On Wednesday and Thursday, May 6-7, 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and His Eminence, Archbishop Job presided at celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the repose of Saint Alexis (Toth) of Minneapolis and Wilkes-Barre at Saint Mary Cathedral here.
The occasion marked the first visit of Metropolitan Jonah to the Diocese of the Midwest since his election as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America in November 2008.
After the celebration of Vespers on the evening of Tuesday, May 6, Metropolitan Jonah delivered a lecture on the life of Saint Alexis and Missions in the Orthodox Church. It was on March 25, 1891 in that Father Alexis and 361 parishioners of Saint Mary Church were received into the Orthodox Church from Eastern Rite Catholicism.
During the Thursday morning Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Jonah, on behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops, awarded the Very Rev. Andrew Morbey, cathedral rector, the jeweled cross in recognition of his decades of service in the Orthodox Church in America. Nicholas Hubbard, a student at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and a “native son” of the parish, and Zach Schlegowski were blessed to wear the subdeacon’s orarion by Archbishop Job.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Archbishop Job formally welcomed Metropolitan Jonah to the Diocese of the Midwest and cathedral. He also presented diocesan gramoti Dorothy Zurbey, Harry Sarich, Leonard Borgstrom, and Earl Langlais and the ministries they oversee.
In addition to the aforementioned, the Rev. Stacey Richter, associated pastor, numerous Minneapolis Deanery clergy, and clergy from area parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Serbian Orthodox Metropolitanates concelebrated at Vespers and the Divine Liturgy.
A luncheon and reception followed the Divine Liturgy.
While in Minneapolis, Metropolitan Jonah also met with members of the University of Minnesota’s Orthodox Christian Fellowship, one of many similar visits he has made to college campuses.