Clergyman served with dignity, compassion

On Aug. 27 a long-standing Jackson Township resident, Father Boris Kizenko, passed away at an advanced age. Father Boris had been the rector of St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson for many years and was a pillar of the Russian Orthodox community in America.

Construction of the magnificent church edifice on Route 571 where he served was begun prior to the Second World War by Russian émigrés who came to the United States after the Bolshevik revolution. Father Boris himself came to this country after the war and served in Jackson for decades.

It was under Father Boris’ leadership that his church celebrated the 1,000th anniversary of Russian Christianity in 1988.

This wise and compassionate clergyman provided spiritual guidance for his New Jersey flock and also helped to keep alive abroad the rich traditions of Russian culture which were neglected or even actively suppressed in the Soviet Union.

The prayerful leadership of Russian Orthodox priests like Father Boris Kizenko have vouchsafed that Russian Christianity and the Russian national tradition have survived the trials and tribulations of the 20th century.

Father Boris’ church was a beacon during the dark days when an atheist ideology cast its shadow over his native land. Furthermore, in his adopted country this dedicated priest gave succor to generations of Russian immigrants and their families.

The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has prayed ceaselessly for the spiritual and physical wellbeing of the Russian people. Father Boris lived to see the demise of communism and the establishment of the present Russian Federation.

Alas, the present Medvedev- Putin government in Moscow shares some of the flaws of its Bolshevik predecessor administration. Personally, I am confident that with the continuing prayers of Russian believers like Father Boris and his successors, a bright future lies ahead for Russians, both in their homeland and abroad.

It was my privilege to have personally known Father Boris Kizenko for many years. My sympathy goes out to his family and his congregation at this sad time of his passing.

John Kuhn Bleimaier