June 3, 2009
V. Rev. Archimandrite Tikhon, Abbot
Monastery of the Meeting of the
Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos ("Sretensky" Monastery)
It brings me great joy to be able to congratulate you and the entire monastic brotherhood of "Sretensky" Monastery on the occasion of your 15th Anniversary of the revival of monastic life at your holy habitation.
Indeed, there is much that unites the Orthodox Church in America with Sretensky Monastery. It is well known that the ever-memorable Bishop BASIL (Rodzianko) played an integral role in the spiritual formation of the brotherhood of Sretensky Monastery during the early 1990's. His Grace was a frequent visitor to your holy habitation and a spiritual advisor to many of the first monastics during the early years of the monastery. In addition, we know that our current Representative to the Russian Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Zacchaeus, while still a hieromonk and then later Igumen labored at Sretensky Monastery while continuing his education at St. Tikhon Orthodox Institute, thus also continuing the spiritual connection that exists between your monastery and the Orthodox Church in America. The brotherly love that exists between our Representative and the Abbot and the brotherhood of Sretensky Monastery is apparent and brings joy to my heart.
It is with great fondness and spiritual joys that I remember my visits to Sretensky Monastery during the days of revival in the 1990's and then once again as the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America during my first Primatial visit earlier this year. 1 am also aware that you, dear Father Tikhon, with the blessing of the Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia also received my two predecessors during their visits to Moscow, thus enabling them to see the positive work of the monastic brotherhood of Sretensky Monastery.
Please remember my words addressed to you and your brotherhood when I visited you in April and said, "Monasticism is the apostolic way of life, life fully in accord with the Gospel, life in full submission to the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." It is my sincere prayer that you continue to faithfully follow this apostolic way of life so that you will lead others, together with yourselves, to the Kingdom of Heaven. May God save you!
Invoking God's Blessing upon you and the entire brotherhood of Sretensky Monastery on the occasion of your 15th Anniversary, I remain,
Archbishop of Washington and New York Metropolitan of All America and Canada