On Thursday, January 9, 2003, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, will begin his first official visit to the Orthodox Church in America’s Exarchate of Mexico since his election as the Church’s Primate in July 2002.
Metropolitan Herman will fly to Dallas, TX en route to Mexico City. On Thursday afternoon and evening, he will visit the recently-consecrated Saint Seraphim Cathedral, where His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, who also serves as Exarch of Mexico, will welcome him.
On Friday, January 10, Metropolitan Herman, accompanied by Archbishop Dmitri, Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, the Very Rev. David Brum, the Rev. Seraphim Hipsch and others, will fly to Mexico City. His Beatitude will be received by the Regional Governor for Religious Affairs that afternoon.
On Saturday and Sunday, January 11 and 12, Metropolitan Herman will preside at services at Mexico City’s Cathedral of the Ascension. During his visit, he will also meet with clergy of the Exarchate, as well as faithful from numerous parishes and missions throughout the country. His Beatitude will also meet with His Eminence, Metropolitan Antonios of Mexico, of the Church of Antioch and His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of Central America on Saturday.
“The OCA’s Exarchate of Mexico traces its roots to the 1920s, when the ‘Mexican National Catholic Church’ was established as an independent entity separate and distinct from the Roman Catholic Church,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “Over the next several decades, as Mexican Church-state relations improved, the National Church, which by 1928 had claimed 120 priests and parishes in 14 Mexican states, began to dissolve. The largest remnant of the independent movement, under the leadership of the late Bishop Jose [Cortes-y-Olmos], converted en masse to Orthodox Christianity in 1972, at which time the Mexican Exarchate was established.”
Since Bishop Jose’s death, Archbishop Dmitri has overseen the life of the parishes and missions throughout Mexico.
Complete coverage of Metropolitan Herman’s visit to Mexico will be posted on the OCA web site at http://www.oca.org and will be featured in the January/February 2003 issue of “The Orthodox Church” newspaper.