September 7, 2016
Nanuet, NY: Metropolitan Hilarion visits Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Honor of Patronal Feast

On Saturday, August 27, the eve of the great feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, arrived to Holy Dormition Convent "Novo-Diveevo" in Nanuet, NY, to spend the holiday with the monastics, clergy, and faithful in celebrating the convent’s patronal feast day.

That evening, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad came to the Cathedral of the Venerable Seraphim of Sarov to lead the All-Night Vigil. The favorable weather allowed for the Litiya to be served outside, which was followed with the blessing of the five breads, wheat, wine, and oil. The Metropolitan was co-served by convent clergy; Archpriests Alexander Fedorowski and Yaroslav Belikow, Hieromonk Photius (Oulanov; confessor of the monastic community of Novo-Diveevo), Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin). Also serving was Protodeacon Dionysius Lvov (cleric of the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City).

On Sunday morning, August 28, the feast of the Dormition, the service began with an akathist to the Dormition of the Theotokos and the Lesser Blessing of water; the greeting of the Metropolitan followed. Joining the aforementioned clergy was Deacon Matthew Keil, who on this same day was brought into the ranks of ROCOR by Metropolitan Hilarion and is now assigned to the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City. During the Little Entrance, in accordance with the resolution of the Synod of Bishops, Hieromonk Photius was elevated to the rank of abbot (igumen). The divine services were accompanied by the pious singing of the cathedral choir. A multitude of faithful confessed the previous evening and more did so prior to the start of the Divine Liturgy. Nearly a hundred people partook of Holy Communion. In his sermon, the Metropolitan spoke about the importance the Mother of God is in our lives, as well as the significance of her holy Dormition. Following the sermon, a procession was held around the cathedral and over to the newly renovated Convent "Book Nook."

With the help of a generous donor, the Book Nook was renovated over the past five months. Throughout the summer, the nuns of the convent have been painstakingly stocking the nook with various Orthodox literature, icons, and books. His Eminence read a prayer blessing the building and consecrated it with holy water. The procession then continued back to the cathedral. There, the Polychronion was intoned to Abbess Makaria and the sisters of the convent and the clergy, as well as to the newly elevated Abbot Photius. The Metropolitan thanked the abbess for her work in rejuvenating the sisterhood and the life of the convent. He also pointed out the work that Abbot Photius has been doing to spiritually strengthen the abbess and sisters.

A bountiful luncheon followed the services, to which Archpriest Alexander Antchoutine and Deacon Vladimir Barros (clerics of Holy Virgin Intercession Church in Glen Cove, NY) arrived to congratulate Abbot Photius on his elevation. The hierarch, clergy, and monastics remained in the main adult home dining room late into the afternoon socializing with one another and the residents and faithful of the convent.

The Book Nook is now regularly open daily following morning services and per request through the convent office during other times.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese