On Memorial Day, May 30th, 2022, clergy and faithful of the Western American Diocese took the annual trek to Fort Ross Historic Park to participate in the Divine Liturgy, procession to the cemetery and a litya for those departed who are buried at Fort Ross, who lived, labored and reposed at there about 200 years ago.
His Grace Theodosy Bishop of Seattle presided over the festivities. Concelebrating with him were Archpriests Peter Perekrestov, George Kurtow, Paul Volmensky, Alexander Krassovsky, Priest George Kaplanov and Deacons Nicholas Stoltz, Paul Kozachenko and Alex Baranoff. The choir was conducted by Konstantine Pavlov and its members consisted of the pilgrims of the diocese.
His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill greeted the pilgrims on their way back from the fort at the agape meal offered at the Kazan Church in Guerneville, CA.
It was a great joy to resume the annual diocesan pilgrimage to Fort Ross after a pause of two years caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A primary historical source has shown that the year 2022 marks the centennial of annual visits to the fort which started in 1922.
A State Park Interpreter and expert on the history of Fort Ross, enthusiastically laboring there for over 30 years, is Robin Wellman. Ms. Wellman had facilitated many pilgrimages and special events over the years of her service at Fort Ross and has been a great help to the Western American Diocese.
In September of 2021, Robin was received into the Orthodox Church in Irkutsk, Russia, having been given the name Innokentia in honor of St. Innocent Metropolitan of Moscow. Saint Innocent had ministered at Fort Ross in the early 19th century, and Innokentia has labored for many years in promoting his legacy. The pilgrimage this year to Fort Ross was a memorable event for her, as Innokentia received Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy in the chapel at the fort dedicated to the Holy Trinity and Saint Nicholas. She had seen many others receive over the years. But now she participated herself.
Procession to the Cemetery at Fort Ross - 05/30/2022
Photo Credit: Archpriest Peter Perekrestov