NYACK, NY: March 25, 2015
Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan Visits Holy Virgin Protection Russian School in Nyack, NY
On Saturday, March 14, 2015, His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Vice Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, visited Holy Virgin Protection Church’s Russian School in Nyack, NY.
The school is the oldest one on the East Coast, established over 60 years ago by Protopriest Seraphim Slobodskoy, long-time Rector of Holy Virgin Protection Church and the author of the renowned Law of God, used not only in America but throughout the world, including Russia, as a basic textbook for the Orthodox faith. Nyack’s Russian school now boasts about 100 students aged 4-17. Classes are held on Saturdays from 9 am-1 pm . All subjects are taught in Russian: the Law of God, Russian, reading, Russian literature and history, singing and geography. This year there are 23 volunteer teachers.
Protopriest Elias Gorsky, Deputy Principal of the Russian school and long-time teacher of the Old and New Testaments, greeted His Grace upon his arrival. Vladyka Nicholas was then welcomed by the singing of the youngest kindergarten and first-grade students of Nina Arlievsky and Alexandra Kulesha, and approached him for blessing. The preschool children in Larissa Belikov’s class recited poetry and gave him a jar of strawberry jam.
Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky, Curriculum Director and teacher of the Law of God, gave Bishop Nicholas a tour of the school. His Grace then had a discussion with the elder students, telling them about living an Orthodox life, explaining what it means to be an Orthodox Christian in the modern world, calling upon the young people to stay loyal to the Church. Vladyka Nicholas then attended a singing lesson with the middle-level students under the experienced guidance of Irina Serdseva.
After prayers, Vladyka Nicholas had lunch with the students in the parish hall, after which a photo of Vladyka and the school was taken. This was followed by the annual poetry-reading competition in which 34 students participated, the younger ones reciting works by Marshak, Barto, Nikitin, the older students rendering the works of Pushkin,Lermontov and Esenin, plus their own poems. Facing the difficult task of selecting the competition winners was the jury, comprised of Protopriest Yaroslav Belikov (Law of God teacher), Elena Kelly (teacher of Russian and Russian history), and 2014 graduate Xenia Kudinova, who is now an assistant teacher.
His Grace then spoke about his impressions of the visit and wishing the school’s participants success, encouraging everyone to preserve their love for God and each other. Vladyka Nicholas also expressed hope that the Parish Rector, Mitred Protopriest George Larin, be quickly restored to good health after an operation.