Metropolitan Joseph's Visit 2006
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Metropolitan Joseph's Visit 2006

One of the highlights of the year here at the Skete, at the Convent, and at the Mission Center is the blessing of a visit from our dear Metropolitan Joseph, the head of the Patriarchal Bulgarian Diocese of the U.S.A., Canada, and Australia.  Dedo Vladiko was here recently on October 6th through 9th, 2006 and it was a very festive visit indeed.  He traveled with Father Patrick Tishel, the pastor of Holy Resurrection Church near Boston and headmaster of St. Herman of Alaska Christian School, who was a joy to see also.  During their stay two special events happened at the Skete.   

Some Highlights from the visit with Metropolitan Joseph


 Metropolitan Joseph 
                     Metropolitan Joseph                      


On Sunday morning at the end of the Divine Liturgy Hieromonk Simeon, the head of the Skete and acting Abbot was formally elevated first to be an Abbot, then installed as the Abbot of the Skete, and then elevated to be an Archimandrite.  The ceremony included a lengthy admonition to Father Simeon as to the duties and responsibilities of these honors, as all honors in the Church are really an outward call to greater service in love of the Faithful, and an interior call to raise our life to a higher standard of the calling of every Christian to “be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”  This is a great calling, both inwardly and outwardly, so pray that we all will respond to Christ’s invitation in love.


 Fr Anthony tonsure Fr Simeon elevation
Fr. Anthony tonsured to Stavrophore Monk / Fr. Simeon elevated to Abbot and Archimandrite


The second blessing was on Sunday evening after Great Vespers and Small Compline when Rassophore Monk Anthony was raised to the monastic rank of Stavrophore Monk in the ceremony of monastic tonsure.  In this ceremony, the monk is called to be a Cross-bearer, or a living icon of the Crucifixion of all forms of self-will and self-rule in his daily life, and formally promises for life the four vows of a monastic: obedience, chastity, poverty, and stability.  This too is a great calling, for each Christian is called to a life of asceticism or self-denial, whether they are single, married, or monastic, and it is only the form of self-denial that is distinct in each way.  In the monastic form this is consciously sought and consciously conformed moment by moment if one does that life well.  All of the monastics present who had already made these vows (including Metropolitan Joseph, the Fathers of the Skete; Archimandrite Simeon and Stavrophore Monk Theodore, and Stavrophore Nun Mother Elizabeth of the Convent of St. Silouan) were remembering their own monastic tonsures, and their own monastic promises made years before to Christ and all the Angelic Hosts, freely and without restraint.  Pray that they all pursue them with vigor. 



   Monastics and Metropolitan
Monastics at St. Isaac of Syria Skete and Convent of St. Silouoan 
with Metropolitan Joseph in St. Nicholas Church                                                     




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