The Monks are thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most-Holy Mother and Saint Dionysios the Areopagite… for allowing our Brotherhood to have a sense of belonging, permanence, and hope for the future here in this place.
On Tuesday, October 3/16, 2018, we were all blessed to take part in the first feast day of St. Dionysios the Areopagite to be celebrated at the newly acquired property of the ROCOR Brotherhood of Saint Dionysios the Areopagite in Saint James, Long Island, New York.
After serving Vigil the night before, and making preparations together with the lay community, the monks and people eagerly awaited the arrival of the two Bishops and also of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God, brought by His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan. In the morning, Bishop Nicholas served Proskomede, while the Abbot, Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar), and the rest of the brotherhood awaited the arrival of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of Russian Church Abroad.
The Brotherhood was blessed by the presence and help of our close, longtime friend, Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine of the parish of Pokrov Saint Sergius in Glen Cove, NY, concelebrating at the Altar.
The Glen Cove parish is like a home away from home for the monks and provides many occasions for mutual fellowship, especially now that our feast days are only two days apart (Protection of the Theotokos on Oct 1/14, and St. Dionysios on Oct 3/16). Together with them, and with the clergy and people at the ROCOR Synod Cathedral, St. Sergius Mission at Synod, St. Seraphim’s in Sea Cliff, NY, and many other New York Orthodox of different jurisdictions, the brotherhood is surrounded by a host of long-lasting friends.
During the homily, Metropolitan Hilarion drew special attention to the Apostolic reading about St. Dionysios the Areopagite (Acts 17), noting how Saint Paul was speaking to the Athenians about the Unknown God and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and yet many of them replied with dismissiveness; but Dionysios, together with Damaris and certain others, did not mock or scoff, but said, “I want to know more,” and listened and believed.
After the Homily, a great blessing followed, namely, the ordination to the Holy Diaconate of Monk Vasilios (Willard), now Hierodeacon Vasilios, whose family are natives of Smithtown, and who grew up in the area of the new Monastery. He was led around the altar by Hierodeacons Michael and Parthenios, and received a warm “Axios!”
Heartfelt toasts were offered during the festal meal, among them that of Fr. Alexandre Antchoutine, who compared the recent experience of the Brotherhood of Saint Dionysios to the larger ROCOR experience of “always living with your bags packed, but now being established in your own place.” Hieromonk Silouan, Archimandrite John, and Hieromonk Zosimas, in turn, toasted and offered thanks to the overarching Providence of God in the history of the forming and sustaining of our Brotherhood, and particularly our thanks to God for Archimandrite Maximos’ patience, discernment and guidance and the help of Metropolitan Hilarion to establish us in this new home.
In short, the Monks are thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most-Holy Mother and Saint Dionysios the Areopagite, the beloved Hierarchs of the Russian Church Abroad and her clergy, and all our Orthodox brethren, for allowing our Brotherhood to have a sense of belonging, permanence, and hope for the future here in this place.
In honor of this new home, Saint James, New York, the Abbot and Brotherhood presented Metropolitan Hilarion with a small silver censer from Compostela, Spain, on whose stand are depicted the icon of the Apostle Saint James, and on whose base is the image of a Seashell, in memory of Saint James.
Another special thanks is offered to His Grace, Bishop Nicholas, whose decision to leave the Kursk-Root Icon with the monks overnight made possible our visitation of our fellow monk, Fr. Cornelius, who has been bedridden at the local Rehab Center after a month-long stay in the hospital.
We pray that our community of monks at the Monastery of Saint Dionysios in Saint James, NY may continue to contribute to the work of Christ and His Church, and to the growth of monasticism in our land. We sincerely thank all the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and laypeople who have made this Feast and this Monastery possible.