[December 31, 2010] On the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos Into the Temple, Archbishop Kyrill ordained Subdeacon Herman Ricckets to the holy diaconate at the Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Los Angeles. Father Herman will be assisting with the English language services at the Protection parish.

• On December 16, 2010 one of the Western American Diocese's senior priests, Father Vladimir Anderson, reposed. Father Vladimir served his last Divine Liturgy on Pascha of 2007. Unfortunately after that he got involved with a schismatic group and broke with his canonical bishop. By the mercy of God in the last two months of his life Father Vladimir brought repentance, received the Holy Gifts and was reconciled to the fulness of the Orthodox Church. The services for the departed for Fr. Vladimir were held at the St. Seraphim Church (Orthodox Church in America) in Santa Rosa with the participation of clergy from the Russian Church Abroad, Orthodox Church in America, and the Serbian and Bulgarian Orthodox Churches. Clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese are asked to remember the newly-reposed Priest Vladimir in their prayers both at services and at home.

• On December 25, 2010 Archbishop Kyrill ordained Subdeacon Andrew Griga to the holy diaconate at the St. Herman of Alaska Church in Sunnyvale, California. Father Andrew is assigned to the St. Herman parish.

• "Orthodox Christian Recorded Books" in Maine has released in digital format the funeral of the Holy Hierarch John of Shanghai and San Francisco. The recording, recovered from the original reel-to-reel from the archive of Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, has been reproduced on CD. It contains not only the entire funeral service, but also the greeting of Metropolitan Philaret and numerous eulogies by the old bishops and clergy of the Russian Church Abroad. The CD can be ordered directly from OCRB.

Western American Diocese receives Two Relics of Saint Antipa of Valaam

[December 27, 2010] On December 10, 2010, the feast of the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora, the Kursk Root Wonderworking Icon of the Theotokos, the Divine Liturgy at San Francisco's Holy Virgin Cathedral was celebrated by representatives of the Western American Diocese and the Holy Transfiguration Stavropegic Valaam Monastery. Following the Liturgy and Molieben to the Mother of God, Bishop Theodosy of Seattle presented the Valaam Monastery representative, Hieromonk David, with a relic of St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco. Father David, in turn, gave Vladika two relics of St. Antipa of Valaam – one relic for the Holy Virgin Cathedral, and the second one for the St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle.

Diocesan Council Holds Winter Meeting

[December 24, 2010] On December 16, 2010 the Diocesan Council (both clergy and laity) met at the Diocesan Administration for its winter session. A report was presented on financial aid to needy clergy families in the Diocese. Our longtime diocesan treasurer, Archpriest Sergei Kotar, asked to be relieved of his duties as treasurer. Archbishop Kyrill will soon assign a new treasurer. Preparations for the 2011 Diocesan Assembly are well under way. The dates for the Lenten Clergy Retreat have been determined: March 28-30, 2011. A priest from Moscow is anticipated to be the keynote speaker at the retreat. The final draft of the guidelines for handling the Kursk-Root Miraculous Icon during its visits to parishes of the Diocese was approved and will be posted on the diocesan website as soon as a translation of the text into English is completed. The members of the Council discussed means for a fuller participation of youth in the St. Herman West Conferences. Vladimir Krassovsky was asked to prepare a memo in regards to this matter. Among other things the matter of marking the 45th anniversary of St. John (Maximovitch's) repose was brought up. The anniversary will fall on July 2, 2011. The next meeting of the Diocesan Council is scheduled for February 24, 2011.

St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle Marks it's 75th Anniversary

[December 21, 2010] The St. Nicholas Cathedral parish in Seattle was founded in 1932. On Sunday, December 19 it marked it's 75th anniversary. On Saturday, December 18, the Rector of the parish, His Grace Bishop Theodosy, brought the relics of St. Nicholas (in a new icon of the protector of the parish) to the cathedral for the Vigil. See the feastday photo report.

The Myrrh-Streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon to Visit San Francisco on December 25-26

[December 10, 2010] The newly-revealed Iveron Myrrhstreaming Icon of the Mother of God from Hawaii will be at the Vigil at San Francisco's Holy Virgin Cathedral (6210 Geary Boulevard) on Saturday, December 25 (greeting of the Icon at 6:00 pm) and at the Liturgy at Our Lady of Kazan Church (5717 California Street) on Sunday, December 26. The Liturgy will begin at 9:30 am.

The 25th Anniversary of the Blessed Repose of the Ever-memorable Metropolitan Philaret

[November 19, 2010] On Sunday, November 21, the Western American Diocese will be marking the 25th anniversary of the repose of the third First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the ever-memorable Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky). In connection with this anniversary Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America has issued Decree No. 16/2010 whereas following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, November 21, a Panikhida (Memorial Service) for Metropolitan Philaret is to be served in all churches of the Western American Diocese, so that this anniversary may be marked in a prayerful manner.

A Delegation of the Russian Church Visits Monterey

[November 16, 2010] On Thursday, November 12, a delegation of the Russian Church visited the St. Seraphim of Sarov church in Monterey, California. The delegation was headed by His Eminence Archbishop Ionafan of Tulchino and Bratslav. He was accompanied by the secretary of the Western American Diocese and representatives of the Vinnitsa and German Dioceses of the Russian Church. As the parish choir sang, the Archbishop was greeted by the rector of the parish, Archpriest George Kurtow. Following a tour of the church and property the parish hosted a lunch for the delegation at the Monterey Bay. During the meal Archbishop Ionafan got acquainted with parish life in the Western American Diocese.

Diocesan Cathedral Feastday

[November 12, 2010] On Saturday, November 6, 2010, the feast of the Icon of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow,” the Western American Diocese's cathedral marked its parish feastday. The solemn celebration in San Francisco was headed, for the first time, by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Archbishop Ionafan of Tulchino and Bratslav, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Bishop Theodosy of Seattle and about 40 priests and deacons concelebrated with the Metropolitan. All of the Russian Church Abroad's North American dioceses were represented at the celebration.

Following the Eucharistic Canon Reader Andrei Garine of Holy Virgin Cathedral was ordained to the diaconate. The sermon was delivered by Vladika Ionafan. After the Liturgy and Procession a festal meal was offered to the clergy, parishioners and guests. Among the honored guests at the luncheon were Bishop Afanassy (Evtich) and Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Consul Generals of the Russian Federation and the Ukraine in San Francisco. See our photo gallery.

Memorial Service on Mare Island Scheduled for November 13

[November 9, 2010] On Satyrday, November 13 a memorial service for the eight Russian Orthodox sailors who died in 1863 and 1905 and were buried on Mare Island (near Vallejo, California), will be served at 11:30 AM. Clergy of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad and the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese will take part in this annual Panikhida, as well as officials of the Russian Federation and representatives of various Bay Area Russian organizations. For information on these sailors, read the article prepared by the Archpriest Silas Ruark.

Concert of Liturgical Choral Music in Burlingame

[November 6, 2010] The Church of All Russian Saints Choir will present a concert of Liturgical choral music on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at 3 PM, at the Trinity Lutheran Church (1245 El Camino Real, Burlingame, California). The program will feature of works by Gretchaninov, Chesnokov, Archangelsky, Bortniansky, Ledkovsky, Ryabchenko and others. For advance ticket purchases and information please call (650) 395-7639: e-mail –


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