On January 13th and 14th of 2011 Father John Prokopiuk and the faithful of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish had a great privilege and honor to welcome His Grace, The Right Reverend +Michael during his visit to the parish. His Grace, Bishop +Micheal made his first visit to St. Mary’s Church since becoming the first Bishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey in May of 2010.
This historic visit began on January 13th with celebration of All-Night Vigil services for the feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Orthodox Church also celebrates the memory of Our Holy Father St. Basil the Great on the same day. His Grace, Bishop +Michael pointed out to those attending the All-Night Vigil the true meaning of hospitality, exemplified in the life of St. Basil the Great. His Grace also told the faithful of St. Mary’s that the memory of Saint Basil, should challenge each of us to strive to imitate his life especially when it comes to caring for the less fortunate among us- the sick, the poor, the hungry, the widows and the orphans. Immediately after the All-Night Vigil every one was invited to the parish hall for a dinner and time of fellowship during which His Grace, Bishop +Michael made sure to meet and talk with every one who attended.
The next day, January 14th, 2011 the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Grace, Bishop +Michael and the local clergy. During the Divine Liturgy Bishop +Michael bestowed kamilavka onto Protodeacon John Morvay in recognition of his faithful service to the St. Mary’s Church and to the Orthodox Church in America.
During his homily, His Grace Bishop +Michael reflected upon the significance of the Feast of Circumcision of Our Lord: