Upon the repose of our beloved Metropolitan Philip, St. Gregory’s joined with parishes around the archdiocese in honoring his memory with services. We celebrated a Requiem Mass on the third day following his death and will continue to remember him in prayers for forty days and on the one-year anniversary of his death.
Metropolitan Philip had been the archbishop for New York and all North America since 1966 and in those almost forty-eight years, he worked to accomplish his vision of an American expression of the Orthodox faith. He often said that he was grateful that our patriarchate was not named for a country, with the nationalism and ethnicity that would entail, but rather for the ancient city where the followers of Christ first received the name “Christian”. Although he was proud of his Middle Eastern heritage, he encouraged the use of English in our services as more appropriate for this country. He showed the spirit of Christian charity – combined with Middle Eastern hospitality – in giving a place to converts from other religious traditions and in supporting the presence of the Western Rite in our archdiocese. Metropolitan Philip was especially concerned for Orthodox unity in this country and, due to his leadership, our archdiocese experienced tremendous growth.
In the months ahead, as our archdiocese prepares to nominate a new metropolitan (the election will be by the Holy Synod of Antioch), Patriarch JOHN X has appointed Metropolitan Silouan of Buenos Aires and All Argentina (a frequent visitor to this country and friend of the archdiocese) as the Patriarchal Vicar and Archbishop Joseph of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West as the locum tenens.
We pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit for our Archdiocese and we remember that Christ has promised to be with us to the end of the age [Matt.28:20] and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church [Matt.16:18]
View the complete April newsletter here.