On the weekend of June 14-15, Bishop THOMAS visited the Church of Holy Spirit in Huntington, West Virginia, to celebrate the parish’s patron feast of Pentecost. The weekend began with the celebration of the Soul Saturday Divine Liturgy. Following the service, Sayedna met with parishioners over brunch. During the evening, following Great Vespers, the Parish Council hosted the bishop at Rocco’s Ristorante.
At the end of Matins on Pentecost Sunday, those attending had the joy of seeing seminarian Symeon Kees ordained as subdeacon. Subdeacon Symeon is a third-year seminarian at St. Tikhon’s. His mother and fiancée were also in attendance. After the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, the parish hosted its annual Pentecost cookout, after which they returned to the church for the Kneeling Vespers of Pentecost.
Although Sayedna was not able to stay and celebrate the Monday of the Holy Spirit, Fr. John Dixon concelebrated the Liturgy with Fr. Mark Elliott of St. George Greek Orthodox Church of Huntington and Hieromonk Alexander of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross Monastery (ROCOR) of Wayne. Although the Orthodox parishes of West Virginia have had a wonderful relationship with the monastery, this marks the first time that permission was granted to concelebrate together since the reunification of the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR. It was a joyful and historic event.