Stratford, CT: Bishop Nicholas leads Funeral for Archpriest Andrei
Semyanko at Holy Presentation Church
On Monday, October 24, clergy and faithful gathered at Holy
Presentation Church in Stratford, CT to bid farewell to longtime
rector Archpriest Andrei Semyanko, who reposed the Friday prior. The
church was filled with worshippers and loved ones, who came to pray
for the repose of their beloved pastor, father, grandfather, and
A Liturgy for the Departed preceded the funeral, celebrated by
Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. Between the Liturgy and the Funeral
for a Priest that followed, His Grace was co-served by:
- Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski (dean of St. Seraphim Cathedral in
- Archpriest Serge Lukianov (diocesan secretary)
Archpriest Ilya Gorsky (rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church in
- Archpriest George Kallaur (rector of Our Lady
"Unexpected Joy" Church in Staten Island, NY)
- Archpriest George
Lardas (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Stratford)
Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of Long Island & the Hudson Valley)
Archpriest Constantine Semyanko (parish rector)
Brendan Crowley (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Enfield, CT)
Archpriest Dionisy Nalitov (rector of St. Panteleimon Church in
- Priest Vladimir Aleandro (rector of Christ the
Savior OCA Church in Southbury, CT)
- Priest Vadim Pismenny
(cleric of the Diocese of Moscow)
- Priest George Temidis (cleric
Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Mahopac, NY)
Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis (cleric of Holy Virgin Protection Church
- Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition
Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet)
- Protodeacon Leonid Roschko
(cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ)
- Deacon Vladimir Barros (cleric of Holy Virgin Intercession Church
in Glen Cove, NY)
- Deacon Alexey Pnev (cleric of Nativity of the
Mother of God Church in Mahopac).
conclusion of the Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas offered a brief sermon,
in which he said of Fr. Andrei: "He was from among that clergy, or
if I may say, from among those spiritual people, those priests, who
remembered our hierarchs: Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky;
+1965), Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko; +1960), Archbishop Averky
(Taushev; +1976). Fr. Andrei become a reader and deacon, received
those steps of the priesthood, from the hands of Archbishop Vitaly,
and later was ordained a deacon and priest by the ever-memorable
Archbishop Averky. And, for all of us, he was a good shepherd. Today
it is worthwhile to remember the words of the Psalmist: "Direct my
footsteps according to Thy word." With his words, his example, his
prayer, Fr. Andrei directed many people to salvation. He performed
the services for them: baptisms, weddings, funerals; he spoke with
people, he confessed them, he received their tears of joy and tears
of suffering. With his words and his prayers, he directed all of the
footsteps of the flock entrusted to him toward God. He served us for
many years, and now it is our turn: priests, deacons, and all
present, so all serve Fr. Andrei now, and to pray that the Lord
direct his footsteps toward eternal blessedness. Let us commemorate
Fr. Andrei, especially during these first 40 days, but also further:
we will remember him by kind words, by doing good deeds in his
memory, and most importantly: lifting up our prayers, that the Lord
might forgive him every sin and receive him into the Eternal
Kingdom. For the parish, this year was a difficult one. In June,
Archpriest Theodore Shevzov departed this life, and today we bid
farewell to Fr. Andrei. They stood together here before God’s Altar,
lifting up their prayers and performing the Bloodless Sacrfice. And
now, together in the Heavens, they continue this prayer, this
spiritual labor, for all of us. Let us remember them, dear brothers
and sisters, in our prayers. Amen."
During the funeral, Fr. Vadim Pismenny, a friend of Fr. Andrei’s,
offered the eulogy, in which he spoke about Fr. Andrei’s many
God-given talents: in addition to his pastoral abilities, he was
also very gifted with his hands, and completed many of the repairs
and renovations in Holy Presentation Church himself.
After the conclusion of the funeral, Fr. Andrei’s body was taken in
procession around the church, after which the mourners proceeded to
the cemetery at Novo-Diveevo Convent.
There, Fr. Andrei was laid to rest next to his Matushka Ekaterina,
who reposed in 1988 after a battle with cancer. Andrei and Ekaterina
were married in 1955, and had four children, twelve grandchildren,
and eight great grandchildren to date. Born Ekaterina Kizenko, Fr.
Andrei’s matushka was sister to Archpriest Boris Kizenko (St.
Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ), and the many members of
the Semyanko clan were joined at the funeral by their Kizenko
Fr. Constantine concluded the burial service with the words, "Glory
to Thee, O Christ God, our Hope, glory to Thee!", the clouds broke
and the sun bathed the cemetery in light and warmth, chasing away
the cold and gloom.
A memorial repast was then held in the parish hall of Holy
Protection Church in Nyack, where friends and family offered
speeches and fond words of remembrance.
Ordained to the diaconate in December 1955, Fr. Andrei served as a
parish deacon for ten years in Holy Protection Church in Nyack.
After being ordained to the priesthood in 1965, he served as parish
priest in Holy Protection Church in Rochester, NY until 1972, when
he was transferred to Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Cleveland, OH.
From 1975 to 1980, he served as fourth priest at Holy Trinity
Cathedral in Toronto, Canada, and then served for a year at St.
Panteleimon Church in Hartford. In 1981, he was assigned rector of
Holy Presentation Church in Stratford, where he remained until his
repose. His son, the parish’s current rector Fr. Constantine, made
note of God’s providence in Fr. Andrei’s life: his first parish as a
deacon was Holy Protection, his first parish as a priest was Holy
Protection, and he received Holy Communion for the last time on the
feast of the Protection of the Mother of God.
Memory eternal to the newly reposed Archpriest Andrei!
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese