Voices from Russia

Monday, 11 May 2015

Archimandrite Illya Barna Dies at Age 96 (Most Senior MP Cleric in the USA)

00 Archimandrite Illya Barna. 11.05.15


Early Friday morning, 8 May, the most-senior cleric of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and pastor emeritus of St Michael the Archangel parish in Redford MI, Archimandrite Illya Barna died at the age of 96. Fr Illya was born Michael Barna on 2 July 1918 to a family dedicated to service in the Church. In World War II, he served in the US Navy in the Pacific on the battleship USS Colorado. He received three battle stars for engagements in the battles of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam.

He became a candidate for Holy Orders beginning in 1946, when he returned from military service, being tonsured a reader and ordained Sub-deacon in St Nicholas parish, Reading PA by Archbishop Adam Phillipovsky.  He continued his ecclesiastical studies at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York NY for four years.  On 1 July 1950, Archbishop Adam ordained him to the Diaconate at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York; the next day, 2 July, Archbishop Adam ordained him to the Holy Priesthood, and assigned as assistant priest to his father, Archimandrite Ignatius Barna, at St Nicholas parish, Reading PA.

On 17 December 1966, Metropolitan John Wendland appointed Fr Michael as rector of St Nicholas parish in Reading upon his father’s retirement.  The following month, 6 January 1967, Metropolitan John assigned him as rector of St Michael the Archangel parish, Philadelphia PA.  On 29 January 1969, Fr Michael and his family took up permanent residence in Philadelphia and continued to serve St Michael parish for another 5½ years until his appointment to St Michael parish, Redford MI on 31 August1975, by then-Bishop Job Tyvoniuk. Fr Michael received almost every distinction bestowed to a clergyman.  On Bright Friday, 2012, after his wife’s death, Fr Michael took monastic vows and received tonsure with the name Illya in honour of Prophet St Elias by His Eminence Archbishop Yustinian Ovchinnikov. The next day, during Divine Liturgy, with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, Archbishop Justinian elevated Hieromonk Illya to the rank of Archimandrite.

Divine Services for the Departed:

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Visitation: 16.00-21.00

Pannikhida: 19.30

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Visitation: 16.00-21.00

Burial Service: 19.00

Friday, 15 May 2015

Divine Liturgy: 09.00

Followed by memorial meal in St Michael Parish Hall

All times are Central Daylight Time



26355 West Chicago Road

Redford MI 48239

Link to contact rector by e-mail here

Telephone: (313) 937 2120

8 May 2015

Patriarchal Parishes in the USA/Moscow Patriarchate



Wednesday, 31 October 2012

31 October 2012. You Can’t Make Shit Like This Up. Get Thee to a Monastery… There’s a Brothel There

Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov (1958- ), the Superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow. On the one hand, he’s an excellent spiritual writer… on the other, he’s a lickspittle to the oligarchs, and many think him pro-Western. He’s an enigma… “Is he a white horse with black stripes, or, is he a black horse with white stripes?” (as Churchill famously asked about Franco)


The Russian Orthodox Church is furiously trying to calm a media storm after police uncovered a brothel on the grounds of one of Moscow’s most prestigious monasteries. The “hotel for lovers” was operating out of a building belonging to the Sretensky Monastery, an ancient institution just up the road from the headquarters of the Federal Security Service. Police arrested two women, from the Ukraine and Tajikistan, during a raid at the weekend. The institution’s seedy reputation was apparently well known. Local media reported that it rented out its seven rooms by the hour, at rates starting from 1,750 Roubles (56 USD. 43 Euros. 35 UK Pounds).

Founded in 1395, the monastery is one of the city’s oldest religious institutions. Legend has it that it was founded on the spot where Muscovites met a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary brought from the neighbouring city of Vladimir to save Moscow from Tamerlane‘s marauding armies. Many say that the monastery’s Superior, Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov, is President Vladimir Putin‘s personal spiritual adviser. Fr Tikhon hit back at what he called a “media sensation” surrounding the brothel, telling a state-owned channel that the “lovers’ hotel” was in a building the monastery acquired only recently, and that evicting the current business occupying the premises was one of the conditions of the sale. He even joked that the church was “lucky” the issue had finally been dealt with, saying, “Today’s storm in the media is just one example of how people are willing to take any slander and not only make a vulgar joke out of it, but launch a very real information attack against the Church”.

31 October 2012

The Independent


Editor’s Note:

I asked for some confirmation from Moscow sources. The buzz is that Tikhon’s pissed off certain factions with his too-close relationship with the oligarch set (Marat Gelman and Prokhorov were mentioned), some even called it a set-up that Tikhon wasn’t street-smart enough to detect. Other voices on the grapevine think that it’s an intra-Church feud (one mentioned the Kapalin brothers). There’s no uniform intel, so, it’s a case of “you pays your money and you takes your choice”. My choice is “it’s too muddled to tell”… I think that I have plenty of company in thinking that…


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

21 February 2012. Is Gregory Wendt (of the S Florida Murder Case Infamy) Leaving the USA?


I received the following from one of my kitchen cabinet members:

The [UOC/MP] Synod blessed the opening in the city of Zhdanovka in the Donetsk Oblast of the Holy Dormition Skete of the women’s Kasperovsk Monastery, and in the Vorocheva village in the Transcarpathian region of the Holy Protection Monastery (appointing as its head Archimandrite Gregory Wendt), and appointed Archimandrite Simeon (Gagatik) as the head of Holy Trinity Monastery in Akhtyrsk in the Sumy Diocese.

For the full scoop on Wendt, click here. He was neck-deep in a murder scandal at his monastery in south Florida about a decade ago. Did I mention that Mr Wendt’s a cleric of the fast-imploding OCA?

There’s no more information than the above, so, there’s no grounds to assume that he’s fleeing the jurisdiction. It’s “interesting”…


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin (Confessor to Patriarch Kirill) Predicted Recurrence of Kolyma, Magadan, and Solovki if there was “Régime Change” in Russia


Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin, the confessor to Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, considers demands for “régime change” in Russia troubling. On Wednesday, in a post on the website Орловская губерния (Orlovskaya Guberniya: Oryol Province), he said, “A brutally devastating conclusion might result from the efforts of current social reformers for ‘régime change’, for a coup; that is, they’d implement the catastrophic old revolutionary script. Do understand that all that this would lead to is a new outbreak of genocide, a new GULag in the Kolyma, Magadan, Solovki, and the Arctic. Those craving power would give us nothing but streams of blood, fratricide, famine, and foreigners attempting to seize our land. One can’t ignore the contemporary situation, not only in our motherland, but also in the world at large. We’ve produced such weapons, such that we can’t even fully comprehend. We must care for our country’s peace and stability, and we should fear not only large, but also small, conflicts. So, you still want to follow hotheads? You’ll get nothing but chaos, blood, hunger, and death. You’d put our country on the edge of the abyss”.

In October 2011, the deputies of the Oryol city government unanimously gave Fr Ilya the status of an honorary citizen of the city for his charitable activities, for his activism to preserve and restore historical and cultural monuments (including churches), and for his significant contributions to the revival of national spiritual traditions and spiritual education. Fr Ilya was born near Oryol, and he often visits there.

15 February 2012



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