Grant an Honorary Street Name in Memory of St. Tikhon
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Who is St. Tikhon?
St. Tikhon is one of the Fathers of the Orthodox Christianity on the Northern American continent at the end of 19th - beginning of 20th century. A future Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, St. Tiknon served his tenure as an Archbishop of Russian Christian Orthodox Church of North America.
The co-naming initiative is widely supported by many residents of the New York City and by the Russian and American Orthodox Christians. The name of Patriarch Tikhon is connected with the Upper East Side section of Manhattan both because of significant positive impact of his life in America and for the historical value of the St. Nicholas Cathedral.
Patriarch Tikhon's Tenure in North America and New York.
Patriarch Tikhon (Vassily Bellavin) was born in Russia in 1865. He came to the United States in 1889 and first served as a Bishop of Aleutians and Alaska and later was appointed Archbishop of all North America, including Canada. During his tenure, he moved the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Christian Church of America from San Francisco to New York, namely, to 97th street in Manhattan. His office and personal residence as Archbishop, was also moved to this location. With a growing number of new immigrants coming to America at the beginning of the twentieth century, Patriarch Tikhon supervised more than 30 parishes and 70 chapels across the country. He also supported creation of new parishes and churches.
In addition to Christian Russian-Americans, many believers from other ethnic groups, who arrived to America from East Europe, Balkans, Middle East and Northern Africa joined the Church under the protection of Patriarch Tikhon. Quite ahead of his times, he conducted a fruitful dialogue with other Churches - Orthodox, Catholic and other. To meet the growing needs of the community, Patriarch Tikhon introduced services in English as a liturgical language. Looking quite ahead of his times, he encouraged creation of women's groups (sisterhoods) within the parishes. Among the legacy of Patriarch Tikhon, important place belongs to the Orthodox Christian Monastery he founded in Pennsylvania as well as a Seminary for educating priests. In 1904, Patriarch Tikhon blessed the opening of St. Nicolas Cathedral by dedicating its new alter Icon wall. Following the 1917 Revolution in Russia, Patriarch Tikhon was arrested back in Moscow. He died under unclear circumstances in 1925.
St. Nicolas Cathedral (15 East 97th Street, New York, NY, 10029) was built at the beginning of the twentieth century to meet the spiritual needs of a growing number of parishioners. The initial contribution for buying land, starting the project and constructing the building was made by the Russian Czar Nicholas II. The building was designed in a typical Russian style with seven domes on its roof. After the Russian Revolution, when all religion in the Soviet Union was banned, the Cathedral in New York became subject of the dispute between conflicting branches of the church in North America. Also, it became a home to anti-communist believers. Following the fall of Communism in Russia and return of religious practices, St. Nicolas Cathedral was fully renovated and reopened for services.
In 1973, the building of the Russian Orthodox Christian Cathedral of St. Nicolas at 15 East 97th Street was designated as a landmark.
Thanks to the activities of Patriarch Tikhon and St Nicolas Cathedral, this area of Manhattan is closely connected with his name.
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