NEW YORK: July 20, 2018
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad sends greetings to the International Scholarly Conference “Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra-Athos-Jerusalem: Unity Through the Ages”
To His Beatitude Onouphry,
Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine,
To His Emnence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl,
Prior of Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra;
To all Participants of the International Scholarly Conference “Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra-Athos-Jerusalem: Unity Through the Ages”
Your Beatitude, Your Eminence and Your Grace,
Dear in the Lord Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:
I prayerfully join the solemn commemoration of St Anthony, “the Father of Old Russian Monasticism,” expressing with kind Christian love greetings to the participants of the divine service and international conference being held within the holy walls of the Kiev Lavra of the Caves, devoted to the 30th anniversary of the reestablishment of its monastic life.
One cannot but remember Archimandrite Dimitry (Byakay) and Archimandrite Gelassy (Maiboroda), who always remembered with fondness the church life of the “Mother of Russian Cities” in the form of their great spiritual pillars, whom they knew personally. The first was tonsured at the Lavra and a member of its Spiritual Council, then became the honorable Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, while the latter found his home at Holy Trinity/St Job Monastery, concluding his service in the presence of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign," as the elder of many archpastors, clergymen and laity at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York City.
You will likely remember many other figures who bore the spirit of our great Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra. May their memory inspire all of us in our life and service, strengthening and consoling us in our sorrows and labors.
May the faith in the constant prayerful help from the lantern of monastic life, St Anthony of the Kievan Caves, serve as our lighthouse amidst the waves of earthly life. May the prayers of the other miracle-workers of the Kievan Caves forever preserve the ancient land of Kiev, the much-suffering people and each one of us.
I embrace the ascetic feats of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onouphry and Metropolitan Pavel and their brethren, all the archpastors, clergymen, monastics and laity of our fraternal Ukrainian Orthodox Church, greeting all the participants of the conference, and I beseech your holy prayers for my unworthiness, earnestly wishing for you the fruitful and blessed labors to the glory of God!
With love in Christ,
of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.