Metropolitan Kirill, elected Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia baptized many members of the Communist Party in Soviet era, Vadim Melnikov, who was his friend for more than twenty years, says. "He himself told me that he baptized almost all secretaries of regional committees in Leningrad," Melnikov said in the interview published by the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily.
The enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia took place at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on 1 February 2009. He was elected to the Moscow Patriarchal Throne by the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church on January 27. The bells started ringing fifteen minutes before the Divine service; as the nominated Patriarch arrived, festal peeling began. At the entrance to the cathedral, the elected Primate of the Russian Church was met with bread and salt. The archpastors, pastors, monastics and thousands of laymen gathered at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. His Beatitude Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria Theodore, His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania, His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, His Beatitude Metropolitan Christopher of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and delegations of all Local Orthodox Churches attended the enthronement. His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije, His Beatitude Archbishop of Ohrid Jovan and His Eminence Bishop Vasilije are represented Serbian Orthodox Church.
Ancient Faith Radio (AFR), in partnership with St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVS), is offering podcasts of the lectures from the international academic symposium titled "The Past and Future of Liturgical Theology: Celebrating the Legacy of Father Alexander Schmemann," held on the seminary campus January 30-31, 2009. Fr. Alexander served as the dean of SVS from 1962 until his death in 1983, and his seminal work in the field of liturgical theology is recognized throughout the globe.
Faculty and students from Hellenic Collegeand Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology celebrated the Feast of theThree Hierarchs on Friday January 30th with liturgical services and a specialsymposium on the theme of ‘Philanthropy.'
On January 30, 2009, during the celebration of the Feast of the Three Hierarchs, Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom-the patrons of the St. Vladimir's Seminary campus chapel-two seminarians were ordained and two more received distinctive scholarship awards. Additionally, Protodeacon Kirill Sokolov, Associate Chancellor for Systems at the seminary, was elevated to the rank of Archdeacon by Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), and now serves as the archdeacon to His Beatitude in addition to his duties at the seminary.
St Sava, the first Archbishop and the Serbian teacher, asevery year, is properly celebrated at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the University of Belgrade. His Grace Irinej of Bachka, a dean ofthe Faculty, and professor were greathosts of the two-day celebration which was dedicated to St Sava.