Having gathered in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, for the Lenten retreat and conference of clergy of the northern deaneries of the Eastern American Diocese, we, clergy and monastics, having bowed down in worship before the Cross, communed of the Holy Mysteries, and honored the memory of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, raised up our prayers for the flock entrusted to us. We prayed especially for our persecuted brothers and sisters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, led by His Beatitude Onuphry, Metropolitan of Kiev & All Ukraine.
As citizens of the United States – founded 250 years ago on the principles of religious rights and freedoms – we ask all of the Orthodox Christians living in this country, as well as its politicians, representatives of various governmental institutions and social organizations, to raise their voices in defense of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, her archpastors, clergy, monastics, and the millions of parishioners who have been subjected to years of persecution by their own government. Having learned of the closure of the Near and Far Caves of the Kiev Caves Lavra – the cradle of Orthodoxy in Rus’ ‒ and the looming eviction of all of its monks and inhabitants, including the students of the Kiev Theological Schools ‒ we express our vigorous protest against the actions of the Ukrainian government toward the canonical Church, which nourishes the overwhelming majority of that country’s citizens.
Archpriest Paul Kang’s report on the state of the Korean Mission of the Russian Church Abroad, reactivated by the Synod of Bishops in 1994, inspired us and planted in the hearts of retreat participants hope for its further success. We call on everyone to once more take an interest in this Mission’s history and current affairs.
The report by Bishop Luke of Syracuse, abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, was received with great interest, touching on life at the monastery, reconstruction efforts, and planned projects. A series of presentations by the administrators of Holy Trinity Seminary, including Dean Nicolas Schidlovsky, acquainted us with the life and various spheres of activity of this theological center, as it prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
Concelebration with our archpastors, joint prayer, and brotherly interaction strengthened us not only in the bearing of our Lenten struggles, but also in our service to God and man. Returning with renewed vigor to our places of service, we sincerely wish that our parishioners and worshippers might worthily and righteously greet and spend the coming Passion Week and Holy Pascha!
Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Bishop of Syracuse
Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese