On Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 25th, the Leavetaking of the great feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to the eponymous church in Albany, NY on the occasion of their recent patronal feast and the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the parish.
On Saturday evening, His Eminence officiated the All-night Vigil. On Sunday morning, the Metropolitan was greeted at the doors of the church by the parish warden, John Gonyea, and celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse and:
- Archpriest Peter Perekrestov (dean of Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco, CA)
- Archpriest Michael Fritz (parish cleric)
- Archimandrite Theophylact (Clapper-DeWell; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY)
- Archpriest Alexis Duncan (parish rector)
- Archpriest Michael Taratuchin (rector of St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church in Utica, NY)
- Priest Seraphim Wing (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Edinboro, PA)
- Hieromonk Anatoly (Zilin; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery)
- Priest Andrew Podymow (cleric of Holy Protection Church in Nyack, NY)
- Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk (cleric of Holy Epiphany Church in Boston, MA)
- Protodeacon Alexander Jarostchuk (cleric of Holy Epiphany Church)
- Protodeacon Michael Soloviev (parish cleric)
- Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur (cleric of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY)
- Protodeacon Nikifor Franklin (parish cleric), and
- Protodeacon Peter Markevich (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery).
Before the start of the Divine Liturgy, Reader Mark Lautenschlager was ordained a subdeacon. During the Little Entrance, by the decision of the Synod of Bishops, Priest Seraphim Wing was elevated to the rank of archpriest, and Protodeacon Nikifor Franklin was awarded the right to wear the kamilavka.
The choir sang beautifully under the masterful direction of John Schuler. Many parishioners and guests from neighboring churches came to the divine services.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas blessed the newly completed frescoes adorning the entire church.
In his sermon, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad greeted the clergy and faithful on the momentous occasions being celebrated: their recent patronal feast on September 21, the completion of the frescoes in the church, and the 70th anniversary of the parish’s founding. His Eminence presented a Synodal gramota to the entire parish in honor of the occasion. In addition, diocesan gramotas were presented to Protodeacon Michael Soloviev and parish warden John Gonyea for their dedicated service to the church.
A banquet was then held, where many congratulatory messages were read and interaction continued throughout the day.