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DIOCESE OF SAN FRANCISCO AND WESTERN AMERICA: November 7, 2006
On Their Feast Day, the Parishioners of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow" Send a Greeting to His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus on the 5 th Anniversary of His Election

To His Eminence Metropolitan LAURUS,

First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia:

Your Eminence! Bless us!

From distant yet spiritually-close California, the flock of the Western American Diocese greets you.

We congratulate you on the fifth anniversary of your First-Hierarchical service.

Over these five difficult years, you have proven to be a true pastor leading his flock. You have visited all the dioceses of the Russian diaspora and have shared in the anniversary celebrations of many parishes.

It is under your guidance that our Church has embarked upon the long-awaited path of healing the wounds of the division of the Russian Church, thereby turning a new page in the contemporary history of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and granting new hope for the spiritual rebirth of the Russian people in the Fatherland and in the diaspora.

May the Lord bestow upon you, whom He providentially chose for this difficult task in this period of our church history, physical health and spiritual strength for many, many years, through the intercession of the Queen of Heaven and by the prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and All the Saints of Russia.

All of us, the undersigned, assure you of our devotion and genuine love for you, our good and wise pastor.

Signed by a multitude of clergymen, parishioners and worshipers of the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow.”

October 24/November 7, 2006