Stafford, Virginia, January 20, 2021
Several parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia rejected the reunion with the Moscow Patriarchate in 2007. Among them was the Holy Assumption Church in Stafford, Virginia.
But now, after 13 years of toiling outside of the Church, the parish has returned to ROCOR, reports the media office of the Eastern American Diocese.
The parish’s return from schism began several weeks ago when Fr. John Trepatschko wrote to Archpriest Victor Potapov, the dean of the Capital Region of the Eastern American Diocese, concerning the community’s desire to reunite with ROCOR.
The two priests began a correspondence, and on January 1, Fr. Victor visited Fr. John, his brother Protodeacon Nicholas, and several parishioners of Holy Assumption in Stafford. Following Fr. Victor’s recommendation, the parish sent an official request to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York to be received into ROCOR in its Eastern American Diocese.
Met. Hilarion then invited Fr. John to the Synodal headquarters in New York on January 4 for confession and to be formally received into the ranks of ROCOR clergy.
“We rejoice in having received these new brothers in Christ, which whom we may now pray together ‘for the peace of the whole world, the good estate of the holy churches of God, and the union of all,’ and for good sense to prevail among those who are still outside of the communion of the Church,” writes Fr. Victor.
According to archived versions of the parish’s website, the community had a troubled history since leaving ROCOR, having been under various bishops of various schismatic Russian churches.
Earlier this month, 9 Baptisms were celebrated at ROCOR’s St. Polycarp of Smyrna Mission Church in Sanford, Maine.