Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection

New York , New York

Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection

Founded 1926

Diocese: Diocese of New York and New Jersey

Deanery: New York City Deanery


59 E 2nd St
New York, New York 10003-9270


Office: 212-677-4664

Church: 212-420-0667

Parish Contacts

Home: 212-677-4664
Assistant Priest
Retired, Attached

Lay Leadership

Ms. Simona Breazu
Choir Director
Ms. Jennifer Cross
Choir Director
Mr. Mark Bird
Church School Coordinator


From southern New Jersey
Take the Holland Tunnel to Canal St.  Travel on Canal St to Lafayette Ave.  Turn left on Lafayette and travel north to E Houston St.  Make a right onto E Houston and make a left onto Bowery.  Travel north on Bowery to Second St, pass Second Ave to Cathedral which will be in the middle of the block on the right.

From northern New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge
Cross over GW Bridge.  Look for signs for Harlem River Dr S.  Harlem River Dr becomes West Side Highway south.  Continue south and exit at 23 St.  Take 23 St to Second Ave and continue south to Second St.  Turn left, and the Cathedral is in the middle of the block on the right.

From Long Island
Take the Midtown Tunnel to Manhattan.  Follow signs for Second Ave south and continue south to Second St.  Turn left, and the Cathedral is in the middle of the block on the right.

Schedule of Services

5:30 PM All-Night Vigil.
Saturday Evening

9:00 AM Hours, followed by Divine Liturgy.
Sunday Morning

6:00 PM 9th Hour / Vespers.
Thursday Evening

For a complete list of upcoming services, please visit the Calendar on the parish website.

Parish Background

The parish originated in 1870 as the Russo-Greek Chapel of Holy Trinity to serve the needs of the Russian and Greek Embassies. In 1895 it was re-organized as the Church of St Nicholas and the community began to flourish under the pastorate of Priest A Hotovitsky who began a vigorous campaign to raise funds to build a permanent church.  In 1898 Bishop Tikhon (Bellavin) arrived in New York, and in 1904, after completion of construction of a new church on East 97th St, he had the center of the diocese transferred from San Francisco to New York City, raising St Nicholas to the status of Cathedral.

Church life in America was thrown into turmoil during and after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, and in the process, the government of the Soviet Union sued for ownership of all properties built with Tsarist funds abroad.  It would only be in New York City that they would prevail and win control over the cathedral building in 1926.  The dispossessed community, now reorganized as the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, would wait another 17 years before enough funds were raised to purchase the former Olivet Memorial church on East 2nd St, our current home.

The building was easily adapted to Orthodox worship.  The benches were removed, and the templon (icon screen) was erected immediately.  The icons were painted at various times and are of both traditional byzantine style as well as the westernized style popular in Russia in the 19th century.  In recent years we have made a conscience effort to adhere to the traditional byzantine style which communicates the other-worldly theology of the Orthodox Church.

Other activities
The life of the parish includes many activities besides the serivces.  A Church School for children ages 3 and over is held every Sunday from 12:15 to 1:15 PM from September to June.  From time to time there are Wednesday evening talks and classes on some aspect of Christianity.  On various Friday evenings we meet in an informal seeting for fellowship and discussion of various themes of Orthodox life.  The Andronoff Library has a good collection of texts on Orthodox Christianity.  A book and icon shop carries a large array of study and prayer guides, icons, crosses, and children’s items.  Throughout the year we work with various Orthodox churches and institutions in the city on joint charitable and missionary activities.  A parish newsletter, “The Semandron—A Call to Prayer” contains sermons, parish news, spiritual readings, and articles on Orthodox faith and life.  The council of Orthodox Catholic Church Women provides spiritual and financial assistance for the Church School, liturgical appointments and beautification, and charitable appeals.  The services are primarily in English with some Slavonic, Romanian, and Greek.  Though founded by Russian immigrants, this parish is ethnically diverse and nearly 50% of our members are converts to the Orthodox Faith.