Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim)
Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) (1946- )
http://orthodoxcanada.ca/Category:Bishops Kenneth may be spelt Cainnech, Coinneach, Cinaed, Canice, Cynedd.
Seraphim may be spelt Serapheim (Greek), Serafim, Séraphim, Sérafin.
Kenneth William Storheim was born in Edmonton, Alberta on 25 January, 1946, one of 4 children of Norwegian and Scottish parents. His father was a Lutheran ; his mother was a Presbyterian ; and he was raised in the Lutheran Church, in a congregation founded by Norwegian immigrants early in the 20th century.
Education ; conversion
After completing primary and secondary education in Edmonton, he entered the University of Alberta Faculty of Arts in Edmonton, from which he received a B.A. degree (with a major in music) in 1968. By this time, he had entered the Anglican Church of Canada. He then attended the Anglican Theological College of British Columbia in Vancouver. This college was situated on the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC). He graduated in 1971 with the S.T.B. degree ("Bachelor of Sacred Theology", now called a Master of Divinity) from the Vancouver School of Theology (the result of a merger, during his last year, of the Anglican and United Church Theological Colleges at UBC). He was ordained as deacon and priest in the Anglican Church, and he served for 6 years in 2 parishes of the Edmonton diocese. From 1976, he was having active conversations with the new Orthodox Priest in Edmonton, Jaroslav Roman, who organised for him a substantial reading course designed to prepare him for becoming Orthodox.
In August, 1978, he was received into the Orthodox Church in the Mission Parish of Saint Herman of Alaska (a parish of the Archdiocese of Canada in The Orthodox Church in America), and he was given the name Seraphim (after Saint Seraphim of Sarov), by which he was already popularly known, and by which he became legally known later on.
In September, 1978, under the direction of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA (because he was a newly-received former heterodox clergyman), Seraphim entered Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York.
During the Feast of the Nativity of that year, Seraphim returned to Edmonton. As he participated in the services at Saint Herman's Church, Father Jaroslav Roman gave him the responsibility of leading the reading and singing in all the Nativity and Theophany services in the parish. This was "baptism by fire", according to the expression.
On 28 October, 1979, at the conclusion of the Archdiocesan Assembly of the Archdiocese of Canada in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Seraphim Storheim was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Archbishop Sylvester (Haruns) at Holy Trinity Church.
On 21 November, 1979, at the Primatial Divine Liturgy, Deacon Seraphim Storheim was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) in the Three Hierarchs Chapel at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, New York.
In 1981, the Priest Seraphim Storheim graduated from the seminary with the Master of Theology degree.
During his years at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, the Priest Seraphim spent most of one year (1980-1981) in Finland, at the New Valamo Monastery in Heinävesi County. There, it was his prime obedience to serve the majority of the daily services, and besides this to sing in the choir, and to guide some groups of anglophonic tourists around the monastery buildings. This interval came at the invitation of Archbishop Paul (Olmari) of Kuopio and Finland.
On his return from Finland in 1981, and after graduating, Father Seraphim returned to Canada, to do missionary work in Alberta. It was at this time that he legally added "Seraphim" to his official name (because he was so generally known by this name). Afterwards, he was sent on obedience to work 1 year each in missionary projects in North Carolina in the USA, and in Ontario. For the missionary work in the USA, he served in the Diocese of the South in an "on loan" status. For the missionary work in Ontario, he served in the Antiochian Archdiocese in an "on loan" status.
In 1987, the Priest Seraphim Storheim was nominated by the Archdiocesan Council of the Archdiocese of Canada to become the Vicar-Bishop to Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor), who was at that time serving as the Locum Tenens of the Archdiocese of Canada.
At the Spring Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops in March, 1987, the Priest Seraphim Storheim was chosen and elected by the Holy Synod of Bishops to become a bishop.
Monastic tonsure ; episcopal ordination
In April, 1987, the Priest Seraphim Storheim was tonsured to be a monk by Archbishop Herman (Swaiko) at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, and he was given the name Seraphim in honour of the New-Hieromartyr Seraphim, Archbishop of Phanarion and Neochorion (1601), in Thessaly, Greece.
From 9 to 12 June, 1987, Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) convened an archdiocesan assembly in Edmonton, Alberta. It was hosted by the young parish of Saint Herman of Alaska in Edmonton, and the meetings were in a hotel on the "south side" of the city.
On 12 June, 1987, at Saint Herman’s Church in Edmonton, Alberta, the Hieromonk Seraphim (Storheim) was elevated to the dignity of archimandrite. That evening, before the 3 assembled bishops, Archimandrite Seraphim made the formal Confession of Faith in accordance with the prescribed order.
On 13 June, 1987, Archimandrite Seraphim (Storheim) was ordained to the Holy Episcopate by Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor), Archbishop Nathaniel (Popp), and Bishop Boris (Geza). He was assigned to be the Bishop of Edmonton, and Vicar-Bishop to Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) in Canada.
Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) was immediately transferred and assigned to be the rector of the parish of Saint Nicholas in the city of Ottawa, Ontario, where he began his service as a bishop, and where at the same time he served as the part-time pastor of the parish. At the beginning, for over a year, he lived in a small attic apartment in the home of a parishioner, until such a time as a satisfactory place might be found (within very limited financial resources) which could serve as a residence for the bishop, and also an office for the diocese. Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) had directed that such a place be found so that the diocesan administration could be both distinct from and independent of the cathedral parish.
From the beginning, Bishop Seraphim perpetuated the rhythm established by Metropolitan Theodosius when he was the Locum Tenens, which was to convene the Archdiocesan Council twice annually, usually before or after the semiannual Holy Synod meetings.
When Bishop Seraphim accepted the responsibility of the episcopacy in the Archdiocese of Canada, he found that the archdiocese as a whole was weak. Despite the best efforts of his predecessor, Vladyka Sylvester, the number of clergy and parishes had become small. The main obstacle faced by Archbishop Sylvester had been an economic one, and the second obstacle had been in communication. The archdiocese had never had a strong economy, and now neither the archdiocese nor the parishes had any spare funds. The newsletter published by Archbishop Sylvester in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Montréal, Québec served as a newsletter for the whole archdiocese. There was a third cause for the weakness, which was the difficult relationship of communication and understanding between the Central Administration of the Church in New York and the Archdiocese of Canada. This made it difficult for Archbishop Sylvester to provide sufficient clergy for the Canadian flock. This difficulty had begun before him, and it continued long after him. There were, in 1988, 2 bishops, 21 priests and 4 deacons in the archdiocese, who served 28 functioning Temples across the country, between Vancouver, British Columbia and Québec City, Québec. There was one monastic community. Bishop Seraphim began his service by serving both as parish priest of the new cathedral parish of the Annunciation to the Theotokos-Saint Nicholas (the result of the amalgamation of the parish of Saint Nicholas and the mission of the Holy Transfiguration) in Ottawa, and as the Vicar-Bishop of the archdiocese. At first, he served together with Archbishop Sylvester in the large parishes of the country.
Then, in 1988, accompanied by 2 young men who drove, he set off by car across the country. Over the course of 2 months, all the functioning communities between Montréal and Victoria, British Columbia were visited. After this, it became possible to establish an active personal relationship between the communities and the new bishop. Such was the nature of his pastoral disposition, that one of the priests soon said, "Vladyka, you are serving the diocese as though it were a parish".
In September, 1988, the Archdiocese of Canada purchased a century-old farm-house, together with about 20 hectares of land some distance south of Ottawa. It was the only available property at the time which was both affordable for the archdiocese, and which provided flexibility in the future usage and development of the facilities. Therefore, from November, 1988, Archbishop Seraphim’s residence was at this site, about an hour’s drive south of Ottawa, near Johnstown, at what came to be known as the Archdiocesan Centre, also called “Fair Haven”. It was from here that he would often travel by air, rail and/or auto to visit the many and far-flung communities of the archdiocese, or to attend meetings in the USA. The administration was developed from this site. It was there that a filing-system for the central office was established, and it was there that a proper organisation of the archives was established and refined. All this was accomplished with considerable help from local volunteers.
In October, 1988, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) was assigned by the Holy Synod to be the Administrator of the Archdiocese.
From 29 November to 15 December, 1988, Bishop Seraphim travelled with the Igumen Gregory (Papazian) to make a spiritual retreat in Egypt in 2 monasteries. During this time, he and the igumen were given an audience with Pope Shenouda III, and they witnessed one of his weekly question-and-answer sessions in the hall of Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo.
Throughout the course of all his life, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) had been positively influenced by the example of Christ-loving pastors, some of whom were bishops. In the course of his pastoral experience, he followed very much the example of the bishops who preceded him in Canada, beginning with Saint Tikhon (Belavin). As did most other bishops who followed after him, Saint Tikhon usually stayed in the homes of clergy and parishioners. In one well-known case, he cared for the children of a farming family in Alberta while the parents were working the land. The pattern set for the others to follow was that of a father/grandfather who knows the spiritual sheep personally and by name, with whom he has a relationship of selfless love, and whom he tries to lead and support into the Kingdom of Heaven. Significant pastoral personalities who followed Saint Tikhon were Archbishop Arseny (Chahovtsov), Bishop Anthony (Tereshchenko), Archbishop Sylvester (Haruns) and Bishop Joasaph (Antoniuk). These, other bishops, and many Christ-loving and Christ-serving priests and deacons contributed to his personal pastoral formation. Therefore, beginning in 1987, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) began an unending series of pastoral visits throughout the diocese. The work of visitation extended beyond the limits of the archdiocese and country of Canada in that every time he went to attend a meeting in the offices of the central administration in New York, he also paid a visit to Canadian and other students attending Saint Vladimir's Seminary, and sometimes also to Saint Tikhon's Seminary.
From 20 to 25 August, 1989, Bishop Seraphim participated in the 9th All-American Council in Saint Louis, Missiouri.
From 28-30 July, 1990, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) convened the triennial Archdiocesan Assembly at the Queen's House Retreat and Renewal Centre. At the assembly, the delegates unanimously nominated Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) to become the diocesan bishop.
On 15 October, 1990, at the October Session of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) was chosen and elected to be the Bishop of Ottawa and Canada. The see city of Ottawa was created, so as not to establish a bishop in a city in which there already was a bishop (at that time there was no other Bishop of Ottawa). This city is also the civil capital of the country.
On 28 October, 1990, in Ottawa, Ontario, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) was enthroned by Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) to be Bishop of Ottawa and Canada.
Soon afterwards, he was assigned by Metropolitan Theodosius and the Holy Synod to succeed Archbishop Dmitry (Royster) as the Secretary of the Holy Synod. He continued in this service for 19 years.
As secretary of the Holy Synod of the OCA, Bishop Seraphim was assigned to serve in various related administrative capacities for the Holy Synod, and he was assigned to lead several committees. One of these was the Holy Synod’s Theological Education Commission. It examined the curricula and status of the seminaries and other educational provisions, and produced a report for the Holy Synod. He represented the OCA for the Holy Synod in some capacities in the Standing Commission of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).
In 1991, the bishop blessed new parish buildings, the establishment of English-speaking missions and monastic communities. There was also a restructuring of the deaneries of the archdiocese with a view to better pastoral service. After the first clergy synaxis in the autumn of 1990, a further refinement in 1991 established an annual regional synaxis for the clergy, one in western Canada, and another in eastern Canada. In March, 1991, an annual retreat was initiated for clergy wives.
In 1992, as a part of the OCA's service in the SCOBA, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) was assigned to assist Archbishop Peter (l’Huillier) of New York in the dialogue between Roman Catholic and Orthodox Bishops.
In 1992, Bishop Seraphim blessed the establishment of a Domestic Chapel of Saint Silouan the Athonite in the Diocesan Centre. Although there was not yet a distinct structure, a part of a room was reserved for this purpose.
In 1992, in connexion with the chapel, Bishop Seraphim blessed the establishment of an informal monastic community, the "Monastic Community of Saint Silouan the Athonite", which would serve as a spiritual home for the various anglophonic monastics living in solitude across the country.
From 5 to 7 October, 1992, Bishop Seraphim was assigned to preside at the Diocese of the Midwest Diocesan Assembly in Chicago, Illinois, since the new bishop had not yet been elected following the retirement of Bishop Boris (Geeza).
By 1993, enough resources had been gathered by the Diocesan Council and the Metamorphosis Fund (organised by John Hadjinicolaou of Montréal), to make possible a renovation to part of the residence. This renovation had 2 phases. First, the kitchen area was modernised. After this, the adjoining garage was transformed and extended in order to become a functioning office for the Archdiocese. Most of this work was completed before the beginning of winter.
The office of the Archdiocese of Canada at "Fair Haven" until 2010.
On 7 March, 1993, Bishop Seraphim was invited to give the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers homily at the Annunciation ("Evangelismos") Greek Orthodox Church in Montréal, Québec.
From 18-22 June, 1993, Bishop Seraphim was sent to Lisbon, Portugal in order to represent the metropolitan and the OCA at the 25th anniversary of the Metropolitanate of Portugal (which had been received into the Polish Orthodox Church in 1990). Metropolitan Basil (Doroszkiewicz) of Warsaw and All Poland, who was leading this celebration, had requested a representation. There were other bishops in his entourage, including all the bishops of Portugal ; and the bishop from Brazil was also present. The days of celebration included a Primatial Divine Liturgy in the Lisbon cathedral which was served by Metropolitan Basil, Metropolitan Gabriel (da Rocha) of Lisbon, and all the other bishops.
From 27 to 30 July, 1993, Bishop Seraphim convened the regular triennial Archdiocesan Assembly in Vancouver, British Columbia. The assembly was hosted by the British Columbia Deanery parishes in the Lower Mainland. The meetings took place at the University of British Columbia campus. The main speaker was Professor Daniel Sahas of the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
From 16 to 23 September, 1993, Bishop Seraphim (along with other bishops) accompanied Patriarch Aleksey II (Ridiger) and Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) on the Bi-centennial Pilgrimage. It began in Alaska, proceeded to San Francisco, and continued to Chicago and to New York. Before arriving in Alaska, the Russian delegation had followed the route taken by the missionary monks from 1793 to 1794 across Siberia (a distance of 10,338 km or 6,424 mi), except that this group had accomplished the journey by air. The patriarch's entourage had taken a week to do this, and they stopped in Irkutsk and 5 newly-created dioceses. The last stop was at Magadan, the site of Stalinist-communist death camps. At the time of the pause in San Francisco, the patriarch, through the media, had to address the turmoil that was growing in Russia at the time. His words brought a temporary calm.
In the autumn of 1993, Bishop Seraphim was assigned to undertake (along with several others) a study of the 3 seminaries of The Orthodox Church in America, and to prepare a report for the Holy Synod. He and the members of the commission travelled to Saint Tikhon's Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania for 10-15 November, to Saint Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, New York, for 28-30 November, and to Saint Herman's Seminary in the city of Kodiak, on Kodiak Island, Alaska, for 1-6 December. In each place there were many meetings and interviews. The consideration included a review of the work of the previous commissions which had undertaken similar work, and the report was submitted to the Holy Synod.
As a bishop and as an archbishop, beginning in 1994, he made many personal pilgrimages to Ukraine, Russia, Romania, and other countries. On almost all of these, he was accompanied by many clergy and lay-pilgrims. Such pilgrimages would occur approximately biennially, and some were organised by the diocesan chancellor, the Archpriest Dennis Pihach, who collaborated with Savelia Curniski, owner of some facilities in Western Ukraine, who provided a bus for transportation and reservations in various places.
As one of his obediences, Bishop Seraphim travelled extensively at home and abroad, in Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and Europe, as he accompanied the metropolitan on official visits, or as he travelled to represent the metropolitan and the Holy Synod. Included in this obedience was his participation in various meetings, services and celebrations. Bishop Seraphim was also an active participant in the annual meeting of the Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops. Despite the many travels, the bishop continued to fulfil a full schedule of parish visitations within the Archdiocese of Canada, and to convene the necessary semi-annual archdiocesan council meetings and the triennial archdiocesan assemblies. In addition, he continued to develop the deanery structure of the Archdiocese of Canada, and to encourage the development of the means to educate clergy, readers and lay-persons within the country.
On 20 March, 1994, Bishop Seraphim was invited to give the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers homily at Saint George's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Toronto, Ontario.
In the spring of 1994, Bishop Seraphim led a largely Canadian pilgrimage to Ukraine. The pilgrimage stopped in Odessa, and stayed in the Dormition Monastery. There was a visit also through the monastery territory and a visit to the Theological Seminary. Bishop Seraphim served together with Metropolitan Agafangel (Savvin) of Odessa at the Vigil in the monastery, and then at the Hierarchical Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral in the city. Bishop Seraphim was blessed to ordain a deacon at this time. The group then travelled by bus to Uman, and then to Horodenka (Ivano Frankivsk). There was a visit to Kolomeya's old and new Temples. He travelled to the Dormition Monastery in Pochaiv for the Feast of Saint Job of Pochaiv, and he met with Archbishop Sergei (Gensitskiy) of Ternopil and with Bishop Feodor (Gajun), the Deputy Abbot ("namestnik"). This was followed by a visit to the Kremenets Women's Monastery of the Annunciation. In Ternopil, there was a solemn blessing of the site of the future cathedral in that city. This included a 5 km procession through the streets from the old, very small Temple. The blessing included several bishops from neighbouring dioceses. The pilgrimage continued to Lutsk. Metropolitan Nifont (Soloducha) of Lutsk and Volyn received the pilgrims. The bishops served together with the faithful and pilgrims. There was a tour of the local seminary. The pilgrims then went to nearby Holoby and Pohynki. Then they travelled to Kyiv, where there was a visit to the near and far caves of the Monastery of the Caves. There was also a visit to the seminary, and to the destroyed Dormition Cathedral. After this, the pilgrims returned to Canada.
From 29 to 30 May, 1994, Bishop Seraphim participated in the Glorification of Saint Alexis of Wilkes-Barre at Saint Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
From 30 November to 2 December, 1994, Bishop Seraphim was present along with all the other OCA bishops at the SCOBA assembly of 29 Orthodox bishops at the Antiochian Village Conference Centre at Ligonier, Pennsylvania. The assembly was led by Archbishop Iakovos (Coucouzis) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
On 16-17 February, 1995, Bishop Seraphim was present in Saint Thomas More College in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, at the scholarly lecture series "Windows to the East". He presented 2 papers : "Partakers of the Divine Nature : An Orthodox Christian Theological Consideration of Holy Communion (part 1) and Holy Communion through the Centuries amongst Orthodox Christians (part 2)".
In 1995, Bishop Seraphim was appointed to the Holy Synod’s Board of Theological Education.
From 14 to 18 September, 1995, Bishop Seraphim returned to Alaska to participate with Metropolitan Theodosius and others in the Diocesan Assembly of Alaska in Anchorage. This included the ordination to the Holy Episcopate of Bishop Innocent (Gula).
From 26 November to 6 December, 1995, Bishop Seraphim participated in the annual North American Orthodox-Roman Catholic Bishops' Dialogue between SCOBA representatives and the NCCBUSA representatives. This year, the meeting was exceptionally convened in both Vatican City (Rome) and Constantinople (Istanbul), and sessions were held in both cities. There were 14 bishops participating. In the Vatican, on 27-28 November, the bishops made various courtesy visits to some of the related "decasteries" and "congregations". They met with Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran and Edward Cardinal Cassidy. There were helpful conversations regarding the progress of the meetings. There was a visit to the Pontifical Oriental Institute, and then a meeting with Pope John Paul II (who encouraged the bishops to persevere in conversations). The bishops were shown some of the architectural excavations under Saint Peter's Basilica.
On 29 November, the bishops travelled to Constantinople (Istanbul). There, the bishops were immediately received at the "Phanar" Patriarchal Headquarters by Patriarch Bartholomew I (who also encouraged perseverance in the dialogue), and they then attended Vespers at Saint George's Cathedral. On 30 November, the Feast of the Apostle Andrew, the bishops attended the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy for the feast-day of the apostle. Cardinal Cassidy and other bishops from the Vatican were amongst those assembled, since this day is the occasion for an annual visit by Vatican representatives to the Phanar (on 29 June, the Patriarch of Constantinople sends a delegation to the Vatican). On 1 December, the dialogue continued on the basis (as usual) of the presentation of papers and making responses to them. Later, there was a visit to Patriarch Kareken II, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Constantinople, and there was a visit to the Monastery of the Zoodochospigi and to its spring, and to the tombs of the patriarchs. On 2 December, the dialogue resumed. Later in the day, there was a visit to the Topkapi Museum (where there is a large relic of Saint John the Forerunner), to the Church of Saint Irene, and to the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia. On Sunday, 3 December, the Orthodox Bishops attended the Divine Liturgy at the Phanar, and they met privately afterwards. On Monday, 4 December, the bishops all travelled to Halki Island, and to the Holy Trinity Monastery and to the Halki Seminary (as yet closed). There, the bishops met for the conclusion of the dialogue for this year. On 5 December, there was a free day after which the bishops travelled to Chalcedon, where they attended Vespers for the Feast of Saint Nicholas. On 6 December, the bishops attended the Divine Liturgy for the Feast-day of Saint Nicholas at a Temple by the Bosphoros. Afterwards, the bishops began their homeward journey.
From 23 to 27 July, 1996, Bishop Seraphim convened the triennial Archdiocesan Assembly in Ottawa, Ontario, at Carleton University. The assembly was hosted by the Annunciation to the Theotokos-Saint Nicholas Cathedral parish. The principal speaker was the George_Dragas Protopresbyter George Dragas, Dean of the Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline (Boston), Massachusetts.
From 17 to 19 September, 1996, Bishop Seraphim participated in the SCOBA-NCCB Bishop's Dialogue in Washington, DC.
On 27-28 September, 1996, Bishop Seraphim participated in the first "Metanoia Conference" in Edmonton, Alberta, along with others, who represented many Orthodox jurisdictions. Bishop Seraphim spoke about the multitude of historical difficulties that the Orthodox Faith had faced during the 20th century. He commented that it is crucial to overcome artificial divisions. He also commented that the Church will grow in Canada, as it always has, everywhere, not by programmes and agendas, but by each faithful person's ministering the love of Christ to others on a one-on-one basis.
By the beginning of 1997, the Archdiocesan Council and the Metamorphosis Fund had accumulated enough funds to begin the second phase of the metamorphosis, the work on the construction of a domestic chapel for the bishop's residence. This chapel was primarily intended to serve diocesan needs. However, it was expected also to provide a focus for the male and female monks of the diocese, and as well to provide a means of serving Orthodox Christians living along the Saint Lawrence River Valley, on both the Canadian and American sides of the river. In those days, even before the completion of the Chapel of Saint Silouan the Athonite, the bishop would serve the Divine Liturgy in the dining-room of the residence. This would occur on Saturday mornings and on other feast-days when he was able to be present. Sundays were not available because of the need to serve in parishes.
On 27-28 July, 1997, Bishop Seraphim participated in a general celebration of the 100th anniversary of the serving of the first Divine Liturgy in Canada (1897 by the Priest Dmitri Kamnev), which was hosted by the Parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Canada, under Bishop Mark (Petrovtsiy). On 27 July, at Stary Wostok, Alberta, there was a celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Church, Stary Wostok by Metropolitan Philaret (Vakhromeyev) of Minsk (who represented Patriarch Aleksey II), Archbishop Ireney (Seredniy) of Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine (who represented Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan), and who had previously served in Canada), Bishop Mark (Petrovtsiy), and Bishop Seraphim of The Orthodox Church in America. After the Divine Liturgy, there was a procession along the road to the site of the original service a century previous. There, a moleben was served. On the following day, on the Feast of Saint Vladimir (OS), the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served at Saint Barbara's Cathedral in Edmonton, Alberta, by all these bishops, and also with Metropolitan Sotirios (Athanassoulas) of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Toronto (Canada), who had arrived for this service. This was the fullest expression of Orthodox unity in Canada thus far in the concelebration of bishops and priests together.
Bishop Mark ; Metropolitan Ireney ; Metropolitan Philaret ; Metropolitan Sotirios ; Bishop Seraphim
From 30 September to 15 October, 1997, Bishop Seraphim accompanied Archbishop Mark (Petrovtsiy) on a private pilgrimage to Russia. The itinerary included various holy places in Moscow, and a visit to the Optina and Shamordino Monasteries. They had a preview visit of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral which was under construction at the time. They celebrated the Divine Liturgy together with Patriarch Aleksey II (Ridiger) in the Kremlin at the Dormition Sobor. They were also present at the blessing of the Siberian Representation Church of Saint Philip in Moscow. They also participated in the celebration on the Monday, 6 October, of the 20th Anniversary of the Glorification of Saint Innocent (Veniaminov). On the Feast of Saint Sergius of Radonezh, 8 October, there was a celebration with the patriarch in the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra, and many thousands of pilgrims were present. The next day, there was another service with Patriarch Aleksey II, this time in the Donskoy Monastery. At this time, the holy relics of Saint Tikhon (Belavin) were transferred from the large summer Temple to the smaller winter Temple. The 2 Canadian bishops were amongst the bearers.
From 31 March to 2 April, 1998, Bishop Seraphim participated in the SCOBA-NCCB Bishops' Dialogue in Washington, DC.
In late May and early June, 1998, Patriarch Bartholomew I made a general pastoral visit to Canada. He visited Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, London, and Niagara Falls during this visit, and many bishops travelled in order to serve together with him. The visit to Winnipeg took place on 27-28 May. The principal concelebration occurred in Toronto, Ontario, during a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy served in Maple Leaf Gardens on 31 May. Bishop Seraphim participated in the services in Ottawa and in Toronto.
From 7-10 July, 1998, Bishop Seraphim convened the regular Archdiocesan Assembly in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at Saint Andrew's Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary at the University of Manitoba. It was convened a year early because the All-American Council was to be convened in 1999. The assembly was hosted by Holy Trinity Sobor and Saint Nicholas Church, Narol. The principal speaker was the Priest Paul Jannakos of Flint, Michigan.
From 1-12 October, 1998, Bishop Seraphim was in Finland at the invitation of the rector of the newly-constructed Temple of Saint Herman of Alaska in Tapiola/Espoo, a suburb of Helsinki. At this time, the Temple was being sanctified by Metropolitan Leo (Makkonen) of Helsinki. On the Saturday afternoon, the bishop participated in a seminar with Professor Ilya Grits from Moscow, on the subject of time. The professor spoke about time that unites and time that separates. In the evening, after Vespers, there was an excellent vocal concert by the youth choir. On the Sunday, the Sanctification and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy took place. Afterwards, the bishop travelled to New Valamo Monastery to visit. He was suddenly and unexpectedly taken by another priest by road and by ship to visit the Old Valaam Monastery for the first time. They saw that the brotherhood there was undergoing many struggles and facing many obstacles (including hunger) as the brothers worked hard both on reconstruction and prayer.
By the end of 1998, the chapel of Saint Silouan in Johnstown, Ontario, had been completed, and services began to be offered there. The completion of the chapel enabled also the provision of a suitable principal entrance foyer for the residence, which could serve also as a narthex for the chapel. The greater amount of the construction work was achieved through the voluntary labours of local young people.
The interior of the Chapel of Saint Silouan the Athonite.
The exterior of the Chapel of Saint Silouan the Athonite, and the main entrance to the Monastery of Saint Silouan the Athonite.
From 3 to 15 February, 1999, Bishop Seraphim was present for a time in the Stavropegic Monastery of Saint John the Baptist near Malden, Essex, United Kingdom, and at The Hague, Netherlands. While in Holland, he visited several parishes of the Russian Exarchate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and Saint Nicholas' Russian Orthodox Church in Amsterdam.
From 25 to 30 July, 1999, Bishop Seraphim participated in the 12th All-American Council in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
From 16 until 31 August, 1999, Bishop Seraphim led a pilgrimage group in Ukraine. The visit began in L'viv. Archbishop Avgustin (Markevich) in this city was of necessity living in his office in the building beside the cathedral. The next stop was the village of Kolomeya, where the bishop served for the Feast of the Transfiguration in the newly-built Temple. More than 4,000 believers were in attendance. The group travelled to nearby villages in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains. On Saturday-Sunday, the group was present at the usual services at the Holy Spirit Chernivtsy Cathedral, with Archbishop Onuphry (Berezovsky). Bishop Seraphim was taken to visit 2 nearby monasteries.
On the Monday, 23 August, the group visited the Boian Monastery and they venerated the Myrrh-streaming icon of the Theotokos in the village. Other monasteries were also visited that day. On Tuesday, in Kamenetsk-Podilsk, there was a celebration of a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy by Archbishop Feodor (Gajun), along with several other bishops, on the occasion of his name-day. On Wednesday, Bishop Seraphim visited Ternopil after the Divine Liturgy in the newly-constructed diocesan headquarters. There was a tour of the cathedral which was yet under construction. The Canadian diocese undertook to collect further funds towards the completion. On Thursday, 26 August, there was a visit to Kremenets and its rapidly repaired and restored women's monastery. This was followed by driving to the Pochaiv Lavra which was preparing for the Feast of the Dormition. The group participated in the Vigil and in the Divine Liturgy. They were impressed by the large number of pilgrims for this feast-day, and by the fact that many had walked 300 km or more in order to be present in the lavra for this day. Also present there was the Mitred Archpriest Peter Vlodek, who had many years ago served in Canada. Afterwards, the group travelled to Ternopil for a special presentation regarding the work of "Child Care International" (now called "Chalice"). Bishop Seraphim served the evening vigil for the Feast of the Dormition at the Ternopil cathedral. More than 1,000 persons were present.
Then the group rushed to the railway station in order to catch the night-train to Kyiv. The train arrived early in the morning of 28 August, and everyone was taken to the Monastery of the Caves in Kyiv for the celebration of the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) lead the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, which was attended by many thousands of believers, outside, facing the ruins of the Temple of the Dormition. In the evening, Bishop Seraphim with Bishop John served the Vigil of Sunday in the Trapeznaya Temple. On Sunday, Bishop Seraphim served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy alone with various priests and deacons in the same Temple, and he was given the blessing to ordain a deacon from the Chernivtsi diocese. On Sunday evening, Metropolitan Volodymyr (Samodan) and other bishops and clergy served the Burial Service of the Theotokos. On Monday, the group visited several monasteries in the city.
From 29 January to 5 February, 2000, Bishop Seraphim was sent to represent The Orthodox Church in America and to participate with bishops from the Polish Orthodox Church in the sanctification of a new and a very large basilica of the Protection of the Theotokos at a monastery at Torres Novas, north of Lisbon, Portugal. The iconography in the Temple was done by a nun there, who had been born and raised in Montréal, Québec. There was a large celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the Sunday in Lisbon with many bishops, priests and deacons. Afterwards, Bishop Seraphim was taken with the others to serve a moleben in a newly-constructed Temple in southern Portugal. The bishops also met with the President of Portugal in Lisbon. When the time came for the sanctification, it was understood that because of some previous miscommunication, some of the necessary items were lacking. Therefore, the whole sanctification could not be completed at that time. The Altar and Temple were blessed, and the 8 Portuguese bishops, 4 visiting bishops, 50 priests and 4 deacons served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in this basilica.
From 6 to 9 February, 2000, Bishop Seraphim was present at Saint John the Baptist Monastery at Malden, Essex, in the United Kingdom.
From 25 February to 4 March, 2000, Bishop Seraphim was sent to be present at the Clergy and Wives Special Retreat in Anchorage, Alaska.
On 1 May, 2000, Bishop Seraphim participated in the first concelebration of Orthodox Bishops in Canada for the celebration of the completion of the Second Millennium of Christianity (since the birth of Christ) (4 bishops). This took place in Montréal, Québec, at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George.
On 24 June, 2000, Bishop Seraphim participated in the second concelebration of Orthodox Bishops in Canada for the celebration of the Millennium of Christianity (8 bishops). This took place in the Serbian Monastery of the Transfiguration in Milton, Ontario.
On 16 July, 2000, Bishop Seraphim participated in the third concelebration of Canadian Orthodox Bishops for the celebration of the Millennium of Christianity (7 bishops). This took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral.
On 19 August, 2000, the completed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow was sanctified on the Feast-day of the Holy Transfiguration. Bishop Seraphim was a part of the delegation from The Orthodox Church in America which participated in this event. More than 200 bishops from Russia and from most of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches throughout the world (including the heads of 8 Churches) participated in these services. This service concluded at about 1400 hrs. Besides the more than 10,000 persons in the Temple, there were tens of thousands of people who stood outdoors around the cathedral. On the following day, 20 August, Patriarch Aleksey II led the service of the Glorification of the New-martyrs and Confessors of Russia, together with the glorification of the Passion-bearing family of Tsar Nicholas II. It was stated that the 860 martyrs and confessors named on that day were not the complete number, and that as research would progress, other names would be added in the future. Again the cathedral was filled, and there were tens of thousands of people standing outdoors. This time, they participated actively during the outdoor procession, as they held aloft icons of martyrs and of Saint Tsar Nicholas and his family. After the completion of the glorification of the saints, and after having received refreshments, the bishops were transported by buses to the Alexander Palace of the Moscow Kremlin for a meeting with Patriarch Aleksey II and President Vladimir V Putin. This was just at the time of the crisis of the sinking of the Kursk submarine on 12 August ; therefore, the session of questions and answers was preceded by the president's televised statement to the Russian people about the status of the situation. The session with the bishops lasted for about 2 hours.
On 23 September, 2000, Bishop Seraphim participated in the fourth concelebration of Orthodox Bishops in Canada for the celebration of the Millennium of Christianity (5 bishops). This took place in Edmonton, Alberta, at Saint John's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.
In 2000, Bishop Seraphim was appointed to the Department of External Church Relations (DECR) of the OCA, in order to assist Archbishop Peter (L'Huillier). Later, Bishop Seraphim was appointed to participate more regularly in the meetings of the Lesser Synod of Bishops (now called the Standing Synod of Bishops). Both before and after this time, Bishop Seraphim regularly submitted reports on his travels abroad to the metropolitan and to the DECR.
From 1-7 October, 2000, Bishop Seraphim was in Greece for a special meeting of the SCOBA-NCCB Bishops' Dialogue in Crete. The delegates assembled in Athens, and they then met with the Orthodox Archbishop of Athens Christodoulos, and then with the Roman Catholic Archbishop Nikolaous Foskolos. After a brief visit to some significant sites, the bishops travelled to Chania, Crete, where they met in the new diocesan academy facilities, which were to be yet more expanded. Metropolitan Irenaios of the Metropolis of Kydonia and Apokoronas (of the Semi-autonomous Church of Crete) hosted the meetings, which began immediately. After the conclusion of the meetings, and before their departure, he took the bishops to visit the Cathedral of the Entrance of the Theotokos and to the Chryssopigi Women's Monastery. Some of the bishops continued on to Mount Athos for a brief pilgrimage, and Bishop Seraphim returned to Canada.
In 2000, there began the the first of the annual meetings of the "Synaxis of Canadian Conference of Orthodox Bishops" (CCOB) in Toronto. This first meeting began at the invitation of Metropolitan Sotirios (Athanassoulas), who thereafter hosted and chaired this and all the meetings. Bishop Seraphim was a participant from the beginning. Very soon thereafter, this annual synaxis came to be accompanied by an informal annual meeting of pastoral and theological dialogue with representative bishops of the Roman Catholic Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
On 11 November, 2000, Bishop Seraphim participated in the fifth concelebration of Orthodox Bishops in Canada for the celebration of the Millennium of Christianity (4 bishops). This took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the Saint George Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
During the pre-Lenten days, from 2 to 13 February, 2001, Bishop Seraphim was asked to be in Finland in order to participate in the assemblies of both the Clergy Association and "The Orthodox Youth Association of Finland" (ONL). These assemblies occurred at the Temple of the Holy Cross in Kouvola on 2-5 February. On 8 February, the Hierodeacon Vladimir (Lysak) drove Bishop Seraphim to Kuopio in order to visit with Archbishop Johannes (Rinne) of Kuopio and All Finland. Afterwards, they drove to the Taipale Orthodox Parish in Viinijärvi, and he visited its pastor, the Priest Paavo Ratilainen. After this, they drove to New Valamo Monastery in Heinävesi. On 10-11 February, the bishop served with the monastic brotherhood for the resurrectional cycle . After the midday meal, Brother Seraphim, Hierodeacon Vladimir and Bishop Seraphim departed by car for the capital city, Helsinki. There, the bishop visited with Metropolitan Leo (Makkonen) of Helsinki. Afterwards, he visited with parishioners of community of Saint Herman of Alaska in Espoo, Helsinki, with its pastor, the Priest Heikki Huttunen and his family. From there, he returned to Canada.
From 1 to 3 May, 2001, at a SCOBA Bishops' Meeting in Washington, DC, Bishop Seraphim presented a paper, "Concerning the Themes of the Pastoral Letter on the Occasion of the Third Christian Millennium".
On 22 June, 2001, Bishop Seraphim was in Toronto, Ontario, at the Greek Orthodox Metropolis for an organisational meeting of the Canadian version of the Orthodox Bishops and Roman Catholic Bishops' Dialogue.
From 24-27 July, 2001, Bishop Seraphim convened the regular triennial Archdiocesan Assembly in Edmonton, Alberta, at the Sisters of Providence Centre. The principal speaker was the Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, Dean of Saint Vladimir's Seminary.
From 26 August to 4 September, 2001, Archbishop Herman (Swaiko) led a delegation (including Bishop Seraphim) to Ukraine for the commemoration of the 950th anniversary of the founding of the Dormition Lavra of the Kyiv Caves in Kyiv. There were delegations of 1-6 persons from every autocephalous Orthodox Church in the world. There were more than 70 bishops serving together with Metropolitan Volodymyr outside the Dormition Temple of the lavra. Afterwards, the delegation travelled to Moscow, primarily for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Ordination to the Holy Episcopate of Patriarch Aleksey II (Ridiger). On the first day, at the Donskoy Monastery, there was a celebration of the Feast-day of the Don Icon of the Theotokos. The original icon was brought from the Tretyakov Gallery for the occasion. In the evening, the whole delegation accompanied Patriarch Aleksey II to a residential suburb of Moscow for the blessing of the foundation of the Holy Trinity Sobor, which would be second in size to Christ the Saviour Cathedral. There were no other Temples in this region. On Sunday, about 30 bishops concelebrated with Patriarch Aleksey in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, during which a new bishop was ordained. On Monday, the main celebration of the anniversary was marked at the same cathedral, during which more than 60 bishops served together with the patriarch. During this time, Patriarch Aleksey remarked about The Orthodox Church in America :
The Orthodox Church in America used to be our daughter Church ; but here she is with us, and she has now become our sister Church.
From 2 to 4 October, 2001, Bishop Seraphim participated in the regular SCOBA/NCCB Bishops' Level dialogue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at which he presented a paper "The Local Church in the Understanding of the Orthodox".
On 16 December, 2001, Bishop Seraphim was present in Kuopio, Finland, where he was representing the OCA at the installation of Metropolitan Leo (Makkonen) to be the Archbishop of Kuopio and All Finland. The enthronement took place at New Valamo Monastery (because of more space). Metropolitan Stefanos (Charalambides) of Talinn and All Estonia represented Patriarch Bartholomew I on this occasion. Bishop Seraphim was also invited by the Archpriest Rauno Pieterinen (at that time the rector of the seminary) to visit the Orthodox seminary in Joensuu, which was concluding its autumn semester, and to speak to and with the students.
From 10 to 21 January, 2002, Bishop Seraphim travelled with the Archpriest Dennis Pihach and a small pilgrimage group of Canadians to Kyiv and to Moscow. In Kyiv, the pilgrims visited various monasteries and Temples. First, the group went to Old Kyiv (the "podolia", or "lower town"), where they visited the Temple of Saint Elias, near the site of the baptism of Rus'. This, the first Christian Temple in Kyiv, was first constructed of wood under Saint Olga's direction in 945, and rebuilt of stone in about 1692. It has a separate building in which is the baptistery.
They also walked about the Cathedral of Saint Sophia.
After this, they attended the Vigil for Sunday at the Dormition Cathedral at the Kyiv Caves Lavra. On Sunday, Bishop Seraphim and the Archpriest Dennis served with the other clergy, and they all participated in the Divine Liturgy in the Dormition Sobor. Afterwards, there was a visit to the Near Caves. The next day, they went to the Monastery of Saint Michael, to the Women's Monastery of the Protection (Pokrovsky), and to the Hospital Church of Saints Cyril and Basil, a monastery nearly as old as Saint Sophia's Cathedral. Then the pilgrims travelled to the Vvedensky (Meeting of the Lord) Monastery and its wonder-working icon, and they venerated relics of Saint Dimitra (Egorova), the foundress. Afterwards, they proceeded to the Saint Panteleimon Women's Monastery (Feofania) which was in the midst of a major restoration and recovery.
On the Wednesday, the group flew to Moscow. They first walked about the territory of the Danilovsky Monastery, where they venerated icons and relics. Afterwards they visited the official Patriarchal Residence and the Holy Synod building, and the Offices of the Department of External Church Relations, which are in a separate section of the monastery's territory. Next, they travelled to the Donskoy Monastery where they venerated the relics of Saint Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin).
The next day, they were driven to Sergiev Posad and the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra. The pilgrims venerated the relics of Saint Sergius and of Saint Innocent (Veniaminov) of Moscow and those of many other saints. They visited the Temples and buildings of the monastery and those of the seminary and academy. Returning to Moscow, they toured Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The next day, they went to the Moscow Kremlin, its Temples, the Dormition Cathedral, the Armoury and the Diamond Fund. Then they toured the Kazan Cathedral, the Resurrection Gate, Manezhnaya Square, the GUM department store, "Saint Basil's Cathedral" complex, and Red Square. At the end of the day, they participated with Patriarch Aleksey II (Ridiger) in the Vigil for the Feast of the Theophany at the Epiphany (Elokhovo) Cathedral. In the morning, they participated in the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at this same cathedral for the feast-day, and in the Great Blessing of Waters. They met and had conversations with the Protopresbyter Matthew Stadniuk, who had previously served for many years in the USA. Afterwards, they passed the long lines of people queued up and waiting to receive the newly-blessed water, and they continued on to the Novospassky Monastery. They then went to the Sretensky Monastery on Lubyanka Street by the Kremlin for the Vigil of Sunday. On Sunday, they participated in the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy served by Bishop Seraphim at the Saint Catherine in the Fields OCA Representation Church with its rector, Archimandrite Nicholas (Iuhos). Afterwards, they walked to the Tretyakov Gallery, and the Temple of Saint Nicholas in Tolmatch : the historical origin of the gallery. There, they saw many significant icons, and they were able to venerate the Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos. The following day, they returned to Canada.
On 24 March, 2002, Bishop Seraphim was present at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois, where he gave the homily at the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers.
On 16 May, 2002, Bishop Seraphim was present at the graduating assembly of the Greek Orthodox Academy of Toronto.
In June, 2002, at the Annunciation to the Theotokos-Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Ottawa, Ontario, on behalf of Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor), the Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick presented the Order of Saint Innocent, silver medal, to Bishop Seraphim (Storheim). It was the 15th anniversary of episcopal ordination for the bishop.
From 21 to 26 July, 2002 Bishop Seraphim participated in the 13th All-American Council in Orlando, Florida.
From 7 to 9 May, 2003, Bishop Seraphim was present at the regular SCOBA/NCCB Bishops' Level Dialogue at the Antiochian Village at Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
From 22 May to 6 June, 2003, Bishop Seraphim participated in a pilgrimage with the diocesan chancellor and 13 others to Western Ukraine. During this pilgrimage, many Temples and monasteries were visited, the relics many saints were venerated, and many wonder-working icons were likewise venerated. The group arrived first in Kyiv, during the Paschal season. After having visited Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan), the Monastery of the Caves, the Women's Monastery of the Entrance of the Theotokos, and other sites in the city, they travelled to Zhytomyr. There, they visited Bishop Guriy (Kuzmenko), the city's Holy Transfiguration Cathedral, and the Women's Monastery of the Protection nearby. From there, they drove to Ternopil, where there was a visit with Archbishop Sergei (Gensitskiy). Then they travelled to Pochaiv and the Pochaiv Dormition Monastery, where there was a meeting with Archbishop Vladimir (Moroz), the "namestik" of the monastery. This was followed by a visit to Chernivtsy and to Metropolitan Onufry (Berezovskiy). This included visits to local monasteries.
They then stopped at Snyatin (Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast), where an orphanage was visited by the group. They observed the many renovations and the development of the self-sustaining farm. They also observed the complete lack of necessities in their hospital, and the amazing cleanliness of the facilities despite the lack. More support began to be organised. They continued on their way to Trans-Carpathia. They stopped and stayed in Khust, where they visited Archbishop Mark (Petrovtsiy). With his help, they visited the Saint Nicholas, Saints Cyril and Methodius and Nativity of the Theotokos Monasteries in the Mukachevo region. In addition, the 2 bishops served together in the Mukachevo cathedral, together with Bishop Agapit of Mukachevo.
In Khust, there were visits to the Saint Nicholas and Ascension Monasteries, and to the Khust Cathedral which was under construction. After this, the group continued on its way towards L'viv. On the way, there were visits to several orphanages and hospitals which derived some support from Canada. In L'viv, there was a visit with Archbishop Avgustin (Markevich) (now Metropolitan of Bila Tserkva and Boguslav) and his cathedral, as well as to several orphanages in the city supported from Canada (one next to the cathedral).
On 2 July, 2003, Bishop Seraphim travelled to Sydney, Australia (via Vancouver) in order to be present at the "Orientale Lumen 2 : Australasia & Oceania" Conference, "Exchange of Gifts" (8-11 July, 2003). The "Orientale Lumen" conferences are organised by their founder, Jack Figel. With the blessing of the metropolitan, he had arrived early, and he served in one of the parishes (Saint Nicholas Church, Fairfield), and he visited some parishioners. Bishop Seraphim stayed in a facility of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. The meetings were held at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, and they took place over the weekdays following. The meetings included several services (of Latin, Oriental, Orthodox and Uniat customs, which the others attended, but in which they did not participate). The whole conference was hosted by Archbishop George Pell, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. The Rev'd Lawrence Cross of the Australian Catholic University was the conference convener. The conference moderator was Prof. Robert Gribben. Reid Duncan Reid of the United Faculty of Theology, Australia, introduced the 5 sections of papers to be presented with his paper "East and West in Dialogue with Post-Modernity". The first section was "Catholic and Orthodox Issues". Walter Cardinal Kasper began by presenting "Light and Richness of the Eastern Churches" ; Archbishop Seraphim presented "An Exchange of Gifts : Clear Communication in Love" ; Archimandrite Serge Keleher presented "The Balamand Statement : What Went Wrong ?" The second section was "Eastern Catholic Issues". The Rev'd Dr. George Gallero presented "Melkite Influence at Vatican II" ; the Rev'd Dr. Lawrence Cross presented "Vatican II and the Churches in the East — One Step Forward, Two Back". The third section was "Liturgy and Spirituality". The Rev'd Dr. Peter Hill presented "Bar Salibi and the Trisagion" ; Dr. Youhanna Nessim Youssef presented "Relics as a Mutual Gift between the East and the West" ; the Rev'd Dr. Russell Hardiman presented "The Anaphora of Addai and Mari : Sacramental, Ecclesial and Ecumenical Implications". The fourth section was "Culture and Change". Dr. Leonie Liveris presented "Casting Aside the Ancestral Condemnation...I Hate Silence When it is Time to Speak" ; Prof. Viggo Mortensen presented "The Eastern and Western Churches face the European Post-Modern Context : A Case Study on European Pluralism". The fifth section was "Doctrinal Issues". Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette presented "The Procession of the Holy Spirit : An Oriental Orthodox Perspective". At the end of the conference, the bishop returned immediately to Canada.
