On Saturday, August 1, 2020 longtime cathedral Archpriest Fr. Serge Kotar retired from service at Holy Virgin Cathedral and left the Western American Diocese. Fr. Serge is moving out East and will be living with his son’s family, not far from the Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville, NY).
Father Serge Kotar was ordained by the Ever-memorable Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev) to the diaconate in 1984, and subsequently to the priesthood, in 1988. As a priest he was given the obedience of being responsible for liturgical rubrics on kliros, and he fulfilled this obedience diligently at Holy Virgin Cathedral for over three decades.
As well, he was the treasurer of the Western American Diocese for many years, and in 1994, together with his wife Maria Kotar, founded the St. John of San Francisco Academy, where he taught and labored for 20 years in the field of the formation and education of childre. Fr. Serge took active part in many parish and diocesan activities and events: the “Ochag” Aid to Russia Organization, two All-Diaspora Youth Conferences, teacher at St. Kyrill & Methodius Russian High School, the opening of the relics and organization of the glorification of St. John (Maximovitch), member of the Organizing Committee of the IV All-Diaspora Council…
Fr. Serge had a special love for services – the last years of his tenure at Holy Virgin Cathedral he would attend all daily services, – a deep appreciation for the legacy of the Russian Church Abroad, and heart-felt pastoral care and attention to the needs of his spiritual children, to the cathedral parishioners, and the many pilgrims to the relics of St. John.
In light of the present pandemic and shelter-in-place, the cathedral parish was unable to honor Fr. Serge’s departure in a proper manner. He served his last Liturgy as a cathedral Archpriest on Wednesday, July 29. Following the service Archbishop Kyrill noted Fr. Serge’s labors, presented him with the Archbishop’s Gramota (award certificate) and bestowed upon him the Order of St. John (II degree). Fr. Serge received a generous monetary gift from the cathedral parishioners.
On behalf of the clergy and parishioners of Holy Virgin Cathedral we express our gratitude to Fr. Serge for his service at our parish, for all his labors, and wish him and his wife good health, strength and joy and all the best in their retirement years on the East Coast.