The faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America are busily preparing to welcome their new Archpastor, His Grace Bishop Irinej (Dobrijevic).
His Grace, who was elected in May by the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church to head the Eastern American Diocese, will be enthroned at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 1.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will begin at 9:30 AM, with the welcoming of the hierarchs by the clergy and faithful. It is anticipated that numerous hierarchs and other guests will be in attendance. Leading the list of dignitaries will be Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, who made adjustments to their busy schedule to be present.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy His Grace Bishop Irinej will be led to the cathedra, or throne of the Bishops of the Eastern American Diocese by His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica-Midwest America as the senior Serbian Orthodox hierarch in North America. There Bishop Irinej will take his place as the fifth Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Eastern America, and deliver his first archpastoral message to his new flock. Following the services all will be welcomed for a short reception at the Cathedral.
At the invitation of the Primate of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church Sawa, His Beatitude Patriarch of Antioch and All Orient John X has started his irenic visit to this country. His Beatitude arrived to Warsaw on the 16th of August and is going to stay with this sister Church until the 22nd of August.
The high dignitary, with two Hierarchs accompanying him, was welcomed at the airport by Metropolitan Sawa and his hierarchs. Thereupon they attended a doxology rite in the Cathedral of St. Mary the Magdalene, where the Patriarch of Antioch was warmly greeted by the Primate of the Polish Church. In his response His Beatitude John X pointed out that he was grateful for every word of love and welcome, and especially for the noble sympathies towards the brothers and sisters of the Holy Church of Antioch.
During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy officiated in the Cathedral of Holy Archangel Michael in Belgrade by Serbian Patriarch Irinej and concelebrating Hierarchs, the new Serbian Bishop of Australia-New Zealand Siluan (Mrakic) was consecrated Bishop.
The Primate of the Church concelebrated with 21 Hierarchs, a large number of priests and deacons. The responses were sung by the First Belgrade Singing Society. This ecclesial event was attended, amongst other prominent personalities, by the director of the Office for Relations with Churches and Religious Communities of the Serbian Government, Dr. Mileta Radojevic, as well as by Their Excellencies Mrs Julia Feeney, Australian Ambassador to Serbia, and Mr. Miroljub Petrovic, Serbian Ambassador to Australia.
The feast-day of the Translation of Relics of St. Archdeacon Stephan was marked by a Hierarchal Liturgy celebrated by His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Irinej in the monastery dedicated to this ecclesial event, Slanci, near Belgrade, which is a filial monastery of the Monastery Chilandar in Mount Athos.
The Serbian Patriarch pronounced a sermon. The liturgical event was attended by a large number of the faithful both from Belgrade as well as from other cities of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska.
ENCYCLICAL OF THE HOLY AND GREAT COUNCIL OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
With a hymn of thanksgiving, we praise and worship God in Trinity, who has enabled us to gather together during the days of the feast of Pentecost here on the island of Crete, which has been sanctified by St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, and his disciple Titus, his “true son in the common faith” (Tit 1.4), and, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to conclude the sessions of this Holy and Great Council of our Orthodox Church – convened by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, by the common will of Their Beatitudes the Primates of the most holy Orthodox Churches – for the glory of His most holy Name and for the great blessing of His people and of the whole world, confessing with the divine Paul: “Let people then regard us thus: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor 4.1).