On Saturday and Sunday, Nov 13-14, 2021, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon traveled to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery to welcome His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church. His Eminence visited Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary for the first time on this occasion.
Earlier, on November 11, His Beatitude had welcomed Metropolitan Hilarion at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary where His Eminence offered the keynote lecture for the “Searching the Scriptures” conference.
On Sunday, November 14 His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Monastery Church. Concelebrating with him were Metropolitan Hilarion, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor, Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, Igumen Nikodim, Dean of the Saint Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral and Secretary of the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes of the USA, Priest Mark Rashkov, Vice-Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes of the USA, Priest Alessandro Margheritino, Secretary, in addition to other priests and deacons from the Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary community.
His Beatitude delivered the homily where he spoke about our task to love God and neighbor above all and that in Jesus Christ we always have hope as we struggle in the way of the Cross. His Beatitude encouraged the faithful in their small day by day sacrifices that “every small sacrifice is received by the God who is love and desires nothing but love. And all these sacrifices are added to the one, great, and unrepeatable sacrifice of Christ.”
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude and His Eminence exchanged fraternal greetings. His Beatitude greeted His Eminence and affirmed the unity of the Russian and American churches as seen expressed in the great saints of both countries. In particular, His Beatitude said “In these sacred precincts, the monastery and the seminary, the holy men and women who have graced this land, the venerable monastics who labored here, the honorable faculty, and our wonderful seminarians and alumni have all sung and continue to sing the same song of true theology that the holy men and women sing in the vast expanse of the Russian Church.” His Beatitude closed his remarks by asking His Eminence to convey his greetings to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and presenting a gift.
In response, His Eminence conveyed the greetings and deep love of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill for His Beatitude and the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America. He conveyed his hopes for a trip of His Beatitude to Russia in the near future. Metropolitan Tikhon was, in fact, supposed to lead a delegation of the Orthodox Church in America this month to take part at the celebration for the 75th birthday of Patriarch Kirill. The festivities were, however, postponed because of the ongoing public health crisis.
Metropolitan Hilarion was warmly welcomed by the Saint Tikhon’s community. Following the Divine Liturgy, Abbot Sergius gave a tour of the monastery, the museum, and the bookstore to Metropolitan Hilarion and his delegation. His Beatitude and His Eminence, along with the other guests, were then hosted for a brunch before receiving a tour of the Seminary by its Dean, Archpriest John Parker.