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Archdeacon Kirill Ordained to Holy Priesthood - 04/28/17

On Bright Saturday, April 22, 2017, His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin ordained Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov to the Holy Priesthood at Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco, CA. The historic cathedral was filled with worshippers from the parish and the diocese, and beyond, for the Paschal Divine Liturgy. Concelebrants included: His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa; Archpriest Ian MacKinnon, Chancellor of the Diocese of the West; Archpriest John Takahashi, Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral; Archpriest Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary; Archpriest Peter Perekrestov, Dean of Holy Virgin Cathedral – Joy of All Who Sorrow, San Francisco; Archpriest Stephan Meholick; Archpriest George Gray; Archpriest Lawrence Margitich; Archpriest Vladimir Morozov; Priest Philip Halliwell; Priest Andrew Smith; Protodeacon George Golitzin, and Protodeacon Brendan Doss. Numerous priests and deacons were also praying in the temple.

In his address to the newly ordained Archpriest Kirill and his wife, Matushka Sophia, His Eminence spoke about the centrality of love for one’s flock in priestly service. His Eminence noted that Fr. Kirill is the second “native son” of the Cathedral to be ordained to the priesthood (the first having been Saint Sebastian of Jackson and San Francisco). Father Kirill was vested in the paschal vestments worn by his father, Archpriest Victor (Dean of Holy Trinity from 1991 until his repose in 2006), who had also been ordained on Bright Saturday.

Two Chapter Books for Orthodox "Tweeners" Released - 04/27/17

 “Queen Abigail the Wise” and “Vanessa the Wonder-worker” fill a gap in Orthodox fiction for children

Bookended by heavily illustrated readers for toddlers and serious tomes about dating for teens, the world of Orthodox children’s fiction hasn’t had much to offer tweens – young readers between 9-12. But a new series of chapter books from author/illustrator Grace Brooks, a parishioner at St. Paul Church in Las Vegas, promises to change that, engaging tween readers at an age when crucial long-term ties to the faith are formed.

The intersection between Church life and "real life" is fertile ground for adventure to the tween characters of the Every Tuesday Club. Thrown together at church once a week, the girls start as acquaintances, become friends and find themselves learning about their faith and themselves in ways that are engaging, thought-provoking and easy for young readers to relate to.

In addition to the two Every Tuesday Club books published, Brooks said at least two more are planned. The first two books in the series are “Queen Abigail the Wise” and “Vanessa the Wonder-worker”:


“Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” (Mark 16:6)


To the Reverend Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the West

Dearly beloved:

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

These words, so full of joy and hope, ring out as we celebrate once again the Mystery of the Passion and the Resurrection of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Annually, we face the long and arduous journey of Great Lent, struggling with our sins and passions, fasting to gain control over such things, repenting of those sins and trying to be mindful of the things of God instead of the usual, mundane trifles of our daily lives. Then we “seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.”

As with all the celebrations of the Church, we do not gather to simply remember events. We gather to mystically enter into those events. So before we experience the full joy of the Resurrection, we enter into Jerusalem with Jesus, spreading the garments of our souls before Him as He receives the shouts of “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” We then travel back and forth to Bethany with Him as He slowly but surely moves towards the Passion. We hear the condemnations of the Pharisees. We hear the parables of the Kingdom. We close the door to the upper room and witness the First (and Last) Supper, marveling that He chooses to feed us with Himself. We hear the various Gospel narratives of Gethsemane, the arrest, the trial, and finally the execution order. We stand at the foot of the Cross with John and the women. We help Joseph and Nicodemus carefully bury the Body of the Lord. And we descend into Sheol with Him as He shatters the gates of hell itself in that “active repose” of the Blessed Sabbath. Finally, we come to the empty tomb to witness the Resurrection of the Lord. We enter into it all.



St Peter Monastery is under construction in Montana.

We have 2 work weeks scheduled this summer with monks from St John Monastery in Manton and St. Herman Monastery in Platina. The first is focused on 14-22 year olds, with leaders.

The second is for adults and chaparoned older kids.


Sign up now.  May it be blessed!

(Submitted by Fr David Morrison, St Anthony Orthodox Church, Bozeman, MT)

Orthodox LIFE School - UPDATED - 03/28/17

This summer a unique summer discipleship week long program will be offered at the monastery of St John of San Francisco in Manton, California. The program is called “Orthodox LIFE School” and it targets young men and women from 18-30 years. The school will be led by Fr. Innocent (Green), superior at the monastery, and assisted by Fr. Andreas Blom and Fr. Theodor Svane.

"Life in Christ is an exciting adventure," says Fr. Andreas. “As Christians, we never have a reason to be bored! It has been on our hearts to offer a program for young Orthodox Christians, which will challenge and equip them to follow Christ in today’s world. We have certainly seen a need for this, and young adults in our parishes have been asking for it.”

Pilgrimage-Conference Cruise to Alaska - 03/16/17

With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West and the support of His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska, a pilgrimage cruise and conference-at-sea will be held September 2-9, 2017.

A flyer and detailed information, including speakers and topics, costs, etc., are available on-line.

Sailing from Seattle to explore Juneau, Sitka, Glacier Bay, and other sites on the Holland America Eurodam, participants will attend a wide variety of daily lectures, services and workshops.  Bishop David will host the pilgrims in Sitka, and the lecturers will include Archpriest Michael Oleksa, a recognized authority on Alaskan history and spirituality, and Archpriest Laurent Cleenewerck, Rector of Saint Innocent Church, Eureka, CA, who will lecture on “Spirit, Soul and Body.”

Registrations should be made as soon as possible as only 27 of the 50 spots needed to complete the group have already been filled.


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