Dear Reverend Fr. Alexander, our beloved Archpriest,
I cordially congratulate you on your 65th birthday.
The all-gracious Lord has abundantly bestowed His rich mercies on you throughout the years of your life. This is due to your complete devotion to your chosen vocation of serving God. Your path as a priest of His Church began during the years of persecution for the Christian faith in an atheistic country. Your ardent desire to serve our Lord Jesus Christ however, was stronger than the difficulties. You proved this by carrying on your ministry with zeal.
Having received the call to serve as a worker in the fields of Christ of your native Trans-Carpathian region, you began your service by repairing churches that suffered serious damage during decades of Soviet persecution. Yet your most important restorative work was not that of buildings, but the inner temples of human souls. One goal was to construct of a new spacious house of worship, which would accommodate the large number of people newly being brought to Orthodoxy. You realized that dream by building a cathedral in the city of Khust, one of the largest churches in Trans-Carpathia, and filling it with the faithful. It was conceived and near completion under your guidance and supervision.
Eleven years ago, you were called by the Lord to serve in the United States, whose growing population of Slavic Orthodox Christians had great need of wise and dedicated shepherds. The small parish of the Holy Prophet St. John the Forerunner & Baptist and the Forerunner, which you started in Brooklyn, subsequently became the largest Russian parish in New York. As it grew, the community attracted the faithful of different Orthodox Christian traditions. The Brooklyn Cathedral, under your wise leadership, continues to grow, despite the challenges posed by the Pandemic. As an experienced priest, you treat people with kindness and respect, help them with pastoral advice, and inspire them by your own example to pursue the joy of life in our Lord Jesus Christ.
On your path in life, you passed through various challenges, many far from simple, that tested the strength of your faith and devotion to the Holy Church. Through your selfless pastoral service, you have shown yourself to be a worthy and edifying example of living a life according to the commandments of God, firm in faith, with unshakable hope, and sincere love.
On this joyful day for all of us, on behalf of the clergy and parishioners of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate, as well as your wife Christina, son Ivan, daughters Elena and Marianna, and their families, we prayerfully wish you mental and physical strength, and the continuation of God’s help in your successful ministry.
May the Lord keep you in good health for many years!
With love in Christ,
Archimandrite Alexander (Belya), Vicar of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate of America