On Tuesday, May 22, His Grace, Bishop Jerome, visited St. Nicholas Church in Poughkeepsie, NY, and celebrated Divine Liturgy there in honor of the parish’s patronal feast day.
His Grace was greeted at the entrance to the church by the warden with the traditional bread and salt, and then by the clergy: parish rector Archpriest Alexander Donchenko, Archimandrite Elevferiy (Skiba; dean of "Inexhaustible Chalice" Church in Brooklyn, NY), and Deacon Alexey Pnev (cleric of the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY).
Bishop Jerome’s vestments for that service were based on the type usually seen in icons of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas, Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia.
The Epistle and Gospel were read in Slavonic and English.
Bishop Jerome’s sermon was based on the words "Guard the good deposit" – II Timothy 1:14, which can be construed as "Keep the good testament" or "the good treasure" or "the good which is committed to thee," as exemplified in St. Nicholas and the First Œcumenical Council, of which he was one of the Fathers commemorated the Sunday prior.
The Liturgy was followed by a moleben, and the Polychronion intoned, as is customary, for the hierarchy, parish clergy and staff, and several namesday celebrants, including Metropolitan Isaiah (Chronopoulos) of Denver.
The sisterhood prepared a wonderful luncheon, at which there were many toasts to the parish, the hierarchy, and visiting clergy and altar servers. Clergy discussions concerned the problem that many people, not just those whose first language is another but also native speakers of Russian, often do not understand Church Slavonic or misconstrue familiar Slavonic words and expressions, so that language issues and communication are important in pastoral work.
Given particular honors was Mr. George N. Nikolsky, who this year is stepping down after almost 40 years of directing the parish’s male choir.