“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you”(John 14:27).
Having gathered in an expanded session of the Synod of Bishops as we approach the feast day of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City, we, the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, warmly greet the clergymen and God-loving flock with the all-diaspora celebration of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign", the “Protectress” of the Russian diaspora.
We are approaching the centennial of the founding of the Russian Church Abroad, which continues to minister to its flock, scattered like Divine kernels of wheat throughout the world. Over the course of that time, the work of its Councils, the sessions of its Synod of Bishops, important ecclesiastical-social gatherings and various Church celebrations have all taken place under the auspices of the Kursk-Root Icon. This miracle-working image has accompanied Russian refugees fleeing cruel persecutors who dared to desecrate or destroy the holy sites of our Fatherland, murder archpastors, pastors and a multitude of believers, including the Royal Passion-bearers. The hundredth anniversary of the martyrdom of the latter was prayerfully marked in all the dioceses of our Church this year.
On the day when the Church commemorates the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (October 22/November 4, 2018), the parish choir of the Church of All Russian Saints presented a concert of works glorifying the Queen of Heaven, dedicated to the memory of reposed benefactor Nikolai Vasilyevich Misersky, in Burlingame, California.
On Tuesday November 6, 2018, the clergy and faithful gathered together with His Eminence KYRRIL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America in the Diocesan Cathedral to celebrate the Feast of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow.”
The Patronal Feast was concelebrated by His Eminence Peter of Chicago and Mid-America, His Grace Theodosy Bishop of Seattle, the cathedral clergy, and other priests from the Western American Diocese and the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).
On November 10 and 11, 2018, the miraculous Iveron-Hawaiian Myrrh-streaming Icon of the Mother God visited parishes of Central California.
On October 19, 2018, The Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada made a private pilgrimage to our Diocesan Cathedral dedicated to the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco to venerate the honorable relics of Holy Father John Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker. Metropolitan Tikhon was accompanied by The Most Reverend Benjamin Archbishop of San Francisco and the West, his auxiliary The Right Reverend Daniel Bishop of Santa Rosa and His Eminence Abel Archbishop of Lyublinsk and Kholm (Polish Autocephalous Church).
The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia communicates to the plenitude of her clergy and faithful, and to her fellow Orthodox Christians throughout the world, her profound sorrow at the uncanonical undertakings perpetrated by the Church of Constantinople over the past days; in particular with regard to its Message of 11th October 2018. Simultaneously we express our complete support of the position taken by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow, following its meeting of 15th October 2018 and announced in its statement of the same date.
The illicit actions of the Church of Constantinople are able to suffer no canonical defence and constitute a grave and dangerous injustice against the traditions of Orthodoxy, as well as a shocking disregard for the spiritual welfare of the sheep of Christ (cf. John 10.3, 11). Having expressed its intention to establish stravropegia of its Church in the Ukraine, Constantinople thus solidifies its intrusion into another Local Church’s canonical territory, an anti-canonical violation of the highest order which the Synod of Constantinople has no power or right to undertake. We make explicit that under no circumstances will we consider such institutions to have any legal substance, nor will we acknowledge any legitimacy whatsoever to those who, deeming themselves shepherds, submit to these non-Church establishments.
In commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Translation of the honorable relics of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker, (September 28/October 11, 1993), the Media Department of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has published a lecture by Sergei Kalfov of Seattle, WA, which he presented during the Symposium entitled “St. John and His Legacy.”
This Symposium was sponsored by the Saints Cyril and Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies, which was dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the Repose of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker, held from June 30 through July 1, 2016.
On September 24, 2018, His Grace THEODOSY Bishop of Seattle presided over the patronal feast day of Saint Silouan the Athonite Monastery in Sonora, CA.
Concelebrating with His Grace were...
In September of this year, the Mexican Doctoral Council granted the Right Rev. Schema-Archimandrite Dr. Nektariy (Hajji-Petropoulos) an Honoris Causa Doctorate in Social Sciences and Humanities. He was elected along with another nine people, who were selected due to "outstanding professional service" within the whole country. Among other chosen were deputies, senators, State Ministers...
On Sunday July 22, 2018, we continued our solemnities. That day we greeted our Rector, His Grace Bishop Theodosy. Vladyka flew directly from Yekaterinburg where he had participated from July 16 to 17 in the traditional All-night Vigil and procession that begins at the Memorial Church on the Blood and finishes at Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in the grove of Ganina Yama (Ganina Pit). The march rout of the cross procession is around 20 km. It takes about 5 hours. Vladyka told us that before the cross procession a church choir performed the Hymn of the Russian Empire “God Save the Tsar” in honor of the Holy Royal Family.
Our solemnities began on July 22 at 8:45 am with the...
On July 21, 2018, His Eminece Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America presided over the Altar Feast at the Kazan Church on the Russian River. Concelebrating with him were priests and deacons of our Dicoese as well as of the Moscow Patriarcate.
The choir sing the Divine Liturgy prayerfully and beautifully under the direction of Matushka Ioanna Sharkov. The warm, sunny weather permited the clergy and faith to enjoy a delicous and abundant meal out of doors in the church yard.
Toward the end of the festal meal Archbishop Kyrill present the parish with two new icons to adorn the church yard.
The Western American Diocese marked the annual memory of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco on June 30, 2018. Below is a photogallery of the celebration.
On the Day of the Holy Spirit, May 15/28, 2018, clergy and laity of the Western American Diocese gathered around their three hierarchs at Fort Ross for the annual pilgrimage.
His Eminence Kyrill Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America presided over the Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with him where the two auxiliary Bishops...
In May of this year the clergy of the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, WA, performed an "instructive" Divine Liturgy during which young children were taught about the Eucharist at this Divine Service.