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.