On Thomas Sunday, April 23, local faithful and members of the Kuban Cossack Voisko gathered at St. Vladimir Cemetery in Jackson, NJ, for the traditional "Krasnaya Gorka" celebrations – when believers, radiant with Paschal joy, come to the cemeteries to pray for their departed relatives in the hope of the general resurrection.
Celebrating Divine Liturgy in St. John the Baptist Cossack Chapel was Archpriest Serge Lukianov (rector of St. George Cossack Church in Howell, NJ and Voisko chaplain), co-served by Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell).
The choir sang beautifully under the open sky, conducted by Alexandra Lukianov.
Prior to the start of Liturgy, the clergy blessed the chapel, which had recently undergone serious renovation, replacing the crumbling brickwork and patio.
After the service, the faithful enjoyed their Sunday repasts at the graves of their loved ones, as priests from local churches spent the rest of the day serving Paschal litias for the departed.
Renovations to the chapel are ongoing. Click here to learn more. If you are interested in helping honor the memory of the victims of Lienz, please visit www.KubanCossacks.org or send a check to:
Chapel Restoration Fund
Kuban Cossacks Library & Museum
47 East 3rd Street
Howell, NJ 07731
The Lienz repatriation tragedy is known as the "Cossack Golgotha" and is mourned by Cossacks around the world. The first memorial service and panihida were held at Lienz as early as 1946.
Traveling to Austria to participate in memorial service in Lienz itself was out of the question for many of the survivors and their families for many years. The first talks of building a Lienz memorial on American soil have started in the late 1950s.
Eventually a committee was formed to collect funds and oversee the construction of the chapel at St. Vladimir Cemetery in 1964. The funds were raised by collecting donations from various Cossack organizations, individual Cossacks, Lienz survivors, and their families from the U.S. and all over the world.
Construction started in March 1966 and lasted four years. On May 30, 1970, the chapel was consecrated and dedicated to St. John the Baptist and the as yet unglorified Passionbearer-Tsarevich Alexis by Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky) of Washington & Florida. Despite inclement weather, numerous Cossack organizations joined the first panihida at the chapel. Leaders and atamans from as far away as Australia and Argentina gave moving speeches in memory of all their fallen brothers and sisters.
Please do all you can to help keep this history alive!
Jackson, NJ: St. John the Baptist Chapel blessed after Restoration on Thomas Sunday - 04/23/23
Photos: G. Rimakis