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St. Nicholas Women Retreat

Main event October 29th

No fee for attendance! This is a free will offering event.

This retreat is being held at a warm, comfortable, furnished, large cabin which has a deck overlooking the Potomac River.  The cabin is located in Algonkian Park which is part of the NOVA Parks of Northern Virginia. The address is: 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling VA 20165.  Park rangers patrol the area and the gates are locked at dark.  We will have a key to the gate in the event someone needs to arrive late or needs to leave. 


The main focus of this retreat is to share time with our Lord Jesus and each other though prayer and meditation.  Therefore the space, meals, prayers/prayer rope and itinerary will be provided for you. You need only let us know if, and when you plan to attend. We want to make sure we have enough food and lodging*.   We have also build into the retreat an abundance of down time so that you can relax, sitting on the deck, nap or go for a walk by the river.  It is a beautiful location with an amazing view of the river.

Set up, meal and fellowship is on Friday evening October 28th.  Saturday the 29th is the main event of the Retreat. On Sunday the 30th we depart at 7:30 AM for The Divine Liturgy.  The cabin sleeps 10. If more than 10 wish to stay for the weekend we will try to book a second cabin if one is still available.  

Contact: samanthacath@yahoo.com or sophia.nobles96@gmail.com


Mini-Retreat at St. Nicholas Cathedral

with Sister Rebecca and Brother Christopher from New Skete Monastery

Saturday, November 5 at 2:00 to 4:30 pm

Silence and solitude are essential disciplines for spiritual growth.  

A contemplative retreat provides an opportunity to disengage from our daily responsibilities and interactions and attend to our inner lives.  Praying Scripture with a Contemplative Mind.  When praying the Scriptures we put aside our usual habits of reading for speed and quick comprehension.  Rather, we listen with the ear of the heart as one in conversation with God.  And as we hear what the words say to us personally, beyond their immediate meaning, we enter new depths of experience that nourish and deepen our relationship with God.  Presented by Br. Christopher.  

Meditation: Path to Contemplation.  In this space of inner quiet, our all-too-important little "I" abandons control of our minds, recedes, and ceases to create our usual story-lines. Meditation is not simply a "spiritual rest," only to return to our usual ups and downs, but brings about a change of mind and heart as we engage in inner work.  We return to the experience of our essential nature as one with God.  It is here that we are enabled to listen.   Presented by Sr. Rebecca.

WHERE: St. Nicholas Cathedral at 3500 Massachusetts Ave, Washington, DC 20008

WHEN:  Saturday, November 5 at 2:00 to 4:30 pm

Everyone is welcome - open to the parish and the community. Please invite a friend!

For questions, please contact Mary Jane Maxwell at maxwell.maryjane@gmail.com


One-hour weekly classes in basic English open to all parishioners and friends will be taught by volunteers every Sunday at 1PM in the library on the first floor of our annex building.  If you are interested in improving your skills in English, please come and see whether you would enjoy this class.  Just come to the library by 1PM and give you name to the teacher.

We are fortunate that beginning on Sunday, October 9th at 12:30 PM in the meeting hall of our annex building Irena Ananjana will again volunteer to teach a one-hour beginning Russian class twice a month. Second class will take place on October 23rd. If you would like to find out how enjoyable these lessons in basic Russian  conversation and reading can be, please come to the class today at noon and give your name to Ms Ananjana; and if you are already familiar with Irena's lessons, she is anxious for you to return to learn more. Приветствуем всех!


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are happy to announce our Cathedral is now registered with Amazon Smile as “Russian Orthodox Church of St Nicholas” (legal name of our Cathedral). Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase price to our Cathedral. Detailed instructions are attached on how to designate our church as your charity of choice and receive donations based on your purchases from Amazon.com.

Thank you for your help!

With love in Christ,

Larry Harrison



This Sunday, July 31, after first liturgy during the coffee hour Archimandrite Juvenal (Repass)will give a presentation on his upcoming mission trip to Guatemala.

Fr. Juvenal’s missionary page at OCMC:


You may follow him on Facebook:



Peter and Helen Evans will be bringing from their farm in Virginia three pedigree Lionhead rabbits for sale this Sunday and all proceeds will go to Fr. Juvenal's mission. The rabbits are just weaned this month and are ready to bond with you. They are sweet balls of fur with alot more fluffy hair than most rabbits; hence Lionhead. Plus, they only grow to 3.5 to 4 lbs.  They are affectionate companions and can be litter-box trained very easily and the litter-box smell is much less than a cat. Some have said they are even more affectionate than dogs and cats.  They are also great pets for those who are allergic to cats or dogs. Adoption Fee: $100
You might find this interesting, about the differences between rabbits and cats, "http://www.bunnyhugga.com/a-to-z/general/house-rabbits-vs-cats.html"


Remember to visit our our Gift Corner and library in the Annex for a dollar a book both English and Russian.


