On Sunday, October 14, the major feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, Holy Protection Skete in Buena, NJ – once a Cossack church – celebrated its patronal feast day. This year, the patronal feast day celebrations were celebrated over two days, in order to give the clergy and pilgrims and opportunity to come to the skete and pray before the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon of the Mother of God which visited the skete for the feast day.
On Saturday morning, the Divine Liturgy was led by the rector of the skete, Abbot Tikhon (Gayfudinov), co-served by Archpriest Zoran Radovic (rector of St. George Serbian Church in Elizabeth, NJ), Deacon Dimitri Krenitsky (cleric of neighboring Holy Trinity Church in Vineland, NJ), and visiting clergy. After Divine Liturgy, Fr. Tikhon baptized a newly born infant in the presence of the myrrh-streaming icon.
On Sunday morning, on the very feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, Fr. Tikhon once again celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Priest Anatoly Revitskyy (cleric of the skete), Deacon Nathaniel Sorochka (cleric of St. John the Baptist Cathedral), and Fr. Dimitri Krenitsky.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, a procession was held around the church and the skete’s cemetery, where many Don Cossacks are interred. Returning to the church, Fr. Tikhon addressed the faithful with a sermon, in which he said:
"It is wonderful that such a great and magnificent celebration is taking place in our little church. And today’s joy is augmented. First, today is Sunday, when we remember the most glorious Resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ. Second, today the Church holds great festival in honor of the Protection of the Mother of God. Finally, the Mother of God herself, through her wonderworking, myrrh-streaming Hawaiian-Iveron Icon, has visited our habitation.
"Today we experience great joy, standing beside the Mother of God, rejoicing in her wondrous image, which she has chosen to stream myrrh, to work wonders, to bear healings, and through the miracles of which multitudes of Orthodox peoples have been united. This is the great joy, dear brothers and sisters, that the Mother of God has granted to us today. I would like to thank all of you who came today to pray in our monastery, to share with us in this great spiritual joy, to take in this Divine grace, plating it in your hearts and taking it home with you to share with your neighbors."
Afterward, Fr. Tikhon presented a set of chalice covers to the Hawaiian Icon’s guardian to take home to his parish in Hawaii. The day concluded with a festal luncheon in the skete’s refectory.
Buena, NJ: Hawaiian Icon visits Holy Protection Skete "Novaya Kuban" for Patronal Feast - 10/14/18
Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - P. Lukianov