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2016 Clergy Lenten Retreat at Holy Transfiguration Church

2016 Clergy Lenten Retreat at Holy Transfiguration Church
East Syracuse, NY

From April 14th-16th,  22 of the Diocesan clergy gathered with His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace, Bishop Daniil for our annual Lenten Govenie (retreat).  In juxtaposition to the theme of our previous year (Our inside), this year’s topic was “Our outside”.
This year’s Govenie actually unofficially started with the Great Canon of St. Andrew and the reading of the life of St. Mary of Egypt, for all those who could make it early.  In that spirit of deep repentance we officially began the Govenie with prayer and then Metropolitan Joseph’s address in which he reminded us ‘that there can be no true fast, no genuine repentance, no reconciliation with Christ, unless we at the same time reconcile with one another.. by practicing in our daily lives love and forgiveness’.  Other topics during our time together included such gems as: How can we practice the “foolishness” of preaching? ; How ought we to reach out to those who are not Orthodox?; How does the priest fulfill his task as spiritual father to others?; How can we overcome our temptation in serving our flock?; and How do we minister to those who have lost babes through miscarriage?, as well as sermons given during Matins and Vespers services which we prayed together each day.  In addition His Grace, Bishop Daniil, presented the topics, and various discussions surrounding those topics, that are expected to be considered at the upcoming Great Council in Crete in June 2016.  All of these topics were of great interest to those present and spurred much discussion.  
We concluded our time together by singing the Akathist on Friday evening, followed by confession, and the celebration of Divine Liturgy the next morning.  All who were able to attend were uplifted in Spirit and inspired to redouble their efforts during the remaining portion of Lent, and to bring these blessing back into their parishes.  God willing, we will gather again in 2017 during the 4th week of Lent at Holy Transfiguration in East Syracuse again.  For all those who make the effort to attend, it is well worth the sacrifice.

Celebrating Nativity And Ordinations At Holy Resurrection

Celebrating Nativity And Ordinations At Holy Resurrection

Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, MA had a very full and grace-filled Nativity celebration. With the blessing of our diocesan Prelate, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, his Vicar – His Grace Bishop Daniil of Dragovitsa arrived for the Festal services. At the vigil service on the Eve of the Nativity of Christ, His Grace was greeted with the joyful ring of our church bells. Bishop Daniil was welcomed by our clergy and parishioners with the traditional bread and salt reserved for respected guests. The choir melodiously sang, “From the Rising of the Sun” where the exuberant voices of the youngest members could be heard above all. His Grace blessed the faithful as he ascended the stairs to begin the service of Great Compline followed by Matins for the feast.

During the Canon of the Nativity, chanted by the choir the faithful venerated the beautifully adorned festal icon and were anointed by our Bishop. At the conclusion of Matins, His Grace offered the congregation inspiring and instructive words that our primary focus this night should be that Christ is born within us - every other care and concern is secondary. He reminded us of the contemplation of the Holy Fathers that at the time of the birth of our Lord, people, as now, had many earthly cares: the Emperor Augustus was occupied with taxing his subjects; Herod with eliminating any possible candidate for his throne; the guest-house owners of Bethlehem, were seeking how to take advantage of the census to get more profits. But none of these led them to the main purpose of life – to know the Lord. Only those who while doing their daily routine were mindful of the observation of the Lord’s commandments were vouchsafed to hear the good news of the birth of our Savior.  His Grace said that we too must strive to apply the Lord’s commandments in our daily life in order for Christ to be born and live in us.

On Thursday morning, January 7, we celebrated the Divine Liturgy of The Nativity of Our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ.  The church was beautifully decorated with greenery and poinsettias and the icon of the feast was adorned for all to venerate. The church was full of parishioners, young and old, and many out of town guests. We were doubly blessed to witness the sacrament of ordination bestowed on Dcn. Teodor Anastasoaie to the Holy Priesthood and Subdeacon Michael Tishel to the Holy Deaconate during the Divine Liturgy. Dcn. Teodor was ordained prior to the consecration of the gifts. Before the ordination took place, His Grace addressed him, reminding him of the responsibilities that would attend the office of the priesthood.

We were blessed that among the many visitors in attendance was the Director of the Byzantine Music Department at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He, along with other clergy and members of the choir, beautifully chanted the troparions Holy Martyrs, Glory to Thee, Christ God and Rejoice O Isaiah as Dcn. Teodor was led around the altar table three times by our parish priests, Rev. Frs. Patrick Tishel and Michael Kon. The congregation joyfully responded "Axios" as Bishop Daniil placed the priestly robes and cross on Fr. Teodor.

