Serbian Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland enthroned in Vienna
The Sunday, 20 July 2014, was a special day for the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Vienna. The first time in history the new Diocese founded by the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops got the Diocesan Bishop, who is going to take care about Church and spiritual life of his congregation in this Diocese.
Since the early morning guests and pious people were arriving to the churchyard of the Resurrection church to welcome His Holines Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, with Their Eminences Metropolitans and Their Graces Bishops from the homeland. Both priests and monks, all gathered in one Spirit, today occupied the church yard and the church of the Resurrection of Christ.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej officiated the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy under concelebration of Metropolitans: Arsenios of Austria and the Exarch of Hungary (Ecumenical Patriarchate), George of Kitrus and Katherine (Orthodox Church of Greece), Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, as well as of Bishops: Irinej of Backa, Pahomije of Vranje, Ignjatije of Branicevo, Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, Marko of Bregalnica, Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac, David of Krusevac, David of Stobi and, of course, new elected Andrej.
The Holy Liturgy was concelebrated also by: Archimandrite Metodije, abbot of the Royal Laura of Chilandar; Archimandrite Sergije (Karanovic), Bishop electus of Middle Europe; Archimandrite Jeronim (Mocevic), new elected Vicar Bishop of Jegar; and archimandrite Tihon(Rakicevic) of Studenica with priests from Vienna churches and the Archbishopric of Belgrade-Karlovac: protopresbyter-stavrophor Petar Lukic, principal of the Cathedral church in Belgrade; protodeacon Radomir Percevic, Stevan Rapajic and Nenad Radakovic (Diocese of Branicevo). Choir singers from Vienna and Belgrade churches sang responses.
The Divine Liturgy and the rite of the enthronement of the Bishop of Austria-Switzerland were also attended by Bishop Lukijan of Budim and retited Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla. Also some ambassadors and political dignitaries were among the faithful.
Serbian Patriarch held an address and wished Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland to follow the path of God and the path of Saint Sava and of all our saints and thereupon handed him over a pastoral staff, the symbol of apostolic authority.
Following the address by Patriarch Irinej, Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland thanked all for the support during his life and education.
The enthronement of Bishop of Austria-New Zealand was attended by: Vice President of the Government of Serbia and Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic, Director of the Bureau for Relations with Churches and Religious Communities Dr. Mileta Radojevic, representatives of the city of Vienna, neighboring countries in the region, prominent representatives of the cultural and public life in Austria.
Personal envoy of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn attended the enthronement on his behalf, as well as Apostolic Nuncio Peter Stephan Zurbriggen.
After the ceremony in the church, Patriarh Irinej, with hierarchs and priests and monks, invited all guests to the agape feast. On this occasion His Grace Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa, former Administrator of this Diocese, delivered a speech. Addresses were also given by: Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria, Vice President of the Government of Serbia and Foreign Affairs Minister Ivica Dacic, Apostolic Nuncio Peter Stephan Zurbriggen and episcopal dean Fr. Krstan Knezevic (Saint Sava’s church).
Bishop of Austria-Switzerland, who will lead also the flock of Italia and Malta, once again thanked the Lord, especially his mother Marianne, Serbian Patriarch Irinej and all Hierarchs, as well as brothers and sisters in Christ.