On Friday, January 28, His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, paid an archpastoral visit to Paideia Classical Academy in Coconut Creek and the Apostolic Mission of Christ Parish in Miami, FL. This was His Eminence’s first visit to the area since his election as First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad.
As a blessing and joy to the faithful, the First Hierarch was accompanied by the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora ‒ the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
Paideia Classical Academy is a ministry of the Apostolic Mission of Christ and is the only K-12 Orthodox parochial school in the State of Florida. Founded in 2012, it now has an enrollment of 100 students.
His Eminence arrived at the school in the company of Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (acting dean of Florida) and Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar; abbot of St. Dionysios the Areopagite Monastery in St. James, NY). The Metropolitan was received by Archpriests Peter Jackson (dean of Spanish Missions and rector of the Apostolic Mission of Christ) and Romanos Galben (school chaplain).
After blessing all of the classrooms with the icon, a short moleben was served in the Holy Apostle Luke Chapel. All of the students, faculty, and staff venerated the icon and received a paper copy. Metropolitan Nicholas urged the children to continue to study hard and always obey their parents, encouraging to preserve in their hearts the peace which they received from the icon through the service.
That evening, His Eminence traveled with the icon to the Apostolic Mission of Christ, ROCOR’s only Spanish-language parish on the U.S. mainland. Matushka Myriam Bukawyn, widow of the parish’s founder, received the First Hierarch with bread and salt and greeted him in Spanish, assisted in translation by Matushka Styliana Jackson.
Fr. Peter then served a moleben with the Akathist to the Kursk Root Icon in Spanish. In addition to parishioners, several workers attended the service from the parish’s non-profit ministry helping refugees with their immigration paperwork. The parish receives 200-300 immigration clients every week, fleeing from oppression and persecution in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Colombia, and other lands.
Also attending was Canon Miguel Lobo (rector of Our Lady of Regla Church in Miami ‒ Antiochian Western Rite), as well as parishioners from nearby Sts. Peter & Paul Church (OCA).
After the service, His Eminence gave an address of comfort and encouragement to continue growing in our faith in Christ. A celebratory meal was then served for everyone in the parish hall.