Alexander Hugo made a week-long retreat to Holy Trinity Monastery--Jordanville. The photo shows Vldyka Jerome serving the Triumph of Orthodoxy Liturgy. Alexander is on the left of the photo--3rd person upwards.
Fr Richard - 10/27/13
Our new Assistant Pastor; As he learns the Liturgy and serves our Parish, he is growing and renewing.
Following the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy a festal banquet was held at a local hotel ballroom. The luncheon was well attended by parishioners and friends and family of Archpriest Seraphim Stephens alike. As the festivities concluded Archpriest Seraphim suggested to all present that, “we do this again next year!”
Archpastoral Visit of His Grace Jerome, Bishop of Manhattan - 05/27/12
On Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th
of May, Divine Services were held in St. Jospeh of Optina Church in Virginia
Beach, VA, in honor of the parish’s patronal feast day and in celebration of
the parish rector’s, Archpriest Seraphim Stephens, twentieth anniversary of his
ordination. His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan Vicar Bishop Jerome of
Manhattan celebrated three services over the course of the weekend.
That evening the All-Night Vigil was led by Bishop Jerome
and co-served by the parish clergy mentioned above as well as Fr. Michael
Thompson of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Archdiocese who assisted the
choir during the service. Praying in the church was the Rev. Fr. Alex Schuter
of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church in Virginia Beach.
On Sunday, May 27, the feast day of the Fathers of the
First Ecumenical Council, the feast of Venerable Joseph of Optina, which is
traditionally May 22/9 was also commemorated in honor of the patronal feast day
of the parish and His Grace, Bishop Jerome’s archpastoral visit. Serving the
liturgy was His Grace, Bishop Jerome, the parish clergy, and Archpriest
Onouphry Keith of St. Nicholas Church in Fletcher, NC and a former cleric of
the parish. At the Little Entrance, Bishop Jerome awarded Priest Jason Dechenne
the right to wear the Nabedrennik. Upon completion of the Liturgy a Diocesan
Gramota was bestowed by Bishop Jerome, on behalf of the First Hierarch of the
Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America
& New York, upon Archpriest Seraphim and Matushka Zenobia Stephens for
their faithful and dedicated service to the Church for the past twenty years.
The Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great and the Ordination of Deacon David Kinghorn - 05/26/12
On Saturday, May 16, the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great was celebrated by His Grace, Bishop Jerome and was co-served by the parish rector Archpriest Seraphim Stephens and Priest Jason Dechenne the parish’s assistant pastor. Fr. Anthony Bondi, Pastoral Vicar of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia served as master of ceremonies for the service where just prior to the Offertory, Bishop Jerome ordained Deacon David Kinghorn to the priesthood to continue his service at St. Cuthbert’s Church (Western Rite) in Providence, RI.
During his sermon, His Grace spoke of the importance of striking a balance in living our Orthodox faith, between on the one hand not attempting to live out the fullness of our faith at all, while on the other hand, we can try to live a life so Orthodox that we end up failing in the process by missing the spirit and truth of our faith.
Following the liturgy Fr. Anthony who also serves as dean of Holy Resurrection Seminary, the theological school of the Western Rite, presented Archpriest Seraphim Stephens with the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in recognition of his work and support of the Western Rite of the Church.
The term “Western Rite” refers to those ancient Orthodox rites of the Church that existed in the west (i.e. Rome, Britain, etc.) prior to the Great Schism in 1054 A.D., when the Church was united in Faith both east and west.
The Western Rite Conference was sponsored by the Fraternity of St. Gregory the Great to bring together clergy and laity who are members of or are interested in the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church. Fr. Seraphim and Fr. Jason attended the conference which was held at the Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center in New York and found it a wonderful time of prayer and fellowship.
On Sunday the parishioners gathered in the afternoon to celebrate Holy Pascha with our customary Trapeza. There was plenty of great food and fellowship and afterwards the children went hunting for Easter Eggs.
The parish celebrated the Feast of Holy Pascha beginning with the reading of the Acts of the Apostles, followed by the Midnight Office, and the Divine Liturgy. The church was packed with parishioners and visitors alike. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
On Saturday morning a number of the faithful gathered at Fr. Seraphim's home to witness the baptism and chrismation of three new members of the Holy Orthodox Church and our parish. May God grant them many years!
The Wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of Our Lady of the Sign visited our parish. Clergy and laity from St. Joseph of Optina Orthodox Church (ROCOR) and Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox Church (OCA) joined together at the chapel at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Norfolk to greet her. The clergy served an Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos and then everyone was afforded an opportunity to venerate her. Afterwards a presentation was given concerning her historic return to Kursk, Russia. To learn more about the icon please click here.
These photos are from May 2006 and show the “Wooden Church” where our parish meet for several years. This church was made possible through the efforts of one of our parishioners Mr. Kyrill Johnson, who had begun building a temple structure on his property in Chesapeake near Great Bridge. Unfortunately several zoning issues required for us to relocate to a new location.