WASHINGTON, DC: June 14, 2010
Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk Visits St John the Baptist Cathedral in the Nation’s Capital
From June 11-13, 2010, the parishioners of St John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC, had the honor of welcoming an important visitor: the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Eminence Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk. This was His Eminence’s first visit to the US capital. Vladyka Justinian was escorted from New York by Hegumen Joseph (Kryukov), Secretary of the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA; Protopriest Evgeny Goncharenko, Personal Secretary of Vladyka Justinian, and Protodeacon Igor Panachev of St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York. All the clergymen participated in the divine services of St John the Baptist Cathedral.
On June 11, the visitors came to the Russian Embassy to the United States to attend a reception in honor of the Day of Russia. Representing the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia at the event was Protopriest Victor Potapov, Rector of St John the Baptist Cathedral and his spouse.
That evening, Archbishop Justinian and his companions dined at the home of Fr Victor and had an informal discussion of various church topics.
On Saturday, June 12, Vladyka Justinian was late to all-night vigil at St John’s Cathedral, since he had officiated at services earlier that day at Holy Trinity Patriarchal Parish in Baltimore, MD. His Eminence arrived in time for the reading of the Gospel. Beginning with the Great Doxology, Vladyka Justinian led the service in full vestments, offering a sermon on the third Gospel of the Resurrection (Mark 16:9-20).
After the services, a Cathedral parishioner, Chef Mikhail Kolosov offered a dinner for the clergymen and choir.
On Sunday, June 13, at 9:45 am, His Eminence was greeted by the ringing of the Cathedral bells. The Parish Warden, Dimitry Mikhailovich Zaretsky, welcomed Archbishop Justinian with the traditional bread and salt accompanied by a heartfelt greeting.
In light of Vladyka Justinian’s visit, the usual early Liturgy was canceled in order to give all the parishioners the opportunity to pray with Archbishop Justinian. The Cathedral choir, led by Jared Brewer, sang magnificently, smoothly interchanging Church Slavonic with English.
In addition with the aforementioned clergymen who accompanied Vladyka Justinian, joining him in the service were Protopriest Victor Potapov, Senior Priest of St John the Baptist Cathedral, Priest Vasily Raskovsky and Priest Alexander Reznikoff, along with Protodeacon Leonid Mickle and Protodeacon John Cavin.
After the dismissal, His Eminence delivered a sermon in which he touched upon several important things in the life of contemporary man. The most effective way of glorifying the Lord and drawing unreligious people towards the Lord, noted Vladyka Justinian, was by living one’s life according to the laws of the Gospel.
During the abundant trapeza luncheon that followed, the parishioners were given a chance to meet with Vladyka Justinian. At the invitation of Fr Victor, Vladyka Justinian began the discussion with a review of his life. His Eminence then shared his thoughts on the service of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA, pondered the ways that those who departed into schism could return to the bosom of the Church, giving his opinion on ecumenism and the recent Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North America. He also answered numerous questions put forth by the parishioners. After the prayer of gratitude, a group of parishioners continued their conversation with Vladyka at the main table.
The Russian television station RTVI reported on Archbishop Justinian’s visit, which aired on June 14.