From 4 to 7 August, 2003, Bishop Seraphim was present at the annual pilgrimage of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery at Ellwood City, Pennsylvania on the Feast-day of the Holy Transfiguration. He spoke on the subject, "The Foundation and the Future of Orthodox Christians in North America".
From 16-24 April, 2004, Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) led a substantial delegation (including Bishop Seraphim) on a formal visit to the Church of Georgia. The delegation arrived on Bright Saturday, and Metropolitan Herman was met by Patriarch Ilia II at the aeroport. After having been escorted to their secure quarters, the delegation was taken to visit the patriarchate offices, and then to visit the new Holy Trinity Cathedral which was under construction. Immediately afterwards, there was a meeting with the President of Georgia. The Vigil and the Primatial Divine Liturgy were served by the 2 primates in the Sioni Dormition Cathedral in Tbilisi.
Then the delegation was driven to Mtskheta and to the ancient Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. This was followed by a return to Tbilisi for a formal dinner with speeches. The next day included a visit to the newly reopened Jvari Holy Cross Monastery, to the Samtavro Monastery, and to the Shio-Mgvime Monastery. This was followed by a meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament and a reception at the USA Embassy. Patriarch Ilia led the delegation to visit holy places and to venerate the relics of many saints in Eastern Georgia. At the Bodbe Monastery, the delegation venerated the tomb of Saint Nino. On the following day, the delegation continued the visitation of holy sites on the way back to Tbilisi. The next day, the delegation travelled to the renewed monastery of Saint David Gareja Monastery. In the evening, there was a meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia and then with the USA ambassador.
From 15 to 28 June, 2004, Bishop Seraphim was assigned to travel to Cleveland, Ohio, to join the delegation accompanying the Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos of Tikhvin on its return journey to its home monastery in Russia. Cleveland had been the last stop during a year of farewell visits to parishes. Afterwards, the delegation travelled with the icon to Chicago, Illinois, where the final services were offered in Holy Trinity Cathedral. The OCA delegation travelled in 2 groups to Russia. The larger group (including 36 pilgrims of "FOS Tours") travelled with Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) directly to Moscow. The smaller group (including Bishop Seraphim, the Garklavs family, Metropolitan Vladimir (Kotliarov) of Saint Petersburg and his delegation) travelled with the icon on a private Russian jet via Iceland to Riga, Latvia. There, the icon, which had been taken away to North America through this city, was made available to the people of Riga to venerate. Metropolitan Alexander (Kudrjašovs) of Riga (Latvian Orthodox Church) supervised the proceedings. During this time, Bishop Seraphim was able to visit the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Women's Monastery which has many historical ties with Canadian parishioners, which also involve this icon.
On 23 June, the delegation continued on to Moscow. The icon was taken directly to Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow, where it was given into the hands of Patriarch Aleksey II and of Metropolitan Herman before a huge throng of people. Immediately, the icon was taken into the cathedral, where services before it began, and where veneration by Muscovites and others began and continued for 4 days. On Sunday, 27 June, there were multitudes of clergy and faithful in the cathedral for the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy. Afterwards, the icon was taken in procession along the street to Red Square (at the other end of the Kremlin), where the last moleben was served in front of the Iveron Icon Chapel. The square was filled with people (estimated at 200,000). At the conclusion, the icon was taken to Saint Petersburg. Bishop Seraphim had the blessing to return to Canada, while the delegation continued on until the icon reached the Monastery of Tikhvin.
From 22-25 July, 2004, Bishop Seraphim convened the triennial Archdiocesan Assembly in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, at the Queen's House Retreat and Renewal Centre. The assembly was hosted by Holy Resurrection Sobor in Saskatoon. The principal speaker, Archbishop Job (Osacky), was unable to attend. Instead, the Archpriest Lawrence Farley and Deacon Kevin Smith made presentations.
From 3 to 15 August, 2004, Bishop Seraphim made a private pilgrimage in Romania along with a Romanian family. First, he presented himself at the patriarchate in order to receive the blessing to make the pilgrimage. He met with Bishop Ciprian (Spiridon), who was at that time in charge of the external affairs department of the patriarchate. On 5-6 August, Bishop Seraphim served for the Feast of the Transfiguration together with Bishop Ciprian at the patriarchal Saints Constantine and Helen Cathedral in the city. Next, he was taken to visit the historical Antim Monastery nearby the patriarchate. On the next day, he was taken south of the Danube River to visit the Cave of the Holy Apostle Andrew, and the Monastery of Saint Parasceva of Dervent, which is not far from the Bulgarian city Silistra. Next, he was driven north of the Danube to the Dormition Monastery of Putna in Bucovina, Moldavia. Over the next days, he was taken to visit the monasteries and Temples of Arbore, Bodgdana, Suceviţa, Moldoviţa, Humor, Voroneţ, Dragomirna, Văratec, Agapia, Neamţ, Secu, Sihastria, and Sihla. The pilgrimage culminated in serving together with other bishops on the Altar-feast of the Dormition in the Putna Monastery on 15 August.
From 18 to 27 September, 2004, Bishop Seraphim travelled in the entourage with Metropolitan Herman on his fraternal visit and pilgrimage to the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. Bishop Nikon (Liolin), several clergy and many of the chancery staff were included. Each of the 4 dioceses in the 2 countries were visited. Upon arrival in Prague, Metropolitan Kryštof (Pulec) met the delegation and led them to the Monastery of Saint Prokop of Sazava in Most. Afterwards, the delegation was taken to the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Teplice nearby. On Sunday, 19 September, the delegation was driven to Prague where they served with the metropolitan in the Cathedral of Saints Cyril and Methodius. This cathedral was a historical site of the death of parachutists in the basement, which led to the martyric death of Saint Gorazd, the bishop at that time. A very large bag of medicine and other supplies were given to Metropolitan Kryštof to be transported to Kosovo in Serbia. A visit to a Gypsy village nearby followed, where there was the first Romani Orthodox parish and priest in the region. In this Temple was a myrrh-giving icon of Christ on the iconostas. Next was a visit to the Temple of Saint Vladimir in Maria Lanske and to the Temple of Saints Peter and Paul in Karlovi Vary. Monday was occupied with visiting the Russian, USA and Canadian embassies. The delegation was driven to the Monastery of the Dormition in Velmov in Moravia, near Brno. On Tuesday, the Divine Liturgy was served in the Saint Wenceslas Orthodox Cathedral together with Bishop Simeon (Jakovljević). The delegation was taken to Mikul, where Saint Methodius lived in the 9th century. Afterwards, there was a visit to the Monastery of Saint Gorazd in Hruba Vebka.
The delegation then crossed the border of Slovakia and entered Bratislava, the capital city. Metropolitan Nikolaj of Prešov (the primate), Bishop Jan (Holoni) of Michalovce, and other clergy met the delegation. On Wednesday, there were visits to the civil authorities, the chairman of parliament, and to the USA embassy. There was a visit to the nearly completed cathedral. The delegation then travelled through the evening to Prešov. On Thursday, there was a meeting of the Holy Synod of the local Church, a visit to the theological faculty and to the seminary, the mayor of Prešov, and the president of the Prešov region. On Friday, there was a visit in the Diocese of Mikhalovce, which included the village where Saint Alexis Toth was born. There was a visit to the orphanage in Medzilaborce and the first technical school which had been established by the Church in that town. On Saturday, the Divine Liturgy was served in Košice by Metropolitan Herman, Bishop Jan and other clergy. The remainder of the bishops and clergy remained in the nave because of the very limited space. There was a visit with the mayor and the governor of the Kosiše region. On Sunday, the delegation participated in the sanctification of the new Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, with the primatial Divine Liturgy, in Prešov. Many high-level civil authorities were present.
From 5 to 7 October, 2004, Bishop Seraphim was present at the regular SCOBA/NCCB Bishops' Level Dialogue at South Boundbrook, New Jersey. He presented the paper, "The Petrine Ministry and Orthodox Perception".
From 8 to 9 October, 2004, Bishop Seraphim was present at the "Eastern Church Seminar" at Notre Dame College of Ohio in Cleveland, Ohio. He presented the paper, "The Holy Spirit addressing Issues in Today's World".
From 23 to 26 October, 2004, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) was sent to Egypt in order to represent Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) at the enthronement of Patriarch Theodoros II (Choreftakis) of Alexandria. The delegation included the chancellor, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick and the communications director, John Mendala. After arrival in Cairo, the delegation was taken by car to Alexandria. Upon arrival in Alexandria, the delegation was received by the patriarch-elect, and there was an exchange of gifts. All 15 autocephalous Orthodox Churches were represented at the enthronement. Pope Shenouda II of the Coptic Orthodox Church was also present with a large delegation in the cathedral. The Cathedral of the Annunciation ("Evangelismos") was filled beyond its capacity. Afterwards, the delegation travelled to Cairo for departure.
From 21 to 30 November, 2004, Bishop Seraphim was sent to Georgia, accompanied by the Archpriest David Brum of the central chancery, in order to represent Metropolitan Herman and The Orthodox Church in America at the sanctification of the newly-constructed Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi. The sanctification was led by the Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia on 23 November (the Feast-day of Saint George). Twelve of the 15 autocephalous Orthodox Churches in the world were represented on this occasion. The service was also attended by leaders of other religious and confessional communities in Georgia, as well as by political leaders. Although the weather was quite cool, the hospitality was very warm. The Grace of the Holy Spirit is with Patriarch Ilia II. A sort of confirmation of this can be found in the unexplained appearance of a white dove at the time of the sanctification of the new Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi. The white dove (a very rare bird in Georgia) unexpectedly appeared upon a seminarian’s shoulder at the entrance of the cathedral, just at the arrival of Patriarch Ilia. A perceptive local archbishop immediately took the dove to the Altar and placed it on the back of the patriarch’s large chair, which was just to the south of the Royal Doors, against the iconostas. It remained there peacefully for the whole service. Despite all sorts of photo-flashes and movements of people, the bird remained standing still in its place. When Patriarch Ilia came to the chair, the bird remained standing. When the patriarch sat, the bird nestled down. When the patriarch stood, the bird stood.
Because of a further invitation that Bishop Seraphim remain longer in Georgia, and because the blessing was given, he travelled with Father Brum to the Bodbe Monastery in Kakheti and other places in Eastern Georgia. Then there was a visit with Archbishop Nikoloz (Pačuašvili) to the Diocese of Kumurdo (bordering Armenia) which includes the beginning of the route taken by Saint Nino to Mtskheta. They were shown the ruined cathedral which had yet to be repaired. Bishop Nikoloz was the leader of the department of youth and Christian education. Upon returning to Tbilisi, they attended a special reflective gathering led by Patriarch Ilia II regarding the significance of the sanctification. Next, Bishop Seraphim and Father David travelled to Diocese of Zugdidi in western Georgia, where Bishop Gerasim (Šarašenidze) was the bishop. The 2 bishops served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Kortsheli Monastery nearby. There was a visit to the cathedral under re-construction, to a museum, and to the ancient cathedral of Tsaishi. Bishop Gerasim was the leader of the department of missions.
On 30 November, 2004, Bishop Seraphim (together with the Archpriest David Brum) travelled from Georgia to Saint Petersburg, Russia, in order to join the delegation accompanying Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) on a Primatial Fraternal Visit to the Church of Russia. There, there were visits to 3 historical and important Temples. Bishop Seraphim was given a private visit to the Saint Seraphim Cemetery (with the mass graves of those who perished in the Siege of Leningrad), which he had visited 30 years previously (on the same day). Then the Chapel of Saint Xenia of Saint Petersburg was visited, and the Monastery of Saint John of Rila, with the relics of Saint John of Kronstadt. The delegation then travelled to Moscow, where many holy sites were visited, and many relics of saints were venerated. On Sunday, 5 December, Metropolitan Herman and the other bishops and clergy served together with Patriarch Aleksey II in the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. The relics of Saint Peter of Moscow were venerated there. This was followed by a moleben at the Donskoy Monastery, and veneration of the relics of Saint Tikhon (Belavin) of Moscow. Vigil was served at the Novospassky Monastery catholicon and the Divine Liturgy was served at the Epiphany Cathedral. The relics of Saint Aleksey of Moscow were venerated there. The delegation visited Patriarch Aleksey II at his rural home in Peredelkino. Afterwards, the delegation returned to Moscow to venerate the relics of Metropolitan Saint Philaret (Drosdov) at Christ the Saviour Cathedral. In the evening, the Vigil was served by Metropolitan Herman, other bishops and 8 priests at the Representation Church of Saint Catherine. On 7 December, the Feast of Saint Catherine, there was a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy served in this Temple by Patriarch Aleksey II, Metropolitan Herman, and other bishops and clergy. Afterwards, the pilgrims went to the Danilovsky Monastery to venerate the relics of Saints Panteleimon, Daniel of Moscow, and Alexander Nevsky.
From 8 to 13 December, Bishop Seraphim continued on travelling with the delegation to Helsinki, Finland, for the purpose of Metropolitan Herman's Primatial Fraternal Visit to the Church of Finland. On 8 December, the delegation travelled to Finland, and Archbishop Leo (Makkonen) of Finland met Metropolitan Herman and the delegation in Helsinki. This greeting was followed by a visit with the Lutheran Archbishop of Finland and with the Ambassador of the USA. Then the delegation proceeded to Joensuu, and then to New Valamo Monastery. The next day, there was a visit to the Seminary and to the Theological Faculty in Joensuu. This was followed by a visit to the Church of Saint Nicholas, and then a return to the monastery. Next there was a tour of both the New Valamo Monastery and of the Lintula Women's Monastery.
On Saturday, the Divine Liturgy was served in the monastery, and the delegation travelled to Kuopio. There the delegation visited the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, and also Archbishop Leo's headquarters and offices. Then the delegation travelled to Helsinki, where there was a visit to the offices of the Metropolitan of Helskinki Ambrosius (Jääskeläinen) (a former monk and "ekonom" of New Valamo Monastery). There was a Primatial Divine Liturgy served by Archbishop Leo and Metropolitan Herman and other bishops in the Dormition Cathedral there.
On Monday, the Divine Liturgy was served by the archbishop and the metropolitan at Saint Herman's Church in Espoo. Afterwards, there was a visit to the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, and the delegation departed to North America.
During the year 2004, Bishop Seraphim opened a consultative process within the archdiocese in order to find a person whom he would nominate to the Holy Synod of Bishops as a candidate for ordination to the Holy Episcopate, and to serve as the Vicar-Bishop for the Archdiocese of Canada. The candidate was announced and the name was submitted. However, the Holy Synod did not accept the nomination, and the process had to begin again.
On 20 February, 2005, Bishop Seraphim presented a paper to the Pre-Conciliar Commission : "Canada, and the future of The Orthodox Church in America". This paper was a part of the preparation for the pending All-American Council in Toronto.
On 25 March, 2005, the bishop spoke on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Ottawa, Ontario.
From 6 to 9 April, 2005, Bishop Seraphim was sent to Rome, Italy, along with the Priest Alexander Rentel of the chancery staff, in order to represent The Orthodox Church in America at the funeral of Pope John Paul II at Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. There were representatives of other Orthodox Churches as well : the Church of Constantinople ; the Church of Greece ; the Church of Albania ; the Church of Russia ; the Church of Romania ; The Church of Georgia ; the Church of Jerusalem ; the Church of Serbia ; the Church of Cyprus ; the Church of Poland ; the Church of Czech Lands and Slovakia ; the Church of Finland ; and also the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Church of Ethiopia and the Church of the Assyrians. There were several opportunities for conversations amongst all the Orthodox heads of Churches and other representatives during the course of the proceedings. At the outdoor funeral (before the doors of Saint Peter's Basilica), all the non-Roman Catholic representatives were seated together, and facing across the outdoor altar from the various heads of state and non-Christian representatives who were present. There were approximately 2,000,000 people who had travelled from Poland and who sere standing in the square, besides more than 1,000,000 others.
From 17-22 July, 2005, the 14th All-American Council met in Toronto, Ontario. Bishop Seraphim was responsible for hosting the assembly and for galvanising the meagre archdiocesan personal and fiscal resources for this purpose. The meeting was able to be convened and its work was satisfactorily completed. The bishop was given the blessing to preach the homily at the initial Divine Liturgy of the council.
On 1 October, 2005, Bishop Seraphim blessed the newly-acquired building in Ottawa, purchased from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa, with the "Door-opening" ("Thyranoixia") service. This provided an adequate space for the Annunciation to the Theotokos-Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Ottawa, and it also provided a "face" for the archdiocese of Canada (as it was described by a senior cleric).
From 2-7 February, 2006, Bishop Seraphim was in Slovakia, where he had been sent in order to represent Metropolitan Herman and The Orthodox Church in America at the funeral of Metropolitan Nikolaj of Prešov, Primate of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. He had fallen asleep in the Lord on 30 January, after a long illness. Travel to Prešov was by air to Budapest, Hungary, and by road to Prešov. The funeral services were led by Archbishop Krištof of Prague and the Czech Republic at the Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Prešov, Slovakia, on 3-4 February, 2006. In addition to The Orthodox Church in America, other autocephalous and autonomous Churches represented at the funeral included those of Constantinople, Alexandria, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Greece, Poland, and Ukraine. Also attending were the President of the Republic of Slovakia, Ivan Gašparovič, and several other state dignitaries. Representatives of the Lutheran, Greek Catholic, and other faith communities were also present. The bishop returned to North America immediately after all the services were completed.
From 14 to 23 February, 2006, Bishop Seraphim was in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he had been sent, along with other delegates, in order to represent The Orthodox Church in America during the 9th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The assembly included a great many meetings and consultations, and there was no spare time. The many Orthodox Christian representatives had frequent opportunities to converse and to consult with one another. They discussed not only the great complexities involved in the proceedings themselves, but also important matters regarding inter-Orthodox Church life at the time.
From 28 May to 13 June, 2006, Bishop Seraphim led a pilgrimage ("Pilgrimage and Compassion") of Canadians to Ukraine. First, Bishop Seraphim visited Metropolitan Mitrophan (Yurchuk) (at that time, the temporary chairman of the Department of External Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church) with regard to the itinerary of the pilgrimage. Then the pilgrims went to the Vvedensky Monastery in Kyiv and venerated the wonder-working icon of the Theotokos (which had copied itself by etching onto glass), and the relics of Saint Dmitra (the founder of the community). Next, the pilgrims visited the Monasteries of Saint Sophia and Saint Michael, the Saint Andrew Sobor, and then the very active Florovsky Women's Monastery. In the "podolia" (lower town), they visited the Church of Saint Elia (where Rus' was baptised in 988). The pilgrims travelled east to Sumy, where Bishop Seraphim and the others participated in the Vigil and the Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Mark (Petrovtsiy) on the Feast of the Ascension. Bishop Seraphim was asked to ordain a deacon for the local diocese at this time. Afterwards, the pilgrims went to Akhtyrke to serve a moleben before a wonder-working icon of the Theotokos.
After a long drive to Rivne, Bishop Seraphim was taken to Pochaiv, where he served with Bishop Vladimir (Moroz), the "namestnik", at the Saturday evening Vigil, and at the Sunday Divine Liturgy. The Pochaiv Seminary had grown to number 200 students. Afterwards, he and the pilgrims continued on to Chernivtsy. They visited the Holy Spirit Cathedral and the Saint Nicholas Sobor nearby the metropolitan offices. Metropolitan Onouphry (Berezovsky) sent some pilgrims by van to visit sites in northern Romania while Bishop Seraphim travelled with the metropolitan and Archimandrite Meletiy (Yegorenko) to Boian to venerate the Myrrhgiving Icon of the Theotokos there, and to visit the Boian Women's Monastery as well (together with the orphans they cared for). This was followed by a visit to the Anania Women's Monastery near Kitsman and its newly-constructed buildings. From Chernivtsy, the bishop and pilgrims travelled to Kolomeya to visit the Transfiguration Temple and the new Parish House (from where much social work is done). There was a visit to a state-operated orphanage in Yabluniv (and help was afterwards sent there). Then there was a visit to a school in Khlibichen (near Kolomey) which is supported by Canadian groups.
Then the bishop was transported ahead to L'viv where he, Archbishop Avgustin (Markevich), Archbishop Symeon (Shostatsky) of Vladimir-Volynsk and Archbishop Varfolomei (Vashchuk) were taken to the opera house for a special Russian perfomance in the presence of the Russian General Consul. Afterwards, there was a conversation with Archbishop Avgustin about the various charity works in his diocese that were supported from Canada through money and various donations in kind. The next day, the bishop and pilgrims accompanied the archbishop to Chervonograd for the Divine Liturgy in the newly-constructed Temple there. On the return to L'viv, the group stopped with the archbishop at several villages, where there was a moleben in each one, and a distribution of gifts by the archbishop. On Sunday, Bishop Seraphim served with Archbishop Avgustin in Sulimiw. Afterwards, there was a stop in Soposhin near L'viv, where the archbishop spoke with the people gathered, and there was a concluding talk at the L'viv cathedral. The next day, there was a stop at the "Light for Children" service centre supported from Canada. This was followed by the return to Canada from L'viv.
From 20 July to 2 August, 2006, Bishop Seraphim made a private pilgrimage along with a family to Romania. After arrival, the first stop was at the historic Antim Monastery nearby the patriarchate in Bucharest, where he met with Bishop Ciprian (Spiridon), the head of the Department of External Affairs. Then they drove to the Pasarea Women's Monastery (160 nuns) not far to the east of Bucharest, and nearby to the Cernica Monastery and Seminary (60 monks), where the relics of Saints Callinic and Gheorghe were venerated. Both monasteries have relationships with parishioners in Canada. Then Bishop Ciprian took Bishop Seraphim to the Crasna Monastery in a remote place in the nearby Carpathian Mountains foothills, where there is a seminary (from which 6 bishops have been produced). There, there was an ordination of a priest by Metropolitan Josif (Pop) of Paris. Then Bishop Seraphim and the family drove westwards to Bistriţa Dormition Women's Monastery (90 nuns), and then up a mountain to the Arnota Women's Monastery of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Afterwards, they drove to the Hurezu Monastery of Saints Constantine and Helen (a UNESCO site).
From there, they drove northwards through Transylvania to the Petru Voda Monastery of the Holy Archangels in Neamţ County (60 monks). This visit included the Saint Panteleimon Monastery nearby (60 nuns), which included a hospital and an orphanage. Afterwards, they drove to the Dormition Putna Monastery (120 monks) (where is the grave of Archbishop Victorin (Ursache)). From there, Bishop Seraphim visited the nearby Annunciation Monastery (40 monks) under re-consruction. This was followed by a visit to the Monastery of Saint John the New in Suceava, and then to the Slatina Tranfiguration Monastery (where Archimandrite Martinian (Ivanovici) had been abbot), now a women's monastery. Then they drove to the Probota Monastery (a UNESCO site) and to the Dragomirna Descent of the Holy Spirit Women's Monastery. From the Putna Dormition Monastery, there was a visit to the top of a nearby mountain and to the construction site of a new hermitage. Then they travelled to the village of Salash, a tiny village in a remote valley, where the Divine Liturgy was served by the bishop and several priests. People often walk the 65 km from this village to the Putna Monastery. Afterwards, the bishop and his companions departed from Bucharest to Canada.
During October and November, 2006, Bishop Seraphim gave the blessing that a blessed copy ("spisok") of the Port Arthur Icon of the Theotokos from Vladivostok, Russia, visit various parishes and monasteries in Canada. After the completion of its journey, instead of remaining in Canada as originally intended, the icon was transferred to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York.
From 26 October to 2 November, 2006, Bishop Seraphim was in Stockholm, Sweden, where he had been invited to make a presentation at a "Bilda" Conference at Södertälje. The Archpriest Michael Liljeström took him to the Ecumenical Centre in Söderbyberg where he met the Priest Mikhael Iaksić, the main Orthodox representative there. While we were there, the Priest Heikki Huttunen arrived from Finland in order to participate in the conference. Afterwards, there was a meeting with the Serbian Bishop Dositej (Motika) at the Serbian Saint Sava Cathedral. In due time, conference began at the Hagaberg Lutheran Conference Centre and it was led by Mikhael Ellnemyr. Bishop Dositej of Great Britain and Scandinavia also participated. Bishop Seraphim made his presentation, "Developing and Maturing the Understanding of the Orthodox Tradition", and he answered questions.
On Saturday, after the close of the conference, Bishop Seraphim, Father Heikki and Joachim Främberg drove to the headquarters and cathedral of Archbishop Benjamin of the Syrian Orthodox Church (Jakobite) in Södertälje. This suburb of Stockhom had a large number of Syrian (Jakobite) Orthodox Christians at that time, most of whom had immigrated from Syria. There were 100,000 Syrians in Sweden at the time.
On Sunday, there was a celebration of the Divine Liturgy in Saint Sava's Cathedral in Enskede gård, Söderort, in southern Stockholm. Bishop Seraphim served, because Bishop Dositej had to leave in mid-service for a flight to Europe. Later, there was a meeting with delegates to the conference. The bishop also was taken to meet with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sweden, Anders Arborelius, along with several Orthodox clergy and ecumenical officers. This was followed by a visit to the very small Moscow Patriarchate Temple of Saint Sergius in Stockholm and its priest. After this, there was a visit to the Saint Anna Mission. Then there was a multilingual meeting with Metropolitan Paulos (Menevissoglou) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at his rather large cathedral. This was followed by a visit to the parish of the Russian Exarchate of Western Europe under Constantinople. Then there was a visit to Archbishop Iulius, the other Syrian Bishop in Sweden. Included in the visits was a conversation with the abbot of the recently-established Swedish Orthodox Holy Trinity Monastery (Serbian Patriarchate) of Bredared (in western Sweden, about halfway between Jönköping and Göteborg), in Västra Götaland County. Then the bishop returned to North America.
On 18 November, 2006, Bishop Seraphim spoke at a youth retreat sponsored by the Sign of the Theotokos Church in Montéal, Québec. The topic was "Come and see".
On Sunday, 21 January, 2007, Bishop Seraphim was present in Ottawa, Ontario, along with Archbishop Marcel Gervais, at the Notre Dame Roman Catholic Cathedral Basilica for a special service for the World Day of Prayer for Christian Unity. He gave a talk, "We have yet a long Row to hoe".
At the Spring, 2007, meeting of the OCA’s Holy Synod, Bishop Seraphim (Storheim) was elevated to the dignity of archbishop.
On 16 June, 2007, the 20th anniversary of Archbishop Seraphim's episcopal ordination was marked at an Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Herman of Alaska's Sobobor in Edmonton, Alberta.
In June, 2007, Archbishop Seraphim made a private visit with his sister to Finland.
From 17 to 20 July, 2007, the Archdiocesan Assembly was convened in Ottawa, Ontario, under the theme "Christian Mission in a Pluralistic World". Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) was a participant throughout, and there were 2 speakers : the Protopresbyter Luke Veronis (a professor of missiology at Holy Cross Seminary, and a former missionary to Albania), and the Priest Justin Matthews (a strongly missionary-minded cleric with substantial musical gifts). Both stressed the importance that every parish community maintain a missionary disposition. There was also a report from the Archdiocesan Dean (the Archpriest Cyprian Hutcheon). This was a new responsibility recently developed in order to improve the pastoral oversight of the diocese.
From 25 to 28 July, 2007, Bishop Seraphim was present at Marymount University in Arlington, Virgina, where the OCA's Department of Pastoral Life Ministries and Department of Christian Witness had convened a "Skills Conference". He gave a presentation, "Outreach in a Healthy Parish".
From 15 to 29 August, 2007, Archbishop Seraphim led a pilgrimage of Canadian parishioners to Russia. This pilgrimage presented some difficulties because of various regulations and because the pilgrims chose to avoid hotels. The itinerary also became somewhat fluid. The group assembled in Saint Petersburg, where they stayed at the Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra. There was a daily Divine Liturgy for those who could attend.
The first visit was to Kronstadt, and to the Temple of the Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos. It was the only working Temple in the town. There were other sites associated with Saint John Sergiev of Kronstadt. There was a visit to the Sobor of Saint Nicholas, the previous Russian Navy "chapel", which was under renovation after having been used as a theatre. It was intended to return the building to active service. Then the group travelled to the Saint John of Rila Monastery in Saint Petersburg, where they venerated the relics of Saint John of Kronstadt. At the Smolensk Cemetery, the group prayed at the chapel of Saint Xenia, but it was too late to venerate her relics. They were able to visit the Temple in that cemetery, which she had helped to construct. The next day, the group visited the Theotokos of Kazan Cathedral, which had formerly been a museum of atheism. Then they visited the Hermitage Museum (the former Winter Palace), and then the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress on the nearby "Hare Island", where are the tombs of some Romanovs and of the last royal family. Afterwards, they visited Saint Isaac's Cathedral where a side-chapel was functioning as an active parish. (The whole cathedral was at that time still a museum, and unavailable for regular worship.) Then they visited the Saint Nicholas Sobor which is associated with the navy. Then they participated in the Vigil and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Transfiguration in 2 groups. Some were present at the Holy Trinity Sobor of the lavra, where Archbishop Seraphim was serving, and some attended at the Holy Resurrection Sobor (Saviour on the Blood) where Metropolitan Vladimir (Kotliarov) and Bishop Markell (Vetrov) were serving. After the Divine Liturgy, there was a dinner with the brotherhood which included historical speeches by the monks (then numbering 30). In the evening, the whole group took tea with Metropolitan Vladimir, who demonstrated the plans for restoration work. The metropolitan's secretary, the Archpriest Sviatoslav Diachena, was the great-nephew of the Mitred Archpriest John Diachena who had served in Toronto.
On Monday, the group travelled towards Novgorod, and they stopped first at the Khutyn Women's Monastery (50 nuns), where they venerated the relics of Saint Varlaam. They travelled to Novgorod and visited the kremlin and its Temples and venerated the relics of Saint Anna, Saint Nikita, and other Novgorodian saints. Then they travelled to the Yuriev Monastery of Saint George, where the diocesan seminary is located, as well as the residence of Archbishop Lev (Tserpitskiy). There was a meeting with the archbishop and then they returned to Saint Petersburg. The next day included a visit to the Saint Petersburg Seminary and Academy. Archbishop Konstantin (Gorianov) led the group on a tour of the facilities. Students interviewed the archbishop. On his return to Canada, he reported about the many needs of the academy. Then the group visited the town of Pushkin and the Temple of the Sign of the Theotokos, the palace gardens, and the nearby Temple of the Feodorovskaya Icon of the Theotokos, where they venerated this and other icons. Then they visited Petrodvorets and they viewed the buildings and grounds. They visited the nearby Temple of Saints Peter and Paul (which has a ceramic iconostas). Afterwards, they visited the Holy Trinity Monastery (next to a presidential palace), where they venerated the relics of 2 local saints. They also venerated an icon of Saint Herman of Alaska, and they were reminded that it was in this monastery that Saint Herman had been tonsured to be a monk. Saint Ignatiy Brianchaninov had served for a time as abbot of this community.
