DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: June 1, 2008
Metropolitan Hilarion Visits St Seraphim Church
On May 29, 2008, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, accompanied by Protopriest Michael Boikov, His Eminence's Personal Secretary, visited the St Seraphim Parish in Sea Cliff, on Long Island, NY. As the church's bells pealed joyfully, His Eminence entered the church, where he was met by the rector and other clergy: Protodeacon Paul Volkov and Deacon Eugene Kallaur, singers and a group of parishioners of that church.
After the solemn greeting, a short service of supplication and the singing of Many Years, His Eminence was welcomed by Protopriest Serafim Gan, Rector of the Parish, who said the following, among other things: "Your Eminence, Most Reverend Master! It is extremely joyous and moving for me to welcome you to this holy and prayerful church as the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Today, on behalf of the clergy, the parishioners and those who are here to pray in our church, I want to wish you heavenly help, strength, and the manifold mercies of God, for many years, under the new conditions of your salvific service to the Russian Church Abroad, which were prepared by His Eminence, the late Metropolitan Laurus, of blessed memory."
In his reply, His Eminence recalled the ever-memorable Bishop Mitrofan of Boston, who had for many years been the rector of the parish, and prayerfully wished the rector strength to bear his pastoral duties; and for the clergy, parishioners, and those who were there to pray, peace, unity, and consolation as they pray together in the church. Fr Serafim then acquainted His Eminence with plans for the adornment of the church, which he had presented previously to the members of the Parish Council, and showed him the parish's treasured holy objects. These included the kamilavka of St John of Kronstadt, which had been preserved for many decades in the family of the Rector; as well as a great many portions of the relics of the saints. Having invoked the blessing of God upon the clergy and parishioners and bade them farewell, His Eminence proceeded to the rectory, where, with Fr Michael and Fr Serafim, he received visitors. Later, at the residence of the Shohov family (relatives of the late Bishop Mitrofan) a reception was given in honor of the First Hierarch.