July 22, 2016
New York City: Synodal Cathedral’s English-Language Mission marks
Patronal Feast Day
Monday, July 18, the feast of the Uncovering of the Relics of the
Venerable Sergius, Abbot of Radonezh, and the patronal feast of the
English-Language Mission at the Synodal Cathedral, Bishop Nicholas
of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, celebrated
Divine Liturgy in St. Sergius Chapel at the Synodal Headquarters in
New York City. His Grace was co-served by Archimandrite Maximos
(Weimar; abbot of Holy Cross Brotherhood in East Setauket, NY),
Abbot Cornelius (Apukhtin; cleric of the Nativity of the Mother of
God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY),
Hieromonk Zosimas (Krampis; mission rector), Archpriest
David Cowan (rector of Holy Trinity OCA Church in Yonkers, NY),
Priest Richard Stoecker (mission cleric), and Protodeacons Vadim Gan
and Dionysius Lvov (Synodal clerics). Praying in the altar was
Archpriest Serafim Gan (chancellor of the Synod of Bishops).
At the service, for his dedicated service to the Church and with the
blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Nicholas awarded Fr.
Richard Stoecker the right to wear the nabedrennik.
Upon completion of the Liturgy, many of the mission’s parishioners
communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. Bishop Nicholas congratulated
the clergy and parishioners on the occasion of their patronal feast,
and said in his sermon, in part: "Venerable Sergius lived a life of
prayer, fasting, and monasticism. He did not need this
glorification. But God saw his virtues, his struggles, and saw fit
to reveal his relics. But why did the Lord perform this miracle? And
why is the uncovering of his relics significant for us? The Lord in
this way showed us that St. Sergius – who was a man like all of us,
living on this earth that God created – had to fight to acquire the
grace of God. He had to pray, to fast, to follow Christ’s
commandments, in order to attain that true harmony with God, that
harmony that was lost through the sin of Adam. Paradise
But Christ the Savior came to earth to save man from sin, to give us
an opportunity to be reborn and to cleanse ourselves of sin.
our time, people do not fulfill the Lord’s commandments, and God
reminds us that we must labor in order to acquire holiness, to
strive toward the ideal shown to us by Venerable Sergius of
Radonezh. This ideal may seem to us far-off and abstract. But
Today’s feast reminds us of the opportunity to acquire holiness, of
the fact that we are not alone in this world, in this struggle –
that St. Sergius intercedes for us before God."
His Grace called on the faithful to begin a new life in Christ: to
attend the divine services more frequently, to truly fast and await
the fasting days and periods as opportunities to pray more, to be
closer to God.
At the proposal of mission rector Hiermonk Zosimas, for their labors
on behalf of the mission – singing in the choir, baking prosphoras
and cooking parish luncheons, adorning and financially supporting
the church – Bishop Nicholas awarded hierarchal gramotas to the
following mission parishioners: Juan Gonsalez, Anna Shelly Prichard,
Dimitra Kapoulides, Nicole Ruben, and Ia Iolanta O’Neill.
Fr. Zosimas thanked Bishop Nicholas and his brother clergy for their
shared prayer, and thanked the parishioners for their labors, which
– although often unseen – are vital for the parish.
Upon completion of the service, a festal luncheon was held in the
church hall for clergy and parishioners.
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese