On Saturday, February 16, the feast day of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Nicholas, Archbishop of Japan, the clergy and faithful congratulated Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan on his namesday in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. On April 4, 2014, Bishop Nicholas was tonsured a monk and renamed in honor of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas (Kasatkin), Enlightener of Japan.
On his namesday, His Grace was joined by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, in celebrating Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with the hierarchs were:
- Archimandrite Elevferiy (Skiba; dean of Our Lady "The Inexhaustible Chalice" Church in Brooklyn, NY)
- Archimandrite Chrysostom (Onyekakeyah; cleric of the Alexandrian Patriarchate in Nigeria)
- Archpriest Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey)
- Archpriest Andrei Sommer (cathedral senior priest
- Archpriest Živojin Jakovljević (dean of St. Sava Serbian Cathedral in New York City)
- Archpriest Rafael Melendez (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ)
- Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of Long Island & the Hudson Valley)
- Archpriest Constantine Semyanko (rector of Holy Presentation Church in Stratford, CT)
- Archpriest Edward Chervinsky (cathedral cleric)
- Archpriest Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn)
- Abbot Tikhon (Gayfudinov; abbot of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ)
- Abbot Zosimas (Krampis; rector of St. Sergius English Mission at the Synod)
- Archpriest Ion Arama (rector of Holy Annunciation Church in Flushing, NY)
- Archpriest Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St .Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ)
- Hieromonk Silouan (Justiniano; cleric of St. Dionysios the Areopagite Monastery in St. James, NY)
- Priest Michael Vladimirov (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Franklin, NY)
- Protodeacon Nicolas Mokhoff (cathedral cleric)
- Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church in Nyack, NY)
- Protodeacon Paul Wolkow (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY)
- Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY)
- Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church)
- Protodeacon Vadim Gan (cathedral cleric)
- Protodeacon Leonid Roschko (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral)
- Hierodeacon Daniel (Justiniano; cleric of St. Dionysios Monastery)
- Deacon Pavel Roudenko (cathedral cleric)
- Deacon Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Novo-Diveevo Convent).
Singing at Liturgy was the Synodal choir under the direction of conductor Peter Fekula. Several of the hymns were sung in Japanese.
Upon completion of the service, the hierarchs and clergy served a short moleben before the icon of the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Nicholas of Japan.
Metropolitan Hilarion greeted His Grace with the feast of St. Nicholas, Equal-of-the-Apostles, and congratulated him on his namesday, joyfully noting Bishop Nicholas’ great fortune at having such a Heavenly patron and preceptor.
"He was sent as a priest to the Russian embassy in Japan, where he studied Japanese customs, religion, and literature, in order to better learn how to convert the Japanese people to the Christian Faith. Decades later, Archbishop Nicholas knew Japanese culture even better than most native Japanese, and thus was successfully able to convert many Japanese to Orthodoxy. For us, he is a preceptor and a great missionary; and we, laboring in the missionary arena in this country, where many people attend our churches, are in need of his aid. I wish for you, dear Vladyka, the further aid of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas of Japan, and his instruction in your archpastoral service."
Bishop Nicholas thanked the Metropolitan for his words of congratulation, and for leading the divine services on this auspicious day.
"It is always good, calming, and salvific to be alongside you. We speak daily, discuss matters of Church life, and I always hear wise words from you, feel the calm and love for all that flows from you. This is especially precious to me, having such a preceptor."
His Grace thanked the clergy of the Eastern American Diocese, as well as the Alexandrian and Serbian Patriarchates, who came to pray to and glorify the Holy Equal-of-the-Apostles Nicholas:
"Today, glorifying the memory of the Holy Hierarch Nicholas, who himself met God and helped others to know the Savior, we also draw new to Christ, and I call on you to glorify God, and to support, love, and forgive one another."
The sisterhood organized a reception and magnificent luncheon for the clergy, guests, and parishioners in the cathedral hall, whereat many kind and congratulatory words were offered.
New York City: Namesday of Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated in Synodal Cathedral - 02/16/19