My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, by God’s Grace, I am very happy and grateful to be welcomed back to St. Nicholas Cathedral.
This pandemic has changed our lives. It has kept us physically away from each other and away from the Church. It has made it difficult for us to participate in the Divine Liturgy and receive Holy Communion. We missed a year of celebrations together, including Pascha, Christmas, and Holy Epiphany. But spiritually and mentally, I believe, we have all become closer than ever to the Church and to each other.
It has been a very long year in quarantine. As much as it pained me to be away from the church and all of you, this quarantine was a blessing in disguise for my family. It was a time for us to really focus on the important things in life. I am blessed to have had the rare opportunity to spend the entire year home with my wife raising our children. It was such a joy playing together all day, cooking and baking together and just watching them grow. I now have a new appreciation and respect for all of you who stay at home to raise your children. It is the hardest, most important, and most rewarding job that exists.
For over a year, we have all tried to stay out of danger, putting the health and lives of our loved ones first. It is now by the Grace of God, and the efforts of all those who have fought this pandemic, that we are able to cautiously celebrate together this Holy Week and Pascha.
After being away from you for so long, it is with great joy and excitement that I am back and ready to serve you and our community. I look forward to seeing all of you in church again soon as this pandemic improves.