The clergy and parishioners of St. Panteleimon Church in Hartford, CT celebrated their patronal feast day. Joining them on Wednesday, August 8, for the All-Night Vigil and Thursday, August 9, for the Divine Liturgy was Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York. The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad was co-served by Bishop Jerome, Archpriest Serge Lukianov (diocesan secretary), Archpriest Dionisy Nalitov (parish rector), Archpriest Dimitri Jakimowicz (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Stratford, CT), Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov; abbot of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ), and Deacons Alexey Pnev (cleric of the Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY) and Eugene Utnyukhin (parish cleric).
Praying to the saint and asking for his assistance and blessing, parishioners and believers gathered from nearby temples, many of whom received the Holy Mysteries of Christ. Singing at the Divine Liturgy was the parish choir under the direction of Nicholas Semyanko.
Upon conclusion of the service, Bishop Jerome addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he expounded upon the life of St. Panteleimon, recalling the importance of having a soul healed for life eternal, a feat in which the Great Martyr & Healer Panteleimon helps us.
Afterward, the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful, donning banners and icons, walked in a procession around the church. The parish sisterhood prepared a bountiful meal in the parish hall.
In 1958, a small group of Orthodox Christians decided to establish a church, where services would be held only in Church Slavonic. With the Priest Nicholas at their head, they rented a building in an empty gymnasium on Wethersfield Avenue and transformed it into a quaint church. Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) consecrated the new church dedicated to the Great Martyr & Healer Panteleimon. The majority of the parishioners were very young; therefore, a large number of baptisms and weddings were served. The children learned the Russian language and the Law of God in the parish school.
In October 1967, the young and energetic collective decided that the time had come to construct a true Russian Orthodox Church. A parcel of land with a small house adjoining it was found in the southern part of Hartford, on quiet Becket Street.
The parish rector, Archpriest Michael Bylinsky, sent letters asking for donations to Australia, Argentina, France, Britain, and other countries. Thousands of letters with checks did not take long to be received. Fr. Dimitri Alexandrow of Philadelphia (later, Bishop Daniel), an engineer-architect by education and a talented icon painter, offered a sketch of the temple in the form of a five-domed church in the Posad style. In early November 1967, the engineers of the parish under the direction of Eugene Sinegursky began to work hard on calculations and drawings. In February 1971, at the parish meeting, they decided to start construction. The construction of brick walls, flooring, the installation of the roof, the foundation and the installation of the domes were done by the parishioners themselves and volunteers for free. They worked mostly in the evenings. One of the most laborious workers at the construction site was the rector of the parish, Fr. Michael Bylinsky and contractor, Eugene Sinegursky, who did not shy away from heavy physical work, climbing to the top and helping to erect the roof.
The consecration of the land and the cornerstone for the temple was performed by Bishop Laurus (Skurla). He laid in the foundation of the temple the holy relics of the Great Martyr & Healer Panteleimon, the Martyr Paraskeva and the Virgin-Martyr Lucia.
Thanks to the sacrifice and efforts of the parishioners, the construction of the temple was completed in just 14 months. In September 1972, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) and Bishop Laurus consecrated the church. By this time, much has been done on the completion of the iconostasis and the interior decoration of the church, although these works continued for another five years. The temple came to adorn the city as the fourth of the ten original buildings in Hartford.