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1970-1979

Seventies

Archbishop Sylvester with the Parish, 1972

In 1970 Fr. Oleg requested a transfer. Archbishop Sylvester came to look into the matter. Bishop Joasaph of Edmonton accepted the post of acting Rector and arrived on March 7. In June, the appointment of Vladyka Joasaph became permanent, while he remained the Auxiliary Bishop for Western Canada. Fr. Peter Kurzemnek retired, returned to Vancouver and served again at times at Holy Resurrection Church.

The agreement on autocephaly for the Metropolia was signed in New York on March 31, and the tomos was received in Moscow in May. In October the 14th All-American Council proclaimed the autocephaly of “The Orthodox Church in America (OCA)”. Much work was required to explain to the flock the status of the OCA and its relations with the Moscow Patriarchate. St. Herman of Alaska was canonized on Aug. 9 – the first Orthodox Saint to be canonized in North America. Bishop Joasaph and several parishioners traveled to Alaska to take part in the celebrations.

Influenced by the personality and service of Bishop Joasaph, more people came to church, and several outsiders converted to Orthodoxy, including Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hartley. In 1972 archpriest John Karateyev retired to Vancouver and often served with Bishop Joasaph. He helped establish the Annunciation Orthodox Community in Victoria. Bishop Joasaph visited the mission many times.

In 1973 Mrs. Maria Kolbowicz started teaching Divine Law. Dr. Hartley exhibited the icons he had painted. In December he represented the parish at the All-American Assembly in Pittsburgh. In the summer of 1974 newly ordained deacon Andrew Somow was transferred by the Federal Government to Vancouver and appointed to Holy Resurrection Church in August.

The 50-th anniversary of our parish was celebrated solemnly on September 29, 1974. The Pontifical Liturgy was led by His Beatitude Ireney, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, and concelebrated by His Grace Joasaph, bishop of Edmonton, mitred archpriests Peter Kurzemnek and Paul Zheromsky, archpriest John Karateyev, priest Michael Dodor (Serb), archdeacon Timothy Kovalenko, deacons Andrew Somow and Gleb Jensen. It was followed by a procession around the church. Many parishioners from the St Spiridon cathedral were present. The service was followed by a banquet in the upper hall. His Beatitude gave his greeting. His Grace Joasaph, Dr. Edward Hartley and others made speeches. Mrs. Irene A. Rozvaliaeff, President of the Russian Orthodox Society, presented in brief the history of the parish.

The chapel in Abbotsford was sold in November 1975 because it had fallen into disuse. The Russian Canadian Golden Age Society was formed for the purpose of building a retirement home. Fr. Hegumen Cyril (Bulashevich) of Juneau, Alaska expressed his wish to serve at Holy Resurrection Church. He arrived in May 1976 and was appointed second priest.

More English was introduced in the services, notably Gospel readings. Fr. Cyril published the parish bulletin and started religious education for adults. Mrs. T. Nikitina started the Russian school once again. The St. Vladimir seminary octet visited for first time in July. The Fifth All-American Council of the OCA was held in Montreal in October 1977; Bishop Theodosius (Lazor) was elected Primate of the OCA. Bishop Joasaph, Fr. Deacon Andrew and Mr. D. V. Mitianin attended.

Dr. Edward Hartley and other former parishioners of Holy Resurrection formed the mission parish of St. Nicholas in Langley. It was accepted in the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Bishop Joasaph fell asleep in the Lord on Oct.18, 1978 while on his way to visit his daughter. He was buried beside his wife at the St. Nicholas church where he had served for 38 years. Several parishioners traveled to Connecticut to attend the funeral. Priest-monk Panteleimon (Belko) substituted for the Rector for two months and was invited to serve as second priest. A year later a memorial plaque in honor of the late Bishop Joasaph was installed in our church.

In 1979 the Greek Orthodox Community of East Vancouver rented the upper hall for liturgical purposes. The contract was renewed on a 6-month basis until October 1985, when the Greeks moved into their new St. Dimitrios Church on Boundary Road.

The 55-th anniversary of our parish was celebrated in September; Bishop Sylvester attended. Famous theologians visited and gave lectures: Fr. Alexander Schmemann on March 15, Fr. John Meyendorff on November 17.