Archpastoral Visit of Bishop Peter to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
On the weekend of August 7-8, 2010 His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland visited the northernmost parish of the diocese of Chicago & Mid-America: the church of Sts. Sergius & Herman of Valaam in Houghton, MI. Bishop Peter arrived in the twin cities of Houghton and Hancock on Saturday August 7 and presided over the evening Divine Services at the parish that day. On the morning of August 8 His Grace was greeted by the acting Rector of the parish, Priest Gregory Joyce, as well as Igumen Nestor, visiting from St. Petersburg, Russia. Deacon Alexander Kitchakov, a clergyman of the Protection Cathedral in Des Plaines, IL, also participated in the Divine Services and the parishioners are especially thankful to Fr. Alexander for coming, thus allowing a fully hierarchal service to be served in Houghton for the first time in several years. A “potluck” meal was offered after the Divine Liturgy for all in attendance.
As the parish is without a local priest at this time, following the meal Bishop Peter met with the Parish Council and discussed issues of importance to the parish, principally the need for a permanent Rector to be assigned to the parish. It is the hope of all the faithful of the parish as well as all those who support the parish from afar that a permanent Rector with zeal to bring new souls to the True Faith will soon be found to minister to this sincere and pious flock.
Bishop Peter’s visit greatly raised the spirits of the Sts. Sergius & Herman parishioners – we now ask the prayers of all who read this account that the Lord will swiftly send a pastor to the faithful of this beautiful area of the far north of Michigan. We have included here several photographs of the scenic beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula (on which the cities of Houghton and Hancock are located) for the interest and edification of our readers.