After the blessing: "And may the mercies of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all," Subdeacon Michael was led out of the altar by two other subdeacons. His Grace then addressed Subdcn. Michael, his family and the parish regarding his devotion to the Church and his life-long preparation leading to the sacrament of ordination. Dcn. Michael was led around the altar table while the previously sung troparions were jubilantly repeated. He was vested as a Deacon while the congregation exclaimed "Axios!" yet again. When the Holy Gifts were brought out for communion, Dcn. Michael carried them out for the first time proclaiming, “With the fear of God, with faith and love draw near”. The choir softly sang traditional Christmas carols throughout communion. At the end of the Holy Liturgy, His Grace read the inspiring Patriarchal and Synodal Nativity Encyclical to the faithful in attendance. He greeted the newly ordained clergy on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph and on his behalf and gave to all of us the blessing of our Archpastor.

The Great Feast of Our Lord's Nativity and the two ordinations drew numerous visitors from all over: family members from Romania traveled for the event; friends and fellow clergy from New York and Pennsylvania were present to celebrate in the altar. Past professors, co-workers and current students from Hellenic College Holy Cross packed the church as well.

After the service we processed to the parish hall and celebrated together by singing the Troparian of the feast and breaking our 40 day fast together with a full and delicious festal meal. Fr. Michael Kon presented gifts from the parish to the newly ordained priest and deacon. A Bulgarian family of our parish performed a beautiful medley of classical music on the piano, violin, viola, and bassoon. Children and adult parishioners offered Bulgarian, Russian and Romanian Christmas carols and we concluded with a performance of Angelus ad Virgenum, a medieval carol which tells the story of the Angel Gabriel announcing to the Virigin Mary that she would give birth to a son. On Friday morning we celebrated the second day of the Feast of the Nativity, the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos, presided by His Grace.  Our newly ordained clergy embarked on the traditional 40 days of serving Divine Liturgy.

May God help them in their newly assigned service to our parish and our diocese!

Celebrating Nativity And Ordinations At Holy Resurrection

Celebrating Nativity And Ordinations At Holy Resurrection

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One of the cornerstone activities of the year for the men of our parish is our annual men’s retreat. This was the 14th year of this fine tradition. The theme of the retreat was: A Life Together: “That They May Be One” Why does it mean so much to the men of our parish to be together at the retreat? I know we all benefit from the educational talks and discussions. To have time to unpack and contemplate the journey that we are all on is so important. Each year we have thought provoking topics and excellent presentations. We had three main presentations. The first was The Mystery of the Unity of Christ and His Church; the second was on the unity amongst all believers and the third was on our relationship with those outside the Church. Everyone enjoyed the rustic setting which, God willing, will be the site of St. John the Baptist Monastery in the near future. After being in the city we are refreshed by the special silence of the woods and the mountains. The property is on the edge of 3000 acres of forest with Mt. Grace in the distance. We also really enjoyed the time together having opportunity to talk, to share, to laugh and to pray together. We prayed evening prayers, memorial services, morning prayers, akathist, vespers, matins and Liturgy, prepared and ate meals together with readings (this year from the writings of St. Paisius of Mt. Athos).  This year we expanded the gathering to include more of our sons and young men. With our Metropolitan’s blessings and his encouraging words to us, Christ was evident in our midst; we were together-brothers in the unity in Christ.

Next year God willing we will be together again on the weekend of St. Gregory Palamas. Please plan to join us! (Fr. Patrick Tishel)




On Saturday, March 14th, Matushka Constantina Palmer spoke at our HROC Annual Women’s Retreat. About fifty women from Holy Resurrection, nearby parishes, and a few who flew from out of state, gathered for this wonderful opportunity for spiritual renewal and fellowship. Matushka Constantina, author of The Scent of Holiness: Lessons From a Women’s Monastery, shared stories, lessons from various saints and elders, and some of her own experiences to help inspire us during this Lenten season.

In the morning, we gathered in the sunlit church to pray an Akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos, the first among women. The beauty and simplicity of all-female voices rising in prayer to the Mother of God was a wonderful way to set the focus of the day. After partaking of a light and tasty breakfast, we gathered in the church hall to listen to Matushka Constantina’s first lecture on seeing with spiritual eyes. With sincerity and candidness, Matushka shared a variety of stories from her time at a monastery in Greece, as well as other stories and lessons by different elders, to demonstrate some of the various lessons learned in spiritual environments. She emphasized the importance of acquiring humility, being obedient in our spiritual practices, and avoiding judging others. One memorable quote she shared was by St. Porphyrios of Kapsokalyvia, “Someone can speak about their sins and be proud and someone else can speak about their virtues and be humble.” She also expressed the analogy that our prayer rules are like a medical prescription; they are uniquely given to each individual. If neglected, we will fail to become “well,” and may even become worse. If followed with obedience, however, with time they can help us to draw nearer to God and will help heal our spiritual illness.

After a delicious lunch and fellowship, we gathered for our afternoon talk. Matushka spoke on the theme of “Acquiring Oil for Our Lamps.” Here, she spoke about two main topics: spiritual pilgrimage and good works. Truly, monasteries are a “university of the heavens,” and what grace we acquire there we can bring back to the world. She also stressed that it is important to maintain a relationship with monasteries because it helps us keep company with godly people. Matushka also said that the oil in our lamps is the good works we do through the help of God, thereby acquiring virtues. In the world, our main work is hospitality and almsgiving. Almsgiving is not just a financial act, but it is whenever we give of our time, our emotional support, and our care for someone in need. It can also mean taking care of our parish with joy and willingness to work hard.  Needless to say, this talk left us very inspired.

After breaking into small discussion groups to unpack what Matushka said, we had a delightful afternoon tea with freshly baked treats. We all had a chance to ask questions and talk with Matushka Constantina, and interact and catch up with our sisters in Christ around us. Overall, many of the women expressed what wonderful experience they had, and how they look forward to this retreat each year. It is always a unique opportunity for the women to gather and focus on the spirituality and contemplation. Glory to God for all things! (Rachel Loeb)



2014 Clergy Lenten Retreat at Joy of All Who Sorrow Church, Indianapolis

The Diocesan clergy gathered with His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph and His Grace, Bishop Daniil in Indianapolis March 26-29, 2014 our annual Lenten Retreat (govenie). This year’s theme was “Our Inside: Fighting the Good Fight and Discovering Gifts of the Spirit”. His Eminence and His Grace both addressed the subject in specific talks, as did seven of the priests.

Each day was filled with prayer and spiritual conversation, as our Hierarchs together with the other 35-40 attending priests and deacons listened to the presentations, asked questions, engaged in discussion and shared aspects of the priestly life and ministry “from the inside”. Topics of specific presentations included: How to develop spiritual gifts; How to fight spiritual warfare both in private and in public life; How to feel the need for confession and strengthen it in ourselves and in our flocks; How to properly stand before the Holy Table during the Divine Liturgy; How to develop a tender conscience and to prepare for the day of judgement; and How to both receive and administer spiritual healing.

By the end of our time together, having celebrated the Divine Liturgy twice (the Pre-Sanctified on Friday and of St. John Chrysostom on Saturday), we were spiritually filled and charged to return to our various ministries with Christ in our hearts and on our lips. We agreed to accept the invitation to meet the fourth week of the Great Fast next year at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in Syracuse, New York, and are already looking forward to that occasion with joy.

Glory be to God!

Patriarchal Election

A Journal Entry on the Election and Elevation of our new Patriarch Neofit

February 24, 2013

The Holy Synod chose three candidates for election to the Patriarchal throne. Delegates were sent from all the Diocese of the Bulgarian Patriarchate in Bulgaria but also Western Europe and the USA, Canada and Australia. V. Rev. Fr. Petar Totev, V. Rev. Fr. Gruio Tzonkov,Dr. Atanas Pumpalov and Dr. Michael Nikolov and I were the delegates from America. When I arrived in Bulgaria a week before the elections the news was that there were protests over the electrical prices and that the government resigned. Now Bulgaria was without a Patriarch and was without a government. It was a bit unsettling reminding me of the time my daughter landed in Ukraine in the midst of the “orange” revolution and when we heard that Athens and to some degree Thessaloniki was in the midst of anarchistic riots when my son was there.

Before the election with the blessing of our own Metropolitan Joseph  I traveled around Bulgaria. I experienced the loving hospitality of the monks and nuns of  Metropolitan Nathaniel’s diocese. During the week Bishop Daniil set up 6 talks and one radio interview for me to give around the Diocese on Orthodoxy in America and Orthodox education. Bp. Daniil drove us over the mountains in the Pirin, Rodope, Rila mountain area in the snow and ice. For me it was an incredible blessing. The Bulgarian people have a special warmth. I met wonderful priests, monastics, Sunday school teachers, public school teachers and families who touched my heart.

