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Dome Icons Blessed in SF - 09/11/18

On Sunday, September 9 2018, with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, the clergy and faithful of Holy Trinity Cathedral celebrated the blessing of the newly completed iconography now adorning the interior of the cathedral dome. We were honored by the presence of Iconographer Dmitri Shkolnik who painted the icons of Christ the High Priest, His Holy Mother, the Forerunner, and the Bodiless Powers of Heaven. Archpriest Kirill Sokolov, Dean, served the rite of blessing holy icons assisted by Protodeacon Brendan Doss. Archpriest James Jorgenson preached the homily at the Divine Liturgy.

Challenge grant: An anonymous donor will generously match gifts in support of this iconography project, up to a total of $20,000. For every pledge made to Holy Trinity for this beautification project, your gift will be doubled! To make your gift or for further information, please contact Fr. Kirill Sokolov,, 1520 Green St., San Francisco CA 94123.

The new icons were prayerfully commissioned in honor of Holy Trinity Cathedral's sesquicentennial anniversary which also marks the foundation of the American Mission south of Alaska. The festive Divine Liturgy and luncheon commemorating this jubilee will be held Saturday, October 20, 2018. More information can be found at  If you would like an invitation to the festive luncheon, please write to Fr. Kirill and include your postal mailing address.

A photograph gallery from the blessing of the icons is available here:

A Special Visitor in Menlo Park - 09/07/18

The Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church in Menlo Park had a VIP visitor on Sunday, August 26th! Igumen Arseny (Sokolov), the representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus’ to the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East traveled all the way from the Moscow Representation church in Damascus, where he is rector, to visit friends who happen to be parishioners of Menlo Park.

Priest Andrew Smith received a surprise call from Bishop Daniel on Saturday morning (Archbishop Benjamin was still in Poland at the time), informing him of the planned visit. To make matters even more interesting, Igumen Arseny and Vladyka Daniel were already acquaintances from their participation in the World Summit in Defence of Persecuted Christians in Washington DC, 2017 ( Owing to Vladyka DANIEL’s roots and Igumen Arseny’s 13 years of living and serving in Lisbon, they converse in Portuguese!

REFLECTION - Labor Day - 09/03/18

by Father John Dresko

Annually, our country pauses to honor and remember, at least officially, workers in our country on Labor Day. It is important to reflect on the words of Saint Paul from his first letter to the Corinthians regarding a labor dispute in the early Church. In that reading (1 Cor. 9:2-12), Saint Paul talks about the rights of the apostles to make their living from the Church because they have worked so hard in the Church. Now I know that in the Orthodox Church none of our parishes have ever had a dispute about whether their pastor should be paid more or less (!), but nonetheless, it is a very important reading for us to dwell on. What's important is not just that Paul defends very vigorously the fact that the Church has a responsibility to care for its workers, but also that Paul points to the Church, to the Corinthians, as the sign that he has worked in the Church. He says to them, "Am I not an apostle?...You (meaning the Corinthians, the faithful of the Church) are the seal of my apostleship." (1 Cor. 9:1-2) He is saying, "You are the example that what I have done is work very hard in the vineyard of the Lord and that work has brought forth fruit, because you, the people of Corinth, are the seal of what I have done." They prove the apostleship of Paul; they justify his labors.

In America, we have a funny idea of labor. Generally speaking, we have laws that prohibit people from working until they're about 16 years old. We also have laws that say when you reach a certain age (about 65 or 70), you have to stop working. You have to retire. We have really three areas of labor that we have defined for American society: labor, retirement and, perhaps most important, inheritance. The American ideal is to reach working age, start out in your life's career, make your money, put away enough for retirement, and then, by not squandering it, leave an inheritance to those loved ones whom you choose. The problem in America is that we tend to take the same ideas and ideals about labor, retirement and inheritance and apply them to our Church life and our individual spiritual lives. We look at labor and say, "You aren't supposed to work until sixteen." But in the life of the Church, if we waited until everyone is sixteen and then expect them to take up some of the burden of the life of the Church, we will shoot ourselves in the foot. They will not be involved enough in the life of the Church to want to stay until they're sixteen.

Diocese of the West Video Now Available - 07/30/18

A video highlighting the work going on in the Diocese of the West, prepared for and debuted at the 19th All-American Council held July 23-27 in St. Louis is now available online. If you wish to view the video, click


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