Memory eternal to the ever-memorable Father Valery on the third anniversary of his repose in the Lord. Christ is Risen!
Memory eternal entoned by Alexis Lukianov with the PaTRAM Institute Singers, Blessed Art Thou among Women CD.
Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov was born on December 21, 1927 in the city of Shanghai (Republic of China) into the family of Simeon Mikhailovich Lukianov and Zoya Stepanovna Suhanova. He completed the full curriculum at the classical gymnasium, receiving his Certificate of Maturity in 1945. As a result of the wartime situation in China, he was evacuated in January 1949 to a refugee camp on the island of Tubabao (Philippines) and arrived in the United States in 1950.
In 1951, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served for two years in the Corps of Engineers. On June 13, 1954, he married Irene Petrovna Motcharsky, daughter of Mitred Archpriest Peter and Raisa Vasilyevna Motcharsky; they had five sons: Alexis, Serge, Nicholas, John, and Alexander. On June 15, 1955 Fr. Valery graduated cum laude from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering Degree.
After working as a civil engineer for several years, he enrolled at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York and graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Theology Degree. In 1959, Fr. Valery was tonsured a reader, then, successively, ordained a subdeacon, deacon (by His Eminence John, Archbishop of San Francisco, now gloried as a saint), and presbyter (by Metropolitan Philaret Voznensensky) and, over the course of nearly 60 years, rose through virtually all the clerical honors and awards to the rank of a mitred protopresbyter with the honor to wear 2 pectoral crosses, the highest rank of a married priest.
Having been assigned rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Howell, New Jersey in 1968, he fulfilled various administrative roles within the Church hierarchy beyond the functions of a parish priest, including serving as the head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the Holy Land and chairman of the Synodal Arts & Architecture Commission, but remained attached to this parish for nearly 60 years until his passing on May 25, 2018.
One of his greatest achievements as a cleric and civil engineer is considered to be the building of the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (initiated in 1989 and consecrated in 1997) which stands today as a magnificent edifice and Herculean accomplishment; it is an architectural gem and truly an adornment of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America.
A prolific author, visionary leader, gifted pastor, and shining example of Christian piety and love, Fr. Valery rose to become a stalwart spiritual force in America and is now regarded as one of the most honored priests of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) of the Post-1917 Revolution Era.