On December 25, 2011, the first church in America dedicated to St. Matrona of Moscow opened in Miami. Today it is the main cathedral of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate of America. December 25 (December 12 on the Julian Calendar) is the Church feast day celebrating St. Herman of Alaska, St. Spyridon of Trimyphus, and St. Alexander the Hieromartyr of Jerusalem, who is the patron of Archimandrite Alexander, Vicar of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate and Rector of the Cathedral of St. Matrona.
On December 25th of this year, which marked the 11th anniversary of the establishment of the church and his name day, Archimandrite Alexander celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the St. Matrona of Moscow Cathedral in Miami. Archpriest Vitaly, Fr. Peter and Fr. Rostislav Zadorozhny, Rector of the Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Red Bank, NJ, served him. At the end of the service Fr. Rostislav, on behalf of the clergy and laity of the Slavic Orthodox Vicariate, congratulated Archimandrite Alexander and praised his contributions to the development of Orthodoxy in Florida and America, his missionary service and pastoral care of the faithful. Ivan Belya, Warden of the Cathedral and Head of the Vicariate’s Public Relations Department, presented the celebrant with an icon of the Mother of God and congratulations on behalf of the parish. Individual parishioners also expressed their warmest wishes.
Archimandrite Alexander then thanked everyone for their attendance on the occasion of his patron saint’s day. The Rector noted that the 11 years which had passed since the founding of St. Matrona had flown by like an instant. With the blessing of God and the prayers of St. Matrona, this time period had brought about positive changes and clearly visible achievements for the parish. Among them were the acquisition of a larger building for the Cathedral and its repair, the installation of domes, a unique faience iconostasis, and the decoration of the Cathedral with the reliquaries, utensils and icons. Father Alexander noted that prayers are always offered at St. Matrona for the founders and benefactors of the parish at every service. He thanked everyone for their assistance, as each parishioner makes a different contribution to the improvement of the Cathedral. Some offer financial help, others help in the form of volunteer assistance, and many through their prayers. All these efforts serve the common cause of glorifying the Lord and establishing His truth and righteousness on Earth.