Monday, March 14, 2011

Metropolitan Nicholas - Memory Eternal!

His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas of Johnstown, PA, primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) reposed in the Lord on March 13, 2011 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Metropolitan Nicholas

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Please visit the Diocese's website for more information about the life and ministry of Metropolitan Nicholas, as well as funeral arrangements HERE.

While in college, I was blessed to meet His Eminence when he visited the OCF College Conference at the Antiochian Village.  I approached him, asked for his blessing, and kissed his hand; he was kind enough to speak with me for a few minutes.  His Eminence was the guest hierarch, where he presided over the liturgical services and spoke with the college students in attendance, offering words of wisdom on the struggles faced by Orthodox youth. 

I honestly can't remember most of his words (forgive me!), but I do remember that His Eminence spoke about the Virgin Mary being the "Burning Bush" of the Old Testament where God tells Moses that he is standing on holy ground and to remove his shoes.  His Eminence offered this theological understanding as a great warning for the Orthodox youth in this country, who constantly obsess about our clothing and appearance in the eyes of our peers.  When we attend services in an Orthodox Church, we are standing on "holy ground" and should be watchful not to bring the "dirt" of our society into Christ's Holy Temple.

The OCF College Conference takes place post Christmas (Dec. 27-31), and although as a bishop using the Old Calendar (Feast of our Lord's Nativity being celebrated on Jan. 7), he offered his Nativity greetings to us all saying, "Christ is Born!" with our response being, "Glorify Him!" 

We were all sitting on the ground in the Chapel of Ss. Peter & Paul at the Antiochian Village Conference Center, and as we responded to his Nativity greeting, he jokingly asked, "Is that the best you can do?" making us repeatly respond "Glorify Him!" louder and louder till it met with his approval!

May this kind Shepherd of Christ's holy flock be remembered with great love and may his memory be eternal!

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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