By God's mercy, on the third Sunday of Great Lent, dedicated to the Adoration of Holy Cross and the 42 Martyrs of Ammoria in Phrygia, our newly enthroned hierarch, His Grace the Rt. Rev. Bishop Irinej, paid his first canonical visit to the parish of St.George in Lorain, Ohio.
His Grace was welcomed by the clergy and children of the Lorain parish who presented red and white roses as a gift of their love to their bishop. Before the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy began, His Grace brought the beautifully decorated Cross from the altar to middle of the Church so everyone could venerate it.
In the Holy Liturgy His Grace was joined by Archimandrite Leontije (Alavanja), abbot of St.Mark's Monastery in Sheffield Village, Rev. Fr. Sinisa Hrvacevic, parish priest of St.George parish in Lorain, and Rev. Deacon Edward Kolinda from the neighboring Carpatho-Russian Church (OCA) in Lorain, OH.
The Hierarchal Holy Liturgy concluded with a wonderful homily of His Grace in which he explained the meaning of Sunday of Cross: "We do this primarily in order to help us visibly understand what Great Lent is all about", said His Grace.
He continued, "our Lord Jesus Christ had to allow all the powers of this world, in their sinful state, to crucify Him on the tree of the Cross. And as He bled for us and for our sins, that tree became the new Tree of Life in the garden of Paradise. That fruit, which was once forbidden to us, is now given to us - but in completely different way, so that we can become like God. And that is to receive Holy Communion - the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ".
After Holy Communion and receiving blessing and nafora from His Grace, the community welcomed their Bishop with pogacha and salt in the social hall, where all together enjoyed delicious luncheon prepared by KSS and many parishioners.
Father Sinisa welcomed His Grace to St.George on behalf of their parish family and thanked him for giving his valuable time in order to be with them on this Holy Day. Father also presented the members of the St.George Board to His Grace Bishop Irinej.
Then children then offered their hierarch a present, hand made cross in a frame that they made for their bishop. This was a delightful moment for all our parishioners gathered that day!
We once again thank His Grace our Bishop Irinej for being such a good spiritual father and leader and we thank God for sending such a wonderful bishop to our God saved diocese.
article by Rev. Father Sinisa Hrvacevic