Your Eminences the archpastors, esteemed Fathers and deacons,
all-honourable monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
On this holy night I extend my heartfelt greetings to you all and from the depths of my soul I congratulate you on the great feast of the Nativity of Christ: the feast of the fulfillment of the promises of old for the salvation of the human race, the feast of the ineffable love of the Maker towards his creation, the feast of the coming into the world of the Son of God who is the Messiah...
Nativity Epistle of
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Moved by the most profound feelings of fraternal love and joy for the Savior of the World born in Bethlehem, I congratulate the archpastors, clergymen, monastics and all the faithful flock of the Russian Church Abroad on this great and holy feast of the Nativity of Christ!
O, blessed Nativity night!
The X Annual Saint Herman's West Youth Conference was held at Holy Ascension Church of Sacramento and Saint Silouan's Monastery of Sonora from the 26th to the 30th of December 2016.
Over 60 youth from around the Western American Diocese came to Sacramento...
His Grace Bishop Nikolai (Soraich) and the community of All Saints Russian Orthodox Church moved into a new facility which was blessed on February 19, 2017.
A photo gallery of that event and others in the life of parish may be seen here.
On April 2, 2017, Holy Virgin Cathedral hosted the annual Western American Diocese Lenten Retreat. This year’s retreat marked the tenth anniversary of the diocese putting on these retreats at the cathedral (but the 9th actual retreat, there was no retreat in 2014). As has been the case every year, retreat attendees spanned a range of ages and came from a large number of parishes across northern California. For the third straight year, attendees have also included people from out-of-state parishes who amended their travel plans so that they could attend.
The speakers this year were...
On Lazarus Saturday, April 8, 2017, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and his monks celebrated Divine Liturgy and performed a moleben, during which they congratulated Sister Martha, the teachers and students of Orthodox Bethany School in Jerusalem.
On the school premises is a chapel built upon a square stone resembling a door beam discovered by archaeologists which bears the inscription in Greek: “Here Martha and Maria heard the words of the Lord about the resurrection of the dead… the Lord…” (the remainder is missing).
After services, the clergymen and worshipers were offered a trapeza luncheon.
PHOTO ALBUM here.
On the Sunday of the Cross, March 19, 2017, the parish choir of the Church of all Russian Saints in Burlingame, CA, performed selections heard at Divine Services during Great Lent and Passion Week.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all”
Beloved in the Lord Your Graces the archpastors, all-honourable presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks and nuns, dear brothers and sisters!
Оn the night imbued with the Divine light, replete with great solemnity and spiritual joy in the Lord of the world who has vanquished death, I address you all with the ancient exclamation that testifies steadfastly to our immutable hope:
CHRIST IS RISEN!
Beloved Archpastors, Honorable Fathers, Dear in the Lord Brothers and Sisters:
With a heart filled with the endearing sensation of Paschal joy, I congratulate the hierarchs, clergymen, monastics, parishioners and worshipers of our churches, scattered throughout the whole world, on the joyful celebration of the glorious Resurrection of Christ, and I greet you with the angelic good news: CHRIST IS RISEN!
On May 13, 2017, Archpriest Alex Kotar, clergy and laity of Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, WA, received the Holy Fire that descends on the Tomb of the Lord in Jerusalem on Holy and Great Saturday.
With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, the relics of St. Mardarije, which have laid in the Church of St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois, since his internment in December 1935, were uncovered. The opening revealed St. Mardarije’s holy relics to be incorrupt.
“Be Thou exalted above the heavens, O God, and Thy glory is above all the earth.”
On May 4/17, 2017, His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop San Francisco and Western America issued Decree No. 7E/2017 in which he bids the clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Reconciliation within the Russian Orthodox Church, which took place 10 years ago on the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord.
On 4/17 of May, 2017, the Russian Orthodox Church marked the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between its two parts that had been separted by historical circumstances for almost 90 years.
It is easier for Western Christians to articulate how people are saved because their purpose for salvation is narrower and their audience is broader. From the eleventh century on Western salvation became preoccupied with justice and the wrongs our sins did against God. Salvation was suddenly a transaction Christ took care of on the cross when he purchased our debt owed to God and covered our filthiness with His righteousness. Beneficiaries of this transaction became individuals who pray the “sinner’s prayers”.
May 25, 2017, on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrated the rite of the Great Consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church in Sretensky Monastery and led the Divine Liturgy in the newly-consecrated church. Russian president Vladimir V. Putin was present at the Divine service.
On May 25, 2017, the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia performed the rite of the great consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Sretensky Stavropighial Monastery in Moscow, and officiated at the celebration of Divine Liturgy that followed.
Attending the services was Russian President Vladimir Putin.
After Liturgy, His Holiness met with bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York.
With God's grace, another school year has been successfully completed. This Sunday, May 28, 2017, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary celebrated its 69th Annual Commencement with a Service of Thanksgiving, commencement exercises, and a reception. We graduated six students, four receiving honors ranging from cum laude to summa cum laude.
On Monday May 29, 2107, the National Holiday Memorial Day, members of the Western American Diocese made an annual pilgrimage to Fort Ross State Historic Park on the shores of Central California about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. The 100 or so pilgrims were a welcome sight this year!
From the 5 to the 10 of June, 2017, the Cossack Cadet School of the “Don” Icon of the Mother of God sponsored a children’s camp for its cadets and other youngsters at “Elim” in Marysville, CA.
On 7th June 2017, the Ruling Bishop of the Western American Diocese, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, celebrates the 25th anniversary of his episcopal consecration — first as Bishop of Seattle (1992), and later as Bishop (2000) and then Archbishop (2003) of San Francisco and Western America. Not only is such an anniversary a moment of significance for the Archbishop himself, inviting his own private reflections on a quarter-century of Archpastoral service and labours before God; it is also a moment of significance for the Diocese, and indeed for the Church as a whole, which gives glory to God for the whole Hierarchy of her devout clergy of all ranks and offices, who in the long service of her Archpastor have been called to lead Godly lives and approach the Heavenly Kingdom in the ancient and essential context of our hierarchical life.
The biography of His Eminence is found below, together with a gallery of photographs from the past twenty-five years, in anticipation of more substantial materials to be collected...
To His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
To the Eminent Archpastors, Members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
On Friday, June 9, 2017, the feast day of St John the Russian, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany celebrated Divine Liturgy at St Elizabeth Convent in Buchendorf, Germany. Praying at the service were archpastors of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who had arrived a day earlier.
On June 7, 2017, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent congratulations to His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the 25th anniversary of his episcopal consecration:
We, the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, gathered for a Council of Bishops in the God-preserved city of Munich during the celebration of the Pentecost, in the blessed presence of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign.” This year we remember with sorrow the hundredth anniversary of the terrible, bloody events of 1917; we are at the same time filled with joy over the anniversary of the restoration of the patriarchate and the tenth anniversary of the reestablishment of unity within the Russian Church.
After serving the Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Cathedral on Sunday, June 18, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia consecrated the new monument “Reunification,” dedicated to the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reports Patriarchia.ru. The historic event took place on May 17, 2007 at Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, with the new monument being timed to its tenth anniversary.
From 27th May / 9th June to 3rd / 16th June, the plenitude of the Hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia gathered in the Convent of Grand Duchess Elisabeth the New-Martyr in Buchendorf, Germany, for the meeting of the Sobor of Bishops as well as the consecration of the Munich Cathedral dedicated to the New-Martyrs and Confessors of Russia.
The three Hierarchs of the Western American Diocese...
From May 11-22, 2017, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Ruling Bishop of the UK Diocese, His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, Vicar of the Western American Diocese, made an archpastoral visit to the United Kingdom, heading a pilgrimage with the myrrh-streaming “Hawaii-Iveron” icon on its first visit to the UK, as well as convey the archpastoral blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion to his flock...
By Resolution of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia held at the in the Convent of Grand Duchess Elisabeth the New-Martyr in Buchendorf, Germany, from the 27 May/6 June through the 3/16 of June, 2017, Archpriest Vladimir Derugin, Rector of Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Palo Alto, CA, has been awarded the dignity of wearing the mitre for 40 years of zealous, pastoral service to the Holy Church.
Below is a video of the presentation given by Matushka Maria Potapova at a symposium on Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker, which was sponsored by the Saints Cyril and Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies held in San Francisco, CA, on June 30 & July 1, 2016.
On the 30 of June and the 1 of July, 2017, the Western American Diocese held the annual commemoration of our great local Saint, Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker.
From the 2nd to the 8th of July, 2017, over 20 youth of the Western American Diocese participated in a youth workweek at Saint Silouan Monastery in Sonora, CA.
The guest community, which included adult staff and skilled workers, entered into the rhythm of monastery life rising at dawn daily for Divine Liturgy, working throughout the day and finishing with Small Compline. The youth had time for recreation as well cooling off at midday in Lake Turlock, about ½ hour drive from the monastery.
The Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia held at the in the Convent of Grand Duchess Elisabeth the New-Martyr in Buchendorf, Germany, from the 27 May/6 June through the 3/16 of June, 2017, resolved that Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff, Rector of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA, be elevated to the dignity of protopresbyter for his many years of zealous, pastoral service to the Holy Church.
You were born and reared in the Russian diaspora. Tell us about the people who influenced you in your younger years and nurtured in you a love for the Church and your historic homeland.
– I was born in Montreal, Canada. My father’s father was an officer in the White Army born in Yugoslavia (he was killed by the Reds in 1945), and my mother was evacuated by the Germans from the Soviet Union when she was 13 years old—her father was a regular soldier in the Red Army and disappeared without a trace. The Russian language was the only one used in our home, and when I started school, I didn’t speak a word of English. We often had Russian visitors, including, when possible, people from Soviet Russia, which was a rarity in those days. I remember 1967, when Montreal hosted the International Expo, and the Soviet Union had a huge pavilion and accompanying delegation. Over the summer we visited the expo every week, attended concerts, and we always had Russian guests come visit.
Schema Archimandrite Nektariy and brethren of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Mexico City are alive and well after the 8.4 earthquake in Mexico.
Fr Nektariy wrote to FFA: "You could only hear the cracking of walls and furniture and things falling down; our bells were ringing... it seemed that our time had come... we just kneel down in the confusion and darkness in deep prayer... after an eternity we realized that God was very merciful... Slava Bogu !!! We all are fine, scared but no tragedies, nor pain in our communities, so far.
On September 19, 2017, the main building of the St Tikhon Humanitarian University in Moscow hosted an evening marking the 10th anniversary of the reestablishment of unity between two parts of the Russian Church—in Russia and in the diaspora—the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion. The event included the presentation of a new Russian-language book compiled by Protopriest Peter Perekrestov: Pastyr. Uchitel’. Drug. Svjatitel’ Ioann Shanghaiskij i San-Fransisskij v vospominanijakh sovremennikov [Pastor. Teacher. Friend. St John of Shanghai and San Francisco as Remembered by Contemporaries]. Attending the event were clergymen and students of the university as well as a multitude of venerators of St John.
On September 21, 2017, His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America instructed his clergy and through them all the faithful of the Diocese to pray for those who have suffered from the recent earthquakes in Mexico City.
With horror and pain in my heart I have followed reports of the recent atrocity in Las Vegas, as a result of which so many are dead and many more are injured. Our prayers, deepest feelings and sympathies are with all those affected by this unimaginable cruelty. We offer our prayers at the holy shrine of St John (Maximovich) the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, which contain his incorrupt, healing and life-bearing relics; and we fervently plead for his Godly intercessions, to warm and comfort the relatives of the reposed and those undergoing treatment in hospitals and elsewhere, and to appeal to the Lord of All that He would send His heavenly peace into the hearts of all men.
On Wenesday the 4th of October Nicholai (Kolia) Soin (1930-2017) peacefully reposed in the Lord after brief, unexpected illness. Known by his nickname “The Invisible Angel,” he was a tireless laborer, generous with his time, a unseen laborer of the diocesan cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco, CA. He was always working at the cathedral when no one was around, sometimes late at night.
Please donate - URGENT
We at Russian American Community Services (RACS) are supporting the humanitarian efforts of Sts. Peter and Paul Church, our sister parish, which is welcoming refugees this very moment.
Five parish families have lost their homes and all belongings.
Letter from Archpriest Alexander Krassovsky, Rector of Sts. Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa, CA:
The Liturgical Musical Commission of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia conducted its 26th Annual Musicians’ Conference in Los Angeles, CA, from the 4th to the 8th of October, 2017.
This year’s conference, entitled “Prayerful Sound in the Orthodox Church: Vocal Artistry of the Deacon, Reader and Singer at Divine Services,” was attended by 70 participants including the clergy.
This year marks the 10th Anniversary from the appearance of the Iveron-Hawaiian Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (2007-2017), which though was first manifest within the bounds of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, is venerated and treasured by the Orthodox throughout entire United States of America and beyond, as she has even been abroad traveling to the land of Georgia. The Most Holy Theotokos through Her fragrant and miraculous myrrh brings peace and healing to all.
His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America issued new petitions requesting God’s mercy for those who have suffered from recent natural disasters and at the hands of those who have committed violence.
On Saturday, October 8/21, the occasion of its 15th anniversary, St. Martin the Merciful Church in Corvallis, Oregon received its Great Consecration. Presiding at this event was His Eminence, Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western American, assisted by Bishop Theodosius of Seattle and Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, eight priests, and four deacons. A great number of parish faithful, and visitors from as far away as Greece, attended this joyful occasion.
On Sunday the October 29th, 2017, His Grace THEODOSY Bishop of Seattle served Divine Liturgy at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Santa Rosa, CA, which has recently suffered from many wildfires in that region.
14 families (45 people) from the parish of Saints Peter and Paul and the parish of Saint Seraphim of Sarov (OCA) have lost their homes and possessions in the wild fires of Sonoma and Napa Counties.
The Media Department of the Western American Diocese has published a video report on the 26th Annual Russian Orthodox Church Musician’s Conference held in Los Angeles, CA, from the 4th to the 8th of October, 2017.
On Sunday November 5, 2017, His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America presided over the All-night Vigil for the Feast of the Diocesan Cathedral on honor of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow.”...
On Monday November 6, 2017, His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America presided over Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Diocesan Cathedral on honor of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco as the clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese gathered to mark the diocesan-wide celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the restoration of Canonical Communion between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate, and the 25th Anniversary of Archbishop Kyrill’s consecration to the episcopacy.
On the 8th of November, 2017, the Autumn Pastoral Conference of the clergy of the Western American Diocese came to its conclusion.
The Eminent Bishops, priests and deacons of the Diocese have issued a Resolution in which are addressed the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution with its tragic effects, and the joyous celebrations of the 10th Anniversary of the signing of the “Act of Canonical Communion” between the two parts of the Russian Church and the 25th Anniversary of Archbishop Kyrill’s consecration to the episcopacy.
The Media Department of the Western American Diocese produced a video about the youth workweek organized at Saint Silouan's Monastery in Sonora, California, from July 2nd to 8th, 2017.
This was a pilot program, with the intention of making the workweek an annual event.
On Sunday October 29, 2017, the choir of the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, CA, performed a concert of sacred music which was dedicated to the memory of the reposed choir member Konstantin Senchukov.
The program included such hymns as Ave Maria (Optina Hermitage chant), Polyeleos at matins (Kastalsky), It is truly meet (Tchaikovsky), and more.
Proceeds from the concert went towards support of the parish stewardship program.
In the early hours of the morning of Sunday November 13/26, on the day of commemoration of our Father among the Saints John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople, after an enduring and trying illness the long-standing cleric of the Diocesan Cathedral in honor of Her Icon “Joy of All Who Sorrow,” Schema-Archdeacon Ambrose (Taratuchin) reposed in the Lord.
Father Ambrose, of aristocratic lineage, was born Alexei Michailovich Taratuchin in England on March 22, 1961...
Beloved in the Lord All-Venerable Fathers, God-Loving Monks and Nuns,
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The Holy Council of Bishops, which took place in Moscow from the 29th of November to the 2nd of December 2017 in the city of Moscow in the Cathedral Church of Christ the Savior, greets all of you with the words of the apostolic salutation: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6).