On Thursday evening, July 27, 2023 and Friday morning, July 28, 2023, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern American & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, visited the St. Vladimir parish in Ann Arbor, Michigan to preside at the Second Pascha of the parish. Archbishop Peter served at the ORPR Youth Camp on these days, as the temple which is at the center of the camp there is also named after the Great Prince Vladimir.
A very violent thunderstorm, with winds of 80 mph and above, swept through Ann Arbor on Wednesday, July 26. Many trees were toppled, and electricity was widely knocked out in the region. The St. Vladimir parish has a full building generator, but nonetheless, the Divine Services for the parish feast day were warm in all senses of that word, both literally and figuratively. The joy of having Metropolitan Nicholas lead the services, however, perished all thoughts of physical discomfort, as the parish family gathered to laud their heavenly protector.
In addition to Metropolitan Nicholas, the following clergymen participated in the Vigil on July 27:
Archpriest Gregory Joyce, St. Vladimir Parish
Archpriest Michael Carney, St. Herman Parish in Lake Odessa, Michigan
Priest Colin Bower, St. Vladimir Parish
Priest Jesse Rimshas, St. Jacob Mission, Marquette, Michigan
Protodeacon Alexander Petrovsky, St. George Parish, Cincinnati, Ohio
Deacon Matthew Kaminsky, St. Sergius Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio
Deacon Vladimir Pyrozhenko, St. Vladimir Parish
Deacon Dmitriy Kashchenko, St. Vladimir Parish
Deacon Dmitri Mihaliov, St. Vladimir Parish
Following the Vigil a meal was held for Metropolitan Nicholas, attended by the Parish Council, Parish Choir, and Parish Clergy.
Pictures of the Vigil can be found here: https://stvladimirchurch.smugmug.com/2023/Thursday-July-27-2023/
On Friday morning, Metropolitan Nicholas arrived to the pealing of the parish bells and was met by the Parish Starosta, Alexey Mitchell, as well as a group of the parish children, dressed in traditional costumes and bearing the tradition bread and salt.
Having been vested in the midst of the parish church, His Eminence led the Divine Liturgy in the temple overflowing beyond capacity. Most all those present partook of Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy from three chalices. Following the reading of the Thanksgiving Prayers Metropolitan Nicholas led the cross procession around the church, blessing the church with water which had been sanctified before the meeting of the Metropolitan that morning.
In addition to the clergymen listed above, these clergy participated in the Liturgy on July 28:
Priest Mikhail Volzhanskii, Dormition Cathedral, Ferndale, Michigan
Priest Micah Chisholm, St. Sebasitan Parish, Traverse City, Michigan
Deacon Ioann Feloniuk, Dormition Cathedral, Ferndale, Michigan
After the procession and the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy Metropolitan Nicholas greeted the gathered clergy and parishioners, thanking Archbishop Peter for the opportunity to serve in Ann Arbor. His Eminence then presented Fr. Gregory Joyce a ROCOR Centenary Jeweled Cross. Fr. Gregory, on behalf of the St. Vladimir parish, presented Metropolitan Nicholas a copy of the icon of St. Mardarije of Libertyville, painted by Protodeacon Paul Drozdowski. The icon depicts St. Mardarije, who went to his Heavenly Reward while in Ann Arbor seeking treatment for Tuberculosis at the University of Michigan Hospital, working in his study. With Archbishop Peter’s blessing St. Mardarije is the patron saint of the parish’s Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy.
Pictures of the Divine Liturgy can be found here: https://stvladimirchurch.smugmug.com/2023/Friday-July-28-2023/
A meal was offered to the many faithful gathered at the only parish in Michigan named after St. Vladimir under the beautiful Michigan sky, the parish having erected a large tent for the occasion.
Following the meal Metropolitan Nicholas was given a tour of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy building which is under construction and slated to be completed by the beginning of the school year on September 1/14, 2023.
Pictures of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy can be found here: https://stvladimirchurch.smugmug.com/2023/A2OCA-Tour-Friday-July-28-2023/
The web site of the Ann Arbor Orthodox Classical Academy can be found here: https://www.a2oca.org/