Kursk, October 4, 2016
On Friday, September 30, 2016, the feast-day of SS Vera, Nadezhda, Lubov and their mother, Sophia, His Eminence Metropolitan German of Kursk and Rylsk of the Russian Orthodox Church and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Church celebrated Divine Liturgy at a church dedicated to the saints in a northwestern neighborhood of the city of Kursk in Russia.
The hierarchs were joined by Protopriest Andrei Ivanov, parish rector and Dean of the2nd Deanery of the diocese, Protopriest Vitaly Kireev, Rector of the Church of All Saints; Hieromonk Filipp (Sapronov) and clergymen of the Russian Church Abroad accompanying the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign" on its visit to the region.
The church was adorned for the holiday to meet the important pilgrimage; most of the worshipers partook of the Holy Gifts, among them many who were celebrating their namesday. After Liturgy, a procession of the cross and blessing of the cornerstone of a new church were performed.
Eleven years ago, the neighborhood hosted the first divine service to these saints. It appeared that the church could accommodate everyone, but now it has proven insufficiently spacious. By the blessing of Metropolitan German, it was decided to build another Orthodox church on the site.
The two bishops then consecrated the foundation stone together. Vladyka German then addressed the faithful with a sermon, congratulating them on their parish feast day and the blessing of a new foundation and expressed the wish that all in attendance would emulate the faith of SS Vera, Nadezhda, Liubov and their mother Sophia, whose lives were worthy examples of bearing one's cross. Metropolitan German then thanked Vladyka Nicholas for theri joint service.
Bishop Nicholas likewise congratulated all the parishioners on the feast day and on the consecration of a new cornerstone: "This is a great deed--the construction of a new church in your diocese--we all share your joy. I congratulate you all on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad."