A message from Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and Canada, to the clergy and parishioners of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and Canada on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the repose of Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov)
Beloved fathers in the Lord, dear brothers and sisters!
September 5, 2023, marks the 45th anniversary of the falling asleep of the founder and first Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the United States, Canada and Mexico, Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) of blessed memory.
The mission of the Russian Orthodox Church on the North American continent has more than 230 years of history. Orthodox believers in America today, hierarchs, clergymen, leaders and members of parish councils and committees, choir directors and cantors, Sunday school teachers, members of brotherhoods and sisterhoods, with love and gratitude, prayerfully honor the memory of all those who labored for the sake of Holy Orthodoxy on American soil. However, the Church remembers that it was only by the efforts of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Nikodim that a new page was written in the history of Orthodoxy in the New World during a difficult period in history. Vladyka-Exarch made incredible efforts to restore the divinely commanded unity of the Holy Church on the North American continent, at the same time becoming the founder and first administrator of new ecclesiastical jurisdictions - the Patriarchal Parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA, Canada and Mexico. On April 10, 1970, the Tomos of Autocephaly was granted to the Orthodox Church in America, and a new canonical status was given to the activities of the Russian Church in the countries of North America. The eternal and grateful memory of the labors of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Nikodim remains in the hearts of the faithful of America.
One of the most fascinating examples of evidence of the talents and scale in the history of this truly outstanding person of the Church is the fact that the current Primate of our Church, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus' remains the closest student and assistant of Metropolitan Nikodim.
Joining His Holiness, I call on each of you to prayerfully commemorate the ever-memorable Metropolitan Nikodim on September 5 or on the next liturgical day with prayer at the Divine Liturgy and a Panikhida, and to including in the sermon how the labors and life path of this extraordinary hierarchic and man of the Church played a significant role in the history of Orthodoxy in North America.
Invoking God's blessing on you,
Bishop of Sourozh
Interim Administrator of the
Patriarchal Parishes in the USA and Canada