On Sunday, June 2, 2018, a statue of St. Seraphim of Sarov was unveiled and blessed at the Novo-Diveevo Convent in Nanuet, New York by the Russian Orthodox Church (both the Church Abroad, as well as the Moscow Patriarchal church). During the ceremony, heads of the Orthodox church, Hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Bishop Ioann of the Patriarchal church and the head of the Orthodox Church of America, Metropolitan Tichon officiated. The Russian Consul General of New York, Sergey Ovsyannikov, numerous diplomats, Russian Orthodox community leaders and members also participated in the liturgy, the unveiling and blessing of the statue and the ceremony that day. Congress of Russian Americans President, Natalie Sabelnik, Director Elena Branson (who is also President of Russian Center NY and one of the organizers of the event), as well as CRA Long Island Chapter members also participated in the ceremony and festivities of the day, and the special reception at the Russian Consulate that evening.
The statue of St.Seraphim of Sarov by Russian sculpture, Alexey Leonov from the Kalujskaya oblast’, is a gift from Russia from the Foundation “Dialogue of Cultures – United World”, and was brought to the US by “the Northern Cross” and “Russian Center New York”, who organized the event. The statue was erected across from the convent’s church of St.Seraphim of Sarov. Among the icons in the church is one of Our Lady of Vladimir from Optinoy monastery, the cross from the Ipatiev House from Ekaterinburg, as well as two icons of Christ the Savior, which belonged to Tsar Nicholas II and were with the Tsar’s family in Tobolsk, Ekaterinburg.
Novo-Diveevo cemetery is the largest Russian Orthodox cemetery in the United States, with around 8,000 graves of Russian Orthodox, including members of the Romanov family – niece of Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Vera Konstantinovna and Grand Duke George Konstantinovich. Also, among those buried there are the families of the Galitzines, Volkonski, Trubetskoy, Gagarin, Sheremetiev, the daughter of Lev Tolstoy, Alexandra Lvovna Tolstoy, the wife and family of Baron Wrangel, various poets, writers, scientists, authors and numerous participants of the White Russian movement.