• The Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God On Canada’s West Coast

    12 June 2013

    On May 20th, 2013, the miraculous Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, accompanied by its guardian, the priest Nicholas Olkhovsky, a clergyman of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, in New York, arrived in Vancouver from Montréal.

    On Tuesday, May 21st, at 6:00 P.M., the first divine service in its honor was celebrated in the Church of St. Nicholas.

    At the evening service, that of our church’s patronal feast, many of the faithful from all the Orthodox parishes in Vancouver were present.

    Tens of parishioners from the Greek, Serbian and Rumanian churches, as well as parishioners of our neighboring Holy Trinity Church and from the Orthodox Church in America, came to venerate the holy image and to share this joy with all the parishioners of our church.

    On May 22nd, the feast of the Translation of the Relics of St. Nicholas, i.e., our patronal feast, Fr. Michael Furik, rector of the Orthodox Church in America’s parish, Fr. Serge Overt, rector of our Holy Trinity Church, and Fr. Marko and his wife, from St. Savva’s Serbian Church, arrived before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy to congratulate us and to take part in the divine services.

    Our small by very hospitable and warm church could barely hold all the guests who wished to greet the icon. More and more people arrived from all throughout Vancouver, patiently waiting in line to enter the church and kiss the miraculous icon. All approached to venerate it, bearing their pain, their love, their hope. A most sincere and general reverence, full of grace, rendered the service special. It was as if it were not only the Icon that was with us, but that the Mother of God herself was invisibly present throughout all the divine services.

    No one wanted to leave the church and the Icon even after the conclusion of the service. A living stream again and again flowed toward it in silent prayer and could not be stopped. How many tears and heartfelt prayers she took to herself over these days, as throughout the Icon’s entire history!

    Fr. Nicholas and all the clergy of the church waited and blessed everyone, giving each the opportunity to venerate the holy object.

    At 6:30 P.M. of that day, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God was present at a service of supplication at the St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission.

    The following day, Thursday, May 23rd, the Icon visited the home of senior parishioners of our church, Vera Petrovna Omeyanets in Aldergrove, and Anna Alexandrovna Reno, who was celebrating her 100th virthday that very day.

    On Friday, May 24th, the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God visited those parishioners who, by reason of frail health or advanced age, had been unable to be present in church. In the words of Fr. Nicholas, they strove to carry this great miracle to each of those who thirsted for it.

    On the evening of May 24th, at 6:00, a service of supplication, with the akathist hymn to the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, was celebrated in Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Cathedral. And again the church was overflowing with parishioners from all the churches. They had followed the Icon, desiring to venerate it again and to feel once more the power of her grace in their hearts.

    That evening, our church welcomed Vladyka GaBriel, Archbishop of Montréal & Canada, who visited us May 25th-26th. He was accompanied by Deacon Alexander Morin from Toronto.

    The hierarchal service was most solemn, with Protopriest Serge Overt and the Priests Eusathius and Nicholas concelebrating with Vladyka.

    At Sunday’s divine services, Vladyka Gabriel presented the gold cross to our rector, Fr. Eustathius, for his efforts in fostering the growth of our parish.

    After the service, all were inveted to share a common meal and to visit the fair which is put on every year for our patronal feast, sponsored by the sisterhood of our church. Many of the parishioners of our church participated in it. Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, Moldovan, Rumanian and Kazakh tables were organized, which not only served to strengthen and united our friendship, but also contributed to a good cause. For all profits from the sale of ethnic dishes are to be applied to the purchase and installation of new domes for our church.

    As always, our oldest parishioners and faithful participants in the building of our church, the sisters Sophia and Olga Petruchik, were honored guests. With their attention and unfailing dedication to the church they continually serve as an example for us of sincere service and loving-kindness.

    The celebratory festal luncheon was accompanied by a specially prepared concert by our parish choir and children of our church school, who sang Many Years and recited poems.

    The day turned out to be warm and balmy, making it possible for all of us to mingle pleasantly in good spirits

    The feast was also deemed a success thanks to the efforts of all the clergy of our church, of Fr. Eustathius personally, and of the incomparably talented members of our choir and their guests, the children of our church school, who helped put on the concert. And, of course, thanks also to the industrious and generous sacrifices of each parishioner who took part in the preparation and organization of the festal meal, first and foremost the sisterhood.

