Vera Koretz Funeral service

 

On Thursday, December 27, the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov performed a Burial service for the newly-departed parishioner Vera Koretz.

Unfortunately, the family of the deceased requested only a short and “simple” service at the cemetery.  The Rector advised the family that every Orthodox Christian of good standing, especially such a distinguished parishioner as Vera, deserves a proper funeral which would include bringing the body to the temple and performing all burial and memorial services according to the pious traditions of the Orthodox Church. However, despite the priest’s suggestions, members of the decedent’s family insisted on a short service at the grave.

The internment took place at the Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn. Archpriest Igor Tarasov and our Warden and Choir Director, Olga Roussanow arrived there and performed an abbreviated Burial office.

Following the service Fr. Igor preached a brief sermon pointing out that the very name of the newly-departed, Vera, meant “faith”. Faith is very important in our life. Even a secular person needs faith to believe in himself or in his loved-ones. A religious person needs faith to believe in God and in eternal life. Vera lived according to her faith in God, so, as we hope, she may receive her reward in eternity. Now, we who are still living this earthly life, need faith to prepare for the life everlasting waiting for us. In conclusion, Fr. Igor also expressed his deepest sympathy to the Vera’s family.

Our long-time Parishioner Vera Koretz passed away


We announce with sorrow that our long-time parishioner Vera Koretz has fallen asleep in the Lord on December 24, 2018.

Vera was a very active member of St. George parish family. She was one of the oldest parishioners who were raised in St. George Church and among those few of them who remained faithful to the Parish. For a long time she attended our temple, participated in the liturgical and spiritual life of our community, helped a lot in maintaining the church’s beauty and cleanness, and assisted in many parish activities. For a number of years she fulfilled the duties of the parish Treasurer.
Unfortunately, during the last years Vera was suffering from an illness and was not attending our church, so we missed her at our services and coffee hours.
Lately Vera became very ill and was hospitalized. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov and our Warden, Olga Roussanow visited her in the hospital last Sunday. At that time she received the Sacrament of the Holy Unction. On the next day she passed away.

Our Parish expressed sincere condolences to the Koretz family.
Vera will be remembered as a nice, cheerful, hard-working person and a devout member of our church.

Please, offer your prayers for the repose of her soul!
MAY HER MEMORY BE ETERNAL!

30th Sunday after Pentecost

 

On Sunday, December 23, on the 29th Sunday after Pentecost, the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy at our parish temple. After the reading from the Holy Gospel he preached a homily in Russian. An English translation of that homily is as follows:

“Today’s Sunday Gospel reminds us again about the need to be grateful.”
“Jesus entered a village and was met by ten lepers who lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Lk. 17, 13). Leprosy was, and as you know it still exists, leprosy is one of the most wretched and hopeless diseases. It is a daily dying. And the specialists say, it has almost no symptoms. A leper does not feel pain but his body is decaying while he is still alive. So those ten miserable lepers came to Jesus having faith and hope that he can help them. And He did. He said, “Go, show themselves to the priests” (Lk. 17, 14). That was a prescription of the Jewish law that the priests examined persons who claimed they became healed from leprosy and could give them a certificate that they are really cleansed. Sending the lepers to the priests, Jesus wished that they demonstrate their faith. They were still sick when they had to go, so Christ wanted them to believe Him. And they were probably confused first. Yet they went.”
“On their way to the priests all of them cleansed. We can imagine the great joy they must have felt when they realized that they had been healed. One would think they would rush back to thank Jesus for delivering them from this dreadful disease. But this is the awful part of the story: only one of them came back to give thanks. All except one forgot to show gratitude. All went to Christ for healing, yet only one came back to praise Him. How typical of man!”
“We are very quick to pray in trouble and very slow to pray when everything seems to be fine. A story is told of a chaplain in World War 1 whose duty was to censor the letters of the soldiers. The night before the battle many of them wrote letters full of fear and promises that if they survive, they will become better, will pray and go to church, will try to avoid sins. Some even pledged to become priests or monks. But after the battle the tone of the letters changed completely. They were writing not their moms but their friends asking whether they could get together during a leave and have good time. Before the battle: “Oh, God, help me get through tomorrow!” After the battle: “Well, I got through, God, so I don’t need you any more”.”
“So the Lord asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Lk. 17, 17). In fact, were not many but the whole human kind was delivered from the tyranny of sin by our Lord when He came into this world. He dame, He was born in Bethlehem to save us [….]. All of us. We all received His grace, His gift of liberty, His power of victory. All good things in our life are because of Him.”
“But do we praise Him? Sometimes we do. All our Orthodox Liturgy is about praise and thanksgiving. We begin our Church services exclaiming “Blessed be our God…” Then we keep saying “Glory to Thee…” Even the very name of our major Sacrament is the Eucharist which is from Greek Eucaristia, translated as “Thanksgiving”. Thus our Divine Liturgy is in fact, service of thanksgiving. Often we don’t realize that. We know that it is the most important service in the Church. There other services: Vespers, Compline, Midnight service, Matins, Hours, and they are served in the monasteries. In many parishes Vespers and Matins are served. Most of the church-going people usually attend the Liturgy and should know that at the Liturgy we have a sacrifice, an offering of the bread and wine which becomes the true Body and Blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit is being invoked by the priest and the He descends and changes the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Lord. Faithful receive Holy Communion. It is really difficult to realize that it is thanksgiving. But it is because in our prayers of the Liturgy we give thanks to the Lord. The priest even exclaims: “Let us give thanks to the Lord!” Most of the priestly secret prayers are about giving thanks for everything: for salvation, for redemption of the human race, for a possibility to offer this sacrifice, for the promise of eternal life, even for the opportunity to do the remembrance of Him who offered His life for us.”
“So, sometimes we do thank God. But how many times we fail to praise Him or to be grateful! And again the Lord may ask, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” Let them return as did the one. They have every reason to praise God with loud voice and give Him thanks. And let us, dear brothers and sisters, not fail to be grateful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in order to be worthy of His immeasurable graces.”

The choir prayerfully performed hymns to the commemorated Saints before Holy Communion.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a brief sermon addressing the thoughts of his Russian homily.

Following the service in the church the Rector and the Warden Olga Roussanow visited our long-time parishioner Vera Koretz in the hospital. Lately she became very ill and had been hospitalized. Fr. Igor performed the Mystery of the Holy Unction over the infirm.

The Rector of St. George attended the Meeting of the Bishop’s Council

 

On Thursday, December 20, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York His Grace, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, presided over the Meeting of the Bishop’s Council of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov, Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes, co-chaired the Meeting along with His Grace.

The Council members discussed a range of issues related to the life of the Moscow Patriarchate Parishes in the USA in 2018, and also created a working group on organizing the next Convocation of the Patriarchal Parishes in the fall of 2019.

The financial report of the Treasurer Panagiotis Billis was heard and adopted.

On the proposal of Bishop Matthew the members unanimously voted to elect a monastery representative to the Council, especially due to an early termination of one of the Council members’ work. Thus the Acting Abbot of St. Demetrius Monastery in Framingham, MA, Hieromonk Savvaty (Ageyev) was elected to the Bishop’s Council.

Celebration of the Patronal Feast at St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York

On Wednesday, December 19, commemoration of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Divine Liturgy for the Patronal feast of the Patriarchal Cathedral in New York City was celebrated by the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of all America and Canada. His Beatitude was co-served by the interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh. 

