October 18, 2016
Buena, NJ: Holy Protection Skete celebrates Patronal Feast Day

On Friday, October 14, the major feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ – once a Cossack church – celebrated its patronal feast day. Celebrating the Divine Liturgy was Eastern American Diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov, co-served by Archpriest Liubo Milosevich (rector of Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ) skete rector Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov), Archpriest Boris Slootsky (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ), Priest Gregory Winsky (cleric of St. Michael’s Church (MP) in Philadelphia, PA), Hieromonk Vladimir (Zgoba; cleric of Our Lady "Unexpected Joy" Church in Staten Island, NY), Priest Eugene Solodky, and Protodeacon Leonid Roschko (cleric of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral). Skete parishioners and guests from neighboring communities gathered to pray at Liturgy.

Upon completion of the service, a procession was held around the church. Fr. Serge Lukianov congratulated the skete’s rector and the gathered clergy and faithful on the occasion of the patronal feast. He expressed his joy that the Diocese now has a quiet corner, home to ceaseless prayer, where one can come to church every day and talk to the Lord God. Fr. Serge wished for all those present to keep love in their hearts and pray to the Mother of God that her protection be with us always.

Fr. Tikhon expressed his gratitude to the clergy in attendance, and his joy at the fullness of prayer and unity that had taken place in the church on this festal day.

Fr. Tikhon spoke about what had been accomplished in the skete over the past year; this includes primarily large-scale repair and restoration work. Both inside and outside of the church, old stuccoing was removed, and the entire church was re-stuccoed and painted; new air-conditioning was installed inside the church and in the parish hall in the basement. New gutters were installed, which had been missing for many years. Additional shelves and ventilation were added in the kitchen. The skete grounds were landscaped, overgrowth was removed, and a new metal fence and gate were installed around the cemetery.

One of the most important developments of the past year was handover to the skete of a house for the future brethren, which was itself brought into good order. Gas heating was installed in the skete – both in the church and the house. A 1,500-liter water-blessing font was recently obtained. Finally, toward the end of the summer, bells were added to the belfry, and the bell tower is now fully equipped.

Not long before the patronal feast day, the skete hosted a conference of Cossack Atamans from the USA and Canada, and a Cossack festival is being prepared for next autumn.

The skete’s patronal feast day concluded with a delicious luncheon, prepared for the clergy, parishioners, and guests by the local helpers.

The father-rector invites all of the faithful to attend Liturgy, served at Holy Protection Skete every Sunday at 10:00 AM.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese