On Friday, February 7, the feast of Holy Hieromartyr Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev & Galicia, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, paid an archpastoral visit to the Church of Our Lady "Unexpected Joy" on Staten Island, NY, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy.
Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad was Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, as well as Archpriest Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Abbot Vladmir (Zgoba; parish rector), Archpriest Petro Kunitsky (cleric of Holy New Martyrs & Confessors of Russia Church in Brooklyn, NY), Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of Long Island & the Hudson Valley), Archpriest Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn), Priests Alexander Revyuk and Nicholas Gulin (OCA Clerics), Priest Vitaliy Lalyukov (diocesan cleric), and Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY).
Despite its being workday, many parishioners and faithful from parishes in nearby Brooklyn came to the service. Upon completion of Liturgy, the majority of those praying in church received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Congratulating the clergy and faithful with the feast, Metropolitan Hilarion expounded on the life and martyric death of the Hieromartyr Vladimir. His Eminence congratulated the parish rector, Fr. Vladimir, on his namesday, wishing him the aid of God and his Heavenly patron in his pastoral labors.
In turn, Fr. Vladimir spoke about how he came to God, began attending church, and how he was overjoyed to receive in monastic tonsure the name of the Holy Hieromartyr Vladimir, who toiled in his final years in Ukraine, not far from where the future Fr. Vladimir was raised. The rector thanked Metropolitan Hilarion for his visit to the church and for their joint prayer.
After the service, Fr. Vladimir invited the clergy and those praying at Liturgy to a festal lenten luncheon held at a neighboring restaurant.