Bishop Peter Visit to St. Innocent Church, Wheaton, IL
At St. Innocent of Moscow Russian Orthodox Church in Wheaton, IL there is a corner of icons of saints and martyrs known for healing, including an icon of St. Luke of Simferopol. The rector of the parish, Priest Jeremiah Loch, commissioned the icon of St. Luke after learning of the life of the world-famous pioneering surgeon, tortured confessor, archbishop and miracle-worker. The saint is particularly venerated by Fr. Jeremiah who was former director of a fellowship program in regional anesthesia and is currently in active practice as a medical pain management specialist. What particularly inspired Fr. Jeremiah was that Saint Luke, while serving the Church as an archbishop, had also practiced as a surgeon and taught and published books and articles on regional anesthesia and surgery.
An oncologist and parishioner of St. Innocent’s parish recently discovered in a publication of the University of Illinois College of Medicine an article about Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Tatyana A. Voyno-Yasenetskaya, MD, PhD. The article contained a picture, not only of Dr. Voyno-Yasenetskaya, who is living in Chicago, but also of St. Luke, noting that Dr. Voyno-Yasenetskaya was born into an illustrious Russian family of famous scientists and physicians that spanned five generations. Among these family members were her mother, an endocrinologist, her father, a urological surgeon, and her great-grandfather, Valentin (St. Luke) identified as one of the most famous surgeons in the Soviet Union.
Fr. Jeremiah subsequently contacted Dr. Voyno-Yasenetskaya and on February 27th, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, St. Innocent of Moscow parish was visited by St. Luke’s great-grand-daughter and her mother. Not only did parishioners and visitors have an opportunity to learn more about the life of St. Luke, view his family’s photographs, and receive an icon card of St. Luke, but they also had an opportunity to have many questions answered by Bishop Peter who celebrated the hierarchal Divine Liturgy along with visiting clergy, Priest Victor Boldewskul of St. Sergius Church, Parma, OH and Fr. Deacon Julian Miloradovich of Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, Des Plaines, IL.
Over the preceding four weeks, in preparation for Vladyka Peter’s visit, parishioners were asked to submit questions concerning liturgical and pious practices in the Orthodox Church. Following Dr. Voyno-Yasenetskaya’s comments and question and answer session, Vladyka Peter spent an extended afternoon with parishioners answering all types of questions on liturgics, piety and contemporary concerns.
The day was marked also by the attendance at the events by leaders and several former members of the ROCOR camp who were in town for the St. Tatiana’s Day Ball held Friday night in Chicago.