FLORIDA: January 2, 2017
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York Makes an Archpastoral Visit to Florida

On December 25-28, 2016, as part of an archpastoral visit to Florida, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, officiated at Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Monastery in North Fort Myers, FL.

Upon arrival at the monastery, His Eminence performed a memorial pannikhida for the victims of the airplane crash off the coast of Sochi, Russia, where 92 people lost their lives. Joining Metropolitan Hilarion at Liturgy the next day were Archimandrite Alexander (Belya), Prior of the monastery and dean of the local deanery; Archimandrite Varsonofy (Podyma) of St Nicholas Church in Pervomaysk (Voznesensky Diocese in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church); Protopriest Peter Jackson, Dean of the Spanish-language Missionary Deanery and Rector of Holy Apostles Mission in Miami; Priest Constantine Desrosier of St Xenia Church in Massachusetts and Priest Dimitry Romeo, Rector of St Luke of Crimea Church in Coconut Creek, FL. Also praying was Protopriest Alexander Belya of St John the Baptist Cathedral in New York.

His Eminence gave Archimandrite Alexander the prior’s staff, which had once belonged to the first rector, Archimandrite John (Lewis). На богослужении Митрополит Иларион прочитал молитвы и вручил игуменский жезл настоятелю монастыря архимандриту Александру (Беля). Символично, что этот жезл принадлежал основателю обители и первому ее настоятелю архимандриту Джону (Льюису).

Vladyka Hilarion also ordained Fr John Marvin into the deaconate; Fr John will serve at Archangel Michael Church in Puerto Rico. Services were performed in three languages—Slavonic, English and Spanish.

At the end of services, His Eminence gave Mother Andrea the Order of St Raphael in recognition of her service in the difficult period of the monastery’s existence.

Fr Alexander then announced that two Liturgies would be celebrated every Sunday; one in Slavonic and the other in English, while the daily monastic cycle of services would also be performed on weekdays.

On December 27, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated Divine Liturgy along with Archimandrite Alexander; Protopriest Alexander; Protopriest Luka Novakovic (Serbian Orthodox Church); Priest Constantine; Priest Joshua Shooping of St Sophia Church in Kissimmee, FL, and Priest Mark Rowe. Vladyka Metropolitan ordained Deacon John Marvin to the priesthood, and Fr Nicholas Enrique Sepubida to the diaconate, both of whom will serve at the new Archangel Michael Mission in Puerto Rico.

On December 28, Metroplitan Hilarion celebrated Liturgy along with Archimandrite Ilarion (Morozov), Secretary of the Kazakhstan Metropoliate’s representation in Moscow; Fr Luke; Fr Constantine; Fr John; Fr Mark and Deacon Michael Criscella of St Vladimir Church in Miami. Deacon Nicholas was ordained to the priesthood.



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