On Friday, March 21st, the Eastern American Diocese solemnly remembers Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who reposed on this day in 1960. Archbishop Vitaly founded the Eastern American Diocese in 1934 and was influential in the establishment of such spiritual centers as Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ, and St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Howell, NJ – which in September of this year will become the new Diocesan Center. His life was heavily impacted by the 1st First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), who tonsured Archbishop Vitaly into the lesser schema in 1899 and consecrated him to the episcopacy on May 6th, 1934. His Eminence reposed on March 21, 1960, and is buried in St. Olga’s Church (the lower church of St. Vladimir Memorial Church) in Jackson.
His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, issued the following statement in connection with the 54th anniversary of Archbishop Vitaly’s repose:
"Archbishop Vitaly was one of the most historic and influential hierarchs that the Russian Church Abroad has ever known. Not only was he a great man of prayer, but he was also a missionary who believed that the Russian Church has a sacred duty in America – to spread the Gospel of Christ. As we prepare to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Eastern American Diocese, we must especially pray for the repose of her ever-memorable founder, who laid the strong spiritual foundation on which we build today."
Click here to read more about Archbishop Vitaly’s life through Deacon Andrei Psarev’s presentation, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of his repose. Click here to watch a Russian-language lecture by Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, entitled "Отецъ Владыка" ("Father Vladyka").
Memory eternal to Archbishop Vitaly!