    At 6:00, all who wished met again at Holy Trinity Church. Once more there was a great stream of the faithful and a fervent, festal atmosphere. Fr. Serge and his sisterhood also provided their guests with a marvelous supper.

    The departure of the Icon of the Mother of God was very moving. It was a moment both of joy and of radiant sorrow; each of us sensed Her grace.

    We accompanied it on a long procession through the province—to the city of Nanaimo, and afterwards to Alberta, B.C.

    Tatiana Kuleshoff

  • Parish of the Protection of the Mother of God in Hamilton, Ontario, celebrated its 60 anniversary

    17 October 2012

    During the weekend of Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 of October, the parish of the Protection of the Mother of God in Hamilton, Ontario, marked its 60th anniversary.

    His Eminence, Gabriel, archbishop of Montreal and Canada, presided over the festive divine services. Vladyka was assisted by parish rector, protopriest Mikhail Luboshchinskiy, priest Viatcheslav Davidenko of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toronto, Ontario, priest Eugene Schukin, rector of the St. Tikhon Patriarch of Moscow parish in Waterloo, Ontario, deacon Alexander Morin of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Toronto, and deacon Mark Liumes from Niagara, Ontario.

    Divine Liturgy was sung by a joint choir under the direction of reader Gregory Montana, choir director of the Smolensk Mother of God church in Berezki, (Jacksons Point, Ontario).

    At the end of the Liturgy was a thanksgiving prayer service and all present sent up their prayers asking the merciful Lord and His Most Pure Mother to continue protecting and strengthening the parish in Hamilton in the future.

    The celebration concluded with a gracious meal in the parish hall, where a charity lottery was held. At the very end, parish children put on a small performance, a parable about a mushroom that provided cover from the rain for many animals.

    Photo Gallery

  • St. Herman Youth Conference 2012

    10 October 2012

    The annual St. Herman Youth Conference will take place December 23-27, 2012 with the blessings of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. St. Panteleimon Church in Hartford, Connecticut, will host the conference.

    Youth between the ages of 16 and young adult may participate. Noted hierarchs and clergy of the Russian Church Abroad will lead discussions and be present for questions and social activities.

    The registration fee of $300.00 includes all lectures, activities, meals and lodging (quad occupancy). Transportation will be provided from the hotel to all activities and services in the church.

    If you register before the deadline, a $25.00 discount will be applied. The deadline for registration will be November 30.

    Please register early as space is limited. The registration deadline is November 30, 2012. You may register online and any questions may be directed to the conference organizers on the contacts page.

    View the conference brochure

    Go to the conference website

  • XXII All-diaspora church music conference, organized by the music committee of the Synod of Bishops, was held in Toronto

    9 October 2012

    October 3-7, 2012, XXII All-diaspora church music conference was held in Toronto (Canada).

    Guests from Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Sergiev Posad took part in the work of the forum that gathered 75 choir directors and singers from the church choirs of Russian diaspora. The conference was organized by the Church music committee at the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

    The achievements of church singing and problems faced by church choirs during the last 20 years were the main theme of the meeting. Presentations were read by a staff member of the Department of external relations of the Moscow Patriarchate priest Mikhail Asmus, choir director of Prince Vladimir cathedral in St. Petersburg M. I. Vashchenko, many years assistant of the reposed archimandrite Matthew (Mormyl), choir director of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius’ Lavra, E. N. Sadikova, and others.

    Choir director of the Moscow representation of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius’ Lavra V. A. Gorbik gave master classes for conductors and singers.

    The conference culminated with Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity cathedral in Toronto on 7 October. The Liturgy was headed by Gabriel, archbishop of Montreal and Canada (Russian Church Abroad). Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchate parishes in Canada bishop Job of Kashira and bishop Irenei of Quebec (Orthodox Church in America), rector of the cathedral protopriest Vladimir Malchenko and other clergy conference participants concelebrated.

    In the course of the All-diaspora music conference work the joint choir prepared and sang the compositions of metropolitan of Volokolamsk Hilarion, archbishop Ionafan, archimandrite Matthew (Mormyl), deacon Sergei Trubachev, B. Theoktistov, nun Julianna (Denisova), K. Sander, B. Ledkovsky, M. Konstantinov, N. Schidlovsky, G. Lapaev, K. Mironov, S. Tolsokulakov, as well as the chants of the Kiev Caves and Holy Trinity-St. Sergius’ Lavras.


    Church music committee was formed in 1959 by the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad. Archbishop of Syracuse and Trinity Laurus (later First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad) headed it from 1988 to 2002. Currently, the head of the committee is protopriest Andre Papkov, clergy member of the Chicago diocese.

    All-diaspora music conferences are held from 1987 as a continuation of the pre-revolutionary tradition.

    Communication service of the DECR/

  • His Eminence, Archbishop Gabriel visited Calgary

    2 July 2012

    On June 10 the parish of All Saint in Calgary solemnly celebrated its feast day and was visited by His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel. Further…

  • 75 years since the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia, the great friend of the Russian people

    2 July 2012


    To All the Reverend Rectors of the Montreal & Canadian Diocese


    Your are hereby informed that 10/23 July, the day of the commemoration of the venerable Anthony, wonderworker of the Caves of Kiev, will mark 75 years since the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia, the great friend of the Russian people.

    Patriarch Barnabas was born on 29 August 1880, in old Serbia, in the city of Plevl, to a patriarchal and godly family. His secular name was Peter Rosich.

    Peter Rosich received his secondary education in the Orthodox theological school in Prizren, and as a talented youth was noticed by Metroopolitan Dionysius of Serbia, who sent him to Russia. There, Peter Rosich received a higher theological education at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.

    One must remember that of all the ecclesiastical activists abroad who figured in our Church affairs beyond the borders of our homeland, the most prominent and significant was Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia. He knew Russia well, had mastered the Russian language beautifully, and was full of the desire not only to support the Chrch of Russia in Yugoslavia, but also to unite all the parts of the Church of Russia which were abroad. It was his fondest desire to befriend the Russian ecclesial and social figures and to play a continuing role in Russian life abroad.

    As soon as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Anthony, the founder of the Russian Church Abroad, learned of the election of Metropolitan Barnabas of Skople as patriarch, he immediately wrote an article entitled “The New Patriarch of Serbia & the Church’s Expectations for Him”, in which he said:

    “The choice of Metropolitan Barnabas as Patriarch of Serbia gives wing, with radiant hope, to the hearts of all in Yugoslavia who are sympathetic to the Orthodox Church. His head and his heart hold good influences for Russia.”

    Immediately following his enthronement, Patriarch Barnabas uttered the following words:

    “As we celebrating the glory of our Church and our Patriarchate, we are obliged to remember that with us the Church of Russia has also taken part in this today, in the person of His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony, the great theologian. I call upon all present to remember the whole Russian Orthodox people, which is now suffering, being persecuted by the Antichrist, and to pray fervently that the unfortunate Russian Orthodox people may be saved from the great misfortune and great tribulation in which they find themselves.”

    On 9/22 July 1930, Patriarch Barnabas served the first divine service in the Russian Church of the Holy Trinity in Belgrade. After the dismissal of the Liturgy, Patriarch Barnabas said: “Beloved brethren, I rejoice that the Lord has today counted me worthy, for the first time as Patriarch, to enter the historic Russian church in Belgrade.… I love you not only as Russian people living within my Patriarchate; I love you even more as representatives of the great Russian people, the bulwarks of the Church Universal, a people who have taken all into your heart, especially the southern Slavs, among them we Serbs.”

    Full of strength and energy, Patrirch Barnabas ascended the Patriarchal Throne of Serbia, which he occupied for seven years, reposing under mysterious and murky circumstances, at the age of 57, on the night of 11/24 June 1937, having outlived his teacher and friend, Metropolitan Anthony, for only a year.

    In accordance with the resolution of the Synod of Bishops, dated 1/14 June 2012, on Sunday, 22 July, in all the churches of the Russian Church Abroad, this memorable date is to be marked by prayers for the repose of His Holiness, Patriarch Barnabas of Serbia, these being preceded by a homily appropriate to the occasion.


    Archbishop of Montreal and Canada

    16/29 June, 2012

  • The 22nd Annual Russian Orthodox Church Musicians’ Conference is Announced

    20 June 2012

    With the blessings of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, and of His Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal and Canada, the Synodal Liturgical Music Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Toronto, Ontario, announce the 22nd Annual Russian Orthodox Church Musicians’ Conference, to be held in Toronto, Canada, from October 3-7, 2012. The theme of the Conference is “Twenty years later: Directions in Russian Church Music.”

    The purpose of this conference is to bring together choir members and conductors to explore the wealth and beauty of Russian Orthodox church music. Participants will gain practical and theoretical knowledge and experience through lectures, workshops and rehearsals which culminate in festive pontifical services. Further, participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, get to know like-minded people and expand their liturgical repertoire.

    All-night Vigil and the Divine Liturgy will be held at Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Cathedral located at 23 Henry Street, Toronto, Ontario.

    For more information see the conference website or contact George Skok, tel. 416-483-2441 or


    14 April 2012

    To the clergy and the entire beloved flock of the Canadian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad


    Honorable fathers, beloved in the Lord brothers and sisters!

    During the forthcoming days, throughout all the Orthodox churches in the homeland and in the diaspora, wherever they may be located, the Church of Christ summons all of her faithful children to strengthen their spiritual unity in the risen Lord, in this also promising spiritual rebirth to all who have wavered in their loyalty to the Church, but who now desire to establish and strengthen this loyalty anew, The Church reminds them of the precious words of John Chrysostom, which we hear in our churches on the day of Holy Pascha itself: “The table is laden: take delight therein, all of you. The calf hath been fattened: let no-one depart hungry, let all enjoy the banquet of faith, let all receive the riches of goodness.”

    Yet is it easy for us today to avail ourselves of this joyous banquet at the resurrection of Christ? One cannot conceal the fact that this is difficult and will become even more difficult. “May the Lord Jesus Christ, Who rules over His Church and the whole world, renew in your hearts the joy over His resurrection which all Christians must immutably bear in their hearts , paying no heed to all the grievous afflictions of the present time, which have befallen all of Christianity in the form of the decline of morals and the coldness of people towards one another, as well as toward the Church of God itself.” With these words, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Antony, the founder of the Russian Church Abroad, addressed his flock eighty years ago.

    Let us remember, brethren and sisters, that the very first news of the resurrection of Christ, more than 2,000 years ago, was received with disbelief by the people, even those who belonged to His little flock, His closest disciples. And the priests of the temple of Jerusalem even hastened to counter these joyous tidings with the slander they had concocted, that (supposedly) the body of the Savior had been stolen by the apostles. Yet, contrary to the insidious intention of the slanderers, this slander was shown to be a most powerful proof of the truth of the Savior’s resurrection; it in and of itself unmasked how totally improbable this fabrication is, which is initially refuted by the news of the resurrection of Christ carried by the myrrh-bearing women. It was this very thing that transformed those who, affrighted, had fled from the Garden of Gethsemane and were afraid even to appear on the streets, into bold, divinely-inspired apostles, preachers of the invincible victory of Christ.

    Of course, during this present age of little faith, the news of the resurrection of Christ rarely receives a joyous response from all who call themselves Christians. But those who are truly people of the Church, during these paschal days, all throughout this period, have experienced and continue to experience, by God’s mercy, that special, joyful sense which is the foretaste and prototype of eternal Joy in the kingdom of Christ.

    “It is the day of the Resurrection! Let us shine with splendor, O ye peoples! Pascha, the Pascha of the Lord! For from death to life and from earth to heaven…”

    Truly Christ Is Risen!

    Archbishop of Montreal & Canada

    Pascha of Christ, 2012

  • Additional photos from the clergy meeting in Toronto, March 2012

    14 April 2012

    We offer our readers an additional photo album from the clergy conference in Toronto, in March 2012.