This weekend marks the eleventh anniversary of Archbishop Michael’s consecration to the Episcopacy, on Saturday, May 8, 2010, at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Jersey City, and His Eminence’s enthronement as the Bishop of New York and New Jersey, on Sunday, May 9, 2010, at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City.
Dearest Vladyka: In expressing the love of your Diocesan family for you, the sentiments spoken long ago by a seminary student of yours, now a parish priest, ring true across the years – and they ring true not only for students of theology, but for all the parishes under your archpastoral care and for each of your spiritual sons and daughters within this God-protected Diocese. The seminarian said:
“Saint Paul says that ‘though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.’ (1 Cor 13:2) In considering the many obstacles facing those striving to give their lives to the service of the Lord, we must take great notice when God sends an instrument of love to aid us in our struggle. Whenever we struggled, Archbishop Michael was there. When we needed encouragement, Archbishop Michael was there. When we needed love, Archbishop Michael was there. Archbishop Michael made the words of Saint Paul come alive to us, and by his example, he has written those words on our hearts.”
Your Eminence: Last May, your tenth anniversary came at a difficult time in the life of the Diocese, of Churches everywhere, and of the whole world. We know that your heart was heavy not to be able to celebrate in full churches, gathered with great numbers of the faithful. Yet, still, as we your spiritual children have struggled in so many ways through this past year of the pandemic, you have been there: in person whenever you could be … on the phone if that was all that was possible … but with prayer and patience and kindness – always.
May your Eleventh Anniversary bring you all the joy that is fitting for this milestone; and may the Great High Priest bless you and reward you for your selfless service, as the “instrument of His love” in the lives of thousands of His children. Eis Polla Eti, Despota!