The hierarchs were co-served by the Rector of St. George Church and Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Archpriest Igor Tarasov, and other clergy: Archpriest Alexander Golubov (cathedral cleric); Archpriest George Konyev (Rector of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ); Archpriest Nikolai Babijtchouk (rector of All Saints of Russia Church in Pine Bush, NY); Archpriest John Behr (cleric of St. Vladimir Seminary in Crestwood, NY, OCA); Archpriest Andrei Sommer (senior priest of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City, ROCOR); Archpriest Eric Tosi (secretary of the Orthodox Church in America); Archpriest Yaroslav Lutoshkin, Abbot Nicodemus (Balyasnikov) and Priest Rodion Shamazov (cathedral clerics); Archpriest Alexey Bocharnikov (Rector of St. Nicholas Church in Chester, PA); Priest Dmitry Nedostupenko (Secretary of the Diocese of Sourozh); Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak (Secretary to the Metropolitan, OCA); Deacons Alexey Golubov, John Peters and Yulian Ryabtsev (cathedral clerics); and Deacon Nicholas DeGraaf (cleric of Three Saints Church in Garfield, NJ).

A number of parishioners from St. George attended that beautiful celebration, including our Warden and Choir Director, Olga Roussanow and our Sacristan, Andrew Malyshev.

During the Liturgy, Bishop Matthew ordained new clerics of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA: Deacon Nicholas DeGraaff to the Holy Priesthood, and Subdeacon Michael Sidorechev (cleric of St. Nicholas Church in Chester) to the Holy Diaconate.

Following the Ambo prayer, a rite of glorification was served before the icon of the Patron Saint of the Cathedral.

Following the dismissal of the Liturgy Bishop Matthew greeted Metropolitan Tikhon, thanking him for his prayers during the Liturgy. In commemoration of his visit, Bishop Matthew presented the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America with a jade prayer rope.

His Beatitude then greeted the concelebrating clergy and faithful, then asking Bishop Matthew to relay the words of gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Rus’ for his unwavering brotherly attention to the Orthodox Church in America as well as well as his support for the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

A bountiful lenten luncheon was served in the Cathedral refectory where interaction continued. Later, the two hierarchs met discussing various points of cooperation between the Orthodox Church in America and the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, as well as exchanging assessments on the situation in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

29th Sunday after Pentecost

 

On December 16, on the 29th Sunday after Pentecost, we had a beautiful celebration at St. George Church. Liturgical service was led by our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov. After the Gospel lesson of the Divine Liturgy he preached the following homily in English:

“Our Gospel lesson for today is very similar to another reading we usually have earlier in the year. It is about a conversation between our Lord Jesus Christ and some the man whom today’s reading calls the “young ruler”. That conversation had a very important subject: eternal life and how to inherit it (Lk. 18, 18-27).”
”Our Lord Jesus Christ offers the young ruler a certain way to inherit eternal life: to keep the Commandments. It is by itself enough to enter the Kingdom of God. But the young man is either so righteous that he have kept all the Commandments from his youth, as he says (Lk. 18, 21), or he is too proud to say that.  Hearing that answer Jesus suggests that the young man should sell all his possessions and then follow Him (Lk. 18, 22). In this way the young man became challenged by the Lord not only to observe the Law of Moses, but to start doing something which belongs to the New Testament. The new teaching of Christ means to sacrifice something in your life to acquire something more important, to get into the life of Christ. It is also mean to be ready to follow Christ. It is different from the Old Testament teaching which commanded only to obey the law. In Christ we need also to act sacrificing and following the Lord.”
“St. John Chrysostom interpreting that Gospel reading teaches that the Lord offered the young man such an advice to sell his possessions because He loved that man (see Mk. 10, 21). Thus Jesus named these conditions for his particular need. He knew that this young man needed to free himself from his wealth in order to become saved. Very often God allows in our life to happen certain things needed for us, things which are made just for us. We often do not even notice that, but everything in our life is providential, is a result of God’s care for each one of us. We may not like certain problems, sorrows or inflictions we have from time to time, but God allows them to help us to become better. In this case our Lord proposed the young man to renounce material wealth because that wealth meant too much for him. We learn about it when we read that the young man became very sorrowful to hear what Jesus told him (Lk. 18, 23). And the young man left Jesus and probably never came back.”
“Sometimes we have somebody coming to the church, talking to a priest. After that people leave and also never come back. Some may complain that a priest is too strict or demanding, so new people are not happy with him and we lose them for the parish. Usually, it’s not the case. The reason they leave is that they are not willing to comply with the church rules and they are not ready to give up certain things they are attached to. And this is very typical of us to be attached to certain things and to fail to serve God and other people because of that. It is not necessarily great wealth we are attached to. It may be some small thing, some habit or some person. It may be our way of life which cannot allow Jesus to be part of it.”
“If our attachment is so serious to block our salvation, we need to renounce it. We need to unload ourselves, free ourselves from that burden. In today’s Gospel the Lord says a famous phrase: “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God” (Lk. 18, 25). Some interpreters of the Scripture say that Jesus was talking about the certain gate in Jerusalem which was called The Needle’s Eye because it was very small. A camel could pass through that gate only if it was unloaded and only in a kneeling position. If that so, we should also, like those camels passing through that gate, unload ourselves from everything that makes our entering God’s Kingdom impossible. Our lives and our souls need to be unloaded, to let go our passions, our attachments of this sinful life. Those have to be laid aside.”
“If we renounce those bad attachments we may follow the Lord and inherit His Kingdom. But let us remember that in doing so, we need God’s help. For it is said that “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Lk. 18, 27). Without God’s help it is impossible to lay aside our bad inclinations and give up certain bad things we like. But with the help of God it is possible. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, let us ask our Lord for help, for His divine grace, so we may really let go our earthly attachments and easily come through the narrow path of Christian life to the Kingdom of God.”

During preparation for Holy Communion the choir prayerfully performed the magnification to the Holy Apostle Andrew whose memory was celebrated last week.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a short sermon in Russian conveying the ideas of his English homily. He also congratulated our Sacristan and altar server Andrew Malyshev on the occasion of his past name day wishing him God’s blessings, a warm intercession of Holy Apostle Andrew, great success in his service to the Church and many happy years. A traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed.
The Rector also called the parishioners to attend celebration of the Patronal feast of St. Nicholas at our Patriarchal Cathedral in New York on coming Wednesday.

 

28th Sunday after Pentecost

 

On December 9, on the 28th Sunday after Pentecost, the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov celebrated the Divine Liturgy at our parish temple. Following the readings from the Sacred Scripture he preached a homily in Russian.

Fr. Igor said that the Gospel lesson about the healing of a woman who was bent over for 18 years and was healed when she came to a synagogue, may tell us about an importance of the God’s temple in our life. Recently we have celebrated feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into Temple, so we drew our thoughts to the ancient Temple of Jerusalem. The Jews had only one temple and in all other places of their habitation they gathered to pray in the synagogues. A synagogue (the word meaning ‘an assembly’, a gathering together) was a place of worship where the Jews could pray and read the Scripture. They could not offer sacrifices there since it was reserved for the Temple only. We Christians gather in our temples which are the places of prayer, reading of the Word of God and places where Holy Sacraments are officiated. So every Christian church is a continuation of the Temple of Jerusalem but we offer the sacrifice with no blood, the sacrifice of the New Testament, the Holy Eucharist, instead of the Old Testament offerings of the animals. We gather not at one place but everywhere in the world.
And like that woman who had been sick for 18 years and became healed in the synagogue, we may become healed in our temple. If that woman was healed physically, we may become healed spiritually, through the grace of God. Our souls are like that poor woman – bent over because of sins. And we need to straight up through the healing power of Christ. If we repent, confess our sins and receive Communion, we become healed. This may happen in the temple of God, so we should appreciate, love and cherish our temple.

The choir prayerfully performed hymns in honor of St. George since on that day we commemorate consecration of the church in Kiev dedicated to him, our parish Patron Saint.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector preached a brief sermon in English addressing the main ideas of his Russian homily. He also congratulated our young parishioner and altar server, Anton Malyshev, on the occasion of his past birthday. Traditional Polychronion (“Mnogaia leta!”) was proclaimed.

 

27th Sunday after Pentecost. Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into Temple

 

On December 2, on the 27th Sunday after Pentecost, our parishioners gathered at St. George Church for a beautiful celebration. On that day we also observed feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into Temple which had been transferred on Sunday from December 4. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy. Following the readings from the Gospel he preached a homily in English:

“Dear brothers and sisters! Since today we celebrate the 27th Sunday after Pentecost, as well as feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into Temple, we should compare the ideas of those celebrations and draw the conclusions from them.”
“The Sunday Gospel lesson we heard today was about a rich man whom God called the fool (Lk. 12, 16-21). This pretty short parable is teaching us about a number of things. For instance, it makes us understand that our human plans and our earthly expectations may be very uncertain. There is a known saying: “Man proposes, but God disposes”. And there is a joke saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans”. The Scripture tells about this in these words of wise Solomon: “A man’s heart devises his ways: but the Lord directs his steps” (Prov. 16, 9). The rich man in today’s Gospel was making great plans regarding his possessions; he desired to pull down his old barns and to build the greater to store his crops; he intended to enjoy his wealth, but God directed that this night his soul will be required of him and that he will lose all his earthly wealth. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, our human plans and our expectations are very relative and uncertain. They may very much differ from the God’s plans. Take a recent example: the fires in California. People built expensive houses in the area considered to be very good for living. California climate was praised by many. A town which was especially destroyed by fire was called Paradise. But, the fire came and that Paradise had been turned into hell. “Man proposes, but God disposes”.”
“How can we escape such a misery? How can we make sure that our plans may be blessed by God? The Lord tells us in today’s Gospel that we do not have to lie treasures for ourselves, but to be rich toward God (Lk. 12, 21). It means that we need to acquire God’s blessings by our good deeds, by our pious life and that we have to be grateful to God for His blessings. Note that in today’s parable the rich man did not praise the Lord for the blessings he acquired. Further, we need to use the blessings we have for the well-being of others, not just for ourselves. We need to serve the Lord and our neighbor in order to be more certain that our plans will be in accord with God’s Providence.”
“As we celebrate the Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into Temple, we recall that Holy Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna were childless for many years. They probably did not plan to have child, but God planned differently. In their old age they became blessed by the birth of the Virgin Mary. And what did they do after such a blessing? They decided to dedicate their daughter to God. When little Mary was 3 years old, they brought Her to the Temple of Jerusalem to entrust Her to be raised and educated there. Then a wonderful and strange thing happen: Mary, a little girl entered the Temple and passing the outer and inner courts, came into the holy place and then She climbed the high steps to the Holy of the Holies and entered that most sacred place where only High Priest could enter once a year for the special sacrifice. This was read today in the second Epistle lesson: only a High Priest could enter the Holy of the Holies, and he did it only once a year to offer a sacrifice for the sins of the people (Hebr. 9, 7). Since it was not permitted for the people, especially for women, to enter the Holy of the Holies, this seems to be impossible to occur. Even today we, Orthodox Christians do not allow women to enter the sanctuaries of our churches. And if a baby is baptized and then churched, if it is a boy, the priest brings him into the altar, but if it is a girl, the priest stops before the iconostas. But in that festal event the Virgin Mary, a little girl did enter into the most sacred place of the Temple. Again, in this event men’s plans became overruled; men’s expectations became voided. Patience, virtue and being rich toward God of Joachim and Anna produced their result: their Holy daughter became more honorable than the Cherubim and by far more glorious than the Seraphim. She became the living Tabernacle of God. Thus She could enter the most holy place.”
“Dear brothers and sisters! Being instructed by the parable about the rich man, let us understand our true purpose in life – to become rich toward God. Let us acquire His grace by living pious life, by acting charitably and with love towards our neighbors. And seeing an example of the Holy Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna, let us dedicate ourselves and our lives to the Lord. Let us entrust our families, our children or loved ones to Him, so He may bless them and to make great miracles through us voiding the earthly plans of the unfaithful!”

The choir was prayerfully performing for the first time of this year the pre-Nativity hymns, as well as the hymns of the feast of the Entrance.

After the Liturgy dismissal the Rector and the altar servers performed a rite of glorification in front of the icon of the feast. The Rector then preached a short sermon in Russian to convey main ideas of his English homily. He also wished the parishioners a blessed and fruitful passing through the Nativity Fast.

 

 

26th Sunday after Pentecost

 

On November 25, on the 26th Sunday after Pentecost, the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy at our parish temple. Following the Gospel lesson he preached a homily in Russian.

In his homily Fr. Igor recalled the recent celebration of Thanksgiving Day and said that we should be grateful to God for everything, including the gift of life itself. And our life can be compared to a journey, to a long way. On that road of life we meet different people and different situations, and we wish that we meet only good and nice people. If we do, we should be grateful to God for them. Very often Divine Providence does not act directly in our life but uses other people to help us. So in today’s Gospel parable about the Good Samaritan God acted through that compassionate person to help the man who fell among the thieves and was lying on the road half-dead. The Good Samaritan became the tool of God’s mercy.
Thus we should be grateful for such people in our life. And we ourselves should become those who help the needy, become the tools of God’s mercy and love towards other people. According to the today’s parable, we have three options. We may become the thieves and cause pain and suffering to others. We may also become indifferent to the needs of others like a priest and a Levite in the parable. But we may become compassionate and caring like the Samaritan. The latter is he right choice. So, we have to be grateful to God for His abundant mercy and gifts and we should also be those for whom others would be grateful.

During the Litany of Fervent Supplication the Rector proclaimed the petition of thanksgiving.

Following the Liturgy dismissal the Rector preached a short sermon in English conveying the ideas of his Russian homily. He also reminded the parishioners of the beginning of the Nativity Fast which starts on the next week and wished them a fruitful spiritual passing of that sacred time.

After the service the Rector and parishioners enjoyed delicious meals, including the Thanksgiving turkey. The toasts were raised to a good beginning of the future fast, to Fr. Igor who bears an important obedience of the Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes, as well as to our magnificent cooks who prepared such delicious dishes.

Bishop Matthew and Archpriest Igor Tarasov meet with the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America

On Monday, November 19, 2018, the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, hosted His Grace, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, the recently appointed Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the United States, at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America in Syosset, NY. Bishop Matthew was accompanied by Archpriest Igor Tarasov, Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and Rector of St. George Church, Bayside, NY.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon welcomed Bishop Matthew and Fr. Igor at the Chancery and gave them a guided tour to St. Sergius of Radonezh Chapel. The OCA Chancery staff at this meeting was represented by Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs of the OCA; Archpriest Eric Tosi, Secretary of the Chancery; and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to the Primate.

Bishop Matthew expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to receive His Beatitude’s blessing as he begins his ministry in North America.  In turn, Metropolitan Tikhon stated that he anticipates a fruitful relationship with His Grace, recalling the close relationship the OCA has always enjoyed with former Patriarchal Administrators over the years, and most recently with His Grace, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk.

During lunch Metropolitan Tikhon and Bishop Matthew discussed a wide range of topics, including the status of the Patriarchal Parishes in the US, the life of the Orthodox Church in Great Britain, and missionary prospects in North America and Western Europe.  Metropolitan Tikhon shared the OCA’s plans to celebrate the 225th Anniversary in 2019 of the arrival of the first Russian Orthodox missionaries in Kodiak, AK and the 50th Anniversaries in 2020 marking the Granting of Autocephaly and the Canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska.

Bishop Matthew further extended the invitation to Metropolitan Tikhon to preside at the Patronal Feast celebrations at New York City’s St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral on December 19, 2018.

As a remembrance of their meeting, Metropolitan Tikhon presented a panagia to Bishop Matthew, as well as a new English edition of the Archieratikon. His Grace in turn presented the Metropolitan the commemorative plate marking the 300th Anniversary of Orthodox Christianity in the British Isles. Fr. Igor was presented with a new English edition of the Service book, as well as an icon of St. Herman of Alaska.