About the Eparchy

 

MISSION:

The Mission of the Eparchy of the Old Dominion is to bring The Holy Word, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and the Teachings and Holy Tradition of our One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, to the Orthodox and Catholic faithful and enlighten the multi-denomination Christian lay population of the United States of America and Canada.

 

VISION:

Eparch Seraphim’s vision for the Eparchy is to expand across the United States and Canada and internationally by executing the Mission statement.

Archbishop Seraphim has imparted his ongoing vision for the Eparchy to be open to all Orthodox faithful, no matter what “jurisdiction” or “Church” they belong to. Archbishop Seraphim’s guidance and direction comes directly from the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Holy Church Fathers, and are highlighted in a recent speech of His All Holiness, Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, and New Rome to assembled Bishops of the United States.

 

HOLY SYNOD:

His Eminence Archbishop Seraphim is a member of The Holy Synod of the Americas.

(www.HolySynodoftheAmericas.org)

 

WHAT WE BELIEVE:

The Nicene Constantinopolitan Creed
1. I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
2. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father by Whom all things were made;
3. Who for us and for our salvation came down from the heavens and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary and became man;
4. Crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and was buried,
5. Rising on the third day according to the Scriptures:
6. And ascending into the Heavens, He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
7. And coming again with glory to judge the living and the dead, His kingdom shall have no end;
8. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets;
9. In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church;
10. I accept one baptism for the remission of sins;
11. I look for the resurrection of the dead;
12. And the life of the age to come. Amen.

 

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew meets with Orthodox Primates of the USA

NEW YORK, NY [SCOBA] – October 29, 2009 — His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gave an audience yesterday Tuesday, Oct. 27, to the Orthodox Primates of the USA, most of whom were present the previous evening for the Ninth Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community. Present at the audience were Archbishop Demetrios of America (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Philip (Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Christopher (Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Nicholas (Carpatho-Russian Diocese); Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese); Metropolitan Jonah (Orthodox Church in America), Metropolitan Constantine (Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA); Bishop Ilia (Albanian Orthodox Diocese) and Archpriest Alexander Abramov (Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA). Archbishop Demetrios welcomed His All Holiness on behalf of the Primates.

The remarks of His All Holiness follow:

“We bring to you the greeting, the blessing, and the love of the Apostolic, Patriarchal and Ecumenical Throne of the First-Called Andrew, and we express as well our appreciation to the Most Reverend Chairman of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, for bringing you together today so that we may have this opportunity for fellowship in the Holy Spirit and for a dialogue of love.

“For nearly fifty years, the Standing Conference has served as a place for the Primates of the various jurisdictions that are present in North America to gather and discuss common concerns and issues. Also, through the many agencies that have been formed under your aegis, you have been able to activate pan-Orthodox ministries that extend beyond the confines of your particular Churches, so that your united effort might be brought to bear in common interests.

“The success of SCOBA has always been based in the true sense of cooperation, of synergy, between the Orthodox ecclesiastical entities here in North America. You have been successful at providing a common witness to all the Orthodox Faithful, even as you have maintained your ties to the Mother Churches and sought to establish yourselves in the countries and culture within which you live.

“Nevertheless, SCOBA has always been an organization that lacks authorization from the Mother Churches, being a self-started and volunteer body. This reality reflects both strengths and weaknesses — strengths in that SCOBA was free to find creative solutions to issues and problems, without seeking approval from a higher authority — and weaknesses, because without authorization from the Mother Churches, there has been no methodology to effectuate decisions and policies that prepare for the future.

“Given these considerations, it was logical for the status quo to evolve, as it did at the Synaxis of the Heads of the universally recognized Autocephalous Churches last October at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. At that time, the common will of the universally recognized Autocephalous was expressed as follows:

As Primates and the Representatives of the Most Holy Orthodox Churches, fully aware of the gravity of the aforementioned problems, and laboring to confront them directly as “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries” (1 Cor. 4:1), we proclaim from this See of the First-throne among the Churches and we re-affirm:

i) our unswerving position and obligation to safeguard the unity of the Orthodox Church in “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), the faith of our Fathers, in the common Divine Eucharist and in the faithful observance of the canonical system of Church governance by settling any problems that arise from time to time in relations among us with a spirit of love and peace.

ii) our desire for the swift healing of every canonical anomaly that has arisen from historical circumstances and pastoral requirements, such as in the so-called Orthodox Diaspora, with a view to overcoming every possible influence that is foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology. In this respect we welcome the proposal by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to convene Panorthodox Consultations within the coming year 2009 on this subject, as well as for the continuation of preparations for the Holy and Great Council.

“As you all know and are well aware, the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan-Orthodox Conference did take place in June of this year, at the Center of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Chambésy, Switzerland. The Decision, and the Regulations promulgated by the Pre-Conciliar Conference establish a modus operandi by which the Bishops, in the regions of the world defined by the Conference, may progress institutionally toward the solutions that we all seek in the forthcoming Great and Holy Council.

“This is not to say that there will not be difficulties along the way. The region defined for this portion of the Western Hemisphere is quite extensive, including Spanish-speaking Mexico and Central America, together with the rest of Anglophone and Francophone North America. There are many bishops who have never been represented in SCOBA, and who will now participate through their Mother Churches in the Assembly of Bishops. There are also the issues of so-called “autonomies” and “autocephalies” that are not recognized by the Church Universal, and for which solutions must be found in order allow for full participation on every level in the processes of the Assembly of Bishops. All of the issues and problems that require resolution first require willing hearts and minds, study and careful consideration, and the unfailing loving application of the canonical tradition of out Holy Orthodox Church.

“As the convener of the Pan-Orthodox world, the Ecumenical Patriarchate stands ready to be of assistance through guidance and an ongoing dialogue based in the truth of Gospel. We welcome positive suggestions and, as it said in our modern world, “thinking outside the box,” so that we may construct models of ecclesiastical polity and governance with foundations sunk deep in the venerable tradition of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church — and at the same time are relevant to the spiritual needs and societal conventions of the world within which our faithful live.

“Here, we do not reference compromise nor conformity to the world, but, following the exhortation of the Holy Apostle Paul — that we be ‘transformed by the renewing of our minds,’ we speak of transformative and transformational models that are faithful to the history of the Church, for this history is that of the Holy Spirit Who infuses and guides the Church in every generation — in times of weakness and in times of strength, in times of persecution and in times of triumph, in times war and in times of peace. And in whatever time the Church finds her incarnate presence through the grace, operation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we know that the Church lives in accordance with the Apostle’s injunction: “that everything be done decently and in good order.”

“Therefore, beloved brothers in the Lord, let the order of the Church be observed perfectly among you, beginning and ending always with the commandment — new and divine — that we have received from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: Love one another. Everything else that we attempt — even with all our skill and might — will come to naught if love does not reign supreme among us all. With these words we leave each of you with our Patriarchal and paternal blessing, invoking upon you the grace of God and His infinite mercy.”

Following the remarks of His All Holiness, there was an exchange of gifts, including a presentation by the Metropolitan Philip of an “Engolpion” [“Panagia”] with the icon of Sts. Peter and Paul. The Ecumenical Patriarch presented gifts to all the Members, and departed the meeting. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, accompanying the Ecumenical Patriarch throughout America and who is the Chairman of the already functioning Episcopal Assembly of France (Inter-Episcopal Committee from 1967 and full Episcopal Assembly since 1997), remained to engage in a brief dialogue with the Members.

Immediately following the Patriarchal Audience, Archbishop Demetrios hosted a luncheon in honor of His All Holiness for fifty Ecumenical and Interfaith leaders from New York and around America.

More information about His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the environmental work of the Church and the Apostolic Visit to the United States may be found at:  www.usvisit2009.org and www.patriarchate.org.

A brief note from Bishop Seraphim to those who still have reticence:

We all must take the words of Jesus Christ, the Holy Church Fathers, and the recent speech of of His All Holiness to heart and act accordingly. To those ofyou who are still in a negative frame of mind I say to you, “O ye of little faith ,” … yet, this is a  teachable moment …   There are select individuals, clergy and layman alike, (you know who you are), who sit in the “seat of the scornful” … who approach the Eparchy (and the Archbishop), from a position of negativity, ignorance, (and sadly), hate. Should that be you … I forgive you, I Bless you, and I pray for you, and dutifully reminded you of PSALM 1: The Way of the Righteous and the Way of the Ungodly

PSALM 1

1BLESSED is the man

Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,

Nor stands in the path of sinners,

Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

3 He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

4The ungodly are not so,

But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the ungodly shall perish.  Amen

Moreover, many ask “What jurisdiction is this?” and “By whose (or what authority) does the Eparchy and the Bishops Throne exist?” The answer to their questions is to be found in Holy Scripture. Let us attend! The Holy Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 21, verses 23-27.

23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John—where was it from? From heaven or from men?”
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.”
And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

AMEN

Therein endith the Gospel Lesson. Praise be to God. Peace be with you.

 

HISTORY:

The Eparchy roots date to 1985 when the Exarchy of Canada was established, and the Eparchy in 1994, by decree of the Metropolitan and Bishops of the Holy Synod of True Orthodox Christians (Old Calendar) from Greece.

SYNODIAL AND BISHOPs:

Orthodox Apostolic Succession of the Holy Synod: 1. Archbishop Christopher (Contageorge) was consecrated on the 10th of February 1934 by Archbishop Aftimios (Ofiesh) of the Russian Patriarchal Church, Archbishop Sophronios (Bashira) of the Syrian Orthodox Church, and Metropolitan Theophan (Fan Noli) of Albania. 2. Archbishop Arsenios (Saltas) was consecrated on the 25th of August 1934 by Archbishop Christopher and Bishop Nicholas. 3. Bishop Joseph (Klimovich) was consecrated in 1935 by Archbishop Nicholas, Archbishop Arsenios and Archbishop Fedchenkoff of the Moscow Patriarchate. 4. Archbishop Konstantine (Jaroshevich) was consecrated in 1949 by Archbishop Christopher, Archbishop Arsenios and Metropolitan Theophan. 5. Metropolitan Nicholas (Bohatyretz) of the Autocephalous Ukrainian Church was consecrated on the 14th of October 1950 by Archbishop Joseph, Archbishop Konstantine and Metropolitan Joseph (Zielonka) of the Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch. 6. Bishop Peter (Zuravetsky) was consecrated on the 15th of October 1950 by Archbishop Joseph, Archbishop Konstantine and Metropolitan Nicholas. 7. Archbishop Joachim (Souris) was consecrated on the 2nd of June 1951 by Archbishop Joseph, Bishop Peter and Metropolitan Joseph. 8. On the 10th of April 1982, Archbishop Joachim along with six other Greek Bishops of his Synod, the Holy Synod of True Orthodox Christians (Old Calendar, G.O.X.), consecrated Bishop Andreas (Novak) and elevated him to Metropolitan to lead the Synod in North America. 9. In 1987, Metropolitan Andreas received into his Metropolis Bishop Philip (Caine) appointing him Bishop of Pennsylvania. 10. In March 1988, Metropolitan Damaskinos, as President of the Synod in Greece, notified in writing Metropolitan Andreas of the election to the Episcopate of Archimandrite Haralampos (Young). Bishop Haralampos was consecrated on the 1lth of June 1988 by Metropolitan Andreas, Bishop Philip, and with the blessing and seal of Metropolitan Damaskinos on behalf of the Holy Synod.

Traditional Greek (Old Calendar) ….Eparchy Starts ….

11. On the 4th of January 1985, Bishop Timotheos (Athanassiou) was consecrated by Archbishop Joakim, Metropolitan Damaskinos and two other Bishops of the Holy Synod, and assigned Exarch Metropolitan of Montreal, Canada and the United States. Metropolitan Timotheos also received official recognition for his position from the Ministry of Justice of Quebec, Canada (22 JUL 87); and Patriarchal greetings from Jerusalem (Prot. No. 496, 22 Oct 91). 12. In December 1993, Metropolitan Timotheos announced, both in writing and via telephone, the election to the episcopate of Abbot Michael Seraphim (Melchizedek). On the 3rd of January 1994, Bishop Melchizedek was consecrated by the Metropolitans Timotheos (Athanassiou) and Timotheos (Mavias) in Athens, Greece, at the Church of St. Photini, and with the blessing and seal of Bishop Haralampos on behalf of the American Metropolis. Bishop Melchizedek subsequently was assigned Exarch of Canada in addition to the establishment of the Greek Orthodox Eparchy in Lincoln, Nebraska. 13. Upon the retirement of Archbishop Melchizedek, Bishop Spyridon was assigned to the Eparchy from the Church of Japan and remained in the Eparch’s seat until his signed resignation. 14. The Eparchy was placed in the care of a Synod of Bishops who undertook the search for a candidate for the Episcopal Throne. 15. The Holy Synod announced the election of Rev. Fr. William Baron to the episcopate on the 7th of March 2009. 16. On the 13th of September 2009, Bishop Seraphim (Baron) was consecrated Bishop of Leesburg, Virginia, and Eparch of the Old Dominion[1] by Archbishop Aftimios (Sinclair) and Exarch Bishop Jerome (Bernard) at the Church of St. Luke in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. 17. The Orthodox Eparchy was turned over to Bishop Seraphim.

Eparchy redirected to the New Calendar Orthodox Church

18. Bishop Seraphim revitalizes both Eparchy and St. Elias Seminary to date. 19. Bishop Seraphim moves to change jurisdiction from Traditional Greek (Old Calendar) to placing the Eparchy under the protection of a Patriarch and Primate of the Orthodox Church and in line with mainstream Orthodoxy and The Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Metropolis of Leesburg starts …

Bishop Seraphim elevated to rank of Metropolitan, Diocese of Leesburg becomes Metropolis of Virginia. 2. On 13 October 2011 The Greek Orthodox Holy Synod of New England, Canada, America and Greece,  met in Athens, Greece, and unanimously decided to accept The Right Reverend Bishop + Seraphim (Baron), Eparch of the Old Dominion and Bishop of Leesburg, into its ecclesiastical ranks. As a result of the deliberations, Bishop Seraphim was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan and the Diocese of Leesburg was elevated to Metropolis of Leesburg.

 

Revision of Metropolis of Virginia to Eparchy of the Old Dominion

Metropolitan Seraphim withdraws, in due course, from Holy Synod of New England, Canada, America and Greece due to the Synods failure to secure letter of authenticity and authority from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.  Metropolitan Seraphim decrees the Metropolia of Virginia is not part of the Synod, withdraws his position as member of the Synod and withdraws Metropolia. Metropolia is reverted to original Eparchy Status. Archbishop Seraphim drops title of Metropolitan and reverts to Eparchal Archbishop. The Eparchy returns to its roots of bi-ritual Orthodoxy with Western and Eastern Rites.

Eparchy of the Old Dominion enters new Western Rite Holy Synod

Archbishop Seraphim enters into communion with four Orthodox Bishops and forms The Holy Synod of the Americas. The Holy Synod is  formally chartered on  6 July 2012.

Above information drawn for this historical narrative was collected from the following sources in the Diocesan Archives; (a) Synodal Documents Protocols No(s); 114, 115, 116, 119 (b) Diocesan documents on file (c) Patriarchal documents on file.

1] Bishop Seraphim changes the name to Eparchy of the Old Dominion to reflect the original Mission to the entire United States of America and Canada.

