Priest who once baptized our Rector passed away

Недавно стало известно, что 22 октября 2021 г. на 86-м году жизни скончался митрофорный протоиерей Георгий Чувяков, священник, который когда-то крестил нашего настоятеля.
Прот. Георгий родился 25 января 1936 года в Украине. В 1956 году в он поступил в Одесскую духовную семинарию. В 1958 г. на Успение Божией Матери был рукоположен в диаконы патриархом Алексием І.
Позже о. Георгий приехал в Кишинев (Молдавия), где прослужил много лет. Сначала он был диаконом, а потом священником кафедрального собора в честь св. великомученика Феодора Тирона, где и крестил будущего священника Игоря Тарасова.
Отец Игорь всегда тепло вспоминает о. Георгия как хорошего пастыря, всегда радостного, веселого и приятного человека. Детство и юность о. Игоря прошли в частом присутствии на богослужениях и требах совершаемых покойным прот. Георгием.
В 1993 году о. Георгий перебрался в Россию, в город Димитровград в Симбирской епархии, где совершал своё пастырское служение в Свято-Никольском храме 25 лет. В августе 2018-го он вернулся в Молдавию, где жил последние годы.
О. Георгий служил Господу в алтаре более 60 лет и пользовался огромным уважением и любовью со стороны клира и паствы. Похоронили батюшку 25 октября в г. Кишенев за алтарем храм св. мученика Валерия. Отпевание совершил еще один добрый знакомый о. Игоря, прот. Николай Флоринский, однажды посетивший наш Святo-Георгиевскиой храм.
После того как мы узнали о кончине о. Георгия, наш настоятель совершил заупокойную литию в преддверии 40 дней после преставления крестившего его священника.
Царствие Небесное дорогому батюшке!
Просим молитв о новопреставленном протоиерее Георгие!

Recently it became known that on October 22, 2021, at the age of 86, Mitred Archpriest Georgе Chuviakov, the priest who once baptized our Rector, passed away.
Archpriest George was born on January 25, 1936 in Ukraine. In 1956 he entered the Odessa Theological Seminary. In 1958, on the Dormition of the Mother of God, he was ordained a deacon by Patriarch Alexy I.
Later, Fr. George came to Chisinau (Moldova), where he served for many years. At first he was a deacon, and then a priest at the Cathedral in honor of the Holy Great Martyr Theodore Tyron, where he baptized the future priest Igor Tarasov.
Fr. Igor always remembers Fr. George as a good shepherd of souls, always a joyful, cheerful and pleasant person. Much of Fr. Igor’s childhood and youth was spent in a frequent presence at divine services  performed by the deceased Archpriest George.
In 1993, Fr. George moved to Russia, to the city of Dimitrovgrad in the Simbirsk diocese, where he performed his pastoral service in St. Nicholas Church for 25 years. In August 2018, he returned to Moldova, where he lived in recent years.
Fr. George served the Lord at the altar for over 60 years and enjoyed great respect and love from the clergy and of the flock. He was buried on October 25 in the city of Chisinau, behind the altar of the church of the Holy Martyr Valerius. The funeral service was performed by another good friend of Fr. Igor, Archpriest Nicholas Florinsky, who once visited our St. George Church.
After we learned about the death of Fr. George, our Rector performed the memorial Litia on Sunday, November 28, on the eve of 40 days after the repose of the priest who baptized him.
May the Lord grant Heavenly Kingdom to dear Father!
We ask for prayers for the newly-departed Archpriest George!

23rd Sunday after Pentecost


On November 28, on the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy in our parish temple. After the readings from the Sacred Scripture he preached the following homily:

“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Today we begin the Nativity Fast. We are going to start spiritually preparing for Christmas, for the celebration of the Birth of the Savior. And today’s Sunday Gospel lesson offers us a great instruction from the parable about Good Samaritan (Lk. 10, 25-30). Interestingly, those two words were not imaginable by the Jews in the time of Christ. Samaritans were enemies and could not be called “good”. However, our Lord tells this parable and wishes His listeners to change their mind. By this He teaches us that God’s commandment of love towards the neighbor concerns all men, and not just our relatives or compatriots. It is very difficult in our times when people are so divided. From time to time we talk about the fact that this country is so divided politically. And many other countries and nations are either divided or hostile to each other”.
“Withdrawing from any political talks, we should now reflect on the spiritual meaning of that parable”.
“A certain man goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho. A certain man means any man, any one of us. Jerusalem signifies heaven and Jericho signifies the earth. This is the destiny of us all, to be on earth, although our home is in heaven. This man falls among thieves who strip him of his clothes, wounding him and leaving him half-dead (Lk. 10, 30). Here the thieves mean the demons who attack us through our weaknesses and wound us, leaving us stripped of our spiritual clothes and spiritually dying, having lost grace and faith”.
“A priest and then a Levite pass by and do not help (Lk. 10, 31-32). By them we understand those who, having a higher rank and duty, have hard hearts and show no love, for they are hypocrites and “pass by on the other side”. But a Samaritan helps the man, shows compassion. Although the Samaritan does not share the fullness of the outward faith, his heart is kind, and he shows mercy. This Good Samaritan represents Christ Himself. Christ was rejected by the Jews, but had great compassion which the Jews did not have”.
“The Samaritan, that is Christ, went to the man and bound up his wounds and poured in oil and wine and then set the man on his own animal. This is what Christ did for us: He came to us. In other words He became man, one of us. He then bound up our spiritual wounds with His word and poured on us His grace of salvation, the oil and wine of our souls. Then he set us on his own animal, in other words he gave us faith. Without faith we are not able to walk, so faith is our ride to salvation, our transport”.
“The Samaritan then took the man to an inn, cared for him and gave the innkeeper two denarii to look after the man, telling the innkeeper that if it cost more, he would repay him when he returned. (Lk. 10, 34-35). By the inn, we would understand the Church, where men can receive Christ’s healing and care. Faith transports us to the Church. Then the innkeeper is the priest, the dispenser of the grace and healing. But it is true that all members of the Church are also innkeepers, dispensers of spiritual and other help to those in the world around us”.
“The two coins represent the two ways in which we are saved. First of all, we need to repent through prayer and fasting. That is the first coin. The second coin, however, is the grace of the Sacraments that we receive from God in response to our repentance and prayer and fasting. Thus these two coins are both very important. Together they form a virtuous circle”.
“And finally, if we, members of the Church of God, the “innkeepers”, stretch our hands to others and give more of ourselves, spend more on loving care of others – then Christ will reward us when He returns at the end of the world”.
“Dear brothers and sisters! This is the spiritual meaning of today’s parable. Christ tells it to the lawyer who knows the commandments but does not apply them. And Christ says to him: “Go and do likewise” (Lk. 10, 37). Thus today Christ says to each one of us also: “Go and do likewise””.

During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, Fr. Igor proclaimed a petition beseeching the Lord to spare the faithful from the outbreak of the disease as well as a petition of thanksgiving due to the last week’s celebration of the Thanksgiving Day.

During preparation for Holy Communion the choir nicely performed the Psalm 33.

Following the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector reminded the parishioners of the beginning of the Nativity Fast and made some announcements. He also congratulated the Suric family on the occasion of their son’s past name day. Fr. Igor greeted little Victor, handed to him the Theotokian prosphora and proclaimed the Polychronion on his behalf.

After the Liturgy the Rector performed the memorial Litia for the newly-departed Archpriest George Chuviakov, a priest who baptized Fr. Igor, as well as commemorating Elena Malyshev, the deceased spouse of Andrew Malyshev on the day of her passing.

22nd Sunday after Pentecost. Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and All the Bodiless Powers


On November 21, on the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost, as well as feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Michael and All the Bodiless Powers, our Parish family gathered for a beautiful celebration.

Before the usual Sunday service our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov performed the Holy Sacrament of Marriage of Emilian Suric and Phoebe Ching-Huei Li. Then the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served as scheduled.

After the readings from the Sacred Scripture the Rector preached a homily. He was speaking about the two miracles performed by our Lord Jesus Christ described in the Sunday Gospel lesson, as well as about the meaning of the celebrated feast dedicated to the Bodiless Powers, the Holy Angels.
Fr. Igor pointed out that both miracles from the Gospel lesson concern women (Lk. 8, 41-56). Healing of the woman with an issue of blood and resurrection of the 12-year-old girl, the daughter of Jairus, revealed that our Savior came to free the human kind from the sin of the forefathers. These particular miracles showed that the Lord Jesus came to save the women from the results of the sin of Eve. Those results included special pains and sorrows all the women suffer because of the original sin. The issue of blood that woman from today’s Gospel had was not the regular flow the women have each month. But it still reminds about the special kind of sorrows women undergo due to the original sin. As to the resurrection of the 12-year-old girl, here we see the result of the original sin effecting both men and women: the human beings are mortal. The Lord came to save us from the sin of Adam and Eve.
Further the Rector underlined that the first woman, Eve, was tempted to sin by the devil. And the devil is a fallen Angel. Celebrating feast of the Bodiless Powers, we have to speak of that. The first chapter of the Scripture says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1, 1). The “heavens” means the invisible, spiritual world, the Holy Angels. But some of them led by Lucifer rose up against God. The warfare in the spiritual world took place and the rebellious Angels were thrown down from heaven. The Holy Angels faithful to God were led by Archangel Michael. Thus we honor them celebrating feast of their Synaxis. But the fallen Angels became the evil spirits. They are jealous of human beings being created in God’s image while they have to be thrown from heaven. Therefore, the devil tempted the first men. And he was successful. From that time the warfare between God and Satan is taking place also in our human hearts, as Dostoevsky pointed out. And the Holy Angels of God who are the serving spirits assist us in that fight. Especially it concerns our Guardian Angels given to each baptized person.
Fr. Igor also referred to the second Gospel lesson which spoke of the Apostles being joyful that the demons obey them in the name of Christ (Lk. 10, 16-24). With Christ evil spirits can be defeated. And Jesus Himself recalled that He “saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven” (Lk. 10, 18). But He said to the Apostles, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Lk. 10, 20).  In Christ we become worthy of heavenly paradise lost by our ancestors. If we are baptized, our names become written in heaven and we may be there with the Holy Angels. However, we have to become worthy of that because not everyone baptized ends up in heaven. Our pious and godly life, our spiritual efforts with the assistance of the Holy Angels may lead us to the heavenly abode of God and of the Bodiless Powers.

During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, Fr. Igor proclaimed a petition beseeching the Lord to spare the faithful from the outbreak of the disease.

The choir performed the magnification of Archangel Michael and the Bodiless Powers, as well as other festal hymns during preparation for Holy Communion.

Following the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector made the announcements regarding the upcoming Thanksgiving Day and the Nativity Fast which follows after that. He also spoke about the importance to behave appropriately in the temple during special solemn times of the Liturgy. Unfortunately, sometimes piety and solemnity of such moments is disturbed by unnecessary movements, sounds or actions. The Rector called the faithful to have the fear of God and a pious attitude during the Divine Liturgy.

After the Liturgy the Rector performed the memorial Litia for the newly-departed Vitaliy Malyshev on the 40th day of his passing.

After finishing all the services, the Rector and parishioners had a sumptuous luncheon enjoying delicious meals, including the Thanksgiving turkey.

21st Sunday after Pentecost


On November 14, on the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, the Rector of St. George Church, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy in our parish temple. After the Gospel lesson he preached the following homily:

“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Today’s reading from the Holy Gospel takes us to the country of the Gadarenes which is opposite of Galilee. Our Lord Jesus Christ came there along with His disciples after crossing the Lake of Gennesaret, and there He cast out the evil spirits from a possessed man (Lk. 8, 26-39)”.
“Reflecting upon this Gospel story we may recall that the demons asked Christ to permit them to enter the herd of swine. And He did. This indicates that God allows evil things to happen for a reason. Last Sunday we said that God allows terrible disasters to happen due to our sinfulness. And in today’s Gospel story we are talking about a much less terrible, but still impressive loss – the demons entered the swine and the whole herd ran down the steep place into the lake and drowned (Lk. 8, 33). According to the Old Testament, pigs were unclean animals, but they are still God’s creatures. And the demons, although it sounds weird, are also God’s creatures! God created them as good, but they chose to be evil and fell away from Him. But today’s Gospel story tells us that the Lord heard their request and allowed that the animals would suffer because of them. And what is a request from a creature to the Creator? It is a prayer. Thus, although it sounds weird, the demons did pray Christ and He answered their prayer”.
“But the demons remained those who they were – the evil spirits. They killed the swine. It shows us their malice, their hatred towards all the God’s creatures. St. John Chrysostom says that if they could, the demons would destroy all God’s creation. They would kill all the people if they could and would not be restrained by God. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, if not for God’s power, the evil spirits would long ago destroy all the human kind”.
“The Gospel lesson further tells us that the people from the country of the Gadarenes asked Jesus to depart from them (Lk. 8, 37). This was an evil choice. They did it because they do not wish Jesus to break, to change their usual way of life. He would disturb their sinful way. Those people were pagans, not the Jews. The fact that they had swine tells us that. So, they did not really know the faith in one God and did not probably wish that their pagan lifestyle would be disturbed. They have already suffered a loss, losing several thousand head of cattle, when he was only approaching the town! What might happen if he comes to the city itself? This is an example of selfish fear, a fear before something high and divine, a fear that the Lord may enter into our life and change it. He may make us different while we are so used to be what we are, sinful and unclean, just like those pigs. Something similar happens now, when a person is afraid to let the Lord somehow enter into his soul”.
“I heard a story of a man who lived a regular secular life, a life in different little sins. His family members were good Christians and attended the church, but he did not. When the people were asking that person why he would not join his family and begin to come to the church, he answered: “If I will, I will have to go to the church, go to confession, stop drinking; I will have to fast, to pray and be a good person. It’s hard and I don’t need that.””
“Dear brothers and sisters! It may sound funny but it is really sad. We have to beware of that attitude and avoid it. It makes us renounce God’s grace. In the same way the people from the country of the Gadarenes renounced God’s grace in today’s Gospel lesson when they asked Jesus to depart from their land. But again, we become convinced that God may hear the prayers of those who even wish evil things to happen. When the demons beg Him to permit them to enter the swine the Lord allows them. When the sinful people ask Him to depart from their country, He departs”.
“Dear brothers and sisters! Today’s Gospel story teaches us a few things. It teaches to pray in faith. God listens to the prayer. It also teaches us to avoid evil. We need to stay away from any forms of the evil forces in this world such as occult teachings, spiritism, fortune telling, sorcery and different superstitions. Otherwise, the evil spirits could have a power over us. And finally, today’s Gospel teaches us not to chase Jesus away, but ask for His grace. Asking for His grace we may be delivered from all evil and to may be not among those who chases the Lord away, but among His faithful disciples who follow Him everywhere, follow Him in their earthly life and will follow Him into the eternal blessedness!”

During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, Fr. Igor proclaimed a petition beseeching the Lord to spare the faithful from the outbreak of the disease.

During preparation for Holy Communion the choir nicely performed hymns in honor of St. Cosmas and Damian whose memory was celebrated on that day.

Following the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector made some announcements.

After the service of the Divine Liturgy the Rector performed the Mystery of Baptism over Naomi Pugliese who desired to convert to the Christian faith and to join the Holy Orthodox Church. In the Holy Baptism she was given the name Johanna. Following the Sacraments of Baptism and Chrismation Johanna received her first Holy Communion. The Rector then congratulated her on that very solemn and important occasion, as well as her Godmother, Paraskeva Kosmidis.

20th Sunday after Pentecost


On November 7, on the 20th Sunday after Pentecost, we had a beautiful celebration at St. George parish. Our Rector, Archpriest Igor Tarasov served the Divine Liturgy in our church. This time our temple was filled with many faithful because in addition to our usual parishioners there were a number of guests from Brooklyn who came along with their spiritual father, Abbot Eutychius (Dovganyuk). During the Liturgy Fr. Eutychius prayed in the sanctuary.

After the reading from the Holy Gospel our Rector preached the following homily:

“Dear Father, dear brothers and sisters in Christ! Our today’s Gospel lesson is dealing with a fascinating subject: life beyond the grave. Yesterday the Church celebrated St. Demetrious memorial Saturday and offered prayers for the departed. We also know that Western Christians recently celebrated All Saints Day and then Day of the Dead, on November 1st and November 2nd. We are then going to add a litany of commemoration of the deceased today, as we do when we pass the memorial Saturdays”.
“St. Demetrius Saturday was introduced to commemorate the warriors perished in the battles. It is a Saturday before the feast of the Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessalonica which is tomorrow. In addition, our calendar mentions that on that day we commemorate tomorrow the imperial city of Constantinople suffered a terrible earthquake in the year 740 AD. As we mention such a disaster, we may recall that 9 years ago our contemporary imperial city of New York suffered a terrible hurricane Sandy. Hundreds of people died in accidents, many houses were flooded or destroyed, a lot of damage done to the areas of the ocean shore. Indeed, it seems that not a day goes by without some natural catastrophe happening and lives lost. Those disasters seem to intensify nowadays. And people tend to blame somebody for these losses. Some people blame governments for not being prepared, some blame big companies for changing the earth climate. These days we know that there was a special international summit about the climate change, so the governments are preoccupied with that problem and blame the climate change for many disasters. Finally, very often, when they see many disasters, people tend to blame God. Even the insurance companies called the damages resulting from natural disasters the “acts of God”. Thus, we blame others but not ourselves. Like children, we argue that “it isn’t our fault”. Such a way of thinking is not the way of the Holy Gospel”.
“In today’s Gospel, Lazarus did not blame anyone for his poverty and misery. He never blamed the kings and the rulers or some other human forces for his state. And he never blamed God. He did not even blame the rich man for his indifference. No, he accepted his situation in humility. And because of his humility he went to heaven, to the bosom of Abraham”.
“As for the rich man, he never thought of thanking God for his wealth. He did not show his gratitude to God by caring for the poor men at his gate. He had only hard-heartedness, allowing Lazarus to die at his gates, surrounded by stray dogs who licked Lazarus’ sores, while he was feasting. And because of his hard-heartedness he went down to hell”.
“Now we may ask: why does God allow natural disasters to happen? And who is to blame? The answer is: man himself is to blame, simply because man does not ask God for catastrophes not to happen, because man does not accept God’s power. Man does not seek God’s protection through prayer and repentance. Man has persuaded himself through modern technology that he is so smart that he can live without God. But modern man has so blinded himself with his intelligence that he forgot that he can do nothing to protect himself from the natural elements, only God can do that. Modern man so blinded himself that like the rich man in today’s Gospel, he cannot see Lazarus starving in agony at his gates”.
“In the same way, dear brothers and sisters, God will allow some, or even many of us, to end up in hell. When we die, some will be taken to the bosom of Abraham, like Lazarus, but some, as the rich man, will go down to hell. Let us not doubt about that because our Lord Himself told us the parable in today’s Gospel. And this will happen because man does not ask God for help, he does not ask God for forgiveness, does not repent through sincere confession and does not desire to receive God in Holy Communion. Again, modern man is often convinced that he may live without God. Then he will eventually live without God in hell, undergoing eternal condemnation”.
“Dear Father, dear brothers and sisters! If we really worry about our life beyond the grave, if we really care about our destiny after death, let us not be blinded but see. Let us see God in our lives. Let us see the needy at our doors. Let us not blame others or God in our misfortunes. But let us work on our salvation. Let us repent for our sins and let us receive the Lord in Holy Communion. And let us pray. Pray for the living and for the departed. Pray for ourselves and for those who need our prayers”.
“Remember that the world is run not by governments or by politicians.  It is run by prayer and lack of prayer. And we too shall perish like the rich man unless we pray, unless we hear to Moses and the Prophets and unless we truly follow the One Who is truly Risen from the dead, Christ our True God”.

During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, Fr. Igor proclaimed a petition beseeching the Lord to spare the faithful from the outbreak of the disease.

Since on the day before the Church celebrated St. Demetrius Memorial Saturday, the Rector added the Litany for the departed and proclaimed their names given by the faithful for commemoration.

The choir nicely performed Psalm 33 and a hymn in honor of the Most Holy Theotokos during preparation for Holy Communion.

After the dismissal of the Liturgy the Rector congratulated Abbot Eutychius (Dovganyuk) on occasion of his birthday wishing him God’s help in his pastoral work in Brooklyn and New Jersey, good health and great success in proclaiming the Word of God to the faithful. Taking an opportunity of seeing spiritual children of Fr. Eutychius in our church, Fr. Igor invited them to attend our temple as long as they have no place to worship in Brooklyn or New Jersey. Then he proclaimed traditional Polychronion to our guest.

The Rector also greeted our Warden and Choir Director, Olga Roussanow on the occasion of her past 80th birthday wishing her God’s blessings, good health and many years. Traditional Polychronion was then also proclaimed.

Following the service the Rector and our guests had a group photograph to remember that event. Fr. Eutychius and his spiritual children also invited Fr. Igor and our parishioners to join them for the luncheon at the Asian Garden restaurant. Our Rector and a small group of parishioners accepted that nice invitation and enjoyed delicious meals and a nice company at that famous local eatery nearby to celebrate birthdays of Fr. Eutychius and of Mrs. Olga Roussanow.