This year, the monastery’s celebration of its altar feast day of the Holy Spirit was especially solemn, in large part due to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk to the deaconate. His family organized a reception in his honor after the feast day luncheon. This drew even more than the usual number of pilgrims, especially from Albany and Boston, where Father has many relatives.
Over 30 priests and perhaps around 10 deacons greeted Archbishop Gabriel, who along with Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan joined our own Bishop Luke in concelebrating the Divine Liturgy. The church again was filled with hundreds of pilgrims. The sining of the choir was superb under the direction of the monastery choir director, Deacon Nicholas Kotar.
Through the blessing of God, the weather allowed for the traditional Procession of the Cross with the singing of the hymns for the Moleben at the end of the Liturgy.
Immediately at the end of Liturgy, there followed the usual trapeza, at the end of which was served a festive reception in the Seminary Hall in honor of Fr. Joseph. His family and friends and fellow clergymen, including all three bishops joined in partaking of both savory and sweet treats, prepared by Tassia and Maria Federov and other friends and family members. While people were enjoying the treats, photographs showing different events in the life of Fr. Joseph were shown on screen. Congratulations were also relayed by the administration of the Russian Scouts, an organization which Fr. Joseph spent many years supporting. Fr. Joseph himself spoke to all those gathered, thanking them for their love and gratitude and asked all those present to continue to support our youth, in Russian cultural activities but most importantly, in keeping them in our holy faith.
We thank God for yet one more year of celebrating our feast day, and we give our praise and gratitude to the Most Holy Trinity, in Whose honor our monastery was built and under Whose protection we are guided.