For the first time in over three decades, a group of faithful walked in procession from Saint John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Mayfield, PA to the monastery on Sunday, May 27, following the same route faithful took at the first pilgrimage in 1905.
Metropolitan Jonah, with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Saint John’s, after which The Very Reverend Mitred Archpriest John Sorochka, rector, and the cathedral faithful hosted a luncheon. Following the celebration of a Service of Prayer, some 40 faithful ranging in age from 4 to 55-plus set out on the 11-mile, 3.5 hour procession to the monastery “in honor of our forefathers who, so many years ago, followed the same path of faith,” according to Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, who helped organize the procession. “We hope that this will once again become an annual tradition.”
En route, the walkers sang hymns, paused for water — the temperature was well above 80 degrees! — and, at one point, stopped at a house along the way as a man approached them, wishing to venerate the processional cross.
As the walkers reached the monastery entrance arch, Metropolitan Jonah, His Eminence, Archbishop Tikhon, Abbot Sergius and others greeted and blessed them for their witness, and welcomed them into the dining hall, where a special meal had been prepared for them.
(Article taken from www.oca.org.) (A full report on the entire Memorial Day Pilgrimage from oca.org can be viewed here.)
A full account of the Metropolitan’s Visit to St. John’s in Mayfield, PA and its profound and historical significance can be read on the parish website here.