In an emotional address he spoke about his decision to become priest – He will be enthroned on March 24.
New York.- (GreekNewsOnline)
Photos: Dimitrios Panagos
Metropolitan-elect of Chicago Nathanael Symeonides was ordained a Bishop, on Saturday, March 17, during a service at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. Archbishop Demetrios Geron of America was presiding at the services; concelebrating were members of the Holy Eparchial Synod, and other Hierarchs from around the world.
In his address, Metropolitan-elect Nathanael expressed gratitude to the Hierarchs of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who trusted and honored him by their hierarchical love, and who presented me, through their honorable vote. He has also thanked the Hierarchs of the Holy Eparchial Synod who voted to include him on the ballot of candidates for the Metropolis of Chicago.
“I especially thank His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of Boston, under whose paternal care I served as deacon for three years, gaining from his example an appreciation for the liturgical life. Simultaneously, I express my heartfelt appreciation to the holy Hierarchs of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America for our excellent cooperation during my tenure as the Special Assistant to His Eminence the Chairman, and I personally thank those Hierarchs who rushed to celebrate my hierarchical ordination and share in my joy today.”
Addressing Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Nathanael thanked him for providing him numerous opportunities to serve the Church through important posts, which offered him ecclesiastical experience and the opportunity to demonstrate his devotion to the Church.
“I am especially grateful that you ordained me a deacon and a presbyter, and today will receive from your honorable hands the grace of the archpriesthood. I look forward to our sincere collaboration, which will certainly seek to advance the interests of our Church. I also count on your love, which, in practice, will guide our decisions for the good and salvation of man. I believe that I have much more to learn from you during our work together, especially in my new capacity. I thank you once again, praying that God will grant to you, “according to your heart, all that which is necessary for salvation,” and in your person, I offer thanksgiving to all of the clergy and monastics of our Holy Archdiocese, and also thank the Archdiocesan staff for their collaboration over the years.”
In a highly emotional tone he spoke about his decision to priesthood.
“A littlemore than 20 years ago, a young high school student, seeing his father suffer and eventually succumb to cancer, faced, perhaps for the first, the existential question: “what is my place in the world without the presence of my father”? This young person was forever marked by last act in the tragedy of his beloved person, namely the receiving of confession and Holy Communion. At that moment, he decided to continue the rest of his life in the same blessed manner. In this way, he came to know Christ. By enduring sorrow and pain during the mourning process, he encountered Christ and realized that only He could offer the love that was now missing in his life. This profound and personal relationship forged with God in the context of pain and tribulation was finally revealed to be a calling—a calling to the Priesthood.”
He has also spoken about his mother and the rest of his family and friends.
“I give thanks to my beloved mother Irene, whose constant struggle to provide for her children was grounded on her faith in Christ and her love for the Church. With my mother, I thank my sisters Anastasia and Konstantina and their families for standing by my side and supporting my every decision in life. I also thank each and every one of my spiritual and natural family members, my teachers, the faithful and clergy of my childhood parish of ZoodochosPeghe in the Bronx, my friends and classmates, and all those who have gathered here today to pray for my unworthiness, most especially those who have traveled from Chicago, laying aside their many obligations so that the presence of our Metropolis may be dynamically felt.”
At the completion of the Divine Liturgy, a reception was hosted at the Cathedral Center for all the faithful.
The new Metropolitan was expected to celebrate his first Divine Liturgy as bishop, on Sunday, March 18, 2018, at the Greek Orthodox Church of Zoodohos Peghe.
Nathanael will be enthroned as Metropolitan of Chicago on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Chicago (1017 N LaSalle Dr.). The enthronement service will begin at 11:00 a.m. The next day, Sunday, March 25, 2018, as the Chicago Cathedral celebrates the great feast of the Annunciation, Metropolitan Nathanael will celebrate his first Divine Liturgy.