PERM DIOCESE: August 2, 2016
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Visits Chaikovsky
On July 27, 2016, the vessel “Alexandr Suvorov” brought a group of American and Australian pilgrims led by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, to the city of Chaikovsky. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Mefody of Perm and Kungursk, the Dean of the Osinsk Deanery, Hegumen Amvrossy (Nosov) greeted the delegation.
The pilgrims then embarked via bus to Holy Dormition Convent in the town of Perevoznoye, where Abbess Afanasia (Adamova) welcomed them along with her nuns.
In the convent’s church, dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord, the pilgrims learned about the convent’s origins, the architecture of the church, and venerated its most holy icon, the Crucifixion, with the depiction of the Mother of God and Apostle John the Theologian, which attracts pilgrims from all over Russia.
After the excursion, the visitors were offered luncheon at the convent refectory. Each pilgrim was then given an album on the history and life of the convent.
Bidding farewell to the nuns, the pilgrims then returned to Chaikovsky, where they toured the Church of St George the Victory-Bearer. Protopriest Mikhail Shekel, the church’s rector, welcomed the pilgrims under the soaring vaulted ceiling of the temple. He told them about the church and led them on a tour of the grounds, showing them the children’s Sunday school and the handicrafts of its children.
The visitors then had dinner at the church hall. Metropolitan Hilarion noted that their visit to the city and its environs, the natural beauty, the Kama River and the convent, made a very pleasant impression on them. Vladyka emphasized the convent’s holy relics, the warmth of the nuns, who even in old age continue to labor and pray; he also expressed wonder at the grandeur of St George Church, and acknowledged the important work the clergymen were doing with the children.
“It is a joy to see that new churches are being built, and that within them, new life, the illumination of people,” said Vladyka Hilarion. “Most of the population only have superficial education: they recognize themselves to be Orthodox Christians, but deep down, they have little faith. In order to approach Christ and receive the grace that the Church offers, one needs intellectual education and the setting aside of sinful habits, one must immerse oneself in church life and follow the commandments of the Gospel. This is what I wish for all of you, and I am very glad to see the changes happening in the Russian land!”
At the port, the local clergymen gave the pilgrims souvenirs as they bid them farewell.