Bishop Alexander - St. Barbara Visit: December 3 - 5

Introduction: We are pleased to announce that on Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4, His Grace the Right Reverend Alexander, Bishop of Dallas and the South, will make his first pastoral visit to St. Barbara Orthodox Church.   On Monday morning, December 5, a meeting with His Grace at the Church is being planned as well, for the clergy of the South Central (Dallas) Deanery.

Elected by the Holy Synod of Bishops on Tuesday, March 26, 2016 at its Spring Session, Bishop Alexander succeeds His Eminence, the late Archbishop Dmitri, as only the second ruling Bishop of the Diocese since its establishment in 1978.

We all will have an opportunity to receive a blessing from and meet Bishop Alexander on December 3 and 4, in conjunction with the celebration of our Patronal Feast.  It is also possible that we will have a number of visitors joining us for the joyous event. More information will be forthcoming, but as a follow up introduction to Bishop Alexander we offer the following biography posted on the OCA website.

“Bishop Alexander [Golitzin] was born in Burbank, CA in 1948 and was raised at Saint Innocent Church, Tarzana, CA.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary.  He spent seven years pursuing doctoral studies at Oxford University in England under His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos [Ware].  During this time, he also spent two years in Greece, including one year at Simonos Petras Monastery on Mount Athos.

“After receiving his D.Phil. in 1980, Bishop Alexander returned to the US.  He was ordained to the diaconate in January 1982 and to the priesthood two years later.  In 1986, he was tonsured to monastic orders.  He served OCA missions in northern California and headed the Diocese of the West’s mission committee.

“In 1989, he accepted a position with the Theology Department at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, a position that he left at the end of April 2012.  While teaching at Marquette, he had been attached to Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Milwaukee, WI.  For 22 years, he preached, taught and served at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, and witnessed to the Gospel and to Orthodox Christian theology at Marquette University.  He helped attract a dozen Orthodox Christian students to doctoral work in theology at Marquette.

“In June 2010, the Bulgarian Diocese initiated a search for a candidate to succeed His Eminence, Archbishop Kirill [Yonchev], who reposed in the Lord in 2007.  In October 2011, the Holy Synod of Bishops elected Archimandrite Alexander as Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese.  He was consecrated to the episcopacy as Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint George Cathedral, Rossford, OH on May 5, 2012.”

Words Concerning Protocol:

When greeting His Grace, before formal conversation takes place, it is traditional to extend one's hands for a blessing (place the right hand in the left), accompanying this gesture with the words, "Master bless."  The Bishop will make the Sign of the Cross, lay his hand in ours, and we then kiss his hand.  In terms of physical movement, receiving a blessing from the Bishop is identical to receiving a blessing from a Priest.

Also, it is proper and customary that prior to the services the faithful be in the Church awaiting the arrival of the Archbishop as our father in Christ. Therefore, we ask that everyone please be in the Nave of the Church before the start of each service that weekend. People bringing food for the Sunday Meal, please arrive at the Church no later than 9:15 am, so that we may all be in the Church before 9:30 