On Sunday, March 13th, exactly twenty-eight years to the day after his consecration to the sacred episcopacy, Metropolitan Nicholas, primate of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA, fell asleep in the Lord. For information about the Metropolitan, his last days, and the funeral arrangements, please see the website of the Carpatho-Russian diocese.
In the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the terrible devastation and loss of life resulting, the Assembly of Bishops encourages the faithful of North America to pray earnestly for Metropolitan Daniel of Tokyo, Bishop Seraphim of Sendai, and all the clergy and faithful of the autonomous Orthodox Church of Japan.
The Inter-Orthodox Preparatory Commission, which is working to prepare for the planned Great and Holy Synod, and which is made up of representatives of fourteen autocephalous Orthodox churches, met from 21-26 February in Chambesy, Switzerland. It was this Commission that, in 2009, chartered the Assembly of Bishops of North and Central America. At this latest meeting, they were scheduled to address the issues of the order of Diptychs and the procedures for granting autocephaly to dependent churches.
Following its approval by the Chairman of the Assembly, the Secretariat has formed a Program for Communications, and with it, a body of consultants who will help the Secretary to communicate the work of the Assembly and the message of the Orthodox Church to the faithful in North America, to the media when necessary, and to the wider public. They will also assist the Assembly of Bishops at large in preparing official statements, position papers, and press releases.
Let us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast, and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat. Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh; and as we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion. Rejoicing in the virtues of the Spirit may we persevere with love, and so be counted worthy to see the solemn Passion of Christ our God, and with great spiritual gladness to behold His holy Passover.
This past week the Chairman of the Assembly of Bishops, Archbishop Demetrios, sent out a formal notification to all the member bishops for the next plenary session of the Assembly. The first meeting was held in New York; this meeting will be held in Chicago, and will convene on May 25-27, 2011. The Chairman encouraged each committee to begin its work, with the hope of having at least one meeting (via telephone, video conference, or in person) before the Assembly. It is also expected that time will be made available in Chicago for committees to meet, to allow them to prepare their reports to the Assembly.
Applications for scholarships administered by the Chancellor
The Secretariat of the Assembly of Bishops held its fourth meeting this past Wednesday, February 16. They met for over an hour by teleconference. Questions concerning the incorporation of the Assembly were discussed, as was the work of the thirteen committees.
New directories have been created for the Assembly of Bishops. In addition to the initial Directories of the Bishops and of the Parishes, three new directories have been added: the Directories of Military Chaplains, of Male Monastic Communities and of Female Monastic Communities. In addition, the Parish Directory has been updated to now include the parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the U.S.
The membership of the thirteen committees of the Assembly of Bishops, including the chairmen of each committee, has been finalized, and is now available. These members, under the coordination of their chairmen, will initially be responsible for addressing the tasks listed under the Committee Descriptions. It is hoped that each committee will be able to meet at least once in advance of the forthcoming meeting of all the bishops in May.
On the occasion of the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, we convey our paternal love, blessings and prayerful best wishes for a very happy feast to all of the Christ-loving Clergy, Monastics and Laity.
To all Orthodox Christians of North and Central America, we send archpastoral blessings and prayerful best wishes for a bright and joyous feast of our Lord's Nativity, and a blessed and peaceful New Year.
Saturday, January 22, 2011 marks the 38th anniversary of the decision by the United States Supreme Court known as "Roe v. Wade." Orthodox Christians are asked to prayerfully remember the victims of abortion ...
The Secretariat of the Assembly of Bishops held a teleconference meeting on Wednesday, 19 January, to follow-up on the work of their meeting from the previous week. All the members were able to participate, except Fr. Nicholas Ceko of St. Steven's Cathedral in Los Angeles. Even His Grace Bishop Maxim was able to join the call, shortly after celebrating the Liturgy for the feast of Theophany (Old Calendar) in San Francisco. Everyone was satisfied that the decisions from the meeting in Alhambra were moving ahead.
On Jan 12-13, 2011, the members of the Secretariat of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America met in Alhambra, CA at St. Steven?s Cathedral, hosted by His Grace Bishop Maxim. The meetings were led by His Grace Bishop Basil, and included bishops, priests, deacons, monastics, and laity.
The Secretariat of the Assembly of Bishops is scheduled to meet this week, from Wednesday, January 12 to Thursday, January 13. It will be the first meeting of the newly-appointed staff, and will be hosted by Bishop Maxim at his chancery in Alhambra, CA.
These bishops, while not part of the agencies' governing structures, are responsible for coordination between the Assembly and their particular agency, and for providing episcopal guidance on behalf of the Assembly for all that agency's activities.
The Secretariat has been established as an extension of the office of the Secretary of the Assembly.
Ecumenical Patriarch Receives Officers of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of North and Central America
On Tuesday, Sept. 21, His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received the Officers of the Assembly of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul.
Greeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Officers of the Episcopal Assembly of North and Central America
We are particularly delighted to receive all of you here at the Sacred Center of Orthodoxy, the First-Throne and Mother Church of Constantinople, and we warmly greet you, as brothers accompanying our esteemed Exarch in America, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, and as hierarchs ministering in the United States: Your Eminence Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk (serving as vice-chairman of the assembly), Your Eminence Archbishop Antony of Hierapolis (serving as treasurer of the assembly), and Your Grace Bishop Basil of Wichita (serving as secretary of the assembly).