The diocesan cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God marks its annual patronal feast on October 1/14. This year, as is generally the case, the festivities began with a Pastoral Retreat for the clergymen of the diocese, who in any case gather for the cathedral feast day.
The clergy, having gathered on October 13, conducted the diocesan business that was appointed, prepared a resolution for the faithful of the diocese (see below), and were edified by a presentation by Mother Maria from the Bethany School, which covered everything from the life and history of the school, to the contemporary struggles of the school surrounding the present war in the Middle East.
Vigil was led by Archbishop Peter on October 13, together with a host of gathered clergymen, including guests from other Chicago-area Orthodox churches.
On the feast day itself Archbishop Peter was greeted by the same host of clergymen, with even more guests, and led the Divine Liturgy on this day. At the Hours on the feast Riasophore Monk Lazarus (from the Resurrection Skete in Fridley, Minnesota) was tonsured a Reader. At the small entrance the following clergymen received ecclesiastical awards for their sincere labors for the Holy Church:
Archpriest John Whiteford: Jeweled Cross
Priest Leonty Naidzions: Gold Cross
Priest Benjamin Naasko: Nabedrinik and Skufia
Priest Micah Chisholm: Nabedrinik
Deacon Elias Reeves: Double Orarion
Deacon Nicolai Cemschi: Double Orarion
Following the Anaphora, Subdeacon Nikolai Tambur was ordained a Deacon for service at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Des Plaines, Illinois (that is, the Diocesan Cathedral).
Nearly fifty clergymen partook of Holy Communion in the altar, with hundreds of faithful partaking of Holy Communion from three chalices.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy a moleben was held in the middle of the cathedral before the icon of the Protection of the Theotokos, the Kursk Root Icon, and the icon of Venerable Roman the Melodist. This year, due to ongoing construction of the cathedral partaking lot and the inclement weather, a cross procession was not held. God willing this pious tradition will be resumed next year.
Archbishop Peter, having given the dismissal and blessed the people, congratulated the newly-ordained Deacon, the newly-tonsured Reader, and the fathers who had received liturgical awards.
Following the kissing of the cross and the distribution of antidor, the feast continued in the cathedral hall where hundreds of the faithful, together with the clergy, enjoyed a delicious and bountiful meal prepared by the cathedral sisterhood.