Archpriest John Prokopiuk (Rector) of Nativity of the Virgin Parish in Jackson NJ greeted Archbishop Michael on Tuesday evening 20 September and Wednesday 21 September 2016 to celebrate the parish patronal feast-day. On Tuesday evening the church was filled with the faithful of the parish and friends from the neighboring Saint Vladimir’s Memorial Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR). Following the evening Vigil service, everyone proceeded to the parish hall for a festive dinner and musical offerings by the church choir.
The Tuesday evening Vigil service was celebrated by His Eminence, the parish rector and: Archpriest Joseph Lickwar (Diocesan Chancellor), Archpriest Samuel Kedala (retired), Proto-Deacon John Morvay (parish deacon), and Proto-Deacon John Suchernick.
On Wednesday, the Patronal Feast-Day of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin, Archbishop Michael was greeted with the traditional offering of bread and salt by parish trustee Joseph Chvasta. The blessing Cross was presented by the rector for veneration before His Eminence entered the church for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Concelebrants were: Archpriest John Prokopiuk, Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Archpriest Samuel Kedela, Archpriest Gary Breton (NJ Deanery, Dean), Archpriest Sergius Kuharsky (retired), Priest Serge Lidkovsky (ROCOR), Proto-Deacon John Morvay, Protodeacon John Suchernick, and Reader Alex Golubov.
At the conclusion of the Hierarchical Liturgy, a Molieben (service of thanksgiving) was celebrated, followed by a procession and Panikhida (memorial service) at the grave of the ever-memorable Archbishop Gregory, former Bishop of Sitka and Alaska. All in attendance proceeded to the parish home for lunch prepared by Matushka Ludmila Prokopiuk and the Sisterhood of the parish.
“We, the faithful of the Nativity of the Virgin Parish, were blessed to have His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, visit our community and spend time with our faithful,” said Proto-Deacon John Morvay. “This was truly a day that the Lord has made and we were blessed to celebrate this feast-day with faithful from the parish of Saint Vladimir’s Memorial Church, located less than a half-mile away.”