On Monday the 24th and Tuesday the 25th, on the feast day of St. Herman of Alaska, the St. Herman parish near Lake Odessa, MI celebrated its patronal feast day. On the eve of the feast, priest Michael Carney, the rector of the parish, and parish friend Deacon Alexander Petrovsky served the All-Night Vigil.
The next morning, parishioners were joined by other neighbors and friends. Rev. Fr. Gregory Joyce, the dean of Michigan parishes and rector of the St. Vladimir Parish in Ann Arbor, represented Bishop Peter. Fr. Gregory was assisted by Fr. Timothy Tadros, rector of the St. George parish in Michigan City, IN. Praying in the nave were guests from two neighboring states as well as regular parishioners of St. Herman’s. Many of those present communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries. In addition, everyone had the opportunity to venerate a portion of the holy relics of St. Herman, given to the parish by Archbishop Benjamin (Peterson) of the Orthodox Church in America.
In his homily, Fr. Gregory commented on St. Herman’s patient fulfillment of his monastic obedience as an example for us who live in the world with its unrecognized “obediences” of married and family life. St. Herman was also held up as a Christian who did not seek out conflict, but met conflict with courage and integrity when it was forced upon him. In this way also, he serves as an example and teacher to us on how to live in a society often at odds with Christianity.
At the Liturgy’s end, Fr. Michael greeted the clergy and other guests, thanking them for making an already joyous day even more festive by their presence. A festal trapeza was offered by the parish sisterhood in the parish hall.