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A delegation from the Orthodox Church in America, led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, visited Ukraine from June 1 to June 4, 2024. The delegation, which included Archpriest Alexander Rentel, OCA Chancellor, Archpriest Nazari Polataiko, and Deacon Vitaly Permiakov, aimed to show support and solidarity to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the entire people of Ukraine who are suffering now because of the unjust aggression of the Russian Federation.

Vigil at Chernivtsi Cathedral


On June 1, 2024 His Beatitude and the OCA delegation were welcomed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy of Kyiv and All Ukraine at the Cathedral of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Chernivtsi. Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the All-Night Vigil, in concelebration with Metropolitan Onufriy, the members of the Holy Synod of the UOC, other UOC hierarchs, the members of the OCA delegation, local diocesan clergy, and other visiting clergy.

After the reading of the Matins Gospel, Metropolitan Onufriy addressed the clergy and faithful, welcoming Metropolitan Tikhon. His Beatitude thanked Metropolitan Onufriy, the gathered clergy, and the people of Chernivtsi for their welcome and hospitality. He reiterated his “unyielding fraternal love and support for [His] Beatitude, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the entire Ukrainian people.” He then presented the local diocesan hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Meletiy, with an icon of All Saints of North America.

Read the full text of His Beatitude’s Speech at Chernivtsi

Liturgy at Bancheny Monastery

On June 2, 2024, Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America presided at the Divine Liturgy in the main cathedral of the Bancheny Monastery of the Ascension, during the 30th anniversary year of the monastery’s founding, in concelebration with the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  Also concelebrating were Metropolitan Serhiy of Ternopil and Kremenets; Metropolitan Feodor of Kamianets-Podilskyi and Horodok, Head of the Ecclesiastical Court of the UOC; Metropolitan Meletiy of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna, Head of the UOC Department for External Church Relations; Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, Chancellor of the UOC; Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn and Pryluky, Head of the Information and Education Department of the UOC; Metropolitan Longin of Bancheny, the Abbot of the monastery; Metropolitan Yevseviy of Shepetivka and Slavuta; Archbishop Veniamin of Khotyn; Archbishop Victor of Khmelnytskyi and Starokostiantyniv; Archbishop Sylvester of Bilohorodka, Rector of the Kyiv Theological Academy and Seminary; Bishop Lavr of Irpin; Bishop Mark of Borodianka; Bishop Silouan of Hertsa; Bishop Cleopa of Novoselytsia; Bishop Nykyta of Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyia; clergy of the monastery and the Chernivtsi and Bukovyna Diocese; the members of the OCA delegation; and other guest clergy.

The Divine Liturgy included prayers for peace in Ukraine in the ongoing war. During the Liturgy, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon ordained Subdeacon Serhiy Hubka to the holy diaconate. The choir sang beautifully in Church Slavonic, Romanian, and English.  Both the vigil at the cathedral in Chernivtsi the night before and the liturgy at Bancheny were attended by the multitudes of the Ukrainian Orthodox people, many of whom sought His Beatitude’s blessing as he was entering and leaving the church. 

After the liturgy, Metropolitan Onufriy addressed the congregation, expressing his gratitude for the fellowship in prayer and the support brought by Metropolitan Tikhon. Metropolitan Onufriy presented His Beatitude with a gift and asked God’s help and blessings in his ministry and life.

In response, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon reiterated his support for Metropolitan Onufriy, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and for the entire people of Ukraine. He praised the monastic community of Bancheny for its social outreach as “a demonstration of the perennial power of the Orthodox Christian faith.” In the same speech, while affirming the right and obligation of Ukraine to defend itself against aggression, he called upon the civil authorities to “respect religious freedom, due process, and the norms of international law.”

Read the full text of His Beatitude’s speech at Bancheny Monastery

Visit to Molnytsia Orphanage

On the same day, Metropolitan Tikhon, together with Metropolitan Onufriy, Metropolitan Longin, and other hierarchs, visited an orphanage in the village of Molnytsia which operates under the care of Bancheny Monastery and Boyany Convent. The primates toured the orphanage, met with staff, and learned about the daily lives and care the children receive. The children performed a short concert for the guests. Metropolitan Tikhon then visited the children suffering with disabilities and other serious illnesses where he heard about the medical treatment they receive.  At the end of his visit, His Beatitude was introduced to the children and some staff of an orphanage from the Donetsk region who found refuge at the Bancheny Monastery after the beginning of the war.

Meeting with the Holy Synod of the UOC

That same day at Bancheny Monastery, the Primate of the OCA and the OCA delegation met with Metropolitan Onufriy and the members of the Holy Synod of the UOC. The meeting focused on the development of the Orthodox mission in both Ukraine and North America, highlighting some positive developments, but also addressing the serious hardships that the UOC and the entire Ukrainian people currently undergo during this time of war. 

The members of the OCA delegation offered their impression of the charitable work of the Chernivtsi and Bukovyna Diocese. Metropolitan Tikhon also shared the results of charitable donations collected at OCA churches, the largest collection in OCA history, amounting to more than $750,000. This fundraising effort went to support the humanitarian efforts of ELEOS, working with Ukrainian refugees who fled to Poland in the wake of the Russian invasion.

Visit to Pochaiv Lavra and Other Monasteries

On Monday, June 3, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon performed an archpastoral visit to the Holy Dormition Pochaiv Lavra (Ternopil Oblast), one of the most renowned monasteries in the Orthodox world.  His Beatitude was accompanied by the members of the OCA delegation and the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Serhiy; Metropolitan Clement; Archbishop Iov of Shumsk, Rector of the Pochaiv Theological Seminary; Archbishop Sylvester; and Bishop Cleopa. 

The Primate of the OCA was solemnly greeted at the gates of the monastery by His Eminence Metropolitan Volodymyr, Abbot of the Monastery, the brotherhood and the students of the Pochaiv Theological Seminary.  His Beatitude presided at the solemn moleben before the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of God in the Dormition Cathedral of the Lavra.  At the end the moleben, Metropolitan Tikhon and Metropolitan Volodymyr exchanged the words of greeting.  In his words to the Pochaiv brotherhood, His Beatitude expressed his joy for making his pilgrimage to “one of the most famed monasteries in Christendom and one of the brightest beacons of Orthodoxy in the world, whose very name – Pochaiv – is synonymous with the steadfast confession of the Orthodox Christian faith.”  Following the moleben, Metropolitan Tikhon venerated the relics of Venerable Job (+1651) and Venerable Amphilochius (+1971) of Pochaiv, and visited the Holy Trinity and Transfiguration Cathedrals of the monastery. 

On his way back from Pochaiv to Chernivtsi, His Beatitude and the OCA delegation visited the Skete of the Holy Spirit near Pochaiv Lavra, the Theophany Convent in Kremenets, the diocesan Cathedral of Sts Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Love in Ternopil, and concluded the day with the archpastoral visitation of the Dormition Monastery in Kulivtsi, Bukovyna, where he was warmly welcomed by Archbishop Veniamin, the monastery’s abbot, and the local clergy. 

Visit to the Monasteries in Chernivtsi

On Tuesday, June 4, Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation were given a tour of the historic residence of the Metropolitans of Bukovina and Dalmatia, an architectural ensemble built in 1864-1882, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011.  Currently the buildings house the Chernivtsi National University. 

In the afternoon, His Beatitude visited the Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos “Horecha”, founded in 1712, closed in 1784 and revived only in 1995.  His Beatitude visited the historic church, built in 1767, and addressed words of greeting to the monastic brotherhood.  At the Boyany Convent, Metropolitan Tikhon was greeted by the children’s choir, who sang in Romanian and Slavonic, reflecting the rich diversity of Bukovynian culture.  At the monastery church, His Beatitude venerated the wonder-working “Boyanskaya” Icon of the Mother of God. 

Finally, Metropolitan Tikhon and the OCA delegation visited the Convent of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple in Chernivtsi, where he bid farewell to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, His Eminence Metropolitan Meletiy and other UOC hierarchs, expressing thanks for their warm hospitality and generous welcome.

In the evening of June 4, His Beatitude and the OCA delegation departed from Ukraine for Putna Monastery in Romania.