DIOCESE OF GENEVA AND WESTERN EUROPE: February 27, 2007
News From the Diocese of Geneva and Western Europe
France: Archpastoral Services and Meetings.
On February 7, His Grace Bishop Michael of Geneva and Western Europe visited Lyon, where, at the invitation of Priest Quentin de Castelbajac, Rector of the Church of St John the Russian, he led a discussion with the parishioners. Vladyka clarified what to expect after the reestablishment of canonical and Eucharistic communion between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate, and answered questions. The mood of the meeting was lively and fraternal. Vladyka was happy to meet the young, growing parish, which, despite recent troubles, has been attracting Orthodox Christians from all over Lyon and the surrounding area.
Continuing his archpastoral visit to France, Bishop Michael, accompanied by Protodeacon Peter Figurek, headed for the Convent of Our Lady of Lesna in Provemont. There, Vladyka served Divine Liturgy with the local clergymen on February 9, the Translation of the Relics of St John Chrysostom, as well as the following morning, the Commemoration of the Departed. It is worth noting that full hierarchical services have been rare in Lesna Convent in recent years.
After the requiem Liturgy, Vladyka and Protodeacon Peter headed for Medon; there they performed divine services together with the Rector of Resurrection of Christ Church, Protopriest Michael Gudkov, on the Sunday of the Last Judgment. The choir sang magnificently under the direction of Reader Alexander Machtaler; there were many young people among the choir members and acolytes. After Divine Liturgy, the visitors greatly enjoyed the renowned traditional Medon blini. Some 600 persons attended the festivities hosted by the parish.
On Monday, February 12, His Grace visited the Church of the Three Hierarchs in Paris (Moscow Patriarchate), where the feast day was being celebrated. That evening, Tuesday, February 13, Vladyka Michael participated in the fifth round table organized by the Movement for the Pomestny [National] Russian Orthodox Tradition. His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany was invited to speak at this event on the topic of the relationship between our church and the Moscow Patriarchate.
At the end of the first week of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, Vladyka Michael performed divine services at the Cathedral. However, His Grace plans on resuming his travels throughout the Diocese, during which he also plans to perform the rite of Holy Unction at various parishes.
By the blessing of the Ruling Bishop, an official website of the Diocese of Geneva and Western Europe is being prepared. The official website of the Synod of Bishops will post this information as it becomes available.