With the blessing of His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, a pilgrimage was organized for faithful to visit the Holy Sites of Alaska. Archpriest Andrey Kovalev, rector of St. Gregory the Theologian Church in Tampa, FL accompanied the pilgrims.
The pilgrimage began with a trip via boat to scenic Kodiak, Alaska. The pilgrims were able to visit the historic city and immerse themselves in the beauty of the Alaskan landscape.
Continuing on, the pilgrims visited the capital of Alaska - Juneau. They visited one of the oldest parishes in Alaska, St. Nicholas Church which was established in 1893. On August 5, the pilgrims visited Hoonah, Alaska where another church dedicated to St. Nicholas is located. At one time, there were once 800 Orthodox living in the area, currently there are only 12. Alongside the parish is an old cemetery where many of the former residents are buried.
On August 7, the pilgrims continued on to Anchorage where they visited St. Innocent Diocesan Cathedral. The cathedral's rector, Archpriest John Zabinko welcomed the visitors and later served a Moleben to St. Herman of Alaska along with Fr. Andrey. Afterwards, the group visited St. Nicholas Church and its adjacent cemetery in Chugiak and the Antiochian parish of St. John the Theologian.
On August 9, the central event surrounding the pilgrimage was the celebrations of the feast of St. Herman of Alaska. The festal services in the Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection in Kodiak, Alaska. The cathedral is the oldest on the North American continent - founded in 1794. The Divine Liturgy on the feast was led the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of all America and Canada. His Beatitude was co-served by the vicar of the Diocese of the West, Bishop Daniel of Santa-Rosa and clerics from various jurisdictions who arrived for the feast.
The pilgrimage continues until Monday, August 14.