>From: Saint Sophia Cathedral
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>Subject: Announcement- Hierarchal Visit at Saint Sophia Cathedral
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 06:46:39 -0700 (PDT)
Blessings in the Name of the Lord;
We were blessed on July 2nd, 2003 with a visit from His Eminence, Metropolitan Archbishop +Peter. It was an informal occassion for him to see for himself the work we are doing here in Columbus' Inner City. He was greeted by His Grace, Bishop +Cassian and His Grace, Bishop +Cyril [retired], as well as several members of our church parish and community.
In addition to wishing to add his blessing to our productive ministry, His Eminence also wanted to dispel any of the hoaxes (fact not hoax as he claims) which have been played of recent regarding the canonical standing of Saint Sophia Eastern Orthodox Cathedral or of Bishop +Cassian. There was a terrible and deliberately destructive hoax by email campaign this past Spring that he had somehow been deposed by a hermit bishop of a church jurisdiction which no longer exists, who claimed to have authority over +Cassian when he did not. This had caused some dismay and confusion among some few members of Columbus' neighborhood agencies and nonprofits which the Bishop has developed relations with over the past 4 years. The hoaxes, while embarrassing, have had very little deleterious effect on the valuable ministries which the Bishop is sheparding.
Saint Sophia Eastern Orthodox Cathedral is chartered by the Church of the East-Order of St Thomas [Syro-Chaldean], which dates back to the year AD 53. *Metropolitan +Peter is under His Holiness, +Ignatius [Zakka], Prince Patriarch of Antioch and All East. Christians were first called Christians in Antioch in AD 37 and the Syrian Orthodox are entrusted with many of the holiest shrines in Christendom, ie the Tomb of the Holy Sepulcre (the tomb of Jesus and site of crucifixion), the Upper Room (of the Last Supper and of Pentecost), and many others.
*Metropolitan Archbishop +Peter is 7th in apostolic succession from Saint Mar Gregorios Paramula. Bishop +Cassian is 8th in that succession dating back to the Apostle Saint Thomas and the Apostle Saint Peter.
His Eminence participated in Vespers (evening prayers) on Wednesday evening which was celebrated by Bishop +Cassian. Afterwhich, +Cassian led the Bible Study group as usual.
Many thanks to you all for your continued prayers. Our Saint Sophia Community Store has nearly 800 registered member families and has been growing at a rate of ~150 families per month. To date we have distributed over $400,000 of clothing, toys, household goods and books to the very needy families in our service area - zip 43201, 43210 and 43211. We are allied with several service providers such as Material Assistance Providers, Faith Mission, the Metropolitan Area Church Council, Ohio Youth Advocacy Program, Children's Hunger Alliance, the Literacy Initiative, City Year, FirstLink, Holiday Inn and Ohio State University (workforce development), Columbus State Community College and others. We are building strong alliances in order to provide faith based community initiatives to the families in the empowerment zone.
See the attached photographs of His Eminence's visit.
Its immediate purpose..monastic life..is purity of heart, for without this we cannot reach our goal. We should therefore always have this purpose in mind; and, should it ever happen that for a short time our heart turns aside from the direct path, we must bring it back again at once, guiding our lives with reference to our purpose as if it were a carpenter's rule.