On November 6, the 21st Sunday after Pentecost and feast day of the Icon of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow," Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America & New York paid an archpastoral visit to Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Philadelphia, PA, in honor of the parish’s patronal feast.
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Abbot Tikhon (Gayfudinov; abbot of Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ), parish rector Priest Valery Sukholobov, Priest Gabriel Souza (cleric of Holy Protection Skete), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacons Dimitri Krenitsky (cleric of Holy Protection Skete) and Stephanos Bibas (parish cleric).
At the Little Entrance, for his dedicated service to the Holy Church and his labors in the parish, Fr. Valery was elevated to the rank of archpriest.
Many parishioners and guests communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas addressed the gathered faithful with a sermon, in which he underscored the importance for every Christian of turning in prayer to the Mother of God, both in one’s private prayers and at the divine services in God’s church.
His Eminence congratulated Fr. Valery with his award and all of the parishioners on the occasion of their patronal feast day, and thanked the concelebrating clergy for their joint prayer.
After the service, a bountiful luncheon was offered for the clergy and faithful in the parish hall, during which Fr. Valery offered words of greeting to the Metropolitan, and words of congratulations to parishioners and all those who in recent days had celebrated their namesday.