Festal Banquet - 05/27/12Following 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.
Sunday of Orthodoxy - 03/04/12
Western Rite Conference 2011 - 10/04/11
Trapeza 2011 - 04/24/11
Holy Pascha 2011 - 04/24/11The 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!
Holy Pascha 2011 Baptisms - 04/23/11
Kursk Root Icon - 01/30/10
Parish 20th Anniversary - 05/31/09
Wooden Church - 05/28/06