On Friday the 27th through Sunday the 29th of October, the parish of St. Mary of Egypt Church in Roswell (Atlanta), GA was blessed with a visit by the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God – accompanied by His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan.
On Friday evening, a moleben to the Mother of God was led by Bishop Nicholas. Orthodox Christians throughout the Greater Atlanta area were in attendance to venerate the holy image, by which innumerable healings and many other miracles have been wrought by God.
On October 28, Demetrius Soul Saturday, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by parish and visiting clergy. Members and visitors had an opportunity to greet His Grace at an informal luncheon. Afterward, Bishop Nicholas and parish cleric Hieromonk Alexander (Lisnichuk) took the Kursk Root Icon to commune an aging parishioner.
On Saturday evening, the diocesan vicar led the All-Night Vigil service for the feast of Holy Martyr Longinus the Centurion. The parish choir sang under the direction of Irene Wasilov.
On Sunday morning, Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace along with parish clergy: rector Archpriest John Townsend, Fr. Alexander, Priest Daniel Iliev, Deacon Mikhail Beliakov, and visiting clergy: Priest Michael Dunstan (rector of St. Xenia the Blessed church in Huntsville, AL), Protodeacon Leonid Mickle (cleric of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC), and Deacon John Hanson (diocesan cleric). The parish choir sang under the direction of Mary Spence.
With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, at the Little Entrance, Fr. Michael Dustan was awarded the gold cross. After the Great Entrance, Fr. Mikhail Beliakov was ordained to the holy priesthood, while after the Eucharistic Canon, parish Subdeacon Jude Rountree was ordained to the diaconate. Both Fr. Mikhail and Fr. Jude will continue to fulfill their service at St. Mary of Egypt Church.
After service, a veritable banquet was provided by the sisterhood, led by Eugenia Stallworth and Svetlana Findley.
The weekend was a wonderful grace-filled event for the parish of St. Mary of Egypt and the Greater Atlanta area, and the faithful will long remember the double blessing of the presence of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon and of His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan.