Excursion to the New York Public LibraryOn Friday, March 9th , the Assistant Dean Deacon Vladimir Tsurikov, Serge Sergeevich, Instructor of Old and New Teastament, and nine seminarians left Holy Trinity Seminary and traveled to the Synodal headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Their purpose was to visit The New York Public Library's Slavic and Baltic Division, which is currently hosting an exhibit honoring F.G. Solntsev, and attend services for the Veneration of the Holy Cross, and visit the nearby Russian consulate.
Soon after arriving, the group walked the few blocks to the Consulate General of Russian Federation, where they were met by Consul Vladimir Khlebnikov, Vice Consul Andrei Savushkin, and Timur Sokolov, Cultural Attache. After a discussion about the consulate's activities as well as new laws concerning visas and passports, the group toured the elegant reception rooms and returned to the cathedral for a fasting dinner, where the were joined by Vladimir Khlebnikov, whose birthday it was.
The next morning they attended the liturgy and panikhida at St. Sergius of Radonezh church in Synod. Following lunch the group traveled to The New York Public Library where they met the director of the Slavic and Baltic Division, Edward Kasinec. The group was given a guided tour of the current exhibit, "The Art and Impact of Fedor Solntsev," and the library's facilities including a peek at their 500,000-volume collection, which is kept in reserve. The group was informed of the history of the library, including the names of many noteworthy visitors and researchers. It deserves to be noted that the library is actually a private foundation, which runs on private donations, not taxpayer dollars, yet is free and open to the public. Students who want to do research are encouraged to come and take advantage of this wealth of information.
On Saturday evening the group attended services at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, with Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan serving. Most seminarians participated actively in the services, either serving in the altar, or singing in the choir. Everyone received some consolation in the midst of our Lenten journey. Vladika Gabriel received the visitors from HTS following Vigil. Liturgy the next morning was blessed with beautiful weather and good attendance. The group joined the parish for a fasting meal and returned safely to Jordanville.