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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. IX - Page 9« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Paul M. Raigorodsky)

Mr. Raigorodsky.
Services in English began to be held in June of 1954. Father Rangel conducted occasional services--Sunday Vespers weekly and an early Liturgy once a month. Father Rangel and Subdeacon Royster constructed an iconostas and made a number of shrines and articles, and a chapel was arranged on the first floor of the house. After a month or 2 the member's of St. Nicholas' Parish were invited to use the chapel, since one of their members had been so instrumental in the acquisition of the property.
On November 6, 1954, Subdeacon Royster was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Bogdan and became rector of St. Seraphim's Church. Shortly afterwards, it was agreed to transfer the title of the property at 3734 McKinney to St. Nicholas' Church. It was further agreed that the two groups would use the chapel, St. Nicholas' Church 1 weekend per month and St. Seraphim's Church the rest of the time.
In January of 1955 an extensive renovation program was undertaken, and both floors of the house were redecorated, sheet-rocked and painted.
Father Hilarion Madison had been ordained by Bishop Bogdan on October 31, 1954, and had worked with Father Rangel as assistant pastor at the Mexican Church until December 1954, when he joined the work at St. Seraphim's and became assistant to Father Royster.
For a few months joint services were held on the occasions when Father Alexander Chernay visited Dallas; that is, Father Dimitri and Father Hilarion concelebrated with Father Alexander.
In March 1955, Bishop Bogdan directed Father Dimitri and Father Hilarion to begin mission work in Fort Worth, taking advantage of the weekends when Father Alexander was in Dallas, in order to extend the benefits of the missionary activity to a group of Orthodox residents of that city. Services were held in the chapel of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in downtown Fort Worth until the summer of 1956.
In order better to pursue its mission as an English-language parish and to attract orthodox people of all national backgrounds, St. Seraphim's Church decided to acquire property of its own. A house was bought at 4203 Newton Avenue, and a chapel, meeting room, office and kitchen were arranged in the house after considerable renovation. This building served the needs of the parish until the new church was built in March and April of 1961. The house was then converted into a parish hall. In 1962, an adjacent lot with its house were bought by the parish. The house is being renovated at present and will eventually be used for a rectory.
In September of 1958 the parish was transferred from the jurisdiction of Bishop Bogdan to that of Metropolitan Leonty, the Russian Metropolia.
Membership in St. Seraphim's parish has grown from the original 3 to approximately 125 souls. Average attendance at the Sunday Liturgy has increased year by year and is now about 75. A Sunday School with two classes is maintained. Services are held regularly on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, and the Liturgy is celebrated on Sundays and on holy days.
Mr. Jenner.
Mr. Raigorodsky, in that connection, this document which is entitled "Some Historical Information Concerning St. Seraphim Eastern Orthodox Church," when was that prepared?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
I have no idea because I have--let's see the early part of this year I have asked Father Royster if he has anything historical about the St. Seraphim, how it started and everything, or can he prepare something, and he said "No," he already had something, and I said, "All right, send me a copy of it."
Mr. Jenner.
Do you understand that Father Royster prepared this historical summary?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
That's my understanding.
Mr. Jenner.
Now, have you read this historical summary?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
Oh, yes; I did.
Mr. Jenner.
And, are you familiar with the events and course of events that are recited in that 1-page summary?
Mr. Raigorodsky.
I am.
Mr. Jenner.
And to the best of your knowledge and information, does Father
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