Ordination of our first Vicar Bishop
On Sunday, July 2, 2006, as the highlight of our 75th Archdiocesan Congress, we rejoiced in another milestone in the growth of our Church's mission in America: the ordination of our first Vicar Bishop, in the person of the Very Reverend Father Archimandrite Ioan Casian Tunaru. The ordination of a bishop begins with the formal Announcement of the election and calling of the candidate. Fr. Ioan Casian had been recommended for this high office by Archbishop Nicolae and the Archdiocesan Council and as such was elected as Vicar Bishop by the Holy Synod at its spring meeting. At Vespers on Saturday evening, which Archimandrite Ioan Casian celebrated, there followed a ceremony called "The Announcement of the Election and Calling of the Candidate" where the results of the election are publicly made known and the candidate accepts his election. On the morning of the ordination, just before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, the candidate made his formal Confession of Faith. Each of the ordaining bishops asks a question of the candidate, to which he responds.
As the representative of the Holy Synod, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of Paris presided over the Divine Liturgy and Ordination. Concelebrating with him were four hierarchs including our own Archbishop Nicolae, Metropolitan Christopher of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada, Metropolitan Nicholas of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Detroit, and Bishop Siluan of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe, as well as more than thirty priests, and five deacons. The responses were sung by the cathedral choir.
Although through the capriciousness of the immigration system, the family of our new Bishop was denied the joy of participating in his ordination, there were some poignant moments observed at the end of the service, when the former Father Ioan Casian's parishioners from New York's St. Nicholas Church gathered to sing their congratulations and their heartfelt love to the new hierarch in the Archdiocesan Cathedral.
The Enthronement, or installation, of Bishop Ioan Casian took place the following Sunday at the St. Dumitru Monastery in Middletown, New York. The official title of our Vicar Bishop is His Grace, Bishop Ioan Casian of Vicina (an ancient Wallachian metropolitanate). His area of responsibility is the Eastern U.S.
Many years, Master!
Rev. Fr. David Hudson