Western American Diocese
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Category: Featured Content - Recent Events
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Paschal Epistle of the Ruling Hierarch of the Western American Diocese - 05/05/2024

“The angel cried unto her that is full of grace:
O Pure Virgin, rejoice, and again, I say rejoice;
for Thy Son hath risen from the grave on the third day…”
Paschal Matins – 9th Irmos

CHRIST IS RISEN!

Christ’s Resurrection is an indescribable joy!  On Pascha we feel the weight of this temporal life, for a brief moment, and then purged from our souls and replaced with the love of Christ for us.  Let us reminisce of how on the Day of Resurrection we do not feel any negativity towards each other, but only brotherly love, compassion and care towards each other - former adversaries become comrades; competitors turn into friends; strangers become acquaintances.  Our Lord and Saviour’s Glorious Victory over death means not only that death no longer has dominion over us, but also we begin to personally experience the love that radiates from God towards all Creation.  It is only through this bond of love of God towards us that we can explain how Christ’s suffering and crucifixion can be turned into something beautiful and uplifting.

            The Mother of God exemplifies this manifested beauty Christ’s Resurrection has to offer to man...

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Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America - 01/06/2024

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill toward men. (Luke 2:14)

Your Graces, Reverend Fathers, Brothers and Sisters!

It is with the Incarnation of the Word that man can realize God’s infinite and boundless love for His creation.  Out of love for us did the Son of God humble Himself to become man, in order to heal the relationship between God and man.  Before the humble birth of Christ, in the Bethlehem cave, St. Gregory the Dialogist writes in his Dialogues, “With sin we were so distant from God that the angels, God’s citizens, eliminated us from their company.”  The rift created by the Fall between God and man was so great that it reverberated to every aspect of Creation and tore asunder the bond of love that tied the Heavens to the earth.  “It was not until the King of the Heavens took upon our flesh’, St. Gregory further writes, ‘that the Angels restored peace with us (humanity)… and once again considered us their companions.”  It is for that reason that the angelic choir appeared to the shepherds singing, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14)...

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NATIVITY EPISTLE of His Eminence NICHOLAS Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia - 01/06/2024

Eminent Brother-Archpastors, Reverend Fathers, Beloved in the Lord, Brothers and Sisters:

It is with feelings of humble gratitude, love and joy in the Lord that I greet everyone on this great and most joyous celebration of the Nativity of Christ—the arrival on earth of the incarnate Son of God born to the Most-Blessed Virgin Mary. May the saving grace of God, appearing now in a humble Bethlehem cave and shining upon the waters of the Jordan River, be poured forth upon us all, visiting our homes, parishes and monasteries with unearthly light and peace!

We pray also that the Holy Land, which quenched the Savior’s thirst with its waters and fed with its bread Him Who is for us even Himself our food and drink, be sated with the peace heralded by the angelic choir over the city of Bethlehem! May the Lord strengthen the clergymen and monastics of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, who are enduring difficult times as they preserve and protect our holy sites. Their courageous podvig, in the words of St John the Wonderworker, who was glorified 30 years ago, “evokes a feeling of tenderness and is worthy of reverence,” and it is our holy duty to send them our support in these sacred days.

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Christmas Message from Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Rus’ - 01/06/2024

Christmas Message
from Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Rus’
to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons, Monastics
and All Faithful Children of the Russian Orthodox Church
Beloved in the Lord archpastors, all-honourable presbyters and deacons,
God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters,

The unutterable love of God has gathered us today so that in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3) we may celebrate one of the most solemn and at the same time mysterious feasts of the Church – the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Glorifying our Saviour’s coming into the world, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you, my beloved, on the joyful event, which opened a new era in the relationship between God and humanity.

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Western Rite Parishes and Missions within the Territory of the Western American Diocese - 08/14/2023

Within the boundaries of the Western American Diocese, there are several parishes and missions that worship according to the "Western Rite." See the full list with contact details HERE.