On Saturday, the day of the election we experienced a very orderly and open election. All documents checked, all votes given in secret ballot, counted openly and tallied. There were two rounds of voting. The three candidates were Metropolitan Galacteon, Metropolitan Neofit and Metropolitan Gavriil. The first round of votes required a 2/3 win which no one accomplished though the vote eliminated one candidate, Metropolitan Galacteon. The next vote required just a simple win of one vote. Metropolitan  Neofit won this vote. As soon as this was accomplished, everyone processed over to the magnificent cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky where delegates from around the world had been waiting during the 4 hour process. The newly elected Patriarch was received by the people on the street with applause and smiles, and in the Cathedral he was received with glorious singing.

Representatives from all the major patriarchates were there; dignitaries from the government, his Excellency Simeon, the king of Bulgaria and others. The media men circulated and took videos and pictures of everything.

The new patriarch was vested with the piercing declaration-Dostoin- followed by the magnificent reply of the angelic choir. He gave his Patriarchal blessings in all 4 directions of the compass. He gave a beautiful speech on the duties of the patriarch and his determination to fulfill them.

The next day the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated with the new Patriarch. All of the Bishops were in the back area preparing for the Liturgy with the help of their subdeacons. The subdeacons and deacons were like military men, scurrying to get everything ready- mitres and whatever else needed to prepare and be on time. It was quite an impressive scene.

In the altar there was a sea of mitred Metropolitans, Archbishops and Bishops with Archimandrites, Abbots, Archpriests, priests, deacons and subdeacons. The magnificent St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was full of people and an amazing choir. The Divine Liturgy began with the young Archimandrite proclaiming: Blessed is the Kingdom….

I was able to take pictures form within the altar up to the entry when all the Bishops entered and  Patriarch Neofit was giving the blessing when during O Come Let us Worship and Fall Down before Christ…My battery unfortunately died--God’s providence and my negligence as new to photography.  One very strong impression that stayed with me was the great blessing of the events of the day, being in the company of so many holy and faithful men and hearing the angelic voices of the choir. It reminded me of the emissaries of St. Vladimir who reported to him: We couldn’t tell whether we were in heaven or on earth.

With love in Christ,

Fr. Patrick

Patriarchal Election - 02/24/13

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Symposium On The Edict Of Milan Held In Toronto

Symposium On The Edict Of Milan Held In Toronto

With the blessing of His Eminence, the Very Most Reverend Metropolitan Joseph, a Symposium on the Edict of Milan was held at Saint George's Macedono - Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church in Toronto, Canada.

The speakers were :

His Grace Bishop Daniil of Dragovitsa who gave an introduction on the Edict of Milan.

Archpriest - Stavrofor Milan Radulović who spoke on the topic "The Edict of Milan and the Seven Ecumenical Councils with Special Impact of the Edict of Milan on the Fourth Ecumenical Council."  

Archpriest Georgi Despodov on "The Edict of Milan and the Holy Scripture."

This event gathered together parishioners from all the churches in the Toronto area under the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese. The participants had an opportunity to ask questions of all the speakers.

After the Symposium, Vespers was served at the church and was followed by a dinner in the church hall with a musical performance by accordion artist Mirjana Živković, who played and sang religious and Macedonian-Bulgarian folk songs.


Diocesan Representatives for the Patriarchal Election

On Jan 13, 2013, with the help of God, the representatives of 23 parishes of our Diocese gathered in New York City at the Holy Metropolis. After three voting sessions, we elected our Diocesan representatives for the Patriarchal Election Church Convention on Feb 24, 2013 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 The elected representatives are:
1. Archpriest Peter Totev
2. Archpriest Grouiu Tsonkov
3. Archpriest Patrick Tishel
4. Dr. Atanas Pumpalov
5. Dr. Mihail Nikolov


We thank every parish and all the parish delegates for their commitment, sacrifice and labours. We also thank those parishes who had the sincere desire to participate, but were unable for one reason or another.

Our concelebration of the Divine Liturgy and our work that day witnessed to our oneness in the Lord, which is the most important goal of our life that we can strive for.


Ordination of Rev. Milovan Djerasimovich
Our joy that day was even richer with the ordination at the Divine Liturgy of the Rev. Milovan Djerasimovich into the diaconate. The next day Fr. Milovan was ordained into the Holy Priesthood for the glory of God and has returned to Toronto, Ontario to begin his new priestly ministry. Axios! Worthy! Dostoin! May God strengthen and help him in his service!

Again, thank you every one!
With love in Christ,
+Bp. Daniil

Ordination of Rev. Milovan Djerasimovich - 01/13/13

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Memory Eternal

The Very Rev. Panayot Pamukov retired rector of Saint Clement Ohridski Macedono-Bulgarian Orthodox in Dearborn, Michigan was called to eternal rest and blessed sleep in the Lord on Friday, January 18, 2013 at the age of 87.  Father Pamukov was a priest in Bulgaria for 24 years before he came to serve the Saint Clement Ohridski Orthodox Parish on September 14, 1968. He continued to serve as rector of Saint Clement Ohridski until November 1, 1999.  Once retired he continued to serve as retired priest until 2008.

He is survived by a daughter, Dr. Kristina Pamukov (Raiko Takov) Takov, and son, Nickolai Pamukov.  Loving grandfather of Nicole and Emily Pamukov and Veronica Takov.  Popadia Syvlia Pamukov preceded him in death in 2007. Vech-na-ya Pomyat!  Memory Eternal!  May Father Pamukove rest in peace!



The traditional Diocesan clergy Govenie this year was held again in “St. Sophia” Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, IL, March 29-31.

We – Metropolitan, Vicar Bishop and 22 priests and deacons - listened to the wonderful speakers, who gave us an opportunity to be convinced that our Holy Orthodoxy is indeed the best-kept secret in America. With each report, well written and easy to read, our speakers - His Grace Bishop Daniil, Fr. Michael Oyer, Fr. Gregory Valentine, Fr. Philip Tolbert, Fr. Patrick Tishel, Fr. Philip McCaffery, Fr. Jerome Sanderson, and Fr. Basil Rusen - helped us to find the answer to our question: Why is the Divine Liturgy the most important of all Church services? And we found the answer! Because it displays the whole drama of Christ’s life from His birth to His ascension into heaven. In other words, we understood that the Liturgy itself is the proclamation of the Gospel in an existential and experiential manner. And this has certain implications for us as Orthodox clergy:

1. The Liturgy is not for the clergy only, but rather the entire people of God (clergy and laity) who celebrate.

2. We must never separate the teaching, proclamation, and exhortation of the Scripture from the Liturgy. This Kerygma is part of the very fabric of the Liturgy. An analogy of this link, between the teaching and the sacrifice and eating, can be seen in the life of our Lord when He first taught the people and then offered Himself in His Body and Blood on behalf of all.

3, Our Diocesan people must be educated to understand what is happening in the Divine Liturgy and in this way to comprehend the proclamation in the Liturgy.

4.  Because of the aforementioned factors regarding the Liturgy as proclamation, it is furthermore imperative that the people of God participate in this reality. Our intention is that all people, children and adults, men and women, learn the hymns of the Liturgy.

5. It is the clergy as shepherds who first call the people to themselves, i.e. to offer them the “bread of life”, and then send them out, being energized by this food, to do the work of the Church outside the limits of the parish.

6. Finally, we understood there needs to be a new thrust for our continuing pastoral education for all our clergy in the Diocese.

It was good for us to hear that in the weekly act of worship of the Divine Liturgy, we are lifted up spiritually into communion with God, the angels, saints and our loved ones in heaven, and when the Liturgy is finished, we take heaven with us into the week. Through an active prayer of life that we are gently and lovingly encouraged to undertake at our own pace, we open ourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit, to undertake the process of theosis – to become like Christ our God. We also understood that the Orthodox Church is both a home and a journey, a place and a path, and the spiritual hospital that renews the light of God within our lives.

Together we read the canon of St. Andrew of Crete and the laudation of the Mother of God, confessed our sins one to another, served the Divine Liturgy on Saturday and tried to become, as we prepared for the Holy Pascha, the champions in humility and love.

Now, being at home, we are still glowing from the joy and multitudes of blessings received during this wonderful Govenie. All of us were truly nourished and inspired hearing and discussing the many presentations on the Divine Liturgy. Such a spiritual climate and atmosphere of mutual Christian Orthodox love made our repentance really possible.

The wisdom, experience, knowledge and time we shared during this memorable Govenie was very valuable for all of us. It gave us the strength, inspiration, and confidence for doing the work in our Lord’s vineyard.

All of us are full of a great sense of joy that our time together in prayer, instruction, reflection, confession, and finally in co-celebration of the Eucharistic Mystery, was in every way refreshing and brought us “to be accounted victors over sin, and uncondemned to attain unto and adore the Holy Resurrection of Christ”. Amen.


