On March 12, the second Sunday of Great Lent, that dedicated to the Holy Hierarch Gregory Palamas, His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, paid an archpastoral visit to Protection of the Mother of God Church in Rochester, NY ‒ his first visit in the rank of Metropolitan. With this visit, he continued the tradition started in the 1960s by Archbishop Averky (Taushev; +1976) and continued by Metropolitan Laurus (Škurla; +2008). Every year, these archpastors came not only during for the parish’s patronal feast, but also on the second Sunday of Great Lent.
Concelebrating with the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad were: Archimandrite Theophylact (Clapper-DeWell; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY), Archpriest Pimen Simon (rector of Nativity of Christ Church in Erie, PA), Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (parish rector), Protodeacon Andrej Strapko (parish cleric), Protodeacon Nikifor Franklin (cleric of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY), Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin; diocesan cleric), and Deacon Nathan Reff (parish cleric).
During the Sixth Hour, His Eminence elevated Reader Nicholas Kontogiannis to the rank of subdeacon. And after the Eucharistic Canon, he ordained a Monk-Subdeacon Theophan (Jensen) a hierodeacon.
Upon completion of Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan presented Fr. Gregory with a jubilee pectoral cross in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Church Abroad, and presented the parish a wonderful icon of the Synaxis of Mordovian Saints from the cell of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral; +2022).
For their dedication and work on behalf of the Holy Church and the parish, His Eminence expressed his primatial gratitude by awarding the following persons with a diocesan gramota: Vasily K. Stresz, Irina A. Parker, Elena B. Glebova, Elena E. Vinogradova, Marina A. Frankunas, Olga G. Solodova, Olga S. Nesterenko, and Klaudia S. Budanova. After the service, our sisterhood prepared a plentiful lenten meal for the First Hierarch and all the worshippers. All the participants of the celebration received great benefit from Metropolitan Nicholas’ visit!
With his inspiring divine service and wise advice, Metropolitan Nicholas encouraged all to continue fasting in order to prepare for the meeting with the Risen Christ on the joyful feast of Pascha.
Rochester, NY: Metropolitan Nicholas pays Archpastoral Visit to Protection of the Mother of God Church - 03/12/23