Source: Eastern American Diocese (ROCOR)
Nanuet, NY, January 25, 2016
Before the beginning of the Liturgy on Friday, January 15, Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski performed the blessing of the water with the singing of the akathist to Ven. Seraphim. He then came out to greet His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, alongside the other clergy of Holy Dormition Convent Novo-Diveevo in Nanuet NY: Archpriests Mark Burachek, Yaroslav Belikow, and George Zelenin, Hieromonk Photius (Oulanov), Archdeacon Serge Arlievsky, and Hieromonk Panteleimon (Jigalin), as well as Deacon Alexey Pnev (cleric of the Nativity of the Mother of God Church at the New Kursk Root Hermitage in Mahopac, NY).
Bishop Nicholas came with the wonderworking Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, the Protectress of the Russian Diaspora. During the Little Entrance, the convent’s rectress, Nun Makaria, was elevated to the rank of Abbess, and Bishop Nicholas bestowed the gold pectoral cross upon her. All of the clergy and the choir behind him sang out "Axia!" for the new abbess.
In his sermon, Bishop Nicholas drew attention to the fact that it was before this same miraculous icon, located in the middle of the church, that the miraculous healing had taken place of the boy Prochor, the future great saint of God Seraphim, and urged everyone to continue their fervent prayers to the Mother of God.
Upon conclusion of the Liturgy, Bishop Nicholas spoke to those in attendance about the special significance of Novo-Diveevo Convent to the Russian Church Abroad. He noted that the Synod has always expressed particular care for the convent since its founding by Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko) of Rockland, whose memory is dearly kept there. In light of these facts, the ruling bishop, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, who is in direct supervision of the convent, decided to elevate the monastery’s rectress to the rank of abbess. His Eminence issued a special directive, which states that the main church of Holy Dormition Stavropegial Convent Novo-Diveevo receives the status of cathedral; Archpriest Alexander Fedorowski is appointed dean of the cathedral; while the above-mentioned clergy are all assigned to the cathedral, with Fr. Mark appointed senior priest.
The bishop also noted that the installation of Abbess Makaria should serve to strengthen the monastic community and, with the support of the clergy, help Novo-Diveevo to flourish further. Before presenting the new abbess with her staff, Bishop Nicholas added that becoming an abbess should not be seen as an award, but as an obedience.
After a luncheon in the convent’s main dining room of the adult home, Bishop Nicholas spent a short time with the nuns and conducted a pastoral conversation with them. Afterward, the bishop visited other residents of the convent with the Kursk Icon, before departing for home.