On Saturday February 23 and Sunday February 24, 2013 His Grace Bishop Peter, ruling bishop of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, visited his parish in Ann Arbor, MI. On Saturday evening His Grace arrived at the St. Vladimir parish to the peal of the parish bells rung by the young ladies of the parish. Bishop Peter presided at the Vigil that evening. Also participating in the evening Divine Services were: Archpriest Andrei Alexiev, Archpriest Victor Trotskyy, Archpriest Gregory Joyce (Rector of the parish), Priest Michael Bondar, Protodeacon Alexander Kichikov, and the parish’s Deacon Zacharias Martinchek. The parish choir sang beautifully and prayerfully under the direction of Roman Vershynin. Following the Vigil a reception was held in Bishop Peter’s honor at the home of the parish’s Assistant Starosta, Konstantin Poplavsky. On Sunday morning Bishop Peter again arrived at the parish church to the sound of the parish bells rung by several of the parish’s young ladies. His Grace was met by the parish Starosta, Karl (Mercurius) Meyer with the traditional bread and salt. After having vested in the midst of the church, during the Hours Bishop Peter tonsured parishioner Dmitry Kashchenko a Reader for service in the St. Vladimir parish. Following the reading of the Gospel at the Divine Liturgy His Grace addressed the gathered faithful with an instructive sermon on the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and the importance to prepare oneself for the upcoming Great Lent. Participating in the Divine Liturgy in addition to His Grace were: Archpriest Roman Star, Archpriest Paul Waters, Archpriest Gregory Joyce, Priest Michael Bondar, Protodeacon Alexander Kichakov, and Deacon Zacharias Martinchek. The parish choir again sang magnificently under the direction of Roman Vershynin. Several hymns were alternatively sung by the parish’s youth choir. Following the Divine Liturgy at which more than 80 of the faithful partook of Holy Communion from two chalices, the parish’s St. Xenia Sisterhood provided a generous meal for all in attendance at which a free will offering was taken up to support the construction of the St. George parish in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the banquet Bishop Peter was presented with a hand-carved wooden cross with a matching stand suitable to be utilized for meetings of the Diocesan Council or other similar gatherings. This cross is a gift from the clergy of the diocese on the recent occasion of Bishop Peter’s name’s day, celebrated each year on the Sunday of the New Martyrs of Russia. After the presentation of the gift the gathered faithful sang many years to His Grace with great enthusiasm. After having addressed the faithful with thanks for the gift and for their efforts to welcome him warmly to their parish, as well as thanks to the gathered clergy who participated in the Divine Services, His Grace and those accompanying him departed the parish to the sounds of the parish’s bells. The faithful lingered long after the departure of their Archpastor, reflecting on the weekend’s activities and Divine Services, and preparing the parish church for the next round of Divine Services. On his return to Chicago, Bishop Peter stopped at the home of the parish’s founding Starosta, Milivoje Radulovic. Mr. Radulovic is unable to attend Divine Services as a rule due to his health, but warmly greeted His Grace and those with him and shared several stories surrounding the founding and early years of the parish, recalling fondly the parish’s first Rector, the reposed Archpriest Paul Karas, and others who were instrumental in the founding of the parish community. Bishop Peter and Mr. Radulovic also discussed the plans for the parish’s new church and social/educational center, for which the parish is presently gathering funds. Departing the Radulovic home, Bishop Peter returned to the Diocesan Cathedral in Des Plaines, IL.
Photos of Bishop Peter’s Visit
Videos of Bishop Peter’s Visit
Prospectus of the Planned Church and Social/Educational Center (English)
Prospectus of the Planned Church and Social/Educational Center (Russian)
Renderings of the Planned Church
Video Rendering of the Planned Church