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WESTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE: August 13, 2020
Long-time cleric Fr Serge Kotar of the San Francisco cathedral retires

On Saturday, August 1, 2020, long-time cathedral Archpriest Fr Serge Kotar retired from service at the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" and left the Western American Diocese. Fr Serge is moving East and will be living with his sons family not far from the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.

Fr Serge Kotar was ordained by the ever-memorable Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev) to the diaconate in 1984, and in 1988 to the priesthood. As a priest he was given the obedience of being responsible for liturgical rubrics on kliros, and he fulfilled this obedience diligently at Holy Virgin Cathedral for over three decades.

He was also the Treasurer of the Western American Diocese for many years, and in 1994, together with his wife Maria Kotar, founded the St John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy, where he taught and labored for 20 years in the field of the formation and education of children. Fr Serge took active part in many parish and diocesan activities and events: the Ochag Aid to Russia Organization, two All-Diaspora Youth Conferences, teacher at SS Kyrill and Methodius Russian High School, the opening of the relics and organization of the glorification of St John (Maximovitch), member of the Organizing Committee of the IV All-Diaspora Council.

Fr Serge had a special love for services (the last years of his tenure at Holy Virgin Cathedral he would attend all daily services), a deep appreciation for the legacy of the Russian Church Abroad, and heart-felt pastoral care and attention to the needs of his spiritual children, for the cathedral parishioners, and the many pilgrims to the relics of St John.

In light of the present pandemic and shelter-in-place restrictions, the cathedral parish was unable to honor Fr Serges departure in a proper manner. He served his last Liturgy as a cathedral Archpriest on Wednesday, July 29. Following the service, Archbishop Kyrill noted Fr Serges labors, presented him with the Archbishops Gramota (award certificate) and bestowed upon him the Order St John Medal (second degree). Fr Serge received a generous monetary gift from the cathedral parishioners.

On behalf of the clergy and parishioners of Holy Virgin Cathedral we express our gratitude to Fr Serge for his many years of service at our parish, for all his labors, and wish him and his wife good health, strength and joy and all the best in their retirement years on the East Coast.

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