On December 8, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon and members of the delegation of the Orthodox Church in America were met at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity of the Laura of St Alexander Nevsky by its abbot, Bishop Nazary of Kronstadt.
The delegation accompanying His Beatitude Tikhon includes Bishop Alexander of Toledo; archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America; Protopresbyter Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of the Office of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations of the Orthodox Church in America; archpriest Eric Tosi, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America; archpriest Nazary Polataiko, Secretary of the Archdiocese of Canada; protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary of the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America; Ms. Melanie Ringa, Treasurer of the Orthodox Church in America; and Mr. Roman Ostash, Assistant to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
The high guest is also accompanied by Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, administrator of the Patriarchal parishes in the USA; Archimandrite Alexander (Pihach), rector of the Moscow Metochion of the Orthodox Church in America – the Church of the Holy Great Martyr Catherine In-the-Fields; deacon Kirill Dotsenko, a cleric of the Church of St Catherine In-the-Fields; and Mr. Dmitry Petrovsky, a staff member of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Greeting the guests, Bishop Nazary of Kronstadt noted that last year the oldest monastery in St. Petersburg celebrated the 300th anniversary of its foundation. To commemorate that date, panagias with the Neva Icon of the Mother of God called “Quick to Hearken” were made. Bishop Nazary presented the panagias to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada and Bishop Alexander of Toledo.
His Beatitude Tikhon emphasized that it was very important for the members of the delegation of the Orthodox Church in America to visit holy sites and venerate shrines which are sources of grace and inspiration. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon presented the abbot of the Laura of St Alexander Nevsky with icons and particles of the holy relics of St Herman of Alaska and the Holy Hieromartyr Juvenal.
The members of the delegation of the Orthodox Church in America venerated the shrines of the Laura, visited the Church of St Seraphim of Vyritsa, the above-the-gate Church of the ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ Icon of the Mother of God, and prayed at the tomb of the writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
The guests will stay at St. Petersburg until December 10. They will also visit St Isaac’s Cathedral, the Church of the Resurrection of Christ “On Spilled Blood,” and other holy sites of the city.