’s Naval Cathedral in Philadelphia, PA)
- Archpriest Serge Lukianov (diocesan secretary; dean of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral)
- Archpriest Liubo Milosevich (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ)
- Hieromonk Vladimir (Zgoba; rector of Our Lady "Unexpected Joy" Church on Staten Island, NY)
- Archpriest Petro Kunitsky (cleric of Holy New Martyrs & Confessors of Russia Church in Brooklyn, NY)
- Archpriest Boris Slootsky (diocesan cathedral cleric)
- Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of Long Island & the Hudson Valley)
- Archpriest Leonid Goferman (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in New Brunswick, NJ)
- Archpriest Zoran Radovic (rector of St. George Serbian Church in Elizabeth, NJ)
- Priest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ)
- Priest Michael Volzhansky (cleric of the Diocese of Lipetsk)
- Protodeacon Leonid Roschko (diocesan cathedral cleric).
Singing with the choir were clerics of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov and Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski. Praying in the altar was the cathedral’s pastor emeritus, New Jersey dean Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov.
Upon completion of the service, parishioners communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Bishop Nicholas congratulated the clergy and parishioners with the ongoing feast of Holy Pascha, and expressed his joy and the number of clergy that had taken part in the Liturgy. Thirty-five years ago, on the feast of the Holy Apostle Simon the Zealot, Fr. Serge Lukianov was ordained to the diaconate. Bishop Nicholas congratulated Fr. Serge, wishing him strength, fortitude, and patience in his further service o God and man, and read aloud a greeting to Fr. Serge from the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, currently traveling in Moscow and participating in the festivities in honor of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between ROCOR and the Church in the homeland.
"Your Reverence! Christ is Risen! Spiritually rejoicing in Christ, the Vanquisher of hades and death, we congratulate you on the 35th anniversary of your clerical service. Your long-time and exemplary service in the clerical rank, as well as your conscientiousness and kindheartedness, are well-known to all. We are all also familiar with the close union and heartfelt, genuine love exists between you, the clergy, and parishioners. You, our most gracious concelebrant, have always been an example of zealous service to the Church and especially an example of love, peacemaking, and readiness to lay down your life for your friends. Many have seen this, have learned from it, and highly value Your Reverence.
"Greeting you now, we pray the Chief Shepherd Christ, that He might grant you life for many, many years, unto the comforting of your flock and us all, and for the glory of Christ’s Church."
The protodeacon then intoned the Polychronion for Fr. Serge.
Concluding, Fr. Serge thanked the clergy who had come in order to pray with him before God’s altar on the day of this milestone.