On Saturday, May 21, 2022, the Day of Commemoration of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian, His Grace James, Bishop of Sonora, presided over the Divine Liturgy at Holy Ascension Church. Concelebrating with him were Archpriest Paul Volmensky (Rector), Priest Aurelius Zmeu, Priest Elijah Drake (Wu), Deacon Nicholas Stoltz and Deacon Seraphim Torruella.
After the Divine Liturgy clergy and faithful drove out to the Russian Orthodox Cemetery where Bishop James performed a panykhida over the grave of his spiritual father, Archimandrite Anastassy (Newcobmbe) who reposed on May 21, 2004.
In the early 1980s, Father Anastassy played an important role in the initial Orthodox formation of several clerics that are serving as pastors in the Orthodox Church in various jurisdictions: Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhousen), Bishop James of Sonora, CA, Bishop Gerasim of Dallas, TX, Abbot Damascene of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, CA, Archpriest Martin Person of St. Herman of Alaska Church in Sunnyvale, CA. Also under Father Anastassy influence, several young men and women became monastics, and a matushka (Matushka Sarah Person). For example, there was a man named Luke who was living out of his automobile in the City of San Francisco that was baptized by Father Anastassy. Luke has long since become schemamonk Lazarus, an inhabitant of the ancient Saint Saba’s Monastery in the Palestinian Territory. Archimandrite Anastassy was also the spiritual father of our Father Rector from 1987 until the former’s repose in 2004.