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WESTERN EUROPEAN DIOCESE: June 27, 2018
Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan and Bishop Irenei of Sacramento visit the Western European Diocese

Hierarchal services were celebrated at Elevation of the Cross Cathedral in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 24, 2018. His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Administrator of the Western European Diocese, officiated at all-night vigil the evening before, joined by His Grace Bishop Irenei of Sacramento and the cathedral clergymen.

On the morning of the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, Bishop Irenei officiated at Divine Liturgy. In his sermon, Vladyka Irenei explained the days Gospel reading on the healing of the centurions servant, accenting the question of faith as being a great Divine gift. The Lord performs miracles easily for those who have genuine faith and firm hope in Him. The centurion turned to the Savior, but did not request medicine, or even the presence of Jesus at the bed of his ailing servant, said the archpastor. During the repast served after the service, the parishioners and clergymen of the parish spoke with the bishops.

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Bishop Nicholas made an archpastoral visit to the Church of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow in Menton, France, on June 24, and to St Nicholas Church at the Russian House. His Grace was told about the life and history of the parish. Addressing the parishioners, Vladyka Nicholas stressed the importance of preserving faith and Holy Orthodoxy, which is a true gift from God, and that we must observe the example of the centurion of Capernaum. After the service, the archpastor was given a tour of the church grounds, and had a warm conversation with Priest Evgeny Nikitin, members of the Association of St Anastasia and a large contingent of parishioners.

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On Monday, June 25, Bishop Nicholas returned from Menton to chair a meeting of the Parish Council of the Geneva Cathedral, which is the see of the Western European Diocese. He held a series of meetings with clergymen and parishioners and took a tour of the church and diocesan headquarters. Very important parish matters were discussed during the meeting, and the future path of liturgical life, education and social service were discussed.

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The next day, Bishop Nicholas made an official visit to the Russian Embassy and Holy Trinity Parish in Bern/Fribourg. Accompanied by Priest Emilian Pocinoc, the diocesan secretary, and Priest Ioann Churin, rector of the Bern parish, Vladyka Nicholas met with Ambassador Sergei Garmonin, with whom he discussed the spiritual needs of their compatriots living in Switzerland. The bishop then went to Holy Trinity Church, then Fribourg University, where he met with its professors, later praying at the local Orthodox Student chapel, which is ministered by Fr Ioann.

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