23 July 2010

Last Sunday the parishioners of the church dedicated to the “Kazan” icon of the Mother of God (Rowdon, Quebec) once again gathered for the festivities in honour of the approaching parish feast.

Kazan icon of the Mother of God is one of the most venerated icons of the Most Holy Theotokos in Russia. The wondrous appearance of this icon to the citizens of Kazan took place on July 8 (July 21 new style) 1579, a quarter of a century after the conquest of the Kazan khanate by Ivan the Terrible (1552) and the soon after establishment of the archbishop’s cathedra in Kazan (1555). For the Russian Orthodox Christians this icon still embodies the idea of the prayerful protection and intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos for our Fatherland.

The parish feast celebration that gathers many visitors in Rowdon, one of the most beautiful places in Quebec, is already a tradition for the Canadian diocese. It was begun in 1982, after the building of the current church in place of the original wooden one, that was damaged by fire.

His Grace, Gabriel, Bishop of Montreal and Canada, along with Protopriest George Lagodich (sacristan of the St. Nicholas’ cathedral), protodeacon Vasili Milonow (Protection memorial church, Ottawa, Ontario), and deacon Boris Sidorenko (St. Nicholas’ cathedral) served the Divine Liturgy attended by many of the faithful. The choir sounded beautifully and evenly, directed this time by subdeacon Peter Pavlovich Paganuzzi.

The Consul General of the Russian Federation in Montreal, Alexei Victorovich Isakov with wife Ludmila Vasilievna, was present at the service among the faithful.

After the dismissal there was a cross procession. Before it, standing in the doors of the church, His Grace, Bishop Gabriel read and then bestowed Diocesan gramotas to two oldest Rowdon parishioners: Olga Matfeevna Zhihareva and Ekaterina Afanasievna Potemkina, both of whom worked a lot for the good of the church.

Then, having prayed, everyone enjoyed the traditional festive meal, wonderfully prepared, as usual, by the local sisterhood headed by Tatiana Konstantinovna Nesterova-Boye.

In his address during the meal, His Grace congratulated all the parishioners with the coming parish feast, thanking them for their fervour and participation in the life of the Church. Vladyka also thanked the Rowdon sisters for the meal.

The Consul General of Russian Federation also greeted everyone. He expressed his joy that he was able for the first time see the beauty of this place and thanked the organizers for the zealous preservation of the true Russian Orthodox spirit of such feasts that unite all Russian people, who came to live in Canada in different times.

We offer you a number of photos from the event.