Repose of Igumen Gerasim
- The servant of God Igumen (Abbot) Gerasim (Romanoff) fell asleep in the
Lord on Monday, Feb. 21. There is a notice on the official Synodal web
site, but for those who may not have seen it there, I am writing to the
e-mail list, so that prayers can be offered for the repose of his soul.
Father Gerasim was born in France in 1928, but spent his childhood in
Yugoslavia. He became a monk in Jordanville and served in various
parishes and monasteries of the far-flung Russian Church Abroad,
including some time in the Holy Land. His father served as a priest in
our parishes in Argentina.
Perhaps Father Gerasim's chief service to the Church was as a sufferer.
After surviving an airplane accident and an extremely high fever, he was
left a semi-invalid for the last thirty years. He was devotedly cared
for by Father Vladimir and Matushka Mary Shishkoff at their home in New
Jersey for all these years. Father Gerasim had a tracheotomy, and was
left with an opening in his throat with a tube, which impaired his
ability to speak normally. He was often in pain from his illnesses, but
Matushka Shishkoff testifies that he never murmured against God,
accepting all his sufferings patiently. He was gentle and cheerful.
During the many years that Father Vladimir Shishkoff served as rector of
Our Lady of Kazan Church in Newark, New Jersey, Father Gerasim regularly
attended all the divine services. He assisted at the proskomedia,
concelebrated the Liturgy and sometimes served with a deacon.
For the last few months of his life Father Gerasim was afflicted with
stomach cancer. Although he had to take nourishment through a feeding
tube in his last illness, he was still able to receive the Holy
Mysteries of Christ before he died.
I remember Father Gerasim's words to me right after my ordination to the
priesthood: Never let your serving become routine.
Father Gerasim, in accordance with his wish, was buried on Thursday,
Feb. 24, at the cemetery of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville.
Vladyka Metropolitan Laurus officiated at his funeral.
Let us pray for the repose of his soul!
Hieromonk German Ciuba
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