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Fr. Peter Kurzenmek – Life of the Vancouver Parish

By Archpriest Peter Kurzemnek
(the Canadian Orthodox Calendar)

The year 1959 was marked with God’s special blessing for the Holy Resurrection Church and its caretaker the Russian Orthodox Society. The Council announced at the Annual Meeting that the mortgage taken out for building the new church, church hall and rectory had been paid off.

The new ROS Council elected for 1959 is as follows: E.Y.Fetisov – President, W.A.Mitchell – Vice President, I.A.Vishniakov – Secretary, A.Y.Adamovich – Treasurer, A.E.Portnov – Custodian. Other members of the Council are the rector and the warden, E.P.Rozvaliaev. The changes in the Council induced some parishioners to become members of the ROS, and 36 applications were accepted.

ROS members have been giving generously for interior decoration of the temple. The icon painter Nikolai Stepanovich Zadorozhny visited Vancouver, and the ROS hall hosted an exhibition of his icons. This helped speed up the business of commissioning from him new icons and a ceiling painting, which will be done as funds arrive from donors.

These welcome developments in the life of ROS were crowned by the great spiritual joy from the visits to our parish of our favourite hierarchs – His Beautitude Leonty, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, on 14-15 July 1959, and His Grace John, Bishop of San-Francisco, on 12-17 June 1959.

The Primate was visiting in Seattle, WA, and undertook the labour to visit our Vancouver flock. On July 14, the day of Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Vancouver, the Primate arrived in the company of Mitred Archpriest Fr. Paul Jeromsky, the rector of the St. Spiridon Church in Seattle, Archdeacon Fr. Paul Samoilovich of the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, and Archdeacon Fr. Nicholas Sanin. They arrived in Fr. Paul Jeromsky’s car and were greeted by the rector and the Presidium of the ROS Council.

After a brief rest in the rectory, the Most Rev. Vladyka proceeded with the clergy to the church, while the bell was tolling. In the anteroom Mr. Fetisoff, the ROS chairman, greeted him with a brief speech and the warden Mr. Rozvaliaeff presented him with bread and salt, while the choir sang ‘It is Truly Meet’. Inside the church he was greeted by the rector, who expressed the joy from the dear Primate’s visit on the 5th anniversary of his dedication of our temple, which had just been decorated with two new icons. He asked the Primate’s blessing for continuing to decorate the church with new icons.

The Most Rev. Vladyka celebrated a solemn moleben.

The ROS maintains a youth group, a school and a kindergarten, operating on Saturdays. Over 50 pupils are registered for the current year. Six instructors teach Divine Law, Russian and vocals.

Praise the Lord God for the giving of strength in weakness.

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