April 15, 2016
Howell, NJ: 40th Anniversary of Archbishop Averky (Taushev’s) Repose commemorated at Diocesan Center

On Wednesday, April 13, clergy and faithful gathered at the administrative center of the Eastern American Diocese in Howell, NJ, to prayerfully commemorate the 40th anniversary of the repose of Archbishop Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse & Holy Trinity, a distinguished hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, theologian and church author, and longtime rector of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY.

That morning, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York celebrated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts in St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral, co-served by vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and diocesan clergy: Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (dean of New Jersey), Archpriests Serge Lukianov (diocesan secretary), Petro Kunitsky (cleric of Holy New Martyrs of Russia Church in Brooklyn, NY), and Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of Long Island & the Hudson Valley), Priests Seraphim Chemodakov (cathedral cleric) and Serge Ledkovsky (deputy rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ), Hieromonks Tikhon (Gayfudinov; cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City) and Yeliferiy (Skiba; cleric of the Church of our Lady "The Inexhaustible Chalice" in Brooklyn), Priest James Dougherty (diocesan cleric), Protodeacons Nicolas Mokhoff (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral), Leonid Roschko, and Paul Drozdowski (cathedral clerics), and Deacon Vladimir Barros (cleric of Holy Virgin Intercession Church in Glen Cove, NY). Faithful gathered from across New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to honor the memory of Archbishop Averky.

Archbishop Averky (in the world Alexander Pavlovich Taushev) was born on October 19, 1906 in Kazan’, Russia, to an aristocratic family. After 1920, the Taushevs found themselves exiled, and the future hierarch’s youth was spent in Bulgaria. In 1926, he graduated from the Russian school, and in 1930 received a degree in Theology from the University of Sofia. He was a student of Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev – glorified on February 3, 2016). He served in Carpathian Rus’, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Germany, and taught Law of God in the Displaced Persons camps.

In 1951, at the invitation of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), Archimandrite Averky moved to the U.S., where he became a professor at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY. In 1952, he became the permanent rector of the seminary, and the editor-in-chief of "Pravoslavnaya Rus’" ("Orthodox Rus’") magazine. He was an academic and theologian, author of renowned exegeses on the New Testament.

On August 17, 1961, he was elevated to Archbishop of Syracuse & Holy Trinity. From 1964 on, he served as a permanent member of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad. He reposed on April 13, 1976, and is buried in a crypt beneath Holy Trinity Cathedral at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville.

Upon completion of the Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion – who served for several years as cell attendant to Archbishop Averky during his rectorship at the seminary – addressed the clergy and faithful with a sermon. His Eminence pointed to the example set by Archbishop Averky, and called on those present to follow that example in their lives and service. The hierarchs and clergy then sang "Memory Eternal" for the ever-memorable Archbishop.

After Liturgy, all were invited to lunch, which was followed by a film, in which Fr. Valery Lukianov shared many of his detailed recollections with the viewers. Fr. Valery knew Archbishop Averky well, and worked alongside him. Upon completion of the film, he shared more interesting and spiritually nourishing facts about Archbishop Averky’s life and service, calling him "a true laborer of the Church Abroad," who "gave both himself and others the opportunity to leave the earthly behind and connect with the spiritual."

Metropolitan Hilarion spoke on the final years of Archbishop Averky’s life’s path, and recommended a book published in Russia – "The Holy Hierarch Averky of Jordanville."

That evening, Bishop Nicholas led the reading of the Great Penitential Canon in the diocesan cathedral.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese