The Bishop Is Coming!
Rarely do I say something that is inclusive of every single person in a group, but in this case I will make an exception. ALL of the youth of our Diocese have known only one hierarch in their lifetime, +His Eminence Metropolitan NICHOLAS, of blessed memory. He was present for many of their baptisms, weddings, communions, camping seasons and other life events that he was privileged to participate in with them. Many of those same people were present in the Cathedral and in New Jersey to pay their respects and honor him as his soul was ushered into the Kingdom of Almighty God. That he was present with them in the beginning and from the start, the impact that it made and the honor it bestowed was fully realized when these young people cried and prayed for his soul at his passing from this earth. The youth have only ever known one bishop, but now the time has come to witness the passing of the baton, the picking up of the mantle of Faith. The moment is upon us to witness the fullness of the priesthood in an historical event...and your children should be there to see it. They have a chance to be there at the beginning of a new episcopacy that will serve them and this Diocese for many years to come.
By the time you receive this issue, plans are being finalized for the joyous occasion of the consecration of our new bishop. On November 27, the Diocese will come together and witness the most ancient rite of the laying-on of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit to raise a man to the office of bishop. I’m sure most of us have seen a priest or deacon ordained, but most of our faithful have never witnessed a bishop being consecrated. It certainly is one of the more infrequent events in the life of the Church, but it is a spiritually important one. St. Ignatius of Antioch reminds us, “Where the Bishop is, there is the church.” We have always been told and accepted that the children are the future of the Church. Our Bishop-Elect, GREGORY has already cemented a new understanding, “The children are the Church! Without them, there is no future.”
I know this event is on a Tuesday and there is school. I know it is the second day of hunting season in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I also know that we have waited for this moment for sixteen months. It will be tremendous to see the Cathedral filled to capacity and standing room only status. There will be more panagias and pectoral crosses than you can count. The prostopinije will be gorgeous and the acclamations of “AXIOS!” will be exhilarating and emotional. But how much more divine would it be if those responses, all that singing and chanting were done by the youth of our Diocese? How much more joyous and memorable would it be to see us “raise the roof” with the children of our parishes as an integral and energetic part of this celebration? Again, “The children are the Church! Without them, there is no future.”
You can see on the diocese‘ website the recordings made this summer at Camp Nazareth immediately following His Grace’s nomination by our priests. They were joyful and excited to say the least, yet few had ever laid eyes on him. (They are unaware that the bishop-elect saw the tributes and was brought to tears) They were all told during our camping weeks to wait for this moment and to be there if they could because it “going to be awesome.” Well, brothers and sisters, that moment is here!
Of all the events in the life of the Church, especially in this Diocese, that I can see as important and moving it is the consecration of our bishop. If you can bring your children, please do so, experience this moment as a family. If you cannot, for whatever reasons, watch it live on the internet or view the archives later that evening. Be present with our new bishop from the beginning and share in his ministry - for he will serve all of us tirelessly and “love us to death.” To our Diocesan youth I say, “Come and see. You’re going to love him.”
AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!
Fr. Michael Chendorain, Editor Daylight Youth Newsletter