On Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st of June, the feast of All Saints who Shone Forth in the Russian Land, His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, paid an archpastoral visit to St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon Church, leading the first hierarchal services in the parish’s new location in Pompano Beach, FL. The visit was timed to coincide with the parish’s patronal feast, which had been celebrated on June 11.
On Saturday evening, the vicar of the Eastern American Diocese led the All-Night Vigil. The following morning, after the reading of the Hours, His Grace performed the lesser consecration and blessed the new church with holy water. He then celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Archpriest Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (acting dean of Florida), Priest Demetrio Romeo (parish rector), and Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY).
At the Little Entrance, with the blessing of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, Fr. Demetrio was awarded the right to wear the kamilavka for his zealous pastoral labors.
The parish choir sang the divine services, led by Alexis and Katherine Lukianov of the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music (PaTRAM) Institute, and joined by singers from around the Eastern American Diocese. Parishioners gathered at Liturgy to honor the memory of their Heavenly patron, and all the saints of Russia.
On behalf of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, upon completion of the festal Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas congratulated the clergy and parishioners and delivered a beautiful sermon on St. Luke’s selflessness and love for God, and urged the faithful to follow their Heavenly patron’s example. He also reminded them that St. Luke reposed in the Lord on the feast of All-Saints of Russia in 1961. His Grace called on the faithful to follow the example of the Holy Hierarch Luke, who dedicated his knowledge, service, and entire life to God and man.
Special recognition was given to the following people: Alexis and Katherine Lukianov were awarded a Synodal gramota and a hand-painted icon of St. Luke for their labors and financial support in the finding and establishment of a permanent home for St. Luke parish. Stelios Findrilakis was awarded a Synodal gramota and a hand-painted icon of St. Luke for his kindness and generosity in allowing the parish to have a temporary home during the transition. Ty Theta Trottill was awarded a copy of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God for her tireless and resourceful efforts to build the new church for the glory of God.
Bishop Nicholas thanked all of the concelebrating clergy, altar servers, and faithful who came and shared their prayers, and the sisterhood and workers who helped make the feast so special and memorable.
Upon completion of the service, a festal luncheon was held, during which the clergy and parishioners continued their interaction with their archpastor.