News from the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America

St Joasaph Church in Muddy, IL

At the last session of the Synod of Bishops, the archpastors heard the request of Bishop Peter of Cleveland to rename the Diocese of Chicago and Detroit, which His Grace administers, to the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, in light of the significant broadening of its boundaries and the inclusion of Southern and Central States of the US, and in connection with this, to change the title of His Eminence Archbishop Alypy to the Ruling Bishop of Chicago and Mid-America, which had the prior approval of Vladyka Alypy. Also, in light of its historical significance and the fact that it was once an independent diocese, Bishop Peter asked that the church of the Assumption in Detroit retain its title of cathedral. Bishop Peter's proposals were accepted.

On December, the feast day of St Ioasaph of Belgorod, Bishop Peter officiated at Divine Liturgy at St Joasaph Church in Muddy, IL, which was consecrated by Metropolitan Platon in 1913.

On December 30, the day of Prophet Daniel, Bishop Peter traveled to Erie, PA, to the Old Believers' parish of the Nativity of Christ, in order to personally congratulate Bishop Daniel of Erie on his namesday. Vladyka Peter was accompanied by the clergymen of St Sergius of Radonezh Cathedral in Cleveland. The holiday was marked by a moleben at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ. That evening, a delegation headed by Bishop Peter returned to Cleveland, where he led all-night vigil, and on the following day, His Grace officiated at Divine Liturgy in his St Sergius Cathedral. His Grace was joined by the Cathedral's clergymen: Senior Priest Ilia Marzev and the senior deacon of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, Deacon Vadim Gan. During the hours, His Grace Vladyka ordained Andrei Rodzianko as a reader; he will serve at St Sergius Cathedral. There was a great multitude of worshipers at this service, as the Cathedral Choir sang prayerfully under the direction of Reader Alexander Petrovsky. After “Blessed be the name of the Lord,” Bishop Peter read a profound sermon on the importance of retaining familial bonds in today's world. During the trapeza, Bishop Peter was welcomed by the Senior Priest Father Ilia, who thanked His Grace for his archpastoral visit and prayers. Fr Ilia said in particular:

Your Grace, Dear Vladika,

We the clergy and parishioners of St Sergius Russian Cathedral, received with great joy the decisions made by the Synod of our church regarding the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion. The specific steps undertaken towards making the official program for the festive signing and concelebration, scheduled for May 17, 2007, on the great feast of the Ascension, give us great hope. Now that this program has been approved and accepted by the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, we can clearly see the imminent healing of the wounds of the Russian Church and the Russian people. This can only happen through partaking from one chalice the all-healing Body and Blood of Christ. We thank you for this, Vladyka and all our Hierarchs, for your braveness, uncompromising efforts, and self sacrifice for the glory of God in the name of His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Once again we pledge our support for you and our Hierarchy headed by our First Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, and we are very happy to see that the vast majority of our Russian Church Abroad also supports you in your God-pleasing efforts.

May the Lord save you!

In his response, Bishop Peter thanked everyone for their support and led a discussion with the parishioners of St Sergius Cathedral, answering questions relating to the reconciliation process between the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church. Many expressed their wish to travel there and personally witness this greatest of events: the official signing of the Act and the first joint celebration of Divine Liturgy by the Primates of both parts of the Russian Orthodox Church.


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