Since the horrific murder of Brother Jose Munoz in 1997, it has been traditional for the parish of St. John the Baptist in Washington, DC to organize a pilgrimage to the monastery to commemorate this servant of God and his heroic feat of being caretaker of the Myrrh-Streaming icon of Iveron of Montreal.
This year, as well as other years, the pilgrims were joined by pilgrims from Brooklyn and also Connecticut as well as from many other areas in the northeast. A pannikhida was served as usual upon arrival and also after the liturgy on Sunday before departure. This year the pilgrimage was accompanied by the presence of the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Icon of Hawaii, an exact copy of the Montreal icon mentioned above.
Hundreds of people crowded the monastery cathedral both for the Vigil as well as the Divine Liturgy. During the Hours, Vladyka Luke, who presided at the services, first tonsured the seminarian, Jorge Luque, to the subdeaconate and then after the consecration of the Holy Gifts, ordained him to the deaconate. It is interesting to note that Fr. Jorge, who comes to us from Spain, has endured a severe temptation of overcoming severe illness. He and his wife, Stefanida, are very grateful to all of their family and friends for their prayers and support, to help him to obtain his goal to serve the Holy Church. Fr. Jorge, upon completion of his studies,will travel to Texas to serve a Spanish mission.