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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. IX - Page 8« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Paul M. Raigorodsky)

Mr. Raigorodsky.
first of all, I believe that sooner or later all of us will die in the other church and there will be nothing left but St. Seraphim. First, because St. Seraphim Church is growing. Well, if there are one or two of us left--it would be fine. You see, how we are at St. Nicholas--we are supposed to meet once a month and we are supposed to have the priest from Houston come here and perform services, but now Houston doesn't have the priest and so we don't have the priest. So, our priest from Galveston comes up.
Mr. Jenner.
Comes up here?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
And I personally don't like him--so I wouldn't go to the services in my own church on his account.
Mr. Jenner.
Mr. Raigorodsky.
Now, I went to New York and I discussed with our people from our Synod, you know.
Mr. Jenner.
The Synod, S-y-n-o-d (spelling)?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
And they are sending us a priest, a new priest, who will be stationed in Houston and then they come here once a month, but the Houston community is down to about 15 families and this is not any better. We have about 10 families, I would say.
Mr. Jenner.
When you say different--you mean here in Dallas?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
In Dallas---yes.
Mr. Jenner.
What is the name of the priest who comes up from Galveston?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
Let me see---maybe I have it here.
(Examining file.)
Maybe he's not from Galveston--he comes from Houston, but he's the one that was, you know,---can this be off the record--I just throw those notices in the waste basket because I don't want to hear from him.
(Discussion between Counsel Jenner and the Witness off the record at this point.)
Mr. Jenner.
Miss Oliver, Mr. Raigorodsky has handed me a one-sheet document, single spaced, typed, entitled "Some Historical Information Concerning St. Seraphim Eastern Orthodox Church," which I have perused, and in view of the testimony of previous witnesses regarding the organization of St. Seraphim's Church and their attendance at its services, and our parishioners who have some contact through the church, or at least because of their acquaintance with other parishioners, and in turn with the Oswalds, it would be helpful to have this statement in the record, and will you please copy it.
Mr. Raigorodsky.
You can have that--I have a photostat of it.
Mr. Jenner.
Well, I want to copy it in the record.
Mr. Raigorodsky.
All right. "Some Historical Information Concerning St. Seraphim Eastern Orthodox Church."
In April of 1954, a small group of converts to the Orthodox Faith (Rev. Ilya Rudolph Rangel, rector of the already existing Mexican Orthodox Church under the jurisdiction of Bishop Bogdan, Dimitri Robert Royster, a subdeacon in Bishop Bogdan's jurisdiction, and Miss Dimitra Royster) sought permission of their bishop to organize an English-language Orthodox mission in the city of Dallas. It may be stated parenthetically that the three above-mentioned persons were working, at the time of the organization of St. Seraphim's, in close cooperation with St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, of which Father Alexander Chernay of Houston was pastor and which held services periodically in the chapel of the Sunday School building at St. Matthew's Episcopal Cathedral.
Father Rangel and Subdeacon Royster set out to find a building that would be suitable to house the activities of the projected mission. Property was located at the corner of McKinney Avenue (3734) and Blackburn Street. The sale price of the property was $15,000, and since the financial resources of the organizers were limited, Father Rangel and Subdeacon Royster went to seek the aid of Mr. Paul Raigorodsky, a member of St. Nicholas' Parish. Mr. Raigorodsky agreed to make it possible for the group to acquire a loan from the First National Bank in Dallas in order to purchase the property (on which there was an eight-room two-story house). The property was bought in the name of St. Seraphim's Church.
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