After an overnight rail journey to Moscow, the group was met at 1000 hrs by Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood). He greeted the group which then travelled to the Saint Catherine Representation Church on Bolshaya Ordinka Street, where they venerated icons in the Temple and had refreshments. Afterwards, they travelled to the Pokrovsky Women's Monastery, where they venerated the relics of Saint Matrona. They were given a tour of the monastery ; and while they were eating lunch, a group of orphan girls for whom the nuns care, sang some songs and an explanation was given about the charitable activities of this monastery. Archbishop Seraphim then had a meeting with Metropolitan Kirill (Gundyayev) at the Department of External Affairs. The next day, the group visited Vladimir and Suzdal. The visit included the Uspensky Cathedral in Vladimir, and the pilgrims venerated the relics of the holy Archbishop Afanassy and of Princes Andrey and Gleb. There was then a meeting with Archbishop Evlogiy (Smirnov) of Vladimir and Suzdal and various clergy. A guide took the group to Saint Dmitry's Sobor. Dinner was given at the Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery (with Archbishop Evlogiy). In Suzdal, the group visited the Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery and venerated the relics of Saint Bishop Arseniy of Elassa. They were met also by Archimandrite Innocent of the Saint Alexander Nevsky Monastery in Suzdal (1 of 4 working monasteries). In the diocese, there were 30 working monasteries, all established in the previous 15 years. They visited the museum of the Spaso-Ephemiev Monastery where they venerated icons, and they also visited the newly-opened Saint Alexander Nevsky Monastery. They were given supper at the Pokrov (Protection) Monastery, which was followed by a return to Vladimir and to the Uspensky Princess Monastery, where they venerated the Bogolubsky Icon of the Theotokos, and then returned to Moscow.
In Moscow, the whole group travelled by metro to the Tretyakov Gallery. The Archpriest Nicholas Sokolov took the group through the main parts, and to the principal icons of the gallery, including the Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos of Vladimir in the Saint Nicholas-in-the-Tolmach Temple (the original heart of the gallery). Then the group walked to the Saint Catherine-in-the-Field Representation Temple and they were shown the workshops and the medical clinic which the parish offers to local people. Then the Canadian Ambassador came to the group, and all were given supper during which there were conversations. Afterwards, the group went by metro and met a boat which gave a brief cruise on the Moscow River.
The next day included a tour of several monasteries : the Rozhdestvensky (Nativity) Monastery (30 nuns) ; the Spaso-Andronikov Museum-Monastery ; the Novospassky Monastery ; the Donskoy Monastery, where are the relics of Saint Tikhon of Moscow ; the Danilovsky Monastery, where are the relics of Saint Daniel and of Saint Alexander Nevsky. At the Danilovsky Monastery, the group was shown the buildings of the Department of External Affairs and of the Holy Synod, and then the group took tea with Archimandrite Alexei, the abbot. There was a discussion about the pending return of the monastery's bells from Harvard University. This was followed by a visit to the Sretensky Monastery on Lubianka Street with its seminary. They venerated the relics of the Hieromartyr Archbishop Ilarion. They participated in the Vigil for Sunday, and they were given supper with monks who asked good questions.
On Sunday, the group divided : some went with the archbishop to the Representation Temple, some to the Sretensky Monastery, some to Christ the Saviour Cathedral. At the Representation Temple was Bishop Zosima (Davydov) (✝2010) of Yakutsk and Lensk. A reliquary containing the right hand of Saint Innocent (Veniaminov) of Moscow was venerated by the faithful. The archbishop and the Archpriest Anatoliy Melnyk went to Saint Tikhon's University for a round-table conference on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Saint Innocent (Veniaminov). Archbishop Seraphim made a presentation about Saint Innocent and North America at this time. The next day was taken with a visit to the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra, with the Seminary and Academy. The group visited the main Temples. At the Dormition Sobor, they venerated the relics of Saint Innocent of Moscow and of Saint Maxim the Greek. At the Holy Trinity Sobor, they venerated the relics of Saint Sergius of Radonezh. Afterwards, they visited the spring of Saint Sergius several kilometres distant. That evening they were at the Holy Epiphany Cathedral where Archbishop Seraphim served together with Archbishop Arseny (Epifanov) for the Vigil of the Dormition. The next day, the group was present in the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin. Patriarch Aleksey II (Ridiger) served together with Archbishop Seraphim and other bishops. This was followed by a brief visit to the Sofrino Church Supply shop, and the group returned to Canada the next day.
On 20-21 October 2007, the cathedral parish of Saints Peter and Paul celebrated its centenary of service in the City of Montréal, Québec, and in the Archdiocese of Canada. These hundred years have demonstrated the maternal rôle of this parish in Canada. On Saturday afternoon, Archbishop Seraphim began the festal services with a blessing of the Church Museum in the basement hall, which includes vestments, 2 mitres, and other articles belonging to Archbishop Sylvester (Haruns). People had travelled from all over the country to attend this historic weekend. As the faithful gathered in the Temple, they venerated the Icon of the Theotokos of Port Arthur, and awaited the arrival of the First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America, Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko).
Metropolitan Herman arrived with his retinue and received the traditional greeting of bread and salt at the church door. During Matins, Metropolitan Herman anointed all the faithful with oil. An agapé (à la fourchette) bustling with lively conversation and a vast array of delicacies followed. The Primatial Divine Liturgy began on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Nearly 400 people were in attendance. Serving with Metropolitan Herman were Archbishop Seraphim, Bishop Job (Smakouz) (Moscow Patriarchate), Archpriest Anatoliy Melnyk, Archpriest Alexander Janowski, Archpriest Nicolas Boldireff, Hieromonk Basile (Paradis), Archdeacon Alexei Klimachev, Deacon Gregory Scratch, and also subdeacons, readers, and servers from all over Canada. The choir sang in Slavonic, the Epistle was read first in English and then in Slavonic by the deacon and a reader, and the Gospel was read in Slavonic by Archdeacon Alexei. Bishop Job gave the homily in Russian. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, there was a festal procession. Following the veneration of the Cross, the hierarchs and many other dignitaries and special guests proceeded to the nearby "Restaurant La Mer", where an elaborate banquet had been prepared. With a Powerpoint presentation on the 100th anniversary, and lovely Russian music playing in the background, all the hierarchs and many long-standing members of the community gave inspirational speeches. The metropolitan spoke about the importance of continuing to preserve Saints Peter and Paul Sobor, and described also how touched he was by a couple who had approached him, and talked about meeting him many years ago in Montréal.
From 10-17 November, 2007, Archbishop Seraphim travelled to Greece with a small group of men in order to make a private pilgrimage to Mount Athos. The group arrived in Thessalonica in mid-afternoon of Sunday. On Monday, the expected bus was cancelled. The group arrived later at Ouranopolis, completed documents for travel, and learnt that the weather prevented travel that day. The next day the group sailed to Daphne where they met a minibus. Immediately, they were taken to the Vatopedi Monastery ; to Karyes and the Skete of Saint Andrew ; to the Protaton ; to the Monastery Pantokrator Monastery ; to the Skete Prophet Elias Skete ; to the Savronikita Monastery ; and to the Iveron Monastery where they participated in several services and stayed the night. They participated in the Divine Liturgy, and they venerated the Portaitissa Icon of the Theotokos. Then they travelled to Karyes and to Daphne, where they boarded a ship for the Saint Panteleimon Monastery. Upon arrival, and receiving a basic tour, the group went to their quarters and they were taken to venerate many relics, including those of Saint Silouan. The winds prolonged the stay at this monastery for another day, and the group participated in a second cycle of services with the brotherhood. Early the next day, it was possible to travel. On the way to Thessalonica, there was a stop at the Constantinopolitan Patriarchal Monastery of Saint Anastasia. There, the group venerated the relics of Saint Anastasia and of Saint Theonas of Thessalonica. At Thessalonica there was time to venerate the relics of Saint Dimitrius of Thessalonica and of Saint Anysia of Thessalonica, and then the relics of Saint Gregory Palamas. There was also a brief visit to the Temple of Saint Sophia. They there venerated the relics of Saint Basil Homologites (10th century archbishop of Thessalonica).
From 30 May to 6 June, 2008, Archbishop Seraphim accepted an invitation from Bishop Alejo (Pacheco y Vera) to visit Mexico City, in the United States of Mexico. He travelled from Canada in the manner of a pilgrimage, along with the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Canada, the Archpriest Dennis Pihach, Subdeacon Daniel Boerio and Reader Mark Petasky. He was met by Bishop Alejo and the Head of Mexico's Department of Religious Affairs. There had been few visits of OCA hierarchs until then. They were joined by the Archpriest Ernesto and Madre Martha Rios from Florida. The next day, there was a walking visit to the main square of the city and to the historical Metropolitan Cathedral, as well as to ancient Aztec structures and archaeological sites at the Zocalo. After a visit to the national art museum and to the national theatre, the group was taken to an old area of waterways remaining from ancient times, where they toured on a barge. The next day, the group participated in the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Ascension Cathedral. Two bishops, 6 priests and 2 deacons served. Afterwards, Bishop Alejo blessed a 3-bar Cross in a nearby park, and he demonstrated to the guests that the building of a new structure was in progress on the cathedral property.
The next day, the Archpriest Antonio Perdomo arrived from Texas at the cathedral, and the whole group travelled to the volcano national park. Then the group returned to the city. Throughout, there were explanations about the Mexican Exarchate's history and about the fact that it is the recognised national Mexican Orthodox Church. One recently-reposed priest had baptised more than 20,000 persons. The next day, Bishop Alejo took the group for an official visit to the Department of Religious Affairs. The director of the department commented on his own respect for Bishop Alejo, and he expressed his gratitude that the exarchate contributes towards the general stability of Mexican society. Later, there was a visit to the Aztec pyramids, which some climbed. Afterwards, there was a visit to a cathedral family. The next day, there was a visit to the cathedral, and then to the Holy Trinity Mission on the opposite side of the aeroport. The missions bring a trend towards cleanliness and good order in the lives of the community and of the people. There followed a visit to the Saint Antonio Monastery of the Antiochian Metropolis. Besides the monks and nuns, there are often orphans resident there who travel from Guatemala in order to pursue a higher education. After receiving hospitality and a walking tour of the gardens and farm, the group participated in Great Vespers for the Feast-day of the Ascension. The next day, there was a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the Feast of Ascension. Archbishop Seraphim served with 8 priests and 2 deacons, while Bishop Alejo oversaw practical details and helped with singing. This was followed by a formal dinner for the feast-day in a building donated to the exarchate in part for developing a pastoral school. There was then a brief visit to the Roman Catholic basilica at La Villa de Guadalupe in which the Image of the Theotokos of Guadelupe is kept. The group then returned to Canada and others returned to the USA. The fruits of the labours of Archbishop Dmitri (Royster) were evident.
From 14 to 29 July, 2008, Archbishop Seraphim made a private pilgrimage to Romania. Because the archbishop would be already in Romania, Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko) had asked him to shorten his time in Romania and to proceed to Kyiv in order to participate in the celebrations there, and to represent him and the OCA. After some delays, Archbishop Seraphim arrived in Bucharest, and he went first to the patriarchate, where there had been many renovations. He stayed in the Saint Andrew Patriarchal Hostel, where he was introduced to "Trinitas Television", a new service of the patriarchate. Then he visited the Antim Monastery and he met Archimandrite Mihail. He was able to venerate the relics of Saint Parasceva, and of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, and 2 wonder-working icons of the Theotokos. At the same time, it was explained to him that some of the surrounding buildings had been moved many years ago from their original placement when President N Ceaușescu decided to construct the new government centre nearby.
He and the family drove to the Monastery of Saint Dimitrie of the Câldăruşani Monastery (built by Mattei Basarab), about 30 km distant from Bucharest. By this time there were 800 monastic communities in the country. They drove through Piteşti to the Monastery of Saint Nicholas of Sâmbăta de Sus, where Bishop Irineu (Duvlea) had once been the abbot (40 monks). He visited the adjacent Ecumenical Conference Centre which includes a lay academy outside the walls. At that time, he met Archimandrite Teofil (Părăian) (blind from birth), a translator, publisher and spiritual father. After driving north through Transylvania, they arrived at the Holy Archangels Monastery in Petru Voda (80 monks) in Neamț County. They participated in the nightly cycle of services and they spent some time at the nearby Saint Panteleimon's Women's Monastery (80 nuns). After a visit with Archimandrite Iustin (Pârvu), they drove to the Dormition Putna Monastery in Suceava County. They participated in the Sunday Vigil, spoke with Archimandrite Melchisidec (Velnic), venerated the icons, and then (with the metropolitan's blessing) the archbishop served for the remainder of the Vigil. On Sunday, he served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the monastery. In the evening, he was present for the 9th Hour, Vespers, Small Compline and Moleben to the Theotokos. After supper he gave a verbal presentation to the brotherhood about monastic life in North America.
The next morning they drove to the Old Agapia Women's Monastery (40 nuns) at Târgu Neamţ, where Archbishop Seraphim represented Archbishop Pimen (Zainea) of Suceava (who was in Europe) by serving the Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Teofan (Savu) of Iaşi, 4 other bishops, 40 priests and 3 deacons. This service included the reading the Act of Glorification of the Priestmonks Raphael and Parthenius, who had long ago been monks of Old Agapia. This was followed by a procession down the mountain to the New Agapia Monastery (400 nuns), where they were given food. Afterwards, Metropolitan Teofan led the available nuns to an open space where he gave a presentation, and then he directed Archbishop Seraphim to do likewise. Questions and answers followed. After returning to Putna, he attended the Divine Liturgy there the next day. After noon, the Priestmonk Hrisostom took him to the cell of Saint Daniel of Sihastria, and then to the Sihastria-Putna Annunciation Monastery (37 monks). After returning to Putna, there was the weekly Tuesday Vigil of the Protection. The Divine Liturgy was served as usual the next day, followed by a visit to the fresco-work in progress. Then Archimandrite Melchisedec and Father Hrisostom took Archbishop Seraphim to visit the Temple of Saint Nicholas in Mălinuti being restored, and the Temple of the Holy Cross in Pătrăuti. They arrived at the Monastery of Saint George in Suceava, and they next went to the Monastery of Saint John the New in order to venerate the relics of Saint John the New. After visiting a small women's monastery which was beginning to be repaired, they returned to Putna. Then the bishop was taken to speak with the brotherhood at the Sihastria-Putna monastery. The next day, after the Divine Liturgy, he was taken to visit the nearby women's monasteries of Suceviţa, Moldoviţa and Voroneţ. They surveyed all the repairs in progress. This was followed by a lengthy conference with the brotherhood and visiting seminarians from Moldova. During that night there was a severe storm which interrupted the electricity and washed out many bridges in the region. After the Divine Liturgy, he met the Priestmonk Adrian, a living Confessor and member of the Burning Bush Movement. There was an inspection of the damage.
Afterwards, Archbishop Seraphim was taken on the 90 km journey across the border to Cernauţi (Chernivtsi) in Ukraine by Bishop Meleti (Yegorenko). Metropolitan Onuphry (Berezovsky) provided overnight quarters and they proceeded to Kyiv by air. The bishops stayed at a hotel, and in the morning they went to the Boryspil Aeroport near Kyiv, where, with Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan), they greeted the arrival of the entourage of Patriarch Aleksey II (Ridiger) of Moscow for the celebration of the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus'. All then travelled to the Monastery of the Kyiv Caves where there was a formal greeting with a moleben before the newly-reconstructed Dormition (Uspensky) Sobor of the monastery. There followed a standing reception at the Saint Sophia Sobor in central Kyiv. The President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko made a speech, as did Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
The next day, the bishops were all taken to the "Vladimirsykaya Gorka" (Saint Vladimir Hill Park) on the right bank of the Dnipro River of Kyiv for the celebration of the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy. Patriarchs Bartholomew and Aleksey were greeted and vested together. All the Orthodox Churches were represented except Cyprus and Japan. Afterwards, there was a meal at the Monastery of the Caves Brotherhood refectory for the clergy. After this, the Constantinopolitan delegation departed. The next day, there was a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy before the Uspensky Sobor of the Kyiv Caves Monastery, with Patriarch Aleksey II, Archbishop Anastasios (Yanulatos), Metropolitan Volodymyr, Metropolitan Philaret (Vakhromeyev), and 100 bishops. These included representatives from many of the other Orthodox Churches. Again there was a meal and speeches at the brotherhood refectory. For the name-day of Metropolitan Volodymyr, there was a long theatrical performance in the city, which was later followed by a formal banquet at a hotel in honour of the metropolitan. Afterwards, Archbishop Seraphim was interviewed by a newspaper editor. The following day, he prepared for departure to Canada.
