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March 30, 2011
Mahopac, NY: The Sacrament of Holy Unction in the New Kursk Root Hermitage


On Sunday, March 20, 2011, the Sacrament of Holy Unction was performed at the Hermitage of Our Lady of Kursk in Mahopac, NY. The parish was blessed by the presence of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, which arrived early with His Grace Jerome, Bishop of Manhattan.


His Grace was co-served at Liturgy by parish clergy: rector Archpriest Victor Tseshkovsky and Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis. Over 35 people received the Holy Gifts. In his homily, Bishop Jerome spoke of spiritual indifference and of excessive ardor, warning us of both extremes and calling upon all to follow tradition and Orthodoxy and to pass them on to our children. After the service, everyone was invited to a light lunch organized by the sisterhood in the bright and spacious new dining room. There was a break of about two hours prior to the scheduled start of the Sacrament of Holy Unction. People socialized, many took the opportunity to read the newly-published first two issues of the Novo-Korennoy Parish Newsletter dedicated to the parish and its restoration work, with photographs. The newsletter includes the first chapter of the history of the Kursk Root Icon, starting with its discovery outside of Kursk in 1295, as well as a short history of the founding of the Hermitage, starting with the arrival of Bishop Seraphim (Ivanov) – later Archbishop of Chicago and Detroit – over 60 years ago in 1950. The wonderworking Icon was present the entire time in the dining hall, with many taking the opportunity to venerate and pray before it.


In addition to Bishop Jerome and Father Victor, Archpriests Ilya Gorsky, Theodore Shevzov, and Alexander Donchenko, and Priest Dmitri Don, Protodeacons Dimitri Temidis and Serge Arlievsky, and Deacon Vladimir Oleynik had all arrived for the Sacrament by 2:00 pm. Over 120 people participated in the service, after which the clergy and all participants were invited to stay for a meal. People remained for quite some time, enjoying a cup of tea and conversations, not parting until late. The children took advantage of the beautiful weather and played outdoors. That evening, the faithful gathered to escort the holy Icon and Bishop Jerome as they departed with Protodeacon Dimitri. It was uplifting to feel the spiritual support and to see such a great number of people praying in the New Kursk Root Hermitage.


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