Archpriest Aleksei Gostev, rector of St. Nicholas Church in Aksiniino, Moscow Region, Russia will be visiting us on Sunday. He will be celebrating the Slavonic liturgy and give a short talk after the liturgy about Orthodox rehabilitation program “Metanoia” for alcoholics, drug users and codependent members of their families. Fr. Aleksei is co-head of the program, which is based in Danilovskij Monastery in Moscow -http://metanoia.msdm.ru/


The Dormition Guild is sponsoring a book on past members of St. Nicholas Cathedral.  The title of the book will be “Jewels of the Cathedral” and the project is being chaired by Anna Mighell.  It will be a collection of biographies of deceased Church members, as well as past clergy.  Everyone in the parish is welcome to write a biography of their relative or friend.  Please include a picture, if possible.  The biographies need not be too long.  Please send the biography and picture to Father Valery Shemchuk at the Cathedral.  We have a goal that this project be completed in one year (December 2015 through December 2016, if possible), but please send in your biographies soon.  We have had so many devoted, wonderful parishioners.  The book should be a real treasure.  People may write as many biographies as they wish.  Below is an entry for the book.  We hope this sample will be encouragement for others to submit bios of deceased beloved family members and friends.  

There will be a  meeting after Liturgy on Wednesday, June 29, St. Peter and Paul Feast Day, to review and pull from historical records information we can use for bios for "Jewels of the Cathedral."  We especially would like to invite friends and relatives of past parishioners who can provide memories and anecdotes.  Please come join us. 


Vera was born in Vladivostok, Russia, the last of eight children born to Maxim and Anna Stadnichenko.  It was a patriotic family with a strong belief in God and a love of learning and nature.  She was a childhood friend of Yul Brynner who lived on the same block. 

After the communist revolution she and most of her family left Russia.  Vera and her mother lived in Prague for a short time before immigrating to America.  For a number of years, she and her sister Asya lived in Illinois where Vera received a Master’s Degree with concentration in bacteriology from the University of Chicago. 

When her sister died, Vera moved to Washington, DC to be with other family members.  She worked as a bacteriologist at the Glendale TB Sanitarium.  Vera also worked at Children’s Hospital where she was greatly admired by the doctors.

Vera met and married her beloved husband, Stephan Kunsak, during World War II.  She was widowed in 1966. 

Animals were Vera’s passion from the time, as a 5-year-old, she befriended a guard dog at a bank.  Throughout her life she helped or adopted countless abandoned and abused animals.  She even cared for an owl with a broken beak for 19 years, feeding her by hand.  Vera named her Smokey because she was rescued after falling down a chimney. Vera was one of the founders of S.P.A.Y. and worked for the Audubon Society raising baby birds.  She knew how to set a bird’s broken wing.                           

            Mrs. Kunsak was very proud of her Russian heritage and a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas (which became St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral).  She loved the teaching and traditions of the Orthodox religion.  She was sustained by many loving friends and family.  

Vera Stadnichenko Kunsak died in a fire at her home in the early morning of Sunday, December 2, 2001.  She was 94.  Memory Eternal - darkness shall not overcome the light.

Composed by Anna DeKonschin Mighell, Vera’s niece 


Pledges 2016


"O Lord, sanctify those, who love the beauty of Your house!

Reward them with Your rich and Heavenly gifts, 

given them Heavenly things for the earthly ones, 

eternal things for the temporal ones, 

incorruptible things for those that perish"

St. Basil the Great. Liturgy 

Pledge Letter in MS Word  or  in PDF


            St. Nicholas Cathedral is grateful for every donation received throughout the year.  Your generous support enables the Cathedral to spread the teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ, serve regular Divine Liturgies and Sacraments and provide spiritual nourishment to our faithful, their families and  those in need.  Your pledge of support is a sign of your heartfelt participation in the life of our parish family and it plays a vital role in enabling us to meet our financial responsibilities.  Please, download and read the letter, which explains the importance of the timely pledges.

            We pray that everybody who attends St. Nicholas Cathedral and cares for it financial security will make a pledge for 2016!

            If you don’t have a pledge form, you can download it from the link bellow or pick up a hard copy either at the candle counter or by calling the office at 202-333-5060.  Please take a few minutes to fill out the pledge form and submit it to either the candle counter or mail it to

St. Nicholas Cathedral

3500 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington DC 20007

Thank you for your support and keeping St. Nicholas strong and a place we can be proud of!


If you are aware of a parishioner who is ill or for some reason can not attend church services regularly, it is possible they might benefit from a card sent by our Dormition Guild or a phone call or visit from clergy.  In such case, please notify Andrea Lutov for the Dormition Guild (andrealutov@gmail.com), Fr. George (gkokhno@gmail.com)  or Fr. Valery (shemchukv@gmail.com)

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