The “St Demetrius the New” Monastery in Middletown, the state of New York, celebrated in advance its patronal feast on Saturday. Romanians from five American states participated: from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut și Virginia.
His Eminence Nicholas of Manhattan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Eastern American Diocese (ROCOR), brought the wonder-working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God to the feast.
The hierarch officiated the Divine Liturgy with His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae of the Two Americas. Ten clerics joined in the office.
Metropolitan Nicolae spoke of St. Demetrius the New’s life:
“Saint Demetrius shows us that a simple, hidden life vouchsafed for him eternity. A life that he dedicated to God vouchsafed for him eternity and veneration by generation after generation of Christians. If we would take note of these words and would strive to find an answer, we will certainly be at peace spiritually and we will find the answers to all the other questions: Where is the world going? What is happening with us and our families? We will not find an answer to these questions if we don’t first find an answer to the first one: Do we value more our soul or the world? This is the first and most important question that every Christian should pose to himself or herself.”
After the liturgy, the guest hierarch spoke of the history and wonders of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. He offered the monastery an icon of the Russian 20th Century Newmartyrs. Metropolitan Nicolae offered in exchange an icon of the hierarch’s patron saint painted in Russia.
The monastery’s brotherhood granted to His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas and to His Grace Nicholas of Manhattan each an icon, hand-painted in Romania, of the Mother of God, “Sweet-Kiss.”
The liturgy was followed by the Memorial service for the founders of the monastery and all the departed.
The feast ended with a communal agape meal, donated by faithful Christians devoted to the monastery. During the meal, there was also a short artistic program sustained by Ana Constantin (violin), Ioana Geba (electric keyboard), the youth from ROYA, and the chanters from the Romanian parishes in New York and New Jersey.
Protosyncellus Ieremia Berbec, the abbot, thanked all those who contributed to the event and declared: “This pan-Orthodox feast day revealed the true spirit of brotherhood and synergy in Christ’s Church, as His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae noted at the end”.
“St. Demetrius the New” Monastery is 16 kilometres away from Middletown, in the state of New York.
It was built on a plot offered by Romania-born Dumitru Minciu and with a substantial donation from Archimandrite Vasile Vasilache from “St. Nicholas” Church in New York. Gheorghe and Paraschiva Papa joined later the founders’ list. The church was consecrated on June 5, 2011, and the painting was blessed on October 23, 2016.
In the beginning, in 2006, the monastic community was led for a short time by Archimandrite Clement Haralam, the actual Dean of the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharesti, which keeps the holy relics of St. Demetrius the New.
Photo credit: “St. Demetrius the New” Monastery