On Monday the 23rd and Tuesday the 24th of November, Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) paid an archpastoral visit to St. Martin of Tours Mission in Montgomery Alabama on the occasion of its patronal feast day.
His Eminence arrived on Monday afternoon and was greeted by parish rector Priest Elias Crowder. Before the start of services, they visited the new land recently purchased by the mission for the construction of a permanent church building, and Metropolitan Jonah performed the blessing of the property.
That evening, Fr. Elias served Vespers, while Metropolitan Jonah prayed in the altar. After the service, the archpastor held a spiritual talk for those in attendance.
The following morning, Metropolitan Jonah celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Archpriest Mark Tyson (rector of Holy Prophet Elijah Mission in Pigeon Forge, TN), Priest Joseph Gagliano (diocesan cleric), Fr. Elias, and Deacon Justinian Burnett (cleric of St. John Cassian Chapel in Bessemer, AL).
After the Eucharistic Canon, His Eminence ordained Subdeacon Andrew Merritt to the diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon Andrew will fulfill his service at St. Martin of Tours Mission.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, the Metropolitan delivered a sermon on the life and labors of the Holy Hierarch Martin the Merciful, Bishop of Tours.
After the service, the parish sisterhood organized a bountiful luncheon, during which the Metropolitan Jonah held a second spiritual talk, and interaction between the clergy and faithful continued.