Hieroconfessor Pantaleimon Of Olchinki

S. Gap writes: "In the church of the Nativity of the Mother of God in the village of Andreyevka, Novoselsky region, Donetsk province, there served the priests Alexander Kaltypin and Basil, and the deacon Timothy Ivanovich Timofeyev. For refusing to sign the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius they were arrested and sent into exile, where they remained for eight years. On returning to their homeland, they dispersed to their places of residence.

"Fr. Alexander returned to his family in Andreyevka. He worked in the sovkhoz "Dry Pits" as a simple worker, secretly carrying out needs. After the occupation of the Ukraine by the Germans, these three clerics again came together, opened the church and served in it. For his firm stand in the faith Fr. Alexander was appointed dean of Yekaterinoslav by Bishop Demetrius. Deacon Timothy was held in great honour by the priests and parishioners. He conducted the choir well, knew the services well, preached, and was an active struggler against renovationism and communism. When the Germans began to retreat, Deacon Timothy was evacuated together with Bishop Demetrius and was ordained to the priesthood by him. We know nothing about his further destiny. There is only a rumour that he served in the U.S.A.

"[While serving in Andreyevka], these three clerics were often joined by the priest Panteleimon from the village of Olchinki, where he was the rector of the church... In 1945, all the priests who had served during the German occupation were assembled by order of the Moscow Patriarchate in the town of Grishino (Krasnoarmeisk). Fathers Panteleimon, Basil and Alexander also appeared. Under pressure from the representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate, the clergy signed the declaration of Metropolitan Sergius and read it out in church during the service. Frs. Alexander and Basil did not hold out and signed the declaration. For this they were allowed to serve in church. But Fr. Panteleimon did not agree to sign, and was not allowed to serve in his church. Having explained the situation to his faithful, Fr. Panteleimon began to serve needs outside the church.

"Batyushka came to his parishioners in our village of Andreyevka, who had not accepted the renovationists before the war. He explained the situation to them and told them about the fall of the former priests Alexander and Basil. Fr. Panteleimon warned his parishioners about the danger involved in going to their services. Then batyushka celebrated the Liturgy in the home of one of the parishioners. I was one of the witnesses of this. I served in the altar... After the last Liturgy I accompanied him to our house with the chalice containing the Body and Blood of the Lord to commune our family. Our house was three kilometres from that place, and I went 100-150 metres ahead on the street. He communicated our family, and his parting words were:

"'Have no communion with the Moscow Patriarchate.'

"We have kept this testament of Fr. Panteleimon to the present day. He told us that he would be arrested. All the parishioners whom he had confessed and communicated accompanied him on his way with tears.

"Soon he received the following summons in the post from Metropolitan Sergius [i.e. the Moscow Patriarchate]:

"'We have heard that because of age and weakness you cannot serve, but sign our declaration that you are a member of our church.'

"Fr. Panteleimon wrote the following reply:

"'I confess the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, but I don't know you, and I will not sign your declaration.'

"Two weeks later, the GPU arrested him, his daughter Maria and the warden of the church. They were exiled to Siberia. Seven years later, when they had served his sentence, his daughter and the warden returned to their homeland. But Fr. Panteleimon died in exile.

(Source: Pravoslavnaya Rus', N 7 (1532), April 1/14, 1995, pp. 11-12)





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