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DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: January 31, 2007
First Hierarch Serves at St Vladimir Memorial Church at the Beginning of the Lenten Triodion

On Saturday, January 27, on the eve of the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, arrived at St Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ, along with his cell-attendant, Deacon Nicholas Olhovsky.

Here His Eminence officiated at all-night vigil along with Mitred Protopriest Boris Kizenko, Protopriest Philip Petrovsky and Priest Serge Ledkovsky, along with Deacon Eugene Kallaur and Deacon Nicholas Olhovsky. After the service, a reception honoring His Eminence Vladyka was offered at the parish hall.

The following morning, at the greeting of the First Hierarch, Fr Boris delivered a welcoming speech, during which he fondly recalled the founder of the Memorial Church, Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), under whose obedience he began his clerical service, and then expressed his heartfelt thanks to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus for his archpastoral care and patience, beseeching his First Hierarchal blessing for further service to the Holy Church.

After the vesting and reading of the hours, Divine Liturgy began, which was remarkably splendid and solemn. Noteworthy was the great increase in the number of worshipers than normal.

In his sermon, His Eminence explained the meaning of the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, then congratulated the deeply-revered Fr Boris on his 50 th anniversary as a priest. After the dismissal, in accordance with the instructions of the First Hierarch, a moleben of thanksgiving was performed, after which a magnificent trapeza luncheon was offered, organized by the Sisterhood of St Olga at the parish hall.

The following morning, His Eminence performed a pannikhida over the founders and builders of the church in the lower Holy Protection Church, before the crypt of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) of blessed memory.

On behalf of the stavropighial St Vladimir Memorial Church, I wish to thank His Eminence for his visit, and also Deacon Eugene and Deacon Nicholas for their concelebration. I would also like to compliment the labors of all the singers who participated in the occasion. During vigil, a small choir was led by Subdeacon Seraphim Kizenko, the son of Fr Boris, and the choir sang Liturgy under the able direction of SR Grizenko, a long-time friend of Fr Boris, who came from our Vineland, NJ, community.

Priest Serge Ledkovsky