To His Grace the Right Reverend TIKHON,
Bishop of the Aleutian Islands and North America

From the Cathedral property manager,
Hieromonk Sebastian --

A Most Humble Report

It is my duty to report to your Grace the following:

1. Several days ago, in accordance with your wish (expressed by Archpriest A. Hotovitsky in a telegram to the Secretary of the Spiritual Consistory), a precious (Bp. Nestor's) miter and a blue (Bp. Nicholas') mantle were sent for you to New York.

2. Recently, the Women's Society of the Cathedral elected new officers: president, Anna Vukosavlievich; vice-president, Maria Mitropolsky; treasurer, Martha Elliot; secretary, Maria Dabovich; recording secretary, Mrs. Beda; also elected were: a new charity committee and other committees. About ten new member joined the society, and in general, it is getting better and stronger. The society places high hopes in the Bazaar for which they are preparing seriously and successfully, and which take place on December 18, 19, and 20 (NS.) in the halls of the Palace Hotel.

3. The Governor of Alaska (who knows me personally since my previous service in Alaska, eighteen years ago) asked me to provide him with my written observations and notes on Alaska, which he meant to attach to his report to Mr. President of the United States and to the Congress. (Two American publications asked me about the same.) However, mindful of my duty to deliver an annual report on the state of the Deanery to your Grace (which, I hope, to present to your Grace in due time), I wrote in English a special article about Alaska, its history, life, development, and the various parts of its territory. I offer this article as a supplement to my report and obediently ask your Grace to allow its publication in the English supplement of our Church Messenger. Of course, in case someone should express concern regarding what could happen as a result of this publication, I accept all responsibilities, realizing my rights and my dignity as a free citizen of the United States.

4. In the town of Oakland, on October 24, a parishioner of our church in San Francisco, Victor Ligda, at approximately 70 years old died. The family of the deceased wanted, in accordance with the last will of Victor Ligda, to burn his body in an Oakland crematorium. His oldest son, and in general, his family, did not insist and did not ask our clergy to perform the rite of burial over the deceased. Meanwhile, the Cathedral clergy offered the family to transfer the body into the temple and to bury him in accordance with the rite of the Holy Orthodox Church as is proper for an old and venerable member of the Society. To that the family replied that everything was preordained by Ligda himself, and that he, they say, wrote in his testament: "if a Russian priest does not agree to bury me, in that case invite a Protestant pastor and then burn my body in the crematorium." It is necessary to note here, that our clergy did not refuse to sing the burial service at the home of the deceased if only they would bury him, but we refused to do so if they were going to burn him after the funeral service. The corpse of Victor Ligda was burned on October 26.

We ask your Grace to enlighten us in case of such circumstances, which we could not foresee this time, but which may reoccur.

The lowest servant of your Grace,
Hieromonk Sebastian

San Francisco, October 27, 1902.
No. 110

November 5, 1902.

To point 1: The miter and mantle have been received by me and will be returned to the Cathedral when there will be no more need of them .

To point 2: I wish success to the Women's Society of the Cathedral and to the new members of its council.

To point 3: The article of Fr. Sebastian is submitted to the editor of the Church Messenger for publication.

To point 4: The rite of Burial is connected with the delivery of a body into the earth and, therefore, it seems to me, does not quite conform with the burning of a corpse; in such a case, it is sufficient to serve a Panichida only, if relatives request it.

Bp. Tikhon

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Modified 3/23/97 -