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2011 Lenten Clergy Govenie - 03/31/11

The 2011 Lenten Clergy Govenie at St Sophia Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church in Des Plaines, IL, hosted by Very Reverend Father Gruiou and Popadia Parasceva Tzonkov. During the Govenie Reverend Father Hieromonk Mefodii
of St. Maximos the Confessor Skete was elevated to the rank of Igumen.

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Memory Eternal

The Very Rev. Marko Kosev passed away.

The Chancery of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia and Metropolitan Joseph, Diocesan Prelate, with saddness inform that on March 01, 2011, the Very Rev. Fr. Archpriest Marko Kosev reposed in the Lord. He was born on September 18, 1938.

The funeral was at St. Spiridon's Orthodox Church in Seattle, WA, on March 06, 2011.
The parish priest Fr. Yuri Maev, Fr. Archpriest Vadim Pogrebniak and Fr. Archpriest Ilia Balach served the funeral and burial which were very dignified and respectful for our departed worthy servant of God Fr. Marko.

On behalf of His Holiness Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim, Holy Synod members, Metropolitan Joseph, all Diocesan clergy and faithful Fr. Protoierej Ilia  expressed the warmest sympathy to Popadia Tatyana, son Theodor, daughter in Law Julia and grandchildren Sophia and Ilia Kosev.

We all in the Diocese continue our prayers and ask God to be merciful to His servant Fr. Marko, to forgive his sins and to keep him on His right side.

We also pray to God to give consolation to Popadia Tatyana, Theodor, Julia, Sophia and Ilia.

We express our thankfulness to Popadia Tatyana for her service to God and His Holy Orthodox Church together with Fr. Marko in Bulgaria and the USA, especially in Steelton, PA.

Bog da prosti otec Marko! Vechnaia Pamiat!"

Fr. Blagoy with brothers
Fr. Blagoy with brothers

Memory Eternal

The Very Rev Fr. Archpriest Blagoy Topuzliev, the Cathedral priest in NYC, gave his soul to the Lord on August 20, 2010. He was 64 years old.

An excellent priest, an erudite theologian, a caring pastor, preacher, and an inspired modest and approachable man, Father Blagoi Topuzliev will remain in the hearts and minds of all who are alive  that were touched by his personality. God rest his soul!
His body was transfered to Bulgaria for the funeral. Please, pray for him as a newly departed Archpiest Blagoy and for the comfort and piece of his Popadia Elisaveta.

On Thursday, August 26, 2010, 10.00 AM, the newly departed Very Reverend Fr. Blagoy Topuzliev was  buried in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The funeral/burial service was performed by his brother Metropolitan Dometian of Vidin together with Metropolitan Nikolay of Plovdiv in St. Nedelya Orthodox Church, where Fr. Blagoy was a parish priest for many years. Please, remember him in your prayers. Memory eternal. Vechnaia pamiat!


Memory Eternal!  Fr. Christo B. Christoff

Metropolitan Joseph Congratulates Patriarch Maxim

Metropolitan Joseph, on behalf of the Holy Synod, Congratulates Patriarch Maxim on his names day.

Article with photos on website of Bulgarian Patriarchate.
Another article with more photos.


On October 29th, 2009 His Holiness the Bulgarian Patriarch MAXIM will celebrate his 95th Birth Day. On this occasion he will consecrate the new church in the Holy Patriarchate "St. Marina" (the civil name of His Holiness was Marin).
Your Holiness Patriarch MAXIM,

Bless Your Holiness!

We at Holy Dormition Orthodox Church greet and congratulate Your Holiness on your 95th birthday. We pray that your day will be full of Our Lord's blessing and joy along with the love of His most-pure Mother. We are so thankful for your fatherly love for us here in America and your constant and unceasing prayers for each one of us. It is with deep appreciation for your compassion and generosity towards us that we wish you every blessing on this special day. Thank you for all the wonderful epistles that you send to us, enlightening our hearts and minds with the true Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you also for receiving us so warmly when we have come to visit you in Bulgaria and allowing us to serve with Your Holiness -- a great blessing for us clergy. And we thank you also for giving us your spiritual son, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, to lead us here in America. He is a wonderful example of our Bulgarian Hierarchs and beloved by many everywhere.

Your Holiness, may Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ grant you Many Years!

We ask for Your Holiness' continued support, prayers and blessing for the missionary work of our Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia. Through Your Holiness' prayers, may many Americans, Canadians and Australians be brought to the True Light of our Holy Orthodox Church.

