On Saturday, January 14, the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and the Holy Hierarch Basil the Great, His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, paid an archpastoral visit to St. Basil Church in Simpson, PA, where he celebrated Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the parish’s patronal feast day.
Serving alongside the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were: Archpriests John Sorochka (dean of Pennsylvania), David Hritcko (parish rector), Michael Taratuchin (rector of St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church in Utica, NY), and Jason Franchak (rector of St. Basil Church OCA in Simpson), Priests Vincent Dranginis (rector of St. Stephen Church in Old Forge, PA) and George Sharonoff (rector of St. John the Wonderworker Mission in Lewisburg, PA), Protodeacon Stephen Howanetz and Deacon Nathaniel Sorochka (clerics of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield, PA), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacon Michael Pavuk (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY).
Singing in the choir was parish cleric Deacon Michael Wengrin.
Liturgy was held under the aegis of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
Upon completion of Liturgy, Metropolitan Nicholas addressed the gathered faithful with a sermon on St. Basil and his labors of prayer on behalf of Christ’s Church. His Eminence thanked Fr. David and the parish for their invitation and joint prayers.
After the service, a luncheon was served for all in the parish hall.