In conjunction with his visit to Moscow during the first week of December 2017, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the Divine Liturgy at the Orthodox Church in America’s Representation Church of Saint Catherine in Moscow on Thursday, December 7.
Concelebrating with Metropolitan Tikhon were His Grace, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA; His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa; Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations; Archpriest Nikolai Krechetov, District Dean; Archimandrite Theoktistos [Dimitrov], Representative of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to the Patriarchate; Archimandrite Seraphim [Shemyatovsky], Representative of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia to the Patriarchate; Archpriest Daniel Andrejuk, Rector of Saint Tikhon of Moscow Church, Anchorage, AK; clergy members of the OCA delegation; Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak; the clergy of Saint Catherine Church; and clergy from neighboring parishes.
The diplomatic corps was well represented by His Excellency, John R. Kur, Ambassador of Canada to Russia; Her Excellency, Mrs. Norma Bertha Pensado Moreno, Ambassador of Mexico in Russia; Christopher T. Robinson, Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Embassy of the United States of America in the Russian Federation; and Stefan Gabenom, Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of Canada in Russia.
On the eve of the feast, Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Daniel and the OCA delegation participated in the festal Vigil service.
After the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon warmly welcomed the concelebrating clergy, the diplomatic corps, and the faithful who filled the church beyond capacity. He also expressed deep gratitude to His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who had invited him, along with the other Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches, to participate in celebrations marking the 100th Anniversary of the Enthronement of Saint Tikhon as Patriarch of Moscow and the Restoration of the Patriarchate in 1917. [See related story.]
Metropolitan Tikhon noted that the OCA Representation Church of Saint Catherine has, for many years, been a center of pastoral care for English-speaking Orthodox Christians in Moscow and beyond and evidence of the close fraternal relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church in America.
It was 25 years ago, in early 1992, that Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak was appointed to serve as the OCA’s first Representative to the Moscow Patriarchate. [See related story.] Father Daniel initially celebrated English-language services in the bell tower Church of Saint Symeon the Stylite at Moscow’s Danilov Monastery while a suitable church for the OCA’s use could be identified. Two years later, Saint Catherine Church—formally known as the Church of the Great Martyr Catherine In-The-Fields—was selected as the site of the OCA’s Representation Church due to its location and size. During communist times, the church was used for secular purposes and has since undergone extensive renovations, especially in its interior. On the feast of Saint Catherine in 1994, the first prayer service in the church in over 60 years was celebrated jointly by His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksy II and His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, now retired. Father Daniel Hubiak, now retired, was appointed the parish’s Rector and served with distinction for many years.
Metropolitan Tikhon went on to introduce Father Daniel Andrejuk as the OCA’s new Representative to the Patriarchate and Rector of Saint Catherine Church. Father Daniel was appointed to the position by Metropolitan Tikhon and the Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA. Born on January 11, 1976 in Bialystok, Poland, Father Daniel at the age of 12 relocated with his family to the US. After graduating from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA in 1999, he continued theological studies at the Moscow Theological Academy, Sergiev Posad, Russia, graduating in 2002. He was ordained to the diaconate at Saint Catherine Church on June 9, 2002 and to the priesthood at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, on August 15 of the same year. For several years, Father Daniel has served as Rector of Saint TIkhon of Moscow Church, Anchorage, AK. He and his wife, Matushka Vera, and their three daughters Paraskeva, Ephimia and Fevronia, will relocate to Moscow during the last week of January 2018.
An official reception in honor of the visit of Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation followed the Divine Liturgy.