On Bright Saturday, April 30, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan paid an archpastoral visit to St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy.
Concelebrating with His Grace were: Archpriests Serge Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Boris Slootsky (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ), Vasily Zeleniuk (cleric of Holy New Martyrs & Confessors of Russia Church in Brooklyn, NY), Paul Ivanov (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Brooklyn), and Serge Ledkovsky (memorial church deputy rector), Priests Anthony Williams (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral) and Alexei Klar (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski and Deacon Alexandre Sarandinaki (clerics of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral), and Deacons Nicholas Ilyin (cleric of Novo-Diveevo Convent) and Rostislav Wojtenko (memorial church cleric).
Paschal Matins were served before Liturgy, followed by the greeting of the bishop. After the service, a procession was held around the church.
Addressing the faithful with a sermon, Bishop Nicholas spoke about how grateful we must be to our forefathers, who worked very hard to establish ROCOR parishes. Especially noteworthy is Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko; +1960), who founded St. Alexander Nevsky Parish in Lakewood in 1936 and, two years later, St. Vladimir Memorial Church. After him, Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky; +1976) and Metropolitan Laurus (Škurla; +2008) continued working in the Diocese, founding parishes in many states. His Grace called on the clergy and faithful to continue their legacy and support the Church.
At the kissing of the cross, His Grace congratulated Fr. Alexei on the first anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Thomas Sunday, as well as Fr. Nicholas, who was ordained four years ago, and Fr. Serge Lukianov with the upcoming 40th anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate. Fr. Serge thanked the diocesan vicar for his archpastoral care in the Diocese and introduced an idea of annually celebrating Bright Monday at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell (already a longstanding tradition) and Bright Saturday in Jackson. Bishop Nicholas supported this initiative to continue this new tradition with God’s help.
Many young people came from different parishes and participated in the singing. After a festal luncheon, the youth enjoyed a day of sports.