Response of the Serbian Patriarch Irinej to the letter of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew concerning the fire in the St. Sava Cathedral in New York26. May 2016 - 10:07
THE MOST HOLY PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE, IN CHRIST GOD BELOVED AND MOST DEAREST BROTHER AND CONCELEBRANT OF OUR HUMBLENESS KYR B A R T H O L O M E W, EMBRACING YOUR ESTEEMED HOLINESS BROTHERLY IN THE LORD, WE MOST CORDIALLY GREET YOU.
It is with gratitude that We received Your kind letter by which You express the sympathies of the Most Holy Ecumenical Patriarchate after fire that swept through the Saint Sava Church in New York on the very day when our Holy Church was celebrating the Feast of feasts – the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The faithful of this Parish, the Orthodox faithful in New York and the entire Serbian Orthodox Church, find, in Your concern and Your love, consolation upon the tragedy that has befallen this church with historical significance in the New World. Having compassion in this way with the local Serbian Church, Your Holiness shows fraternal care, and above all Christian love, because "if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it" (1 Cor. 12:26).
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, awarded the Sretensky Stauropegic monastery from Moscow with the Order of Saint Sava of the Second Degree on 18 May 2016.
The high award of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the hands of His Holiness was received by hieromonk Ignatiy Shestakov, co-brother of the Sretensky monastery (Meeting of Jesus in the Temple). Namely, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, upon the suggestion of His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, awarded the Sretensky Monastery from Moscow with the order of Saint Sava for the love towards the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian people expressed in granting unselfish aid during the restoration of the Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Prizren. The ceremony at the Patriarchate Court in Belgrade was attended by Hierarchs summoned at the regular convocation of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The monastic brotherhood of Dechany led by its abbot, Very Venerable Archimandrite Sava, welcomed His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej and Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the occasion of the beginning of the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the afternoon on 14 May 2016.
On the next day, on the Sunday of the 15th of May 2016, hierarchs officiated the Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral church of Saint Great Martyr George in Prizren, and performed the rite of consecration of the renovated buildings of the Theological Seminary of Sts Cyril and Methodius in Prizren.
The working sessions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops will commence at the Patriarchate Palace in Belgrade on May 16, 2016.
His Holiness and bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church were welcomed by the clergy and monks of the Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, led by Bishop Teodosije. His Holiness will officiate the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit in the church of Holy Apostles at the Great Laura of the Patriarchate of Pec, when this year's regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops will begin.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, officiated the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy with the conciliar concelebration of the hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church at the Patriarchate of Pec on 14 May 2016. They all gathered on the occasion of the beginning of the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Following the Holy Liturgy the rite of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit was performed for the blessed and successful work of the Assembly. His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije held a speech, after which he served on the monastery's cemetary a commemoration for abbesses and nuns of blessed repose of the Great Laura of the Patriarchate of Pec.