August 13, 2016
Wayne, WV: Bishop Nicholas leads Celebrations in Honor of St.
Panteleimon in Holy Cross Monastery
Monday the 8th and Tuesday the 9th of August – the feast of the Holy
Great-Martyr & Healer Panteleimon, the brethren of Holy Cross
Monastery in Wayne, WV celebrated their Heavenly patron. This year,
the divine services in honor of the holy Passionbearer were led by
His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern
Bishop Nicholas arrived in the early afternoon on Monday, and was
greeted with the honorific peal of bells. His Grace was escorted to
the monastery’s main church, where he venerated the holy icons and
altar table and then led a small discussion with the monks. The
monastery’s abbot, Archimandrite Seraphim, relayed questions from
the brethren; the hierarch relayed the greetings and best wishes of
His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, currently traveling on
pilgrimage; he spoke of his recent travels to Russia, Ukraine, and
around the Diocese, his impressions of the faithful – especially the
youth – and their zeal for the Faith and veneration of the Kursk
Root Icon of the Mother of God; His Grace even spoke about a funeral
that he recently served for a young lady, Natalia, who reposed
unexpectedly in New York City.
After dinner, the All-Night Vigil for St. Panteleimon was served in
the monastery church. Co-serving His Grace at Vigil were:
Archimandrite Seraphim (Voepel; monastery abbot)
Archpriest John Dixon (rector of Holy Spirit Antiochian Church in
Hieromonk Andrew (O’Leary; monastery cleric)
Priest Jonah Campbell (rector of Christ the Savior Church in Wayne,
Hieromonk Nektarios (Merry; superior of St. John the Theologian
Skete in Hiram, OH)
Hieromonk Hilarion (Heagy; monastery cleric)
Priest Matthew Moore (rector of St. John the Baptist Greek Church in
Hieromonk Gabriel (Hooten; monastery cleric)
Archdeacon Sergius (Wilson; monastery cleric)
Deacon Jeremiah Davis (cleric of Christ the Savior Church)
Hierodeacon Paisios (Laiblin; monastery cleric)
Deacon Andrew Temple (cleric of Christ the Savior Church).
the Polyeleos, the magnification was sung to St. Panteleimon,
followed by an akathist, sung by all of the clergy and faithful. The
akathist booklet is a publication by Holy Cross Monastery, and
represents countless hours of hard work by its compilers and
editors. Many of the faithful made their confessions, in order to
approach the Holy Chalice the following morning. After Vigil, a
bountiful Mediterranean meal was served in the monastery refectory,
prepared and provided (as it is every year) by the Saad family,
local faithful and longtime patrons of the monastery.
The following morning, prior to the start of Liturgy, Hieromonk
Hilarion and Deacon Jeremiah performed the blessing of the water.
The clergy and faithful then greeted Bishop Nicholas, and the hours
were read. Concelebrating the Divine Liturgy was the above-mentioned
clergy (excepting Frs. Matthew Moore and Andrew Temple), who were
joined by Archpriest John Moses (cleric of Holy Myrrhbearers Church
in Harrisonburg, VA), Priest James Dougherty, and Priest Mark Tyson
(rector of Holy Dormition (St. Mary’s) Carpatho-Russian Church in
Bluefield, WV). Praying in church and communing was Archpriest
Thomas Moore (rector of Holy Apostles OCA Church in West Columbia,
divine services were sung by the monastic choir. It was especially
joyous to have the entire brotherhood present: the monks who labor
in St. John the Theologian Skete (a dependency of Holy Cross
Monastery in Hiram, OH) joined their brothers to celebrate the feast
of St. Panteleimon.
At the Little Entrance, with the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion,
Bishop Nicholas bestowed the following awards:
Archpriest John Moses was awarded the right to wear the jeweled
Hieromonk Andrew (O’Leary) was elevated to the rank of abbot
Priest Jonah Campbell was awarded the right to wear the kamilavka.
all those present communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. Upon
completion of the service, a short moleben was served to the Holy
Great-Martyr & Healer. His Grace then addressed those gathered with
a sermon, in which he said, in part: "The epistle reading today
began with the words, ‘My son Timothy, be strong in the grace of
Christ.’ Everything is said there, everything we need. We have
Christ and, if we are worthy, He bestows upon us His grace. St.
Panteleimon truly received this grace through prayer, through
struggles, through his merciful acts, through knowing Christ. Even
at the end of his life, during cruel tortures, he was visited and
comforted by angels. What did St. Panteleimon do with this grace? He
shared it with others; he did not hide it, but went out into the
world and proclaimed to the people that his many miracles were all
wrought in Christ’s name. We must likewise be missionaries, sharing
the grace we receive from the Lord."
His Grace also informed the brethren that this year marks the 50th
anniversary of the repose of the Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai &
San Francisco, as well as the millennium of Russian monastic
presence on Mount Athos – consequently, this day also marked the
patronal feast day of St. Panteleimon Russian Monastery on the Holy
Mountain (where the skull of the saint is located). He also reminded
them of an oft-forgotten fact: it was on this same day – August 9 –
in 1970 that the Russian Church Abroad glorified Venerable Herman of
deacons intoned the Polychronia for the monastic brotherhood and the
faithful, as well as for the namesday celebrants. "Memory Eternal"
was intoned for Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky; First Hierarch
of ROCOR, who reposed on August 10, 1936 – eighty years prior),
Archimandrite Panteleimon (longtime cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery
in Jordanville, NY), Schemamonk John (Dezorzi; who reposed last year
on August 9), and the above-mentioned newly departed Natalia.
Liturgy, the brethren all processed in order to the monastery
refectory, carrying a special prosphora from the church for the Rite
of the Panagia. After the luncheon, the Rite was completed, during
which all those present sang hymns to the Most Holy Theotokos as the
prosphora was cut up and then taken around the refectory. The
faithful each took a piece of the blessed bread, made a sign of the
cross over the censer, and ate it.
After a group photo, the clergy, monks, and pilgrims gathered at the
foot of the hill outside of the refectory and the monastic
dormitory, where the foundation had just recently been completed for
the monastery’s new and much-needed workhouse. The building will
include a candle factory, bakery, conference room, and storage shed.
In honor of the glorification of St. Herman of Alaska, the brethren
decided to name the building in honor of the North American
missionary. Troparia to the Holy Cross, St. Panteleimon, and St.
Herman were all sung, and Bishop Nicholas wished that these holy
saints will always guide and bless the monastery’s work, unto the
glory of God.
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese