Wednesday, October 25, saw the second day of the Pastoral Conference for Clergy & Matushkas of the Eastern American Diocese and Patriarchal Parishes in the USA at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.
After an early morning Divine Liturgy in Holy Trinity Cathedral, participants were treated to a lenten breakfast in the monastery refectory. They then proceeded to the Seminary Hall for the first presentation of the day, which was delivered by Archimandrite Augustine (Nikitin; professor at St. Petersburg Theological Academy) on "Russia and the Hawaiian Islands – An Overview of Church Connections." Those in attendance heard how the Russian-American Company did business in Hawaii and built a fort on the island of Kauai named in honor of Empress Elizabeth Alexeevna, as well as how several native Hawaiians converted to Orthodoxy and visited Russia.
The next talk was delivered by Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, on "The 10th Anniversary of the Reunification," in which His Grace spoke about developments in relations between ROCOR and the Patriarchal Parishes since 2007, and answered participants’ questions.
Andrey Lyubimov spoke to those in attendance about the work being done on Pravoslavnaya Rus’ ("Orthodox Rus’"), the oldest continuous diasporan publication, and encouraged the faithful of the Diocese to contribute materials. Pravoslavnaya Rus’ is available online here.
After lunch, participants headed up to the monastery cemetery, where a panihida was served at the gravesite of Brother Jose Muñoz-Cortes, guardian of the myrrh-streaming Montreal-Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, who endured martyric death on October 31, 1997. Archpriest Victor Potapov (dean of the Capital Region) addressed those gathered, noting with joy that this was the largest gathering of priests at Brother Jose’s grave since his burial. Fr. Victor, whose parish at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC conducts an annual pilgrimage to Jordanville to pray for Brother Jose, expressed his wish that one day, the clergy would gather once again in church for the his glorification.
A round table discussion was then held with the seminarians of Holy Trinity Seminary, who posed various questions to the more experienced pastors. Among these were inquiries about contemporary moral and political issues, prayer rules, parish life, and further clerical service in the Church.
During free time, the clergy and matushkas walked the monastery grounds, and visited nearby St. Elisabeth Skete.
At 4:00 PM, all assembled to greet the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Icon of the Mother of God, and proceeded into the cathedral, where the Communion Rule was served with the Akathist to the Iveron Icon.
After dinner, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan led the All-Night Vigil. The service was sung antiphonally by two choirs: Slavonic, under the direction of Reader Nicholas Kotar; and English, under the direction of Priest Ephraim Willmarth, while the conference attendees made their confessions in order to commune of Christ’s Holy Mysteries the following morning.