Respectfully venerating Your right Hand,
Archpriest Michael Oyer and the flock of Holy Dormition Orthodox Church
Santa Rosa, CA
Blagoslovi, Vladiko!
Your Holiness:
The faithful of Saint Herman of Alaska Mission send you our warmest greetings in the Lord on the occassion of the 95th anniversary of your birth!
We wish for you to know that you are in our prayers constantly and without fail, both in our daily celebrations of Divne Services (weekly Akathists, Liturgies, Vespers, and daily Morning Prayers).  We remember fondly your last visit to the US, and we treasure the memories of our having the honor to receive a blessing directly from your hands!  Now we hold tightly to that first blessing as we continue to seek our Lord's will through your continued blessings to us and your prayers for us in America.  Since your visit to America, many of us have aged much, but when I see your photograph, you look as you did then, on that day you visited the faithful of Sveti Duch in Cincinnati!  How is this possible?
May our Lord grant to you Many Years, and through His gift of years to you thereby bless us, thereby keeping you as our Patriarch, under your pastoral protection and care.  You are the only Patriarch that many of us have ever known, and we pray that your health, your strength, your wisdom, and your prayers will continue to guide us and strengthen us for many more years!
I also wish to send to you my personal thanks for your prayers for the little child of God, Marina.  Metropolitan Joseph told me of your love for her after hearing her name.  She fell asleep in the Lord only days after her birth, but I know that it was because of your holy prayers that she did not leave this world before she received baptism, Chrismation, and before she tasted on her own the Body and Blood of our Lord.  Now we know with certainty that she rests in His arms, free from any harm this world could do her.  I cannot thank you enough for remembering this loved one of our Lord!  It is a great comfort and joy to know that on the day of your birth you will consecrate a church to her Patron Saint, Saint Marina!  With your blessing, I will share this joyous news with her parents.
All love in Christ,
Father Basil Rusen
for the faithful of
Saint Herman of Alaska Mission
Hudson, Ohio

Celebration of St. Dimitrios Church Name Day

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Celebration of St. Dimitrios Church Name Day

Храм „Св. Димитър” Българска Източно Православна Църква в град Брамптън, Онтарио, Канада, отпразнува петия си рожден ден, на 26. 10. 2009 г., която дата съвпада и с храмовия й празник по случай честването паметта на светеца, чието име носи. Богослужението бе оглавено от Негово Високопреосвещенство Йосиф, митрополит на САЩ, Канада и Австралия, който предприе тридневно богослужебно гостуване в съслужение с всички български свещеници от съседните енории на македоно-българските църкви в Торонто.

Негово Високопреосвещенство бе топло приет от новия благоговеен свещ. Йоан Иванов в компанията на българската младежка секция при храма, която само за десетмесечна работа наброява над четиридесет православни младежа, обединени под логото на храма и инициира първата отворена младежка среща на нашите младежи с него.

Храм „Св. Димитър” е една идея на българското общество в Канада, осъществена в не толкова далечната 2003 г. от големия български бизнесмен и родолюбец, носител на орден „Стара планина” и почетен български консул в Торонто, д-р. х. к. Игнат Канев, което я прави една от най-младите Православни църкви в Северна Америка.

Църквата предлага модерно оборудвана база за задграничното българско училище по министерската програма „Български език и култура”, в което се помещават и учат около седемдесет наши деца.

Понастоящем управлявана под духовния покров на Негово Високопреосвещенство Митрополит Йосиф и зоркия поглед на Негово Благоговейнство свещеник Йоан Иванов, храмът има десетчленно настоятелство и председател в лицето на Г-жа Диди Канева, и се явява духовен и национален стожер на много българи зад граница.

Дори бегъл поглед над духовните и социални дейности при храма ни очарова със задружността на Женската си секция, която ежемесечно събира енориашите при храма на обеди или вечери с традиционна българска кухня; с младежката инициатива за безплатни прожекции на български филми, с катехизисните си курсове под предводителството на енорийския свещеник, с историческия дискусионен клуб, а не на последно място и с много спортни мероприятия за укрепване на българския дух, душевност и физика.

Важно е да не пропуснем да отбележим, че на тази паметна дата бе официално въдворен от Нюйоркския Митрополит в енорийско служение едногодишно служещият вече там свещ. Йоан Иванов, бивш духовник на храм „Св. Димитър”Кокаляне, Софийска Епархия, а така също бе подстриган и благословен за четец и певец при храма, православният местен Канадски жител Joseph Forget.

