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NEW YORK: June 24, 2009
Members of the Working Group For the Trip to Russia of the Hodigitria of the Russian Diaspora Visit Kursk

On June 18-19, 2009, clergymen of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York Protopriest Serafim Gan and Priest Alexandre Antchoutine visited the city of Kursk as official representatives of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The purpose of their trip was to hold a series of meetings with ecclesiastical and civil figures to organize the visit of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to Russia and to review the renovation and construction work under way at Kursk Hermitage. They also participated in the traditional procession of the cross with the copy of the Hodigitria [Protectress] of the Russian Diaspora, headed by His Eminence Archbishop German of Kursk and Ryl'sk along with other clergymen of that diocese. Also participating in this procession, held annually according to ancient tradition on the 9th Friday after Pascha, was Georgy S Poltavchenko, Plenipotentiary of the President of the Russian Federation in the Central Federal Region, the governors of the central regions and over 30,000 residents of Kursk.

At a meeting of the Benevolent Fund for the Rebirth of the Kursk-Root Hermitage, Mr Poltavchenko presented Fr Serafim iwith written guarantees for the safety and return of the miracle-working Icon to the USA, given by the Administration of the President and the Ministry of Culture.

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