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Archdeacon Peter (Karakozoff) is Ordained a Hieromonk at the Old Holy Virgin Cathedral - 08/10/2023

On Saturday, August 5th, 2023, on the Feast Day of Old Holy Virgin Cathedral in honor of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” at 864 Fulton Street in San Francisco, CA, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America ordained his longtime assistant Archdeacon Peter (Karakozoff) to the priesthood.

Peter Karakozoff was born in West Sacramento, CA, in 1976. From his youth Peter spent all his spare time in church and around clergy. He was tonsured a Reader at the Holy Myrrh-bearing Women Church in West Sacramento (OCA) as a teenager. And served as the choir conductor at Holy Ascension Church (Western American Diocese, ROCOR) in Sacramento from 1998-2003. It was during these years that Peter earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Davis. In 2003 Reader Peter relocated to San Francisco, CA, and became the cell-attendant for His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill. Among his many responsibilities, Reader Peter was placed in charge of the operations of the Diocesan Chancellery, and assigned as a chanter on kliros during the daily Divine Services at Holy Virgin Cathedral on Geary Boulevard.

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Patronal Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Santa Rosa, CA - 08/10/2023

On Wednesday, July 12, 2023, the clergy and parishioners of Saint Peter and Paul Church in Santa Rosa, CA, celebrated their Patronal Feast Day.

His Grace THEODOSY Bishop of Seattle presided. Concelebrating with him were Father Rector, Archpriest Alexander Krassovsky, Archpriest Lawrence Margitich (Saint Seraphim of Sarov Church, Santa Rosa, CA, OCA), Protodeacon Anton Koval (Holy Virgin Cathedral, San Francisco) and Deacon Athanasius Ferguson.

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A Cleric of the Southern Deanery of the Western American Diocese, Priest Christopher Horsley, was Elevated to the Dignity of Archpriest - 08/10/2023

On Sunday, February 19, 2023, His Eminence KIRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America elevated Priest Christopher Horsley to the dignity of Archpriest at Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, California.

Father Christopher was ordained to the diaconate in 1996 and to the priesthood in 2004. He served as a deacon and assistant priest at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA, from 1996 to 2015. From 2015 until 2020 Father served at Holy Protection Church in Holywood, CA. On September 18, 2020, Father Christopher opened a mission in Youngtown, AZ, named Christ the Savior Orthodox Church. The mission is very active with two Divine Liturgies served every Sunday.

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A New Protodeacon for Holy Virgin Cathedral - 08/10/2023

Protodeacon Anton Koval has been assigned to Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA. He has come to the Western American Diocese from the Ukraine with his wife, Oksana, and daughter, Tatiana as refugees. Infant Mark was born here in mid-July.

First, Father Anton sent his family out of the Ukraine to safety. Then he himself braved hostile fire, and minefields, along the war's front to escape.

Please visit SFSobor.com/donate/Charity to help this new clergy family with housing and various items.

Source: Starosta’s Blog, Holy Virgin Cathedral

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Archbishop Kyrill Presides over the Feast Day of Saint Elias Church in Diamond Springs, CA - 08/09/2023

On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America paid a pastoral visit to the Saint Elias Church in Diamond Springs, CA, on the parish Feast Day.

Concelebrating with His Eminence were the Father Rector, Archpriest James Steele, Archpriest Paul Volmensky (Holy Ascension Church, Sacramento, CA), Priest Philip Plowman (St. Elias Church), Priest Elijah Drake-Wu (All Saints of America Church of Lodi, California), and Deacon Steven Kennedy.

In his sermon, Archbishop Kyrill spoke of the Patron Saint of the community, the Holy Prophet of God Elias quoting from the General Epistle of Saint James: “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (5:17) “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (19-20).

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The Patronal Feast Day of Saint Seraphim of Sarov in Seaside, CA - 08/09/2023

On Tuesday, August 1, 2023, the clergy and faithful of Saint Seraphim of Sarov Church in Seaside, CA, celebrated their Patronal Feast Day. Joining them were His Grace JAMES Bishop of Sonora, who presided over the festivities, and several pilgrims from local parishes.

See the photo album of the Divine Liturgy and cross procession.

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The Parish of the Church of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia in Sparks, Nevada, Celebrates its Patronal Feast - 08/07/2023

On Sunday, July 16, His Grace THEODOSY Bishop of Seattle presided over the celebration of the Patronal Feast of the Church of the Holy Royal Martyrs of Russia in Sparks, Nevada.

Concelebrating with His Grace were the rector of the church, Archpriest Andrei Kudryavtsev, Preist Aurelius Zmeu (Holy Resurrection Church, North Highlands, California, Romanian OCA), and Priest John Logero (Church of St. Andrew the First-Called, Western American Diocese, Carson City).

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The Annual Celebration of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker - 08/06/2023

On Saturday July 1st, 2023, faithful of all jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church in North America, and even from abroad, gathered to celebrate the memory of a great Saint of our time, Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker. The annual commemoration took place at Holy Virgin Cathedral where the honorable and wonderworking relics of Saint John repose.

His Grace THEODOSY Bishop of Seattle, the first auxiliary bishop of the Western American Diocese, presided over the celebration. His Grace JAMES Bishop of Sonora, the second auxiliary bishop, and a multitude of priests and deacons concelebrated with him.

Nikita Buick, Church Warden of Holy Virgin Cathedral, reported several informative details...

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Archbishop Kyrill visits All Saints of Russia Orthodox Church in Denver, CO - 07/06/2023

On Sunday, June 18, 2023, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America paid a pastoral visit to All Saints of Russia Orthodox Church in Denver, CO.

During the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence ordained Oleg Varavko to the diaconate. See the photo gallery below.

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Inaugural Arizona Icon Writing Workshop Complete! - 07/05/2023

The first Arizona Icon Writing Workshop, sponsored by All Saints Of North America and Christ the Savior Churches is complete. Running from June 12-17, 2023, the week-long Iconology Workshop was led by Tatiania and Dimitry Berestova of the Prosopon School of Iconology, and featured 12 students, lay and clergy, including two advanced students who have studied under the Prosopon School previously.

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A Monk of the Monastery of the All-Merciful Saviour, Vashon Island, Washington, is Ordained to the Priesthood - 07/05/2023

On Saturday, May 27, 2023, His Grace THEODOSY Bishop of Seattle ordained to the diaconate monk Nicodemus, a member of the Monastery of the All-Merciful Saviour, on Vashon Island, Washington.

Then on Sunday, May 28, His Eminence KIRILL, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, ordained Hierodeacon Nicodemus to the priesthood. Both ordinations took place at Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA.

Hieromonk Nicodemus is assigned to serve at All-Merciful Saviour Monastery. Axios!

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Annual Pilgrimage to Fort Ross, Near Jenner, California - 06/23/2023

On May 29, 2023, members of the Western American Diocese, both clergy and laity, undertook the annual pilgrimage to Fort Ross. Today it is a wonderful park under the auspices of the State of California, yet two hundred years ago, life there was in full swing with several hundred people from soldiers, to artisans, to farmers, to indigenous people both from Alaska and locals (Kashaya-Pomo Indians). The park also preserves an Orthodox cemetery. In the 1990s, archaeologists carried out excavations and identified the graves of the departed who labored at the fort in bygone years.

Now for about a hundred years (circa 1922 or 1923), Russian Orthodox Christians have been coming to Fort Ross annually, remembering their roots and praying at this holy place consecrated by the presence of Saints such as Holy Hierarch Innocent of Moscow, Holy Martyr Peter the Aleut, Hieromartyr Tikhon Patriarch of Moscow and Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker.

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A Cleric of the Western American Diocese takes a Pilgrimage to Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY - 05/26/2023

Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, Dean of Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco and Secretary of the Diocesan Council of the Western American Diocese made a spring pilgrimage to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. He participated in the celebrations of the great feast of Mid-Pentecost, May 10th of this year. Below is a photo report of the Feast.

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The Youth of St Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, Make a Film on Its 90th Anniversary - 05/26/2023

On the occasion of its 90th Anniversary the youth of Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, Washington, created the following film.

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Ordination to the Priesthood at Holy Virgin Cathedral on Palm Sunday, April 9th, 2023 - 04/09/2023

On the Feast of the Annunciation, George Fokin was ordained to the diaconate, and shortly thereafter on the Feast of the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem, he was ordained to the holy priesthood.

Priest George is attached to the Holy Virgin Cathedral. 

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The Biannual Pastors' Retreat for the Clergy of the Western American Diocese was Held in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona - 04/02/2023

With the blessing of His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America and under the Protection of the Wonderworking Myrrh-streaming “Iveron-Hawaiian” Icon of the Mother of God the clergy of the Western American Diocese held a pastors’ retreat at Saint Paisius Monastery in Safford, Arizona, from March 13-15, 2023.

The registrants of bishops, priests, and deacons numbered a record 43 indicating that the retreat had been met with great enthusiasm by the clergy of our Diocese — in part because such a gathering had not been held since the fall of 2019, and partially due to the fact that the venue was being held at Saint Paisius Monastery situated in the high Sonoran Desert at the base of Mount Graham. Of course, the presence of our Lady the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary through Her miraculous myrrh-streaming “Iveron-Hawaiian” Icon was seen as an immeasurable consolation as well...

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GREAT LENT: Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian - 02/27/2023

A leaflet on the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian was prepared by Andre Kusubov, a parishioner of the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco..

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Metropolitan Onufry: Lenten Rule For Peace - 02/27/2023

At the beginning of Great Lent, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev & All Ukraine, called upon and blessed the faithful to fulfill a special rule of prayer for peace. The rule is as follows: throughout the fast read the 45th and 90th Psalms, do 12 full prostrations, and read the Lord’s Prayer daily, for peace in the Ukrainian Land. With the blessing of Archbishop Kyrill we are posting the text of this “Rule for Peace” for the members of the Western American Diocese and website visitors.

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The XVI Annual Saint Herman’s West Youth Conference was Held in Youngtown, Arizona - 01/05/2023

The XVI Annual Saint Herman’s West Youth Conference was held from December 26-30, 2022. Being supported by several diocesan clergymen and many youth counselors, the conference hosted just under 50 youth of the Western American Diocese at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Youngtown, Arizona.

The conference met its aims by providing educational and social opportunities for our diocesan youth. Lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and exposure to a broader range of clergy and peers heighten an Orthodox formation in our youth and provide them with a much-needed authentic, spiritual context, as their young and fresh minds are forming opinions, coming to conclusions, and establishing convictions about the path they will take in life.

With the blessing of His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, diocesan clergy gathered around His Grace JAMES Bishop of Sonora, who presided over the conference.

Two holy icons graced the occasion:

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Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, WA, Marks the 90th Anniversary from Its Founding - 12/22/2022

On Monday December 19th, 2022, on its Patronal Feast Day of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, the northernmost parish of the Western American Diocese, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, celebrated its 90th anniversary. The parish members which built the seven-domed cathedral in the Capital Hill area of Seattle, Washington, received the blessing for its founding in 1932 from Archbishop Tikhon, who was at that time the ruling bishop of the San Francisco and Western American Diocese.  The founding fathers of the parish, many of whom were former officers in the Royal Imperial Navy of the Russian Empire, had a profound reverence for the last Tsar, the Holy Passion-bearer Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, and they chose to dedicate the parish to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker – the Patron Saint of the Tsar-Martyr.  The cathedral is one of the first churches in history to be designated as a memorial to Tsar Nicholas and his family.

The festal services were exceptional due to the presence of the ruling hierarch of the Diocese, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, and his auxiliary bishop of the Northern Deanery, His Grace Bishop THEODOSY of Seattle, who were accompanied by...

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Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia - 09/24/2022

To the Pastors, Monastics and the Pious Children of the Church Abroad

Beloved brethren and sisters!

We, the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, having assembled together in Sacred Council on the eve of the Ecclesiastical New Year in the Synodal Residence in the God-protected city of New York, in the presence of our Hodegetria and guide, the wonderworking Kursk-root icon of the Mother of God, greet you with the words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which He spoke unto His disciples after His Resurrection: ‘Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world!’ (John 16.33).

We are of good cheer, because we are witnesses to the Lord’s great mercy unto His children and the continuity of His headship of the Church. Having seen fit to call unto Himself our pious and humble First Hierarch, the blessedly-reposed and much-beloved Metropolitan Hilarion, He has not left us bereft of order and care. We began our Council with the election of Metropolitan Hilarion’s successor, the seventh Primate of the Russian Church Abroad, following the order of election approved and sanctified by St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. By the Will of God, His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, was elected to bear this yoke of service - he who for many years has borne the obedience lain upon him by our Synod of accompanying the miraculous Kursk-root icon in its travels throughout the Russian Orthodox Diaspora, and over the last one and a half decades, all across Russia.

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The First Day of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia - 09/14/2022

On Tuesday, 13 September, 2022, the member hierarchs of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany, celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City. Afterwards, the bishops performed a moleben for the opening of a Council of Bishops, invoking the aid of the Holy Spirit for their work.

After a luncheon in the main hall of the Synodal residence, the Council began. Vladyka Mark delivered the keynote address, after which His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America was elected Vice President, and elected as Council Secretaries were His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, His Grace Bishop Theodosius of Seattle and His Grace Bishop Job of Stuttgart. Appointed as members of the election Counting Committee were His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe and His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse.

The hierarchs then proceeded to the Synodal Cathedral for the election of a new First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia...

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The Miraculous Myrrh-streaming Iveron-Hawaiian Icon of the Mother of God Visited the San Francisco Bay Area - 07/23/2022

The miraculous myrrh-streaming Iveron-Hawaiian Icon of the Mother of God visited parishes in the San Francisco Bay Area from the 9th to the 12th of July, 2022.

On Saturday, July 9th, the holy Icon, in the company of its guardian Deacon Nectarios Yangson, visited the Saint John of Kronstadt Health Care Center in Castro Valley at 3:00 pm. They were met by Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko who led them to all the rooms of patients who are Orthodox and they were anointed. Soon after that, the holy Icon visited the Old Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA. His Grace Bishop James of Sonora greeted at the icon at 5:00 pm and the All-night Vigil to the Resurrection of Christ was celebrated.

On Sunday, July 10th the myrrh-streaming Icon visited the Holy Resurrection Church (Romanian Episcopate, OCA) in Hayward, CA, for the Divine Liturgy. The Rector of the church, Father Octavian Mahler, presided over the Divine Liturgy. Later that day the Iveron-Hawaiian Icon traveled to Sacramento, CA, and was present at an Unction service held at the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel Church (Romanian Episcopate, OCA) on Raley Boulevard, CA. The parish offered hospitality to the clergy and parishioners in the parish hall after the Divine Service.

On the Feast of the Holy, Glorious All-praised and Foremost Apostles Peter and Paul, Monday, July 11, and on Tuesday, July 12,...

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A Reflection on the Funeral of Archpriest Alexei Poliakov - 07/23/2022

On July 2, 2022, the funeral service for Archpriest Alexei Poliakov took place at the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA. The parishioners of two parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia – where Fr. Alexei served on a permanent basis in the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior since 1999, and also in the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God on a temporary basis for a year –– merged into a single prayer and love for their good shepherd, whose sudden departure was echoed by deep sorrow in the hearts of the parishioners of both parishes.

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Biography of newly-departed Archpriest Alexei Poliakov - 07/22/2022

On Friday, June 24, on the day of the celebration Icon of the Mother of God "It is Truly Meet,” at the age of 63, Archpriest Alexei Poliakov, a cleric of the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA, reposed in the Lord. Father Alexei reposed unexpectedly in the presence of his beloved family,  Matushka Marina, and their children.

Father Alexei Petrovich Polyakov was born on February 5, 1959, in a priest's family. His father, Archpriest Peter Poliakov, served for more than 50 years in the Moscow Diocese and served as a Rector of several consecutive parishes in both the rural and suburban regions around Moscow.

