On Saturday, December 25, the St. Herman Youth Conference continued in St. Luke the Blessed Surgeon Church in Pompano Beach, FL. Early in the morning, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan celebrated Divine Liturgy for the feast of the Holy Hierarch Spyridon of Tremithus, co-served by local and visiting clergy. Singing at the service was a male choir under the direction of John Arlievsky.
After a light breakfast, conference participants heard a lecture by Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov (cleric of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ) on the topic of the relation of Psychotherapy & Orthodoxy. After additional workshop sessions, the youth took turns reading the Communion Rule.
In the evening, Bishop Nicholas officiated the All-Night Vigil in the presence of the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
On Sunday morning, December 26, the young people gathered early in the church to await the greeting of His Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal & Canada. Greeting the hierarch at the doors to the church was parish warden Alexis V. Lukianov.
Concelebrating with Archbishop Gabriel at Liturgy was Bishop Nicholas, as well as numerous clergy:
- Archpriest David Straut (rector of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ)
- Archpriest Alexis Duncan (rector of Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY)
- Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (acting dean of Florida)
- Abbot Arseny (Manko; rector of Sts. Cosmas & Damian Church in Passaic, NJ)
- Archpriest Nicholas Bargoot (rector of St. Panteleimon Church in Lantana, FL)
- Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov
- Protodeacon Peter Markevich (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY)
- Deacon Nicholas Lochmatow (cleric of Holy Protection Diocesan Cathedral in Des Plains, IL), and
- Deacon Anton Kousnetsov (cleric of Our Lady “Joy of All Who Sorrow” Church in Cumming, GA).
Leading the choir of conference participants was Protodeacon Serge Arlievsky (cleric of Holy Dormition Convent “Novo-Diveevo” in Nanuet, NY).
The church was filled with parishioners and local pilgrims who came to raise up their prayers before the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora – the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.
Before Holy Communion, Fr. Nicholas Bargoot delivered a sermon. Nearly all of the youth who confessed of their sins the previous night received Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, Archbishop Gabriel thanked all those attending St. Herman’s Conference, Bishop Nicholas for bringing the Kursk Root icon for the comfort of the faithful, and the parish for hosting the numerous youth during the past few days.
A traditional group photograph was taken, after which a delectable lenten banquet was held in the parish hall, which saw applause offered for the numerous volunteers who labored to ensure the first St Herman’s Conference held in the southern United States was memorable.
The conference concluded later that evening during a cruise through the Florida Intercoastal Waterway, sponsored by the Lukianov family.