WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE: November 5, 2012
Bishop Amvrosy of Gatchina Celebrates Divine Liturgy at Seattle’s St Nicholas Cathedral
On October 28, 2012, His Grace Bishop Amvrosy of Gatchina, Russia, concelebrated Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, WA, with His Grace Bishop Theodosius, Vicar of Seattle, along with the Rector of the cathedral, Protopriest Alexei Kotar; Protopriest Dimitri Yurevich, Prorector of St Petersburg’s Orthodox Theological Academy, and clergymen of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. An official delegation of the St Petersburg Metropoliate in Russia, part of an inter-church program between St Petersburg and Seattle, included Mr IN Sudos and Ms NV Kolesnikova, who prayed at the service.
Bishop Amvrosy’s sermon was devoted to the memory of St Athanasius, Hiero-Confessor of Kovrov, whose feast day was being celebrated. Vladyka Amvrosy discussed the podvig of the saint during the years of persecution of the Church of Christ and called upon the worshipers to learn from this wonderful ascetic in preserving and multiplying the faith in the face of difficult circumstances.
After Divine Liturgy, Vladyka Theodosius welcomed Bishop Amvrosy and the delegation from St Petersburg. His Grace gave St Petersburg Orthodox Theological Academy a gift of an icon of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco with a portion of his relics. In response, Vladyka Amvrosy thanked the Seattle hosts for their hospitality and the opportunity to share common prayer and concelebrate Divine Liturgy with them. The Rector of StPOTA gave Vladyka Theodosius a panaghia and St Nicholas Cathedral an icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” of Tsarskoye Selo, and then blessed each worshiper with a printed image of the icon.
During the trapeza luncheon that followed, Vladyka Amvrosy spoke about his school’s work. He shared thoughts on their successes and the challenges they face, and about the goals of the St Petersburg delegation’s visit.
St Nicholas Cathedral is the only parish of the Russian Church Abroad in Seattle. St John of Shanghai and San Francisco would frequently stay in a small room on the second floor of the parish house nearby, and on July 2, 1966, as Ruling Bishop of San Francisco and Western America, he reposed in the Lord there. A chapel has been set up in the room dedicated to St John. Vladyka Amvrosy performed a short moleben to the saint and anointed the worshipers with blessed oil.
The parishioners of St Nicholas Cathedral expressed their heartfelt thanks to Vladyka Amvrosy and the delegates from St Petersburg for their visit and posed many questions on Church life in Russia today.