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His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America is Awarded the Order of the Kursk-Root Icon, First Degree - 07/12/2022

On July 2, 2022, the great feast of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker, His Grace Nicholai Bishop of Manhattan and Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on behalf of the Synod of Bishops, awarded His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America with the Order of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, First Degree. This highest award of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was bestowed upon His Eminence for his thirty years of service in the office of the Episcopacy (June 7th, 1992) and for his forty years in the office of the priesthood.

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The Annual Feast of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker was Celebrated on July 2, 2022 - 07/09/2022

On Saturday, July 2, 2022, a multitude of clergy and laity gathered together at Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA, to celebrate the memory of our Father among the Saints John Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker.

“Love never fails” (I Cor. 13:8), nor does Saint John the Wonderworker who incarnated love, who converted the self-love of our fallen nature into Divine love for God and man. Following in the footsteps of all the Saints, he crucified his “flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Gal. 5:24), denying himself, taking up his cross, and following Christ. The great number of people who joyously came to the Feast Day to venerate Saint John’s honorable relics in the cathedral and glorify his holy memory are filled with grace, as the Saints never die. What they give in Christ to their neighbors while alive on earth, they continue to share in abundance from beyond the grave. All who were present sensed this, experience Saint John’s love, and are not left bereft of consolation. How many problems are resolved, and how many sorrows are forgotten through the intercessions of Saint John and his love for all people.

This year, after two difficult years of abiding by quarantine restrictions,...

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Divine Services on the Eve of the Annual Feast Dedicated to Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker - 07/04/2022

On Friday July 1, 2022, clergy and faithful honored the memory of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker at Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA, by participating the vigil before his honorable and miraculous relics.

His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America was formally greeted at 6:00 pm before the start of the vigil. Concelebrating with him were His Grace Theodosy Bishop of Seattle and His Grace Nicholai Bishop of Manhattan along with many priests and deacons.

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On June 30th, 2022, the Annual Akathist to Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker was Sung before His Honorable Relics - 07/01/2022

On Thursday, June 30th, 2022, on the eve of St. John’s Day, the annual Akathist to Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker was sung before his honorable and miraculous relics in the Diocesan Cathedral dedicated to the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow.”

Immediately following the daily vespers and matins Services Saint John’s relics were translated from his shrine to the center of the cathedral. This year Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, the Dean of the Cathedral, Hieromonk Sofronie of the Dervent Monastery in Romania, and Priest George Kaplanov served the Akathist.

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Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America Visits the Holy Virgin Cathedral - 07/01/2022

On June 29th, 2022, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America received at Holy Virgin Cathedral His Eminence JOSEPH Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America along with a group of pilgrims, both clergy and laity, that came to honor the memory of the Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker, venerate his honorable relics and ask for his intercessions.

Vespers was held by a guest archpriest and two choirs chanted, one consisting of clergy on kliros and another of the laity from the body of the church.

At the end of vespers, Archbishop Kyrill welcomed Metropolitan Joseph to the cathedral...

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Patronal Feast Day of All Russian Saints Church in Burlingame, CA, was Celebrated on June 26, 2022 - 06/30/2022

On Sunday June 26th, 2022, on the Day of Commemoration of All the Saints that have shown forth in the Russian Land, All Russian Saints Church, it’s clergy and faithful, in Burlingame, CA, celebrated their Patronal Feast Day.

The Divine Liturgy was presided over by His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. Substituting for the Father Rector, Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko, was Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, Dean of Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, CA. Also, concelebrating were Archdeacon Peter (Karakozoff) and Deacon Alexei Baranoff.

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The Annual Pilgrimage to Fort Ross, May 30th 2022 - 06/23/2022

On Memorial Day, May 30th, 2022, clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese took the annual trek to Fort Ross Historic Park to participate in the Divine Liturgy, procession to the cemetery and a litya for those departed who are buried at Fort Ross, who lived, labored and reposed at there about 200 years ago.

His Grace Theodosy Bishop of Seattle presided over the festivities. Concelebrating with him were Archpriests Peter Perekrestov, George Kurtow, Paul Volmensky, Alexander Krassovsky, Priest George Kaplanov and Deacons Nicholas Stoltz, Paul Kozachenko and Alex Baranoff. The choir was conducted by Konstantine Pavlov and its members consisted of the pilgrims of the diocese.

