His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, returned to his duties as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America on September 4, 2001 following a four-month medical leave of absence.
“The leave of absence came as a result of tests last spring which indicated that His Beatitude had suffered a series of minor strokes,” according to Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor. “His physicians had recommended a medical leave in order to reduce the chances of a major stroke.”
Physicians for the Metropolitan report that they are “more than satisfied” with his condition and are confident that he is in no danger at this time, Father Kondratick reported, adding that “His Beatitude will continue to undergo regular examinations as a precautionary measure.”
“It is with deep gratitude that I offer my heartfelt thanks to everyone who remembered me in their prayers and through the countless cards and letters I received during my medical leave,” Metropolitan Theodosius said as he resumed his busy schedule. “I am especially indebted to His Eminence, Archbishop Herman, who fulfilled his duties as Temporary Administrator in an exemplary manner, despite his own hectic schedule. Archbishop Herman’s diligence and well-known attention to detail has made my transition back to active ministry a smooth one.”
Metropolitan Theodosius’ fall 2001 schedule formally opens with the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary on September 8, 2001 celebrating the Hierarchical Liturgy at St Mary’s Albanian Orthodox Church in Worcester, MA where he will ordain Dn Theodore Sakellar to the priesthood. On Sunday September 9, he will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Saint Nicholas Church, Salem, MA. It is also the namesday of His Beatitude.
On Thursday and Friday, September 13 and 14, he will celebrate the Great Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, at which time he will ordain Deacon John Behr, a member of the seminary faculty, to the Holy Priesthood. On Saturday and Sunday, September 15 and 16, he will preside at the consecration of the recently-renovated Saint Theodosius Cathedral, Cleveland, OH.
Subsequent archpastoral visitations will take Metropolitan Theodosius to McLean, VA; Washington, DC; Burton, MI; Bethlehem and Philadelphia, PA; Watervliet, NY; Nanticoke, PA; and New Britain and Meriden, CT. He will preside at the fall session of the Holy Synod of Bishops October 15-18, as well as at the Albanian Archdiocesan Assembly October 18-20 and the Assembly of the Diocese of Washington, DC November 10.
Metropolitan Theodosius will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of his election as the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America during the 13th All-American Council, slated to convene in Orlando, FL in July 2002. He is the second longest serving Primate among the heads of the world’s 15 autocephalous Orthodox Churches.
“We ask the faithful of our Church to continue praying for His Beatitude’s health, especially as he returns to his heavy schedule of travels, meetings, and archpastoral visitations,” said Father Kondratick.