Welcoming pilgrims to Kodiak - 08/07/11

At the St. Herman Pilgrimage this year we welcomed His Beatitude Metropolitan JONAH, His Grace Bishop BENJAMIN, and His Grace Bishop MAXIM of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America to Kodiak. Also present were many clergy, monastics, and pilgrims, including some members of the OCMC mission team that ministered in Old Harbor.

Pilgrims venerated the relics of St. Herman and visited Spruce Island, where the Saint ministered to all he met, especially the Native people of Kodiak and Spruce Island, who continue to venerate St. Herman as they always have.

So many people helped to make this Pilgrimage happen. Among them were the skippers of the boats who transferred people from Kodiak to Spruce Island, the clergy and faithful of Holy Resurrection Cathedral and St. Innocent Academy, "those who serve and those who sing," those who put in extra hours preparing the "new" Cathedral gift shop and serving the Pilgrims as well as those who worked extra hours at Monk’s Rock, providing hospitality and service to all those who attended, the faithful who came from Kodiak and the rest of the Diocese of Alaska, . . . and the people of Kodiak, who opened their arms to make pilgrims feel at home. Finally, a special thanks to the Sisterhoods of Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Kodiak and Nativity of Our Lord Church in Ouzinkie, who provided food and hospitality to our guests. As usual, our brethren of St. Innocent Academy offered openhearted hospitality and joyful singing to the Pilgrimage.

The Pilgrimage culminated with the ordination of Deacon Michael Nicolai to the Holy Priesthood. The presence of several Diocesan clergy and their families helped make this a joyful and memorable event. May God grant the newly ordained Father Michael and his family many years! Axios, axios, axios! Fr. Michael will be entering his fourth and final year of seminary this year and serving on Kodiak until his graduation, then ministering elsewhere in the Diocese of Alaska.