На същото богослужение, за особени заслуги по изграждането и консолидирането на българската общност при храма бяха наградени с патриаршеска грамота и грамота от храма, достопочтимите Д-р. и Г-жа Константин и Кина Вълчеви, църковни членове от основаването му.

Нека всички последваме светлия им православен пример на всеотдайно служение зад граница.

The 34th Annual Convention of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese

The 34th Annual Convention
of the
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese
of the USA, Canada and Australia

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph Presiding

In Conjunction with the
My Life In Christ Youth Conference and the
Fifth Annual Popadias' and Deaconissas' Conference
My Life In Christ Youth Conference
My Life In Christ Youth Conference
My Life In Christ Youth Conference
Popadias' and Deaconissas' Conference
Popadias' and Deaconissas' Conference
Popadias' and Deaconissas' Conference
The 34th Annual Convention
The 34th Annual Convention
The 34th Annual Convention
News from the Summer Session of the Holy Synod

"The Summer Session of the Holy Synod continues. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph
returned back to NYC to prepare himself for our 34th Annual Diocesan Convention.
The Holy Synod took the following decisions for us:

- His Holiness Patriarch Maxim on behalf of the Holy Synod to send three messages:
1. To MLIC Youth Conference; 2. To Popadias and Deaconissas Gathering, and 3. To the delegates of 34th Annual Diocesan Convention in Des Plaines;

- Holy Synod to inform us that he approved as final the decision of our Diocesan Court to depose archimandrite Simeon of Boscobel;

- Holy Synod to inform His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah of OCA that it was approved as final the previous deposition of former priests Stefan Michailov and Valentin Notzkov, now in the USA;

- Holy Synod to infrom His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah of OCA that the status of Very Rev. Archimandrite Pachomij (Bellcov) is canonical in our Diocese and he came to us from ROCOR, not from OCA;

- Holy Synod appointed the new Deans of Sofia and Plovdiv seminaries;

- Holy Synod gave as Vicar Bishop the Dean of Sofia seminary Bishop Sionij to Metropolitan Dometian of Vidin;

- Holy Synod blessed the new website of Bulgarian Patriarchate: www.bg-patriarshia.bg

- Holy Synod heard for information the report of Metropolitan Neophit of Russe regarding the decisions of Panorthodox dathering in Shambezi (Materials are already ready in English);

- Holy Synod decided to celebrate 95th anniversary of His Holiness Patriarch Maxim in October this year and to consecrate on this occasion his chapel "St. Marina" in his home.

- Holy Synod continues its Session until July 10, 2009."

The Fourth Pan-Orthodox Pre-Assembly Discussion and Meeting

On Pentecost Sunday, the fourth pan-Orthodox pre-assembly discussion and meeting began with a pan-Orthodox Archpastoral Liturgy. The co-celebrants of the Liturgy were the leaders of the delegations from the Churches in Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland and Albania. Bulgaria was represented in the service by Metropolitan Neofit. Metropolitan Neofit is 4th from the left in the picture.

St. George's day at Zograph Monastery

St. George's day at Zograph Monastery

Metropolitan Joseph's friend and spiritual brother Metropolitan Neofit celebrates St. George's day on April 23 / May 6th at Zograph Monastery, the Bulgarian Monastery on Mt. Athos, its patronal  feast day.

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Pascha at St. Clement Ohridski Macedono-Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church

Pascha at St. Clement - 04/19/09


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Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church Instals New Icons

Left side of iconostasis
Left side of iconostasis
Left side of iconostasis
click on images to see them larger
click on images to see them larger
click on images to see them larger
Right side of iconostasis
Right side of iconostasis
Right side of iconostasis
Holy Resurrecton Orthodox Church Installs New Icons
On Palm Sunday Fr. Dcn. John Williamson installed the beautiful icons painted for us by an excellent iconographer from Romania. The icons were accomplished through his hand but also through the prayers and encouragement of Dedo Vladiko, the support of the entire parish and the hard work of our iconography committee. We definitely felt the enhanced presence of the Apostles and the real purpose of icons was exemplified in this blessed event. The picture was taken after Liturgy and is of the parish of HROC that was present on that day.            Fr. Patrick

Elevation of Metropolitan Neofit, to Doctor Honoris Causi at Sofia University

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph attends the elevation of his spiritual brother, Metropolitan Neofit, to Doctor Honoris Causi at Sofia University, Bulgaria. Our Diocese expresses, together with Metropolitan Joseph, its joy and congratulations to our beloved Metropolitan Neofit. May God grant him Many Years!

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