Archimandrite Matthias to Be Consecrated to Episcopacy on Bright Saturday

April 29, 2011  []

For over a year, the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America’s Chicago-based Midwest Diocese have been without a bishop.

But a significant change for the diocese’s thousands of faithful will occur on Saturday, April 30, as Archimandrite Matthias [Moriak] is consecrated Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest at Christ the Savior Church, 927 North LaSalle, Chicago, at 8:30 a.m. Great Vespers and the Profession of Faith will be celebrated on Friday evening, April 29, at 6:00 p.m.

He succeeds His Eminence, the late Archbishop Job [Osacky], who had overseen the diocese from the early 1990s until his unexpected repose in December 2009.

Selected from a slate of three candidates at an assembly of clergy and laity in Minneapolis in the fall of 2010, Archimandrite Matthias subsequently was elected to the episcopacy by the Church’s Holy Synod of Bishops, many of whom, including His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, will concelebrate at the consecration.
On Sunday, May 1, the newly consecrated Bishop Matthias will be installed into office during services at the diocese’s Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1121 North Leavitt, at 9:30 a.m.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1949, Archimandrite Matthias served parishes in New York and Pennsylvania after his ordination to the priesthood in 1972. He also served as prefect of and associate professor at Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. A married priest with two children, he was widowed in 1997 when his wife Jeannette succumbed to leukemia.

His election followed a lengthy search process overseen by a special diocesan committee, the members of which considered nearly 30 potential nominees. In August 2010, the committee and the diocesan council had settled on three candidates. On a second round of balloting, delegates nominated Archimandrite Matthias.

His consecration — the first to be held by the OCA in Chicago since the late 1970s — will be attended by clergy and faithful from across the geographically vast diocese, which spans over a dozen states from Ohio to North Dakota to Missouri.

In January, Archimandrite Matthias took up residence at diocesan headquarters and began duties as the Midwest’s temporary administrator. Immediately, he began an ambitious round of visits to the diocese’s 80-some parishes and missions, familiarizing himself with his new flock. He also has participated in meetings with his fellow bishops. He sees his new ministry as one rooted in service — just as Jesus Christ came “to serve, not to be served,” so too the role of bishop in the Orthodox Christian tradition is one of service to God and His People as archpastor and shepherd.

Saturday’s celebration will conclude with a consecration dinner at Scoozi’s Restaurant, while a luncheon at the Ukrainian Cultural Center will follow Sunday’s installation Liturgy. Tickets for both events are still available by calling the Diocesan Chancery at 312-202-0420.


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