 

Eparch:

His Eminence, ABp Seraphim was consecrated Bishop in the Eastern Orthodox Church on September 13, 2009. He was ordained Presbyter in 2005 and Deacon in 2004.  ABp Seraphim’s lines of apostolic succession run through the Russian, Greek, Cypriot, and Antiochian Orthodox Churches to Andrew the Apostle. Archbishop Seraphim (Baron) Lines of Apostolic Succession run through the Patriarchate of Constantinople (Cyprus), the Patriarchal See of Antioch, and the Patriarchate of Moscow. The Eparch’s Lines of Apostolic Succession also run through the Greek Orthodox Church Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. On 14 January 2012 The Eparch traveled to Athens, Greece, where the apostolic lines of  the consecrating Greek Orthodox Metropolitans were added to His Eminence’s lines of apostolic succession. The ceremony took place at the Church of St. Dimitrius and St. Dominic, in Markopoulo (a suburb of Athens), Greece.

Metropolitan Seraphim has earned the degrees of Doctor of Sacred Theology, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Divinity, Master of Laws, Juris Doctor, Master of International Affairs, and Bachelor of Science. He serves as a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain, is a member of various U. S. military veterans organizations, and directs The Angelic Foundation a not for profit educational foundation. For full biography contact the Chancellery of the Eparchy.

 

St. Elias Seminary and Graduate School:

The Metropolis of the Virginia includes St. Elias Seminary and Graduate School. The school’s administrative operations are located in Purcellville, Virginia.

 

LEGAL STATUS:

The Eparchy of the Old Dominion is a recognized 501c3 Church by the Internal Revenue Service, (IRS) of the U.S. Government. It is incorporated in the State of Nebraska.

St. Elias Seminary and Graduate School is a recognized 501c3 nonprofit, religious educational institution incorporated in Nebraska and authorized to conduct business in Virginia by the State Corporation Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its primary purpose is to offer theological training for Orthodox clergy and professional undergraduate and graduate theological programs. St. Elias is exempt from the requirements of regulations and oversight of the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education according to Title 281, Chapter 2 of the Nebraska Administrative Code. It is also exempt from the requirements of certification of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia pursuant to section 8 VAC 40-31-50 of the Virginia Administrative Code.

 

EPARCHAL PROVINCES:

The Eparchy has three provinces, Eastern, Central, and Western USA

The Eparch is also Exarch of Canada.

CLERGY:

The Most Rev. Seraphim (Baron), Ph.D., S.T.D., MDiv., LL.M., J.D., M.A., B.S.

The Rt. Rev.  Paul (L. B. Rondomanski) – Reposed in the Lord

Rev. Fr. John (Rokochy)

Rev. Deacon Pantelemion

Rev. Deacon Ansgar (Magnusson)

Rev. Deacon Johannes

 

Deceased Clergy: +Fallen Asleep in the Lord + vyetchnaya pomyat + memory eternal+

2004: Mother Genevieve G. (Ocwieja)

2005: Rt. Rev. Chorbishop Charles A. (Browne), DD

2013: The Rt. Rev.  Paul (L. B. Rondomanski)

 

Retired Clergy: The Most Rev. {Eparch}Mar Melchizedek, Ph.D., D.D.. M.A.

 

Deposed Clergy: The Rt. Rev. Spyridon (resigned)

 

DEPENDENCIES:

  1. Diocese of Leesburg, VA
  2. Diocese of Norwich, CT
  3. St. Michael’s Skete…Hamilton, VA.
  4. St. Katherine’s Skete …Seward, NE. (closed)
  5. St. Tikon Church … Lincoln, NE. (closed)
  6. Bethany House (Religious House) Sisters … Norwich, CT.
  7. St. Elias Seminary and Graduate School… Purcellville, VA.;  St. Gallen, Switzerland. Link
  8. The Angelic Foundation, (St. Elias Foundation) … Leesburg, VA.
  9. Order of the Holy Trinity, (Orthodox Order) … Leesburg, VA. Link
  10. Parish of Skara, Sweden. (closed)
  11. Parish of St. Moses, Kinshasa, Congo (Closed).

 

ARCHONs:

Mrs. Liubovi Vieru

EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE:

Bishop Seraphim is a member of the Standing Episcopal Conference of Orthodox Bishops. The SEC was established at New York in 1951 and is part of the worldwide Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church which was granted Canonical Autocephaly by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch +GREGORIOS VII of Constantinople in 1924.