With all our hearts we greet you with your fifty-fifth birthday! We wish you strength of body and spirit, and the abundant grace of God. We consider it our great honor, privilege and joy to work under your editorial and spiritual guidance. We all well aware that without the grace of God we can do nothing good, and that all talent, including your ample talent comes from God.
Without God’s help you could not have written the wonderful book, Everyday Saints, which millions of people are reading in Russia and all over the world, strengthening Orthodox Christians in their faith and bringing others to God’s Church.
Without God’s help it would have been impossible to produce a film that got people all over Russia and in other countries talking about a great empire, Byzantium, and relating it to today’s world.
Without God’s help, no one could have revived a collective farm and made it not only a profitable enterprise, but a provider of employment and food for a local population that you found in the grip of poverty.
This is all not to mention reviving the Sretensky Monastery from ruins, turning it into a spiritual center in the center of Russia’s capital, creating within it the world-famous Sretensky Monastery Choir, one of Russia’s largest Orthodox publishing houses, a theological seminary with over 150 students, a Sunday school for children, a theater for children with Down’s syndrome, and many other projects for the benefit of the monastery’s parishioners and Orthodox Christians.
Your obedience as deputy secretary of the Patriarchal Cultural Council is already bearing much fruit. And we recall with admiration how the seemingly impossible task of lowering alcohol consumption in Russia has nevertheless been accomplished in great measure. After people across the land began watching your anti-alcoholism film clips, not only have laws changed, but the chief narcologist, Evgeny Briun said with amazement, "Russia is drinking less!"
Father Tikhon, notable to readers of the Orthodox Christianity is your very date of birth--the commemoration day of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. May his blessings be with you as his flock outside of Russia celebrate this day.
Meanwhile, here in Moscow, all the brothers of Sretensky Monastery, all those who labor in the monastery, all those who know you personally or through your sermons, books, and films wish you God’s blessings, salvation of soul, and strength and help from Christ for many more years of service in His Church!