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Archpastoral Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion to Participants of Memorial Services on 50th Anniversary of Repose of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy

of His Eminence HILARION, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad,
to the Participants of Memorial Services on the 50th Anniversary of the Repose
of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy

Beloved in the Lord fathers, brothers, and sisters!

I express my heartfelt greetings to the honorable clergy, parishioners, and worshippers of Holy Protection Church in Nyack, New York, the relatives and friends of Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy of blessed memory, and all the participants of the divine services and memorial events dedicated to the 50th anniversary of his repose!

As a monk of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, and a student at its seminary, I always found it endearing to behold the edifying example of good life, selfless service to the Church, and the mutual love between Protopresbyter Michael and Vera T. Pomazansky. The latter seemed to me the ideal batushka and matushka, who "served the Lord with fear and rejoiced in Him with trembling."

In the same way, Fr. Seraphim and Elena A. Slobodskoy, being genuine friends and with no interest in wealth, devoted all their efforts to Holy Protection Parish, its parishioners and worshipers with the pedagogical, ecclesio-patriotic and educational work among children and youth. Wherever they labored, at the parish, Russian school, or summer camp, they always together created an aura of blessedness which attracted people to them. Fr. Seraphim, who experienced all sorts of sorrows, obstacles, and temptations in his pastoral service, always found consolation and support from his devoted spouse in bearing his burden. Parish and church-social life were brought in their entirety inside their home and family. They did not hold themselves aloof from people, but rejoiced in their joys and empathized with their troubles and tribulations. They say that Archbishop Averky (Taushev), whose cell-attendant I had the joy of being, confidently foretold that the work by Fr. Seraphim, The Law of God for Study at Home & School, completed in 1957, would later be broadly disseminated throughout the Orthodox world. Thank God, as we now see, this book can be found not only in all the churches and church shops of the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, but in other Local Orthodox Churches, for it has been translated into many languages of the world and published in other countries.

Dear in the Lord fathers, brothers, and sisters: I join you in prayer now for the repose of the souls of servants of God Archpriest Seraphim and Elena, praying that the Lord erect new pillars of faith and piety such as they. I pray for the preservation of our children and youth, that the example of Fr. Seraphim and "Matushka Yolochka," as she was lovingly called, would ignite their hearts with fervent love for God, the Church, and their neighbor. Amen.

Memory Eternal to Archpriest Seraphim and Elena, and for us, God’s help and the sovereign Protection of the Most Blessed Virgin Theotokos!

With love in the Lord,

Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

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