On Friday, July 7, the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, His Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal & Canada, celebrated Divine Liturgy in St. John the Forerunner Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY, on the occasion of the lesser patronal feast day.
His Eminence was co-served by cathedral rector Archpriest Alexander Belya, Archpriest Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn), Archpriest Vasily Yurina (cathedral cleric), Abbot Photius (Oulanov; cleric of Holy Virgin Intercession Church in Glen Cove, NY), Hieromonk Vladimir (Zgoba; rector of Our Lady "Unexpected Joy" Church on Staten Island, NY), Protodeacon Ioann Bots, and cathedral Deacon Rostislav Zadorozhny.
The cathedral choir beautifully sang the hymns of the festal divine services. At the Little Entrance, with the blessing of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, Archbishop Gabriel awarded Fr. Rostislav the right to wear the second orarion for his labors on behalf of the Holy Church.
Upon completion of the Liturgy, the archpastor thanked the rector, clergy, choir, and laity for their joint prayer, noting that a multitude of the faithful had gathered in the church despite its being a work day and summer vacation time. The archpastor congratulated church warden Ivan Belya with the feast of his Heavenly patron, and congratulated Matushka Kristina Belya on her birthday.
On behalf of the clergy and parishioners, Fr. Alexander thanked Archbishop Gabriel for his visit to the cathedral and his archpastoral prayers, and wishes him God’s aid in his difficult service on behalf of the Mother Church.
The feast concluded with a luncheon.
Translation by the Eastern American Diocesan Media Office.