On Monday the 8th and Tuesday the 9th of August, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse paid an archpastoral visit to St. Panteleimon Church in Hartford, CT, where he officiated the parish’s patronal feast day.
Serving alongside His Grace at the All-Night Vigil on Monday evening were Archpriest Dionisy Nalitov (parish rector) and Hierodeacon Paisios (Levakov; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY).
The following morning, prior to the start of Liturgy, Fr. Dionisy served a moleben with the blessing of water. His Grace was then greeted with bread and salt by parish warden Sergey Protsenko. In his greeting on behalf of all of the parishioners and worshippers, the warden thanked Bishop Luke for his ceaseless prayerful support and remembrance.
His Grace celebrated Divine Liturgy; joining the above-mentioned clergy were Archpriest Dimitri Jakimowicz (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Stratford, CT) and Deacon Michael Pavuk (cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY).
The choir sang the divine services under the direction of Reader John Nalitov. Despite their being on workdays, many worshippers came to Vigil and Liturgy. In addition to parishioners, in attendance were those from other parishes and worshippers from New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Many communed of Christ’s Holy Mysteries.
Upon completion of Liturgy, a moleben was served before and icon containing relics of the Great-Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, followed by a procession around the church.
In his sermon, Bishop Luke noted the necessity for Christians not only to hope in the Lord, but to actively attend to their salvation. Toward this end, His Grace advised, on the basis of the spiritual needs of each, to put together a plan to correct one’s life and begin working on oneself without delay.
After the service, all of the faithful were invited to a luncheon, organized by the church sisterhood on the occasion of the parish feast. At the bountiful outdoor luncheon on the church grounds, parishioners were able to interact with the hierarch and the monks, and to receive spiritual consolation by their conversations with the clergy.