NEW YORK: August 19, 2010
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Congratulates Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff 

To the Very Reverend Mitred Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff: 

Very Reverend Father!

I extend my heartfelt greetings to you on your parish feast day and on your 40th anniversary of the flame-like grace of the priesthood! Today, your archpastor, your brother clergymen, parishioners and worshipers of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles behold your life’s path with gratitude to God, the Grantor of all good things. Your life has been a clear testament to Divine mercy to you and your zeal for the glory of God.  

The Word of God tells us: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalms 36:23), and “no man taketh… honor unto himself, but he that is called of God” (Hebrews 5:4). As a young man you heeded the call of God, receiving the priesthood on a date now memorable for you, May 11/24, 1970, the feast day of SS Cyril and Methodius. During your forty-year service to the Church of Christ, your personality traits have included churchliness and obedience. Noting your many labors to the benefit of the Church, your great experience and good personal traits, the Hierarchy of the Russian Church Abroad has assigned many responsible tasks to you, and you have never sought nor asked for anything for yourself and never declined to do what was requested of you.  

On this blessed day, I prayerfully wish that the prayers of your loyal flock help and console you in your great podvig of pastoral service. May the All-Merciful Lord strengthen you, and may your abundant efforts to the glory of the Holy Church be blessed, for the good of the parishioners and worshipers of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral!  

With love in the Lord, 
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, 
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.