On 4 September, 2008, following the retirement of Metropolitan Herman due to ill health (and pending back surgery), the Holy Synod of the OCA assigned Archbishop Seraphim to be the “Administrator of the Metropolitan’s See”, and to assist Archbishop Dmitri (Royster), who had been assigned to serve as the “Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan’s See and of The Orthodox Church in America”. This responsibility ended with the election of Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) on 12 November of that same year.
From 14 to 21 January, 2009, the Holy Synod of Bishops travelled to Mexico City. There, they held a series of meetings. In addition, they were given brief excursions to various local historical sites. On 14 January, after having served for 19 years in that capacity, Archbishop Seraphim was released from his responsibilities as the Secretary of the Holy Synod. On Sunday, 18 January, the Holy Synod of Bishops participated in the formal enthronement of Bishop Alejo (Pacheco-Vera) as the Bishop of Mexico City and the Diocese of the United States of Mexico. Archbishop Seraphim was given a private visit to 2 missions in the northern part of the city.
On 2 April, 2009, at the nomination of the Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Council, Igumen Irénée (Rochon) was chosen by the Holy Synod of Bishops to become the Vicar-Bishop of the Archdiocese of Canada.
From 25 April to 4 May, 2009, because it was a decision of the Holy Synod that the metropolitan should always be accompanied by at least 1 bishop on trips abroad, Archbishop Seraphim accompanied Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) on a primatial fraternal visit to the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill (Gundyaev). The delegation travelled from the Danilovsky Monastery to the Donskoy Monastery in order to venerate the relics of Saint Tikhon (Belavin). Afterwards, they attended the Resurrectional Vigil at the Danilovsky Monastery. On Sunday, the delegation served with Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev) and 18 bishops at Christ the Saviour Cathedral. There was at that time the ordination of a bishop. After formal greetings and a tour, there was a concert in the evening at the Moscow Conservatory. On Monday, there was a visit to the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Monastery with veneration of the relics of many saints. At that time, there was also a visit to the Theological Academy there, with conversations. After a visit to the Sofrino Church Goods factory, there was a meeting in Moscow with the Ambassador of the USA, and a visit to the Saint Catherine Representation Church, and to the Novospassky Monastery with Archbishop Aleksy (Frolov). The next day, there was a visit to the Sretensky Monastery by the Kremlin, including its seminary and its bookstore. This was followed by a formal meeting with Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Jonah and their delegations in the Holy Synod building at the Danilovsky Monastery.
After a formal dinner, the delegation travelled by rail to Saint Petersburg. There, the delegation was taken to the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy. Afterwards, from the Saints Peter and Paul Fortress, the delegation was taken by helicopter to the Valaam Monastery in Lake Ladoga.
Bishop Pankratiy (the archimandrite) met the delegation and led them around the various sketes and communities which are being renewed and repaired. Metropolitan Jonah served the Primatial Divine Liturgy with 3 bishops for the Feast of Saint Alexander of Svir. This was followed by a visit by hovercraft (because of ice) to the Holy Island (Saint Alexander's cave and skete) and to Saint Elias Skete on another island.
The next day, there were visits to more communities and then the delgation was returned to Saint Petersburg to visit the Saint John of Rila Monastery and to venerate the relics of Saint John of Kronstadt.
Afterwards, they travelled to the Smolensk Cemetery and to venerate the relics of Saint Xenia of Saint Petersburg.
Metropolitan Jonah and Archimandrite Zacchaeus (Wood) returned to Moscow for meetings, while the remainder of the delegation visited the Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra and its cemetery. Afterwards, they visited the Saint Vladimir Sobor and then returned to Moscow by the night train. The next day, the delegation went to the Saint Catherine Representation Church where Metropolitan Jonah served with 5 bishops (including Bishop Zosima of Irkutsk), 14 priests and 4 deacons. Afterwards, there was a visit to the Saint Tikhon University for the 3rd annual Saint Innocent Readings. This was followed by participation in the Vigil at the Church of Saint Nicholas, followed by a visit to a Temple of the Theotokos to venerate its wonder-working icon. On Sunday, the delegation participated in the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at the Dormition Cathedral. This was followed by a brief visit to the Tretiakov Gallery to venerate the Wonder-working Vladimir Icon of the Theotokos, and a visit to the Pokrovsky Women's Monastery in order to venerate the relics of Saint Matrona. There was tea given to the delegation, and the orphans gave a musical presentation. This was followed later by a farewell dinner. Bishop Seraphim left for Canada while the remainder of the delegation participated in a Lity for the late Patriarch Aleksey II before their departure.
From 19 to 31 July, 2009, Archbishop Seraphim made a private visit (which always becomes a sort of pilgrimage) to Norway with his sister. In Oslo, they visited their aged relatives. He visited and served (in Norwegian) in the Church of Saint Nicholas (under the Russian Archdiocese of Western Europe under the Ecumenical Patriarchate). There is a myrrh-giving icon of Christ on the iconostas. He also visited the Monastery of Saint Tryphon of Petsamo/Pechenga in Hurdal. Archimandrite Johannes (Johansen) served as the rector of the Oslo parish, the igumen of the skete, and as the Dean of Scandinavia. The archbishop and his sister travelled to "Vestland" to visit other relatives and he visited the remains of the monastery and cave of Saint Sunniva on Selje Island near Måløy.
On 1 October, 2009, Archimandrite Irénée (Rochon) was ordained to the Holy Episcopate at the Annunciation to the Theotokos-Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Ottawa. He was given the title “Bishop of Québec City”. At that time, the Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos of Pochaiv was present in the cathedral, at the beginning of a tour of Canada.
Later in the year, Archbishop Seraphim was released from the chairmanship of the Department of External Church Relations, and from several other related responsibilities as well. This was in the context of a re-organisation of the Central Administration of the OCA. However, by this time, it was evident to others that the archbishop's health was becoming compromised because of the many travels and additional responsibilities.
On 20 October, 2009, Archbishop Seraphim was in Toronto, Ontario, at the University of Toronto's Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He gave a talk, followed by questions and answers, "Catching and Teaching : Humility, Integrity, and a Christian Witness to the University".
From 10 to 13 November, 2009, Archbishop Seraphim participated in the 15th All-American Council in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
From 20 November to 1 December, 2009, Archbishop Seraphim travelled to Ukraine as a result of the visit of the Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos of Pochaiv to Canada in September-October. He was accompanied by the Archpriest Oleg Kirilov and Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko. They met Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) and they offered deep gratitude for the blessing that had been given for this visit. They and Metropolitan Agafangel (Savvin) of Odessa and Bishop Alexander (Drabinko) of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky served together with Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) in the log Temple of All Saints on the grounds of the future Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection in Kyiv. Metropolitan Volodymyr directed Archbishop Seraphim to ordain a deacon during this service.
This was followed by a visit in Eastern Kyiv to the new Annunciation Monastery in a newer area of the city. In the evening and the next day, there was a celebration of Metropolitan Volodymyr's birthday. In the Trapeznaya Temple of the Monastery of the Caves, the Primatial Divine Liturgy was served by Metropolitan Volodymyr, Archbishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) (who had arrived from China), Archbishop Seraphim, and most of the Holy Synod of Bishops. At the conclusion, Archbishop Seraphim was able to present 2 copies of the works of Taras Shevchenko (published in Canada in 1952). Later, Metropolitan Volodymyr and other bishops returned to the site of the future cathedral, where a newly-constructed press centre was blessed, and a display by artisans was opened. There was then a short musical programme for children. In the evening, there was a performance of the Saint Matthew Passion (composed by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev)) in a concert hall in the city, with the composer present. Afterwards, there were brief conversations with various bishops, and a farewell to Metropolitan Volodymyr. Then the bishop and his companions travelled to Chernivtsy. In the morning, the bishop was taken on a tour of cottage industries in a nearby village. The next day included the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the newly renovated Temple of Saint Michael in Kelmentsi in the Basarabia area, and Metropolitan Onuphry re-sanctified the Temple. About 30 priests were also serving.
The next day, the bishop was driven by Bishop Meletiy (Yegorenko) to a nearby village where the local dean was celebrating his anniversary. On the following next day, the group was driven to the Pochaiv Dormition Lavra, where there was a formal dinner. During the meal, expressions of gratitude were extended to Archbishop Vladimir (Moroz) and the brotherhood regarding the presence of the Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos of Pochaiv in Canada. Arrangements were then made for the transport of blessed copies ("spisok") of the icon to several Canadian parishes. Then the group departed for Chernivtsy. The next day, Bishop Seraphim was driven to Boian in order to venerate the Wonder-working and Myrrh-giving Icon of the Theotokos there. There was then a brief visit to the "children's village" near the Ascension Monastery of Bancheni. There, more than 250 children have been adopted by the Abbot Longin (Zhar) and the brotherhood. Miraculous healings from incurable illnesses have occurred in this very large family, and there was a tour of the developing monastery nearby. This was followed by serving of the Vigil at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Chernivtsy (sung in Slavonic, Russo-Ukrainian and Romanian). After the Divine Liturgy the next day, Archbishop Seraphim presented an award and formal thanks to Metropolitan Onouphry for his part in the enabling of the Pochiv Icon of the Theotokos to travel to Canada. Afterwards, the group was transported north to the Aninagora Saint Anne's Women's Monastery for supper (after having venerated the relics and icons). A gramota of gratitude was given to Bishop Meletiy (Yegorenko) for his contributions regarding the visit of the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of God to Canada, and for his support to pilgrims. After overnighting in Chernivtsy, the group returned by car to Kyiv. En route, the archbishop and Father Kirilov stopped in Zhytomir and visited Archbishop Guriy. The next day, after visiting the Department of External Affairs, visiting Metropolitan Volodymyr, and being given lunch, the archbishop and Father Kirilov returned to Canada. The archbishop was invited to return the next year.
From 12 to 26 April, 2010, Archbishop Seraphim led a pilgrimage of Canadians and Americans to the Holy Land. The pilgrimage was directed by the Archpriest Ilya Gotlinsky. After arrival in Tel Aviv, the group of 43 travelled to Jerusalem by bus. On the first day, the group visited the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of Saint Anna, the Sheep Pool, the Walk of the Passion, the "Eye of the Needle" Gate, and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. There, there was a conversation with Archbishop Methodios (Liberis) of Mount Tabor. This was followed by the first visit to the Temple of the Resurrection, which was rather thorough. After having venerated the Tomb of the Lord, the group walked to view the Western Wall from a distance. The next day, the group travelled to the Mount of Olives, to the Tomb of the Theotokos, to the Monastery of Saint Stephen, to the Tomb of Absalom, to Mount Sion and to 2 possible sites for the Upper Room, to the Abbey of the Dormition, to the Monastery of Saint Symeon, to the Monastery of the Holy Cross, to the Monastery of Elias near the Tomb of Rachel, to the Shrine of the Book in West Jerusalem, to the Moscow Patriarchate's Representation at the Holy Trinity Church (Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv had just completed his pilgrimage), and then the group crossed to the West Bank region at Bethlehem.
The next day, the group travelled through the check-point through Jerusalem eastwards to the Jericho Highway. There, they visited 3 archaeological sites : the Monastery of Saint Martyrios, the Monastery of Saint Euthymios, and the Good Samaritan Inn. They also viewed a Crusader fortress, and visited the Tomb of Lazarus in Bethany. Then they travelled up the Mount of Olives to the Monastery of the Ascension. They made the descent on foot to the Church of the "Our Father", and they visited the Tomb of the Prophets, and the Monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene where they venerated Saints Elizabeth and Barbara, prayed at Vespers and Compline, and then returned to Bethlehem. On Saturday, they visited the Basilica of the Holy Nativity, conversed with Palestinian clergy, and venerated the site of the Nativity. They continued on to the Monastery of Saint Theodosius (now a women's monastery), and to the Monastery of Saint Sabbas ; they travelled to the Monastery of the Shepherds' Field (the current abbot had served in Toronto), and to Hebron, where there is the Monastery of the Ancestors of Christ, and the Oak of Mamre (which had recently died). Late at night, they travelled to the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem for Matins and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at midnight. Archbishop Methodios served with Bishop Antonij from Serbia, 30 priests and 4 deacons. Next, the group drove to Emmaus-Nikopoulos, west of Jerusalem, and then to Lod-Ramle (Lydda-Aramathea), and the Temple of Saint George. Afterwards, they went to Jaffa and the Monastery of the Chains of the Apostle Peter and the Tomb of Saint Tabitha the Resurrected. Returning to Jerusalem, they visited the site of the Nativity of the Forerunner, the home of Saints Zacharias and Elizabeth, a nearby monastery, and again to Bethlehem.
The next day, they drove to Masada by the Dead Sea, where there are ruins of a Monastery of Saint Euthymius near the Herodian fortress. They stopped near Qumran and then at Jericho. There, the archbishop encountered again and spoke with Bishop Antonij. Afterwards, they visited Jericho itself and the monastery which contains the Tree of Zacchaeus ; then to the monastery which includes the House of Zacchaeus ; and then to the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos and a women's monastery of the Moscow Patriarchate. After overnighting in Jerusalem, the group crossed the border to Jordan and then travelled to Bethany-beyond-Jordan, to the site of the ascension of the Prophet Elias, and then to Mount Nebo with its archaeological sites. Then they drove to Madaba and visited the Temple of Saint George, and then they arrived at Petra. The next day, the group travelled to Little Petra nearby, and then to the main archaeological sites in Great Petra. Then they drove north to the Crusader Shuba Castle (Kerak), and to Um ra-Rasar (Castron Nepha), and a nearby stylite pillar of a Monk Samuel.
Then they visited the Arnoun Valley and Kedar (Dhidon), and the Makheras Fortress of Herod Antipas (where the Forerunner was beheaded). Then they drove to and overnighted at Amman. The next day, they drove to Jerash (Gerasa) north of Amman, and visited the archaeological site, and then crossed the border and drove to Tiberias.
From there, the next day, they took a boat-trip across the Sea of Galilee to the place of the remains of a recently-discovered ancient boat. From there, they drove to Kursi, where they viewed the site of a 5th-century monastery, and then they moved on to the site of the Mount of Beatitudes. Afterwards, they drove to Tabgha, the site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and to Capernaum where are the remains of a synagogue and an early house-church (site of the healing of a paralytic). Near there is a monastery dedicated to the Twelve Apostles and to other miracles. There, they met the Dean of the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Iaşi, Romania, and some students, after which they returned to Tiberias. The next day, they travelled to the Women's Monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene, where the archbishop served the Divine Liturgy in simple fashion for the nuns and the pilgrims. Afterwards, the group returned to Tiberias and then drove to Mount Tabor, where they visited the Orthodox site, a Women's Monastery. From there, they drove to Cana, and then to Nazareth. After visiting some sites, they had supper in the city and then they drove to the aeroport in Tel Aviv for departure.
From 26-30 July, 2010, Archbishop Seraphim convened the regular triennial Archdiocesan Assembly in Victoria, British Columbia, at the University of Victoria. The assembly was hosted by All Saints of Alaska and Saint Arseny Church in Victoria, with the help of the Vancouver region parishes. Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) participated, and he gave the main address. The other principal speaker was Dr Gabor Maté of Vancouver, British Columbia. At the conclusion of the assembly, the archbishop presented some concluding words.
From 2 to 15 August, 2010, Archbishop Seraphim travelled to Romania in order to make a private pilgrimage in Romania with a family. On his way, he met and conversed with Metropolitan Nifon (Mihăiţă) of Târgovişte. Upon arrival in Bucharest, he was driven to Constanța to view early Roman Empire monuments, and then to Techirghiol by Lake Techirghiol. They stayed at the Women's Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Patriarch Miron (Cristea) established the community in 1928 when he bought a villa and established a sanitorium for clergy which was operated by nuns. Patriarch Justinian (Marina) expanded the monastic character of the community in 1951 when he had a 17th century Temple from Transylvania transported to this site. Thus, the monastery includes a spa. There, he met a bishop George from Georgia who was on his way to Bucharest for medical treatments. Afterwards, he was given time with Starets Arsenie (Papacioc). They then drove 600 km to the Petru Voda Monastery of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. There, he was requested to serve the Litiya in Vespers. During Matins, he visited Starets Justin (Pârvu). This was followed by prayers with the Sisterhood of Saint Panteleimon. At Petru Voda, the archbishop served with the brotherhood in the monastery Temple and participated in a conversation with the brotherhood. After a brief stop at the Saint Panteleimon monastery, they drove on to the Dormition of the Theotokos Monastery at Putna. They had heard the Vigil of the Transfiguration on the radio en route.
The next day, together with Archimandrite Melchisedec (Velnic), he travelled to the Holy Resurrection Sucevița Monastery (the Holy Transfiguration was the original feast-day). There, they served together with Metropolitan Josif (Pop) of Paris, and Bishop Meletiy (Yegorenko) of Khotyn, who had brought with him a deacon and 10 priests who supplemented the 20 local priests. At the end of dinner, there was a Lity for the departed, and a return to Putna. There were conversations with monks after supper. The next day the archbishop was present at the Divine Liturgy, and in the evening there was the Vigil from 1900 hrs to 2300 hrs. The next day, the archbishop served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the monastery, and he preached. In the evening, he attended the Vespers, Paraclesis and Compline. Afterwards, there was a conversation with the monks for over 2 hours. On Monday, the archbishop was present at the Hours, Divine Liturgy and Akathist, which was followed by several long conversations. After 9th Hour, Vespers and Akathist, more conversations followed supper. On Tuesday, he participated in the whole morning cycle from 0430 hrs. After the Divine Liturgy, he was taken by the Hieroschemamonk Iakov to visit the Annunciation Moldovița Women's Monastery. Then he was driven by a special vehicle up a mountain to the Pojarata (Hermitage) of Saint John Jakob of Neamț, the Chosebite. After visiting the 24 hermit monks, they returned to Putna for the evening, and more conversations. After the morning cycle, there was an early departure to Suceava in order to venerate the relics of Saint John the New Martyr and to speak briefly with the abbot. They drove to Botoșani and to the Popovița Monastery of Saint Nicholas there. There are 12 monks in this community, and Starets Ioann is a strong preacher of repentance. Many attend services there. Then they visited the Nativity of the Theotokos Women's Monastery at Vorona (founded in 1503), and also the Verona hermitage, where live 2 hermits, and where they venerated the relics of Saint Onufri of Verona (the confessor of Saint Paissi Velichkovsky).
They returned to Putna, to supper and to conversations. After the next morning cycle, Father Iakov, Brother Mihail and the archbishop travelled 25 km to a new hermitage of Saint Daniel and their abbot Partheni on the top of a mountain. They were rebuilding after a fire. They then returned to Putna in the evening and to more conversations. After the morning cycle, there was the weekly anointing of the sick (on Fridays). A monk from the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow interviewed the archbishop. There were conversations. In the evening, all awaited the arrival of Patriarch Daniel (Ciobotea).
After the formal greeting by a Vicar-Bishop, and first prayers in the Temple, there was a dinner with the Patriarch. After the morning cycle, the archbishop served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy along with Metropolitan Teofan (Savu) of Iaşi. There were various conversations. The Vigil was served out-of-doors at a specially-prepared exterior Altar. There were 4 bishops, 3 deacons and 35 priests. Vigil concluded at 2300 hrs. The Patriarchal Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Dormition was served by Patriarch Daniel and very many bishops (including 2 from Ukraine) and more than 60 priests and 6 deacons (1 from Canada). There was a formal dinner afterwards. At the end, Bishop Meletiy (Yegorenko) and Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko took the archbishop to Chernivtsy in Ukraine.
From 15 August to 31 August, 2010, Archbishop Seraphim was in Ukraine in order to participate in a Canadian pilgrimage which had by this time begun under the leadership of Igumen Alexander (Pihach). Once in Chernivtsy, he stayed at the diocesan headquarters with Metropolitan Onuphry (Berezovsky). The next day, he and the protodeacon were driven to Khust in Trans-Carpathia in order to visit Archbishop Mark (Petrovtsiy). They were shown the new buildings of the diocesan administration which were under construction ; they met the retired Bishop Mefodiy (Petrovtsiy). Then they were taken to visit the Saint Nicholas Men's Monastery nearby, where they venerated the relics of the missionary Priestmonk Aleksey (Kabaliuk), and they visited the Archimandrite Andrian. The original monastery is a tuberculosis sanatorium. They also visited the Archangel Michael Women's Monastery led by Igumenia Metrodora and the Archimandrite Parfeniy. They stayed near Khust in the Women's Monastery of the Theotokos, led by the Igumenia Evgenia. The next day, the Priest John Shandra (who had served in Canada for 8 years) met them and drove them to the bishop's residence. Protodeacon George Petrovtsiy drove them to the new cathedral under construction, and then to the Women's Uglay Monastery led by the Igumenia Katherine. They visited the grave of the last Orthodox bishop in the region until recent times, the Confessor Bishop Dosoftei of Mare Mureș. There are 330 monk-martyrs also buried in the cemetery. Afterwards, they visited a remote rural parish, and they venerated the relics of the Confessor Priestmonk Iov, recently glorified. Archbishop Mark led them to several other monasteries and villages in the region, concluding with the Ascension Women's Monastery led by the Igumenia Feodosia. This community has provided from its sisterhood many abbesses to other communities.
On the next day, after making farewells, they were driven to the Pochaiv Dormition Monastery, where they joined the Canadian pilgrims, viewed the many new buildings, and then participated in the Vigil of the Transfiguration. The monastery had more than 200 monks at that time. The next day, after venerating the relics of Saint Job, the archbishop served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy along with Archbishop Vladimir (Moroz), 16 priests, and 6 deacons (one being the father of Bishop Job (Smakouz) in Edmonton). After a meal and conversations, they were driven to the Holy Theophany Women's Monastery in Kremenets where they saw the multitude of repairs that had been made and the growth in the sisterhood (now 80). Archbishop Sergei (Gensitskiy) of Ternopil was serving Vespers, and they met Mother Kherubima (sister of Bishop Job in Edmonton).
The next day, they left Pochaiv and drove towards Lutsk. They visited the nearly-completed safe-house for women in the Stoyaniv village, to the west of the city (a project of the Canadian-Ukrainian group "NASHI-Our Children"). They stayed in Lutsk and they visited the region around Lutsk. They participated in the Vigil in the Holy Protection Cathedral in Lutsk. By then, there were 20 communities in the region. There were conversations with Metropolitan Nifont (Soloducha). The archbishop was interviewed by Ukrainian television during Vespers. The Mitred Archpriest Peter Vlodek (who had served for many years in various parishes in Western Canada) participated in the Vigil. On Sunday, they met Archbishop Avgustin (Markevich) of L'viv in Stoyaniv and together they sanctified the new Saint Parasceva Temple and served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the presence of the new Governor of the L'viv Oblast and of the Ukrainian Consul who served in Ottawa. From Lutsk, the group travelled to Ternopil. There, the group (led by the archbishop and by Igumen Alexander (Pihach)) visited Archbishop Sergei and the new Cathedral of Saint Sophia and her 3 children, which was nearly completed (despite numerous obstacles). Then they were driven to Chernivtsy. The next day the group toured the university grounds. The buildings were once the residence of the metropolitan of Chernivtsy. They then visited the Women's Monastery of the Presentation of the Lord, led by Igumenia Meletinia. Afterwards, there was a visit to the museum of Olha Kobilyanskaya. The next day, there was a brief visit to a newly-established ski resort in the Carpathian Mountains.
Afterwards, the pilgrims were driven to the Village of Boian. There they venerated the Myrrh-giving Icon of the Theotokos, and they visited the Women's Monastery of the Protection. Afterwards, they visited Bancheni and the 3 buildings of the more than 250 children adopted by Archimandrite Longin (Zhar) and the brotherhood. The nuns are the main caregivers. There had been recently 6 scientifically documented healings amongst the children. They then visited the nearby Ascension Men's Monastery, whose monks farm 450 hectares and feed the 95 monks, the 115 nuns, the children, the voluntary and paid workers, and visitors. They returned to Chernivtsy. There was then a visit to a former Jewish village 250 km distant which had been ruined by World War II. They then visited the city Khotyn (the see of Bishop Meletiy) on the Dniester River, and its Temple, and they returned to Chernivtsy. On Friday, they participated in the Vigil of the Dormition in the Holy Spirit Cathedral. On Saturday, they drove north to the village of Kupivtsi (north of Kitsman), by the Dniester River. Metropolitan Onufry, Bishop Panteleimon (Luhovyi) of Ivano-Frankivsk, and Archbishop Seraphim served the festal Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Dormition Monastery. Afterwards, the bishops blessed the shrine of the Bleeding Icon of the Saviour in the main Temple, and then several new chapels nearby were also blessed. Afterwards, upon return to Chernivtsy, Metropolitan Onufry, Bishop Meletiy and Archbishop Seraphim served the Vigil for Sunday, which included the Burial Service of the Theotokos. On Sunday, Metropolitan Onufry and Archbishop Seraphim served the second Divine Liturgy of the day in the cathedral. In the evening, the 3 bishops travelled to the Aninagora Saint Anne's Monastery near Vashkovtsi, where they served at a baptism. On Monday, they drove to Kyiv, where Archbishop Seraphim met with Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) at 1500 hrs. On Tuesday, they returned to Canada.
On 3 October, 2010, Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) was given a leave of absence. With the blessing of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Bishop Irénée (Rochon) became the administrator of the archdiocese, effective the same day.
In early 2010, the Archdiocesan Office had been moved to the city of Ottawa, at first into rooms in the former presbytery adjoining the Cathedral of the Annunciation-Saint Nicholas. In 2012, the office was again transferred to the newly-purchased and renovated neighbouring house next to the cathedral. This house was to become the new Archdiocesan Centre for a time.
Accusations ; suspension ; deposition
In November, 2010, Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) was suspended by the Holy Synod of Bishops from all episcopal functions pending the legal resolution of accusations brought against him.
During the following several years, Archbishop Seraphim undertook a few projects of writing. The projects have dealt mostly with the reworking of reports and articles he had previously written, but which needed editing. However, the main project was the writing of a book which will appear in print, "The Bishop in the Church". This work, not brief, presents the bishop's perception of the nature of the service of a bishop, based on his personal experience and his observation of the lives and service of other bishops. There is frequent reference to the Scriptures and to the Fathers. In the first part in particular, the bishop shares some specific personal experiences of bishops and other persons who influenced him in the course of his life.
In 2011, after Archbishop Seraphim had been relieved of his episcopal responsibilities, the Archdiocese of Canada counted approximately 112 functioning Temples, chapels, monastic groups, and institutes. There were 2 bishops, 62 priests, 27 deacons and 5 monastic groups. This pastoral responsibility was to pass to his successor.
In June, 2013, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a trial began in the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba.
On 24 January, 2014, Mr Justice Christopher Mainella pronounced his verdict that he believed that Archbishop Seraphim was guilty of one count of sexual assault in 1985.
On 14 February, 2014, the Holy Synod of Bishops increased the restrictions on Archbishop Seraphim by confining him ecclesiastically to the Monastery of Saint Silouan in Johnstown, Ontario, and in that place alone to attend Divine Services. He was barred from attending any parish services.
On 21 March, 2014, the Holy Synod of Bishops decided that, effective 23 March, 2014, Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) would be retired, and that the See of Ottawa and Canada be declared vacant. The previous restrictions on Archbishop Seraphim remained in effect, although provision was made for him to receive the Holy Mysteries when visiting his family.
On 9 July, 2014, Mr Justice Christopher J Mainella sentenced Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) to 8 months in gaol.
On 18 July, 2014, Mme Justice Diana M Cameron released Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) on bail with the same conditions as pertained previously, and she accepted the petition to appeal both the sentence and the verdict of Mr Justice Mainella.
On 31 October, 2014, Mr Justice Alan MacInnes and 2 other justices of the Manitoba Court of Appeal heard the arguments of Mr Jeffrey Gindin on behalf of the defence in appealing both the conviction and the sentence. There was a motion also to add fresh evidence. At the end of the hearing, the justices announced that they would reserve their decision. As usual, no date was given.
On 5 February, 2015, Mme Justice Diana M Cameron read a brief summary of the decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The decision indicated that the three judges who had heard the appeal stated that they were not convinced that the trial judge, Christopher Mainella (who is now a member of the Court of Appeal) made a mistake when he decided that Archbishop Seraphim’s evidence was not believable. The new evidence offered was refused because they did not accept its importance. The judges rejected the appeal in all its elements. Archbishop Seraphim was immediately sent to complete his sentence in the Headingley Correctional Centre (a provincial gaol).
On 7 July, 2015, Archbishop Seraphim was released from the provincial gaol, in compliance with the Statutory Earned (early) Release. Upon his release, the previous conditions and restrictions that had accompanied the release on bail were cancelled. There were, thus, no conditions or restrictions remaining on him.
On 25 August, 2015, 3 bishops of the Holy Synod of Bishops of The Orthodox Church in America met with Archbishop Seraphim while he was in Edmonton. In accordance with the tradition, the 3 presented to him a summons to the session of the Synodal Court which would be convened in Windsor, Ontario, on 19 October, 2015. The 3 documents (the Decree, the Report, the Agenda) were read to him, and written copies of the three documents were given to him.
In accordance with the Decree (which constituted a summons), on 19 October, 2015, Archbishop Seraphim appeared before the Holy Synod of Bishops in the Church of Saint John the Divine in Windsor, Ontario. There, he presented his written responses to the details mentioned in the Decree. He was accompanied by 3 witnesses who (from different perspectives) spoke in his support. The Synodal Court began its session at 1100 hrs, and concluded at 1800 hrs.
On 24 October, 2015, Archbishop Seraphim was informed by a telephone call that the Holy Synod had decided on 21 October that he was to be deposed, effective that date, from all functions of the Holy Episcopate, and that he was henceforth to live as a simple lay-monk.
Archbishop Seraphim never accepted the accusation, although he openly admitted that he had allowed himself to be too close pastorally to one family. He was certain that he had not assaulted anyone, and that the accusation was based on a gross misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the facts and the circumstances.
On 13 November, 2015, the Monk Seraphim was informed verbally that by 15 December, 2015, he would be required to cease living at the monastery where he had lived for 28 years because of liability insurance requirements. He therefore began to make arrangements for a change in residence.
On 29 December, 2015, while he was not at the monastery, the Monk Seraphim was officially informed by e-mail that, as of 20 December, 2015, because of liability insurance requirements, he was not permitted to return to the monastery even in order to remove his belongings. Others later did this.
In 2016, the Monastery of Saint Silouan the Athonite was closed, and in the following year the property was offered for sale.
- Vicar-Bishop of Edmonton 1987-1990. Preceded by : Bishop Joasaph (Antoniuk). Succeeded by : .
- Bishop of Ottawa and Canada 1990-2007. Preceded by : The see was created. Succeeded by : Bishop Irénée (Rochon).
- Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada 2007-2014. Preceded by : Archbishop Sylvester (Haruns), as Archbishop of Montréal and Canada. Succeeded by : Archbishop Irénée (Rochon).
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