Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, parishioners of St. Nicholas Cathedral!
By the grace of God, the doors of our Cathedral, which were closed by order of the civil
authorities so as to protect us from the destructive infection, are gradually beginning to open.
The dangerous disease, which could at any moment affect us and our loved ones, is receding.
This is truly good news. But this does not mean that there is no danger at all. Moreover, we
have been warned that the disease could regain strength. That is why it is vital that we take the
necessary precautions that would allow us to reduce the danger as much as possible. The
instructions developed by the authorities with the assistance of doctors must be adapted to the
conditions of our church building. This important task was carried out by our clergy with the
assiduous and selfless support of volunteers from among our parishioners. We take this
opportunity to call on them God’s blessings and thank them for their labours, without which it
would be impossible to cope with the difficult task of preparing the cathedral for the start of
We repeat - this is only the beginning, and before we can return to the usual order of services
in the Cathedral, some time might pass. Exactly how much - we have no way of knowing at this
time. The rules that we must follow have already been prepared, and you will know them well
in advance. Both the security of our presence in the church building and the hope that public
services will continue, even with a possible new wave of the pandemic in Montreal, depend
directly on their observance.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, each one of us will have to have a little more patience. Let us
recall the words of the venerable Leo Okhtinsky: “With God's help, let us decide, as much as
possible, to persevere and to ask the Most Compassionate and Almighty Lord, with thanksgiving
and praise, that He in His omnipotence may grant you the patience to endure all troubles. And I
can firmly assure you that if you humbly accept this trial, then the All-Merciful Lord will reward
“By your patience possess (i.e. save) your souls” (Luke 21:19).
With love in the Lord,
Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada
Rector of St. Nicholas Cathedral