Greetings to All with the ongoing feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross!
Having served the Divine Liturgy today in the Synodal St. Sergius chapel and beginning to attend to various matters in my office, I was informed of the bomb threat situation at our Holy Trinity Monastery. This caused me grief. I prayed before the wonderworking Icon ‘Joy of All Who Sorrow’ located in the St. Sergius chapel. I was later informed from his Grace Bishop Luke that all was well and the threat had been cleared. His Grace Bishop Luke, the monks, seminarians, and those residing at the monastery, giving thanks to Almighty God, returned to their assigned obediences and studies.
The first feast of the Church year is the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill in his sermon for the feast pointed out that Orthodox Christians begin the Church year with the blessing of the Mother of God and finish the Church year, also with the Mother of God, with the feast of Her Dormition.
On Friday evening, September 15, a concert entitled "Bells, Choirs & Resounding Virtuosity" was held at the Christ Episcopal Church in Cooperstown, NY, beginning the celebrations dedicated to the 75th anniversary of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY.
The monastery is blessed to have a relic from the head of St. John the Baptist, gifted to the brotherhood still in Slovakia.
On this day we celebrate the feast of the Uncovering of the Relics of St. Job of Pochaev in 1659. As noted before, due to the long Labor Day weekend, the monastery holds an All-People’s pilgrimage of our beloved saint. On this day, however, we also have an All-Nigh Vigil and hierarchal liturgy served in the basement church of St. Job.
From way back, it has been the tradition of the monastery to hold a special All-People’s Feast commemorating our Venerable and God-bearing Father Job of Pochaev, the heavenly protector of our publishing efforts and also the Pochaev Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, taking advantage of the long weekend.
This day, August 18/31, 2023, we celebrated the memory of the Holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus, the patron saints of two people who played a remarkable role in the life of the monastery and of the Church Abroad.
As was previously written, the Burial service of the Mother of God was served on the Apodosis of the feast of Transfiguration. On the feast itself, Vladyka served the polyleos during the Vigil and the Divine Liturgy on the feast day, along with the monastery clergy.
On the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, His Grace Bishop Luke served the Divine Liturgy together with the monastery clergy. After the Great Entrance, Vladyka ordained Deacon Paul Siewers to the priesthood. Fr. Paul serves in the mission in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and will be serving his 40 days in the monastery.
The murder of the Tsar of Russia Nicholas II and his family is a very dark day in the history of Russia. However, out of their deaths came great spiritual gains for not only Russia, but for all of the Orthodox world. They truly offered their lives for the future rebirth of Holy Russia and for the expiation of the sins of the people. As the years go by, more and more people, not only in Russia, but from all over the world, come to participate in the divine services in Ekaterinburg on this day.
The fast of the Apostles, or the fast of the Apostle Peter as it is sometimes called, is not only for preparing us for the feast celebrated on July 12, but also, in the wisdom of the Church, an opportunity to take advantage of the Christian virtues of prayer and fasting, after the long Paschal period. The Church, aware of our human weaknesses, realizes that we need a time of fasting to help us live a life of repentance and prayer.
The patronal Feast Day of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco was celebrated at St. John Mission in Lewisburg, PA, on Sunday July 2, with Bishop Luke of Syracuse presiding.
His Grace arrived for Vigil Saturday evening, and also served Divine Liturgy on Sunday.
With Bishop Luke were mission clergy, the Rector Father George Sharonoff, the founding Rector (retired) Hieromonk Claude Vineyard, and Deacon Paul Siewers. Holy Trinity seminarian and Reader John Keller assisted the Bishop along with mission altar servers.
On June 17-18, 2023, the Sunday of All Saints who have shone forth in the land of Russia, His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse, came from Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY to Saints Theodore Church in Buffalo, NY, where he led the celebrations in honor of one of the parish’s patron saints, Great Martyr Theodore Stratelates and the translation of his relics.
Over two years ago our Abbot Bishop Luke was struck by the aura of spiritual antiquity and holiness reflected in the artifact, a stone head of an early Hieromartyr Benigne of Dijion France. After extensive research he decided to attempt to obtain a relic of the Saint for the Monastery. Correspondence began with the Archbishop of Dijon, Monseigneur Roland Minnerath, with the assistance of a parishioner at our Synod Cathedral Dr. Joachim Pissarro. Finally our priest in France, Père Quentin de Castelbajac, was able to receive the relic in Dijion from the hands of Archbishop Roland. Eventually, several months later (as this was during the pandemic) he was able to pass it on to Dr. Pissarro who was on a lecture tour in France.
On his return to America Dr. Pissarro brought the holy relic to the Monastery. Much labor was needed to create an icon wherein to enshrine the relic. Because the image would be one of its kind an iconographer the postulant Gabriela from our convent of “Quick to Hear“ worked together with Bishop Luke for more than six months and with God’s help the icon was completed. Through the prayers of the Hieromartyr Benigne (Benignus) may the Lord
bless all those who contributed to a revival of the veneration of an early Western Orthodox Saint.
Copies of the icon are available from our icon mounting studio.
Pentecost is the patronal feast of the Holy Trinity Monastery. More exactly, Holy Spirit Day, the 2nd day of Pentecost is the patronal feast of the cathedral of the Holy Trinity. This feast traditionally Is celebrated in the monastery with great solemnity.
On May 13, 2023, His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery and Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville arrived in Australia to take part in the celebrations of the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Brisbane, Queensland.
On the Seventh Sunday of Pascha, in addition to the appointed celebration of the Commemoration of the 318 God-Bearing Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, Holy Trinity Seminary held its Commencement ceremony at the conclusion of the 75th academic year. The Divine Services for the weekend were celebrated by the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolian NICHOLAS, along with members of the monastery clergy and some distinguished alumni.
On May 16, 2022, the ever-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion of New York and Eastern America, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, from 2008 to 2022, reposed in the Lord. He was buried behind the monastery cathedral in the brotherhood cemetery.
Following ancient Jewish traditions of dividing the year into festal seasons and the feasts themselves into parts, the Orthodox Church commemorates the half-point way from the feast of Pascha to the feast of Pentecost, with the feast of Mid-Pentecost. It is an ancient tradition to bless holy water on this feast, which is done in the monastery at the old-fashioned water-well, which has recently been refurbished. At the end of the liturgy on this day, several of the monastery priests and deacons, accompanied by the choir and the faithful processed to the well to the ringing of bells, for the Lesser Blessing of Water.
On the feast of St George , Cyprian Fennema was ordained to the diaconate and on Sunday of the Paralytic he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Luke at Holy Trinity Monastery. Father Cyprian will be serving as a Chaplain for Hosparus Health in Louisville, KY; as a Chaplain for the Kentucky Army National Guard at the 103rd BSB in Harrodsburg, KY; and as a (on loan) priest for the Antiochian Archdiocese at St. Andrew parish in Lexington, KY. Jurisdictionally he will report directly to ROCOR's First Hierarch Metropolitan Nicholas.
Fr Cyprian is currently a lecturer in Patrology in the Certificate of Theological Studies program at Holy Trinity Seminary.
May God help the newly ordained Father Cyprian to work for the salvation of souls.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The issues below have become more critical with daily technological advances. The positions expressed are those of Holy Trinity Seminary and reflect the opinions of our late spiritual fathers such as Metropolitan Laurus and Archimandrite Kiprian.
+ Bishop Luke
Rector, Holy Trinity Seminary
Currently, reproductive biomedical technology, called "surrogate motherhood", is becoming increasingly widespread. Although this practice is permitted by law in several countries, it continues to cause heated discussions in society. The "Fundamentals of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church", adopted by the Jubilee Bishops' Council in 2000, assesses this phenomenon. However, a number of issues concerning the pastoral attitude to the consequences of "surrogacy" continues to be debatable. By this document, the Russian Orthodox Church gives church-practical instructions concerning the baptism of children born with the help of a "surrogate mother".
This year, the monastery celebrated a very warm Pascha in all senses of the meaning. The Lord gave us unusually warm temperatures. Many pilgrims arrived at the monastery in order to celebrate the Feast of Feasts with the brethren and the seminarians. The large bell begins to be rung as the choir sings the Canon of Holy Saturday during the Midnight Office. At the end of this, the shroud is brought back into the altar and placed on the Holy Table, where it will stay all during the Paschal season.
Holy Week in the monastery, as experienced by our many pilgrims, is a very special time of year. All of the many special services of Great Lent lead up to the commemoration of the Passion of the Lord. Liturgically, on Great and Holy Wednesday, there are changes in the typicon which express the unity of these days, leading up to the feast of our Lord’s Resurrection, Holy Pascha. Whereas the Psalter is read twice a week during Great Lent, and there are many Prayers of St. Ephraim, no more are these observed, neither is the Presanctified Liturgy celebrated, the last one being served on Great Wednesday.
On April 6, 2023, on the even of the feast of the Annunciation, Matushka Galina Tkaschow reposed in the Lord after a long illness. She was the matushka of Archpriest Nikolai Tkaschow, pastor of the Church of the Entrance of the Mother of God Into the Temple in Syracuse, New York.
The feast of the Annunciation is like a bright light in the dark solemnity of Great Lent. This year, it was two days before Palm Sunday, so we had the delight to celebrate two great feasts within a couple of days of each other, with the equally joyous feast of Lazarus Saturday in between.
To provide our clergy with the opportunity to better spiritually prepare for the great feast of Pascha, it has been a tradition to hold conferences during Great Lent. It was agreed that future conferences should be held annually in Holy Trinity Monastery/Seminary due to the conducive monastic atmosphere and especially the complete lenten services.
Having gathered in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, for the Lenten retreat and conference of clergy of the northern deaneries of the Eastern American Diocese, we, clergy and monastics, having bowed down in worship before the Cross, communed of the Holy Mysteries, and honored the memory of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, raised up our prayers for the flock entrusted to us. We prayed especially for our persecuted brothers and sisters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, led by His Beatitude Onuphry, Metropolitan of Kiev & All Ukraine.
Incredible as it might seem, fifteen years have gone by since the repose of our beloved archpastor and abbot, Metropolitan Laurus, on March 16.
As is commonly known among Orthodox Christians, of late the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been undergoing increasing persecution in Ukraine. And now it has been announced by the regime in Kiev, that the monks of the Kiev Caves Monastery, the holiest site of Orthodoxy in Ukraine, and the birthplace of Russian Orthodoxy, have to leave their home. The Church has announced that they do not recognize this as legal and intend to remain.
The First Week of Great Lent is a very special time of spiritual retreat for the brotherhood and seminarians at Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary. Although the monastery celebrates many feasts with great solemnity and observes the Church fasts strictly, the First Week is a very special time of year, when literally everything shuts down except for the most necessary activities.
This year, the patronal feast of the seminary was celebrated with special solemnity. This being the 75thanniversary of the seminary, it is only fitting that the seminary was able to mark this holy day in such a special way, for which we give thanks to our Lord.
This year, the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been as festive as usual, however without the snow that usually typifies Christmas in Jordanville