he history of the Cathedral located in Los Angeles, California is truly a story of people of vision, courage, dedication, leadership, and religious conviction. It is the story of the needs of many Orthodox families who had settled in the greater Los Angeles area since the turn of the twentieth century. It is a story of those who had devoted their lives to the service of our community, of leaders who are no longer with us, but who shall always remain dear in our hearts because of their wisdom, love and accomplishments. Their legacy continues today.
The years 2007 and 2008 were no exception. In 2007, we witnessed the ordination of Dn. George Ajalat, M.D., to the Holy Priesthood, where he will continue his leadership with the Hispanic Mission. In 2008, Fr. Ajalat’s assistant, Dn. Paul Olson, was also ordained to the priesthood, having come to the Cathedral several years before for this ministry. (Fr. Paul was ordained a deacon on St. Nicholas Day in 2006.) Right after Fr. Paul’s priestly ordination, another native son, Subdn. Maxime Najim, was ordained to the Deaconate. He grew up at the Cathedral in its various ministries: altar boy captain, Teen SOYO officer, and Church School Teacher. St. Nicholas Cathedral has long been a proponent in inter-Orthodox unity, as it has hosted countless activities to bring Christ’s flock together. We most especially express this in our sacraments and worship and, through the years, the Cathedral has celebrated Vespers on the evening of the Sunday of Orthodoxy in Great Lent. All the clergy and laity process with icons to celebrate their correct restoration and veneration in the ninth century. This celebration took a different form in recent years, as all canonical Orthodox Christian bishops on the West Coast now concelebrate the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy that morning. St. Nicholas Cathedral and our Bishop JOSEPH hosted this inspiring gathering in 2009.