His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill greeted...

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Burial of Metropolitan Hilarion takes place at Holy Trinity Monastery - 05/27/2022

On May 22, the 5th Sunday of Holy Pascha, the commemoration of the meeting of the Lord with the Samaritan Woman, and then the Holy Church honors the memory of the Holy Hierarch and Wonderworker Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, the burial of the newly departed First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, was held at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

The evening prior, the coffin containing the Metropolitan’s body was brought to Holy Trinity Monastery, where on May 22 Metropolitan Mark of Berlin & Germany celebrated Divine Liturgy. Concelebrated with His Eminence were: Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, Archbishop Irenee of Ottawa (OCA), Bishop Irenei of London & Western Europe, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Bishop Luke of Syracuse, Bishop Gedeon of Makarovka (vicar of the Kiev Metropolitanate UOC), and Bishop Jerome (Shaw), as well as a multitude of clergy from various dioceses of the Russian Church Abroad...

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NEW YORK CITY: FUNERAL OF METROPOLITAN HILARION, FIRST HIERARCH OF RUSSIAN CHURCH ABROAD, HELD IN SYNODAL CATHEDRAL - 05/23/2022

On Saturday, May 21, the feast of the Holy Apostle & Evangelist John the Theologian, the monastic funeral of the newly reposed First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad ‒ His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York ‒ was held in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City.

Metropolitan Mark of Berlin & Germany officiated the service, co-served by members of the Synod of Bishops: Archbishops Kyrill of San Francisco & Western America, Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, and Peter of Chicago & Mid-America; and Bishops Nicholas of Manhattan and Irenei of London & Western Europe. Also taking part in the funeral rite were hierarchs of other Local Churches: Metropolitan Joseph of New York (Antiochian Archdiocese of North America; funeral only), Archbishop Michel of New York & New Jersey (Orthodox Church in America; Liturgy only), and Bishop Gedeon of Makarovka (vicar of the Kievan Metropolitanate, with the blessing of Metropolitan Onufry), as well as a multitude of clergy of the Russian Church Abroad and guests.

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Archbishop Kyrill Performs an Ordination at New Russian Martyrs Church in Mulino, OR - 04/28/2022

On the Feast of the Entry of the Lord into the Temple, Sunday 3/16, 2022, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America made a pastoral visit to the New Russian Martyrs Church in Mulino, Oregon.

During the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence ordained Deacon Boris Levashev to the dignity of the priesthood. Father Boris has already been a parishioner of the parish for 10 years, and has been preparing for the priesthood...

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Deacon George Kalousek of Saint Herman of Alaska Church in Sunnyvale, CA, reposed in the Lord - 04/13/2022

The Reverend Father Deacon George Kalousek reposed in the Lord on the great feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, March 25/April 7, 2022. 

George Kalousek was born on July 11, 1937, in Shanghai China where as a child he attended the Shanghai British School.  At the age of 12, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, where he later earned his medical degree at the University of Brasil. 

In 1962 he came to the United States to complete his medical training at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.

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A New Deacon for All Russian Saints Church in Burlingame, CA - 04/07/2022

On the major feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, March 25/April 7, 2022, His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America made a pastoral visit to All Russian Saints Church of Burlingame, CA. Presiding over the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence was assisted by Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko (Rector), the Archpriests Andrei Sommer and Alex Kotar, Archdeacon Peter (Karakozoff) and several acolytes. 

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Ordination to the Diaconate at Holy Ascension Church in Sacramento, CA - 04/04/2022

On the Fourth Sunday of Great Lent, March 21/April 3, 2022, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America made a pastoral visit to Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church of Sacramento, CA. 

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Archpriest George Kurtow is Awarded the Miter - 03/28/2022

On the Third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Precious Cross, March 14/27, 2022, Archpriest George Kurtow, Rector of Saint Seraphim of Sarov Church in Seaside, CA, was elevated to the dignity of mitered archpriest in recognition of 41 years of service to Mother Church as a presbyter...

