September 27, 2013
Mahopac, NY: Bishop Jerome leads Patronal Feast Day of Nativity of the Mother of God Church

With the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, on Saturday, September 21, the great feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, His Grace, Bishop Jerome, led the patronal feast day of the Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY.

His Grace was co-served at the Divine Liturgy by New England dean Archpriest George Larin, parish rector Archpriest Victor Tseshkovsky, Archpriest Alexander Donchenko (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Poughkeepsie, NY), Abbot Cornelius (Apukhtin; cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City), Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY), Deacon Alexander Revut (MP cleric), and parish Deacon George Temidis.

Bishop Jerome delivered a sermon on the words of the festal kontakion: "delivered from sin, thy people celebrate." The Liturgy concluded with a procession around the church. A very bountiful festal luncheon was then served in the parish hall and outdoors; not everyone was able to fit in the hall, but the beautiful weather allowed for the festivities to continue unabated until the beginning of evening services.

Background: In 1950, Prince and Princess Beloselsky-Belozersky donated their Mahopac estate to the Synod of Bishops to serve as a base for the Synod upon its arrival from Europe. This place was to serve as the home for the Holy Kursk Root Icon, and, in time, a small monastery. To this day, a faithful copy of the Kursk Root Icon is preserved at Mahopac. The future Archbishop Seraphim was sent to the US from Europe to head the stavropegial monastic community which was named the New Kursk Root Hermitage (Novaya Korennaya Pustyn’) in honor of the original, which suffered at the hands of the communists. Under the supervision of an architect from the local Russian community (Vishnevsky), the church wing was added to the main building in just five months. The church was consecrated in the fall of 1950, shortly prior to the arrival of Metropolitan Anastassy and the start of the 1950 Sobor that was held in Mahopac for a period of approximately two weeks.

For many years, the Hermitage fell into disuse and disrepair. However, in recent years, under the able leadership of Fr. Victor, Fr. George, and dedicated parishioners, especially Vyacheslav and Olga Maltsev, the property and main building have been renovated and restored to their former glory. All those interested in making a donation to the continued restoration should visit the parish website for more information: or can send donations to the following address:

Mahopac Church Restoration Fund
 Box 240
 NY 10541-0240

It is with great sorrow that we wish to inform the readers of the diocesan website that, on Wednesday evening, September 25, the Nativity of the Mother of God parish suffered a great tragedy with the sudden death of the servant of God Vadim Mushtak. He was killed in a car accident after visiting his daughter, Matushka Elizaveta and her husband, Deacon George Temidis. His wife Nadejda was injured in the accident, as well, and is currently in critical condition. The editors of the diocesan website extend their heartfelt condolences to the Temidis  and Mushtak family and ask that the faithful keep the newly reposed servant of God Vadim in their prayers, as well as the ailing Nadejda.

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"Eastern American Diocese"

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese