For the second year in a row, the feast of Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen, the patron saint of deacons, was celebrated triumphantly at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Des Plaines, Illinois.
The evening services for St. Stephen were lead by the Dean of the Cathedral, Archpriest Valery Vovkovsky and cathedral deacon Maxim Sopiga. Clergymen gathered during the evening services from throughout the diocese, having served Liturgy for the second day of Nativity in their own parishes that morning.
On the feast itself, December 27/January 9, Metropolitan Jonah was greeted by the gathered clergy and vested by the cathedral subdeacons in the middle of the temple. Following the Hours His Eminence, Archbishop Peter, tonsured Dionysius DeLong from the St. Ambrose Mission in the Mackinac Straits area of Michigan a Reader and ordained him a Subdeacon for service in the mission.
In addition to Metropolitan Jonah and Archbishop Peter, Archbishop Daniel of the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the Midwest participated in the hierarchal Liturgy. Following the consecration of the Gifts, Subdeacon Mikhail Moibenko was ordained a Deacon. Mikhail, who is completing his studies at the diocesan Pastoral School this academic year, will serve at the Diocesan Cathedral and St. Innocent parish in Wheaton, Illinois.
Following the Divine Liturgy Archbishop Peter thanked the visiting hierarchs for their prayers and participation, and congratulated all the deacons gathered for the feast, and especially the newly-ordained Deacon Mikhail and Subdeacon Dionysius.
After the festivities in the church the celebration continued in the cathedral hall with a festive meal for all the participants and guests.