NEW YORK: August 27, 2008
Hegumen Patrick, Founder of a Russian Men's Shelter, Reposes in the Lord
On August 19, 2008, the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Hegumen Patrick (Kenel), reposed in the Lord.† He was 85 years of age.†
Born Raphael Patrick Kenel in New York City, Fr Patrick spent his younger years in the Merchant Marines.† On converting to Orthodoxy and receiving the monastic tonsure, he spent some time at Holy Trinity Monastery, in Jordanville, NY.† Ordained to the rank of hieromonk at the age 40, he served for a time as Bishop Nikonís cell-attendant.†
Fr Patrick decided to live out his remaining years in his native New York, for many years conducting divine services St Mark's Chapel in Harlem, St Alexander Nevsky Church in Jackson Heights, Queens, and in Manhattan at Holy Fathers Church in Washington Heights and the St Sergius Chapel at the Synod of Bishops. He was elevated to the rank of hegumen in 1991.†
Fr Patrick devoted his life to serving Christ and His Church.† Though his efforts to found an Orthodox monastic community in Harlem were not blessed with success, by his own efforts and with his own funds he established and sustained for many years a shelter to aid many Russian immigrant men who found themselves in dire need.† The shelter continued in operation until Fr Patrick's health failed and he was hospitalized in 2006.†
Fr Patrick was an early advocate of reconciliation between the Church Abroad and the Church in Russia, having argued for discussions with the Moscow Patriarchate in the early 1990s.† His body was interred in the monastic cemetery at Holy Trinity Monastery, on Saturday, August 23.