His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH’s Address at the Enthronement of His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS of San Francisco
April 2, 2005
Holy Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Oakland, California
Your Eminences, Your Graces, my brothers and concelebrants, beloved clergy and faithful in Christ:
I am honored to be present at this most Holy and joyous occasion. This is a time of celebration for not only the faithful of the Metropolis of San Francisco, but for all the Orthodox in North America. Though we have many jurisdictions, we all glorify the same God with the same Orthodox Faith. We are like different limbs of the same Body, of which our Lord Jesus Christ is the head. We are unified in our mutual commitment to the same Gospel and same Apostolic Tradition.
Today, and during this holy tesserakosti, with all the prayers and blessings of this Holy Lent, I extend my hand of friendship and brotherhood to His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS. Those who know him testify of his strong faith and loyal service to the Church, his pastoral compassion and his spiritual expertise. I look forward to working with him for the evangelization of North America, and the growth of the Orthodox faith in this land. We may be a minority now, but who knows what can be accomplished with the solidarity and mutual love our Lord calls us to?
My deepest desire is that we can support one another in our ministries, and see our cooperation become a model for the clergy and laity of our respective communities. I envision a future in which our clergy and our faithful work closely together to minister to our peoples and bring the message of Orthodoxy to the ears and hearts of all Americans. If we remain devoted to the Truth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, all things are possible to us.
It is my privilege to know His Eminence, Archbishop DEMETRIOS, whom we love and respect. I consider him one of the greatest assets to the Orthodox Church in this continent, and I rejoice with all of you because of his wise leadership, love and great knowledge.
On behalf of His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, and our self-ruled Holy Synod of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and on behalf of all the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West, I congratulate Metropolitan GERASIMOS and pray that God grant him many, many years of honorable and fruitful ministry! AXIOS!