Platina, California, September 6, 2021
Bp. James of Sonora serves the Divine Liturgy for the anniversary of the repose of Fr. Seraphim (Rose) with Abbot Daamscene (right) and Hieromonk Paisy (right). Photo: Fr. Thaddeus Hardenbrook, Facebook
After remaining in evacuation for more than a week due to the wildfires in northern California, the monks of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina were able to return home in time for the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, and for the anniversary of the repose of the brotherhood’s co-founder Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose).
The monks were forced to evacuate on August 16, with the majority of the brotherhood staying at the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco in Manton.
The associated St. Xenia Skete in nearby Wildwood was already evacuated earlier in August, though it suffered no damage and the sisters had already returned.
One of the fathers from St. Herman’s later contacted OrthoChristian to report that the fires were winding down and they hoped to return to the monastery in time to celebrate the Dormition there on August 28, which, thankfully, they were able to do.
The brotherhood was thus also able to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the repose of Fr. Seraphim (Rose), who reposed in the Lord at the age of 48 on September 2, 1982, at his grave on the monastery grounds.
Fr. Seraphim is beloved and revered throughout the Orthodox world.
The Liturgy in honor of Fr. Seraphim was celebrated by His Grace Bishop James of Sonora (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), who knew Fr. Seraphim personally. Vladyka and the brotherhood were also joined by visiting clergy and pilgrims.
A message on the monastery website reads simply: “Glory to God and His Most Pure Mother for protecting the monastery! Thank you, firefighters! Thank you for your prayers.”