NEW YORK: 15 March 2022
Triumph of Orthodoxy archpastoral services at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady "of the Sign" in New York

His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe visited the Synodal headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in Manhattan, New York, during the first weekend of Great Lent. Arriving from London, His Grace celebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy in the Synodal Cathedral, together with His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and the local clergy of the Cathedral. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, welcoming priests from several nearby parishes, the Rite of Orthodoxy was performed, with the customary anathemas, in honor of the preservation of Holy Orthodoxy against all heresy and schism; with Memory Eternal sung for our saintly forebears who "fought the good fight" for the true Faith; and Many Years for the hierarchy of the Church Abroad, together with all the canonical realms of holy Orthodoxy and their pastors and faithful - that even in the difficult times of the present day, true faith and worship will be preserved and shall never disappear from the earth.

During the Divine Services in the Synodal Cathedral, as in all parishes of the ROCOR, special prayers for Ukraine were lifted up, petitioning God for peace in place of turmoil and for a swift end to the present bloodshed in that God-preserved and long-suffering land, from which so many of our faithful come.

Preaching at the end of the Liturgy, Vladyka Irenei exhorted the faithful to the peace and unity that is, above all, provided by the right Faith of the Church of Christ - which is the principal theme of the first Sunday of the Great Fast. "The words of the hymns of this day, my beloved brethren," preached the Bishop, "contain the vision of Christs triumph and the source of our unity. There is a faith that is true; there is a Church that is true, and whose practices are right and proper." His Grace added: "As Christians, we are certain that in cherishing and maintaining every teaching of the Orthodox Church, 'down to the smallest iota' as St Theophan the Recluse liked to say, we shall always find true faith, true life and true unity in her embrace, unto the eternal glory of our God in Trinity and the everlasting life of His creatures. Stand fast in this Church! Never bend in your Orthodox Christian convictions, never grow lukewarm in your faith, and all that might keep you from the Kingdom of God will be overcome, propelling you unto eternal life with the God of All!"

During his time in New York, Bishop Irenei not only served together with Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, but was also able to pray and meet at length with the First Hierarch of the Church Abroad, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, as well as the director of the Synodal Youth Department, the Very Reverend Archpriest Andrei Sommer, and other members of the Church Abroads Synodal administration.

Upon the conclusion of his brief visit, Bishop Irenei departed New York for his return to the Diocese.



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