Stressing the ever-important message of a visible unity of the Canonical Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in North America, the four Canonical Orthodox Christian Bishops of the West Coast, have joyously announced an expanded schedule of events to foster this unity for the Sunday of Orthodoxy weekend celebrations in Los Angeles on March 15 and 16, 2008. It was perhaps the greatest liturgical celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy southern California had ever seen. More than 1,000 Orthodox Christians commemorated the restoration of the holy icons without paying attention to jurisdictional background, restoringв”if only temporarily”a union given from God on high to His Holy Church between Him, His saints depicted in the icons and His people on earth. Four canonical Orthodox Christian bishops concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with each other for the first time ever: His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS of the Greek Orthodox Christian Metropolis of San Francisco and the West; His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West; His Grace, Bishop MAXIM of the Serbian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Western America; and His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of the West. Joining them were their southern California cathedral deans, the Very Rev. Fathers John Bakas (host priest), Michel Najim, Nicholas Ceko and Michael Senyo. They served in brotherly fellowship around the holy altar, rising above cultural, linguistic or any other man-made divisions.
Sydney, 16 March 2008 - Thousands of Greek Australians gathered around their Primate, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, and in the presence of numerous dignitaries, including the Premier of New South Wales, the Honourable Morris Iemma, and other guests and spectators to celebrate the public manifestation of Greek Independence Day (25 March 1821) in front of Sydney's famed Opera House.
In his remarks, His Eminence noted that in celebrating the struggle for the Independence of Greece and the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, "we always try to make clear the importance this double celebration derives from the mere fact that it refers to ideals venerated by all people, regardless of place and time." For as the Archbishop noted, "Liberty, peace and justice have always been the presuppositions for a dignified life on our troubled and restless planet."
Grand Cross of St. Sava to be Awarded to Russian Ambassador Alexander Alexeev on March 18, 2008 at 6 p.m. – Belgrade Patriarchy17. March 2008 - 15:43
With the blessing of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle and by decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Excellency Alexander Nikolaevich Alexeev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belgrade, will be awarded the highest church decoration, the Grand Cross of Saint Sava First Degree, during a solemn audience to be held on Tuesday, March 18, 2008, at six o'clock p.m. at the Court Hall of the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade.
The highest decoration of the Serbian Orthodox Church will be awarded to Ambassador Alexander Alexeev for his dignified representation of the Russian people in Serbia, for the affection he has shown for the Serbian orthodox people as well as for his persistent engagement aimed at a just solution for the status of Kosovo and Metohija.
All media representatives are invited to attend the event.
Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church
Fourth Anniversary of the March Pogrom Against the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija – March 17, 2004-200817. March 2008 - 10:04
The fourth anniversary of the destruction of tens of churches and monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija, the expuslsion of tens of thousands of Serbs and the killing of nineteen Serb civilians on behalf of the Albanian terrorists will be marked on Monday, March 17, 2008. That night, the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija lived through their own "Kristallnacht'' in the presence of thousands of international troops and the UN civil mission. Frescoes and churches which had been resisiting various conquerors for ages were destroyed in one day.
First hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York Diocese deceased on Sunday at the age of 80. Metropolitan Laurus passed away on the Feast of Orthodoxy. He was born Vassily Mikhailovich Skurla on January 1, 1928, in the village of Ladomirova, present day Slovakia. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1950, and became a hieromonk in 1954. Fr. Laurus graduated from the Holy Trinity Theological Seminary in 1954 and was appointed its inspector in 1960. He was elevated to archimandrite on April 17, 1966. Archimandrite Laurus was consecrated bishop of Manhattan on August 12, 1967, and appointed archbishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity on October 20, 1981. The same year Laurus was elected First hierarch and Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York.
Metropolitan Laurus was actively involved in restoring canonical unity of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia and abroad broken after the civil war. Metropolitan Laurus will be buried at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, where the ROCOR administrative center is situated and where previous ROCOR first hierarchs were buried.