KURSK ICON OF THE THEOTOKOS AT LAKEWOOD

            The weekend of February 14-15 will be long remembered as a rewarding  celebration of the great feast of the Presentation of our Lord. This feast is really considered as a holiday of the Mother of God and it was so appropriate, therefore, for the icon of the Heavenly Mother to be present at the celebration, to the joy and inspiration of the parishioners and pilgrims. This date also coincided with the leaving of Bishop Gabriel to a new assignment as the ruling bishop of the diocese of Canada and Vladika came to this old parish to bid farewell to his flock and to be hosted by the parish.
            The all-night vigil and the divine liturgy were served by the bishop, assisted by three priests and two deacons, with the full choir providing the festive singing and many faithful filling the church.  Vladika spoke on the theme of the feast.
            A banquet at the main hall, graciously offered by the sisterhood, was a welcome opportunity for the participants of the feast-day to unite and meet friends. The rector, Father Valery, expressed the parish’s gratitude to the bishop for the past thirteen years of working and praying together and wished him a successful service in his new assignment. A memorable time-piece was presented to vladika as a token of appreciation. In his responding speech, the bishop thanked the parish for being a place, where he felt at home and reiterated that he was taking with him happy reminiscences of the past years.
            February of this year is seeing a series of joyful and uplifting events in the life of St. Alexander’s domain, for which may God be blessed.