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Sermon of Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany on the Need to Preserve Church Unity During Times of War - 03/25/2022

Dear in the Lord Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:

During these terrifying days when streams of blood merge with the flow of deceit and wickedness, we Christians cannot allow ourselves to submit to the spirit of war. The spirit of war is demanding. It requires us to divide into parties. It forces us to hate.

We Christians must understand: the wrath with which war burns is the wrath of hell. The enemy of God drinks in not so much human blood as human bitterness and division. The devil wants nothing more than to separate man from his neighbor, from the Church and from Christ...

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Kailua, Hawaii: Divine Services, Reading of St. Andrew of Crete Canon held at the Church of the Iveron Icon - 03/25/2022

With the start of Great Lent, the divine services with the reading of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete were held in the Church of the Iveron Icon in Kailua, Hawaii (Western American Diocese). From Monday the 7th, until Thursday the 10th of March, the divine services were served in English and Slavonic by the parish Rector Priest Athanasius Kone and Archpriest Anatole V. Lyovin (Pastor Emeritus).

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Statement from the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops - 03/24/2022

Rumors surfaced this week of the discontinuance of commemoration of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in some parishes of the Russian Church Abroad, allegedly blessed by the Synod of Bishops. This report absolutely does not correspond to reality: the Synod of Bishops did not convene to discuss this matter and has made no such decision. In accordance with the Act of Canonical Communion signed by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus in 2007, the name of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church is commemorated in all parishes and monasteries of the Russian Church Abroad. These parishes and monasteries minister to a multitude of Orthodox Christian believers from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Kazakhstan and other countries...

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Archbishop KYRILL performs the "Rite of Orthodoxy" - 03/17/2022

On the First Sunday of Great Lent, March 13, 2022, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, His Eminence KYRILL, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, presided over the Divine Liturgy and the “Rite of Orthodoxy” at the Diocesan Cathedral in honor of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco.

Concelebrating with His Eminence were Their Graces THEODOSY, Bishop of Seattle and JAMES, Bishop of Sonora,...

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An Epistle Calling for Peace by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill to the Spiritual Children of the Western American Diocese - 03/03/2022

Today the eyes of many of us are affixed to varying sources of information, and our hearts, numb and in bitter distress, behold the events presently unfolding in the God-preserved land of Ukraine. Seeing everything that is taking place, we instinctively call to mind the words of our Saviour, “of wars and rumors of wars,” and His warning: “see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6). These words of the Son of God before His suffering on the Cross have resounded in our churches for many years, but it seemed to us that they were describing events from the distant past or some future beyond our reach. Today, however, we see that they are bearing their witness to each of us.

In these sorrowful days, it is impossible to disregard a mother’s tears, the wives and children that have lost their homes, or our family and friends who are caught up in this fratricidal war...

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Archpastoral Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion on Great Lent and on the Events on the Holy Ukrainian Land - 03/03/2022

Dear in the Lord Brothers and Sisters:

As we approach Great Lent, this salvific time of profound prayer and self-correction, and in connection with the events in the Ukrainian land, I turn to all with a heartfelt plea: to refrain from excessive watching television, following newspapers and the internet, to close our hearts to the passions ignited by mass media, while doubling our fervent prayers for peace throughout the world, for overcoming enmity and discord, for help for the suffering, for the repose of those who have departed into the eternal life and the consolation of their friends and relatives, so that we all first and foremost remain humane and Orthodox Christians in these difficult times...

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The Flock of the Western American Diocese Congratulates its Ruling Bishop on the Occasion of His Names Day - 02/28/2022

His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America marked his Names Day on Sunday February 27, 2022, having been tonsured into monasticism in honor of Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Kyrill Teacher of the Slavs (celebrated February 14/27), at the Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Hollywood, CA. Archbishop Kyrill was tonsured a monk at the Judgement Gates in the Holy City of Jerusalem in 1981.

His Eminence spent his Names Day presiding over the Divine Liturgy, ...

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Paschal Epistle of the Ruling Hierarch of the Western American Diocese - 05/05/2024
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Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America - 01/06/2024
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NATIVITY EPISTLE of His Eminence NICHOLAS Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia - 01/06/2024
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