Photo Journal: Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church, Austin, Texas
A parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
Russia. Now at 1701 Peridot Rd., Pflugerville, TX 78660. http://www.orthodoxaustin.org
Hear our choir (June 6 '09)----Our
Visit of the Miraculous Kursk-Root Icon of
of God to Austin, Oct. 28, 2010
Clay Ave. (click
thumbnail to see greater detail).
The Holy Kursk-Root or Kurskaya-Korennaya Icon of the Most Holy Mother
of God came from Lifegiving Spring parish in Bryan, Texas, to Holy
Protection parish in Austin, Texas, just in time for 10:00 a.m. Divine
Liturgy, Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010--feast of Sts. Euthymius the New and
martyr Lukian. Confessions were heard during the Hours. At least 45
people were present at the morning Liturgy, completely filling up our
small chapel. The Liturgy, served by Fr. Hieromonk Aidan and Fr. Paul
Andreasen (chaplain at Ft. Hood army base) was radiant and beautiful.
After it there was a talk on the history, importance, and miracles of
the Holy Icon, then straightaway--shortly after noon--a moleben to the
Most Pure Mother of God, after which all those present venerated the
Holy Icon and were anointed. A delicious free luncheon was offered by
the Sisterhood outside, and we were all able to meet a few new friends
as well as see some old friends. Meanwhile, inside the Church, people
continued to venerate the Holy Icon, with continuous reading from the
Gospels. After luncheon the Holy Icon was taken to the site of our new
church facility on Peridot Rd. Hymns were sung at the new church (which
nears completion), but there was no time for a complete service there;
the Holy Icon blessed all the corners of the property and then was
raced to Seton Hospital. There, Maria's husband Guy was lying in
serious condition. Blessed by the Presence of the Holy Icon, he was
filled with gratitude and began to feel better (he was discharged
shortly afterwards). Then there was a race to get the Holy Icon back to
the chapel for the "open house veneration," during which the faithful
present were allowed to read an akathist one by one. Prayers streamed
forth from the layfolk in English and in Russian (sometimes briefly
interrupted by tears of repentance) until 5:30 p.m., when Vespers
began. After that service, and another explanatory talk on the Holy
Icon, a general veneration of the Icon ensued. The faithful made their
prostrations two by two, all receiving anointing and some blessed bread
from Litia. There were 93 people present at the chapel for this service
alone--unable to fit inside the building, people clustered prayerfully
outside as near to the front door as possible. The Akathist Before the
Kursk-Root Icon began to be sung, and a spirit of calm descended upon
us. When it was time for the Holy Icon to depart, Fr. Aidan placed It
in its velvet carrying-case, and started walking towards the door.
Spontaneously, people began to reach out and touch the case, and so it
was carried down the north and south sides of the chapel for all to
reach and touch one last time. Then the Holy Icon was taken to Fr.
Paul's waiting car as people streamed out of the church singing. People
did not cease singing hymns and praying fervently, until his car had
disappeared from view. In the joyful calm, many people did not wish to
leave the church and continued to pray or converse outside, into the
night. Someone commented we might as well hold an early morning
service, since obviously we were all going to still be there to greet
the dawn. Indeed, the visit to us of the Most Holy and Most Pure Mother
of God herself, in her wondrous Kursk-Root Icon, was a blessing and a
true miracle. At the end of the day Americans and Russians, many
Spanish-speaking faithful and those of Romania, Greece, Belarus,
Ukraine, Carpatho-Russia, the Holy Land, and elsewhere, had known
together the joy and compunction of that Grace about which holy
archangel Gabriel said, "Rejoice, full of Grace!" Truly the spirit of
Holy Russia, which is Orthodox Russia, ageless and immortal,
indestructible, cleansed by the blood of her innumerable New Martyrs,
springs up eternal and continues to bring the holy Light of Christ's
Gospel to all corners of the world.
P.S. A few days later, Guy called to say
that a resignation to
God's perfect will, together with a profound peace, had come upon him
in a way he had never experienced before in his life. This happened a
few days after the Visit to him of the Queen of Heaven, and he knew it
was because of her Visit. He is continuing to improve, though no
prescribed medication or treatment had previously been able to help
him. Thanks and glory be to God, and please keep Guy in your
report by Fr. Hieromonk Aidan, Nov. 4, 2010
Pictures from the Visit of the Holy
Icon (most are thumbnails).
Deborah venerates the Holy
Icon of the Mother of God. Back, from l. to rt.: Tatiana, Samuel, Fr.
Hieromonk Aidan, reader Mark.
Michael makes a prostration before Our Most Holy
Lady. Back, l. to rt.: Tatiana, Fr. Aidan, Deborah, Rr. Mark.
Holy Icon, an interesting angle. Click the
thumbnail to see greater detail. About 150 people venerated the
Wonderworking Icon on its nine-hour stop in Austin.
Fr. Paul Andreasen is a
Chaplain at the Army base at Ft. Hood, Texas.
Fr. Hieromonk Aidan anoints
catechumen Joel as Anna looks on. Just behind Joel is the Wonderworking
Choir: Michael, Elizabeth,
Dominica (our choirmistress) with Helena, Lydia.
A view of the chapel of Holy
Protection. In addition to the services and the prayers and repentance
before the Holy Icon, this was a chance for old friends to meet.
Little Michael comes up to
kiss the cross held by Army chaplain Fr. Paul.
Altar servers Samuel and
Maxim doing candle duty.
The akathist sung later in
the evening, at the end of the day's round of services. All told, some
160 persons had venerated the Icon.
The akathist before the Holy
Icon of Kursk-Root "Of the Sign" was sung, after Vespers, and a talk on
the Icon, had concluded.
The remaining people
Holy Mother of God to Fr. Paul's car on all sides, singing hymns and
the car disappeared from view.
People fellowshipping after
departure of the Holy Icon of the Mother of God. An atmosphere of quiet
joy prevailed during and after the Visit of the Mother of God and some
of the faithful were reluctant to leave the church. L. to rt.: unknown,
Maria, Joel, Maria, Lydia, Marcella, Natasha, Sofia and Sasha, and two
visitors from the Greek monastery's faithful.
Before the Mother of God in her Kursk-Root Icon left us, she blessed
our new church and Russian Orthodox center on the grounds at our new
location, 1701 Peridot Rd., Pflugerville, TX 78660. That is where
services are currently held in the church which is to be dedicated to
her name later this year by Bishop Peter.
Russia, in Austin, Texas. Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee!
parish photographer and councilman Sergei Larin. Back