Archimandrite Alejo consecrated Bishop of Mexico City

Bishop Alejo of Mexico City blesses the clergy and faithful with the Holy Cross at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy following his episcopal consecration on Saturday, May 28, 2005 at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA.

SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA Communications] — Archimandrite Alejo [Pacheco-Vera] was consecrated Bishop of Mexico City and Auxiliary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman during the centennial pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery here Saturday, May 28, 2005.

Bishop Alejo was elected to the episcopacy by the members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops in March, 2005. He succeeds His Grace, the late Bishop Jose [Cortes y Olmos], who with his flock was received into the Orthodox Church in America in the early 1970s. Numbering an estimated 20,000 indigenous faithful, the exarchate has been without a resident hierarch since the repose of Bishop Jose.

The evening before, Metropolitan Herman presided over the formal Rite of Election in the monastery church. Among those in the congregation were Bishop-elect Alejo’s family and friends, who traveled from Mexico for the occasion. The following morning, Bishop-elect Alejo made his profession of faith in the presence of Metropolitan Herman and the members of the Holy Synod, after which the consecration Divine Liturgy was celebrated. Holding an open Gospel book over Bishop-elect Alejo’s head, the hierarchs followed the ancient tradition of the “laying on of hands” as Metropolitan Herman invoked the Holy Spirit to descend upon him, thereby elevating him to the episcopacy.

“Always bear in mind that at the very heart of the episcopal ministry is the ministry of unity,” Metropolitan Herman told Bishop Alejo after presenting him with the episcopal staff at the conclusion of the Liturgy. “The many gifts and talents God has generously given to His people are to be brought together, so that all may work together to build up the body of Christ. The talents you have placed in the service of Christ as a monastic and as a priest you will now use as a bishop. We are assured that you will exercise this ministry with the same dedication, the same vision, and the same desire for the good of the Church that you have exhibited in the past throughout the many years you have served the clergy, monastics, and faithful of the Exarchate of Mexico. However, you will now utilize these gifts as a bishop, making use of them for the unity of the Church with love, calling God’s people to be of one mind and one heart.”

Born in Mexico in 1954, Bishop Alejo was received into the Orthodox faith on August 1, 1972. After pursuing theological studies, he was tonsured to monastic rank six years later by Bishop Jose, taking the name Alejo. He was ordained to the diaconate on January 14, 1979, after which he was assigned to Mexico City’s Ascension Cathedral.

After his ordination to the priesthood on March 1, 1981, he continued serving the cathedral and numerous missions throughout the state of Chaipas.

In 2001, he was elevated to the rank of igumen by the Holy Synod of Bishops. Two years later, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

Click here for photos of The Rite of Election of Archimandrite Alejo as Bishop-elect of Mexico City.

Click here for photos of The Consecration of Bishop Alejo.