The first ever gathering of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the West, Los Angeles (CA), April 10 2007
At the invitation of His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH (Antiochian), the canonical Orthodox Bishops in the West Coast held their historic first gathering on Bright Tuesday, April 10, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. In attendance were His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS (Greek), His Grace, Bishop MAXIM (Serbian) and His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN (OCA), along with the Deans of the four Cathedrals in the Los Angeles area: V. Rev. Great Economos Michel Najim (St. Nicholas Antiochian Cathedral), V. Rev. John Bakkas (St. Sophia Greek Cathedral), V. Rev. Michael Senyo (Holy Virgin Mary OCA Cathedral), V. Rev. Nikola Ceko (St. Stephen Serbian Cathedral).
The gathering began with singing the Paschal Apolytikion and the blessing of the food. After lunch, His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH welcomed everyone and thanked them for making time to attend this gathering. He reviewed the items on the agenda and made an opening statement about the importance of expressing our Holy Orthodox Faith with one voice. His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS congratulated His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN on his recent election to the vacant See of San Francisco and the West of the OCA. The hierarchs discussed a variety of matters including the need for Pan-Orthodox gatherings (Sunday of Orthodoxy, possibilityof establishing Theological Education, rotation of Cathedrals for Concelebrating, how to strengthen our Orthodox unity in the West Coast). They appointed the four deans present to meet and make recommendations about gatherings of the people from the different jurisdictions.
The hierarchs agreed to schedule the next gathering during the summer to be hosted by His Eminence at the Greek Metropolis of San Francisco. Please pray that the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit Himself, will guide the works of the hierarchs to do His will on earth as it is in Heaven.
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