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Rochester, NY: Bishop Luke performs Archpastoral Visit to Protection of the Mother of God Church

On Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th of October, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse paid an archpastoral visit to Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY. The visit was timed in connection with the parish’s recent patronal feast on October 14.

Concelebrating with His Grace at the divine services were: Archimandrite Theophylact (Clapper-DeWell; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY), Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (parish rector), Priest Andrew Hammond (rector of Sts. Theodore Church in Buffalo, NY), Protodeacons Andrej Strapko (parish cleric) and Nikifor Franklin (cleric of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY), and Deacons Nathan Reff (parish cleric) and George Hammond (cleric of Sts. Theodore Church).

During the reading of the hours, Reader Daniel Watkins was elevated to the rank of Subdeacon and later, after the Eucharistic Canon, with the blessing of Metropolitan Nicholas, was ordained to the diaconate for service in Sts. Theodore Church. At the Little Entrance, Deacon George Hammond was awarded the right to wear the double orarion.

Liturgy was celebrated under the aegis of an icon of the Protection of the Mother of God containing within it a piece of the cincture, or girdle, of the Mother of God. This icon is known to have healed a number of people who had prayed before it from cancer.

Bishop Luke delivered an inspiring sermon in which he pointed out that most believers turn to the Mother of God for physical protection. His Grace emphasized that we need as Orthodox Christians to guard our hearts and turn to her for protection from harmful influences and thoughts that poison our hearts. The hierarch posed the question: "Who is a person if not what his heart is?"

At the end of Liturgy, warden emeritus Andrew Babish, Nina Wrobel, Clyde-Michael and Valentina Washburn were awarded diocesan gramotas for their exceptional service to the parish community and Diocese.

After a moleben before the wonderworking icon, the parish sisterhood provided a festal meal, during which Bishop Luke gave the assembled parishioners more valuable spiritual advice.


Rochester, NY: Bishop Luke performs Archpastoral Visit to Protection of the Mother of God Church - 10/16/22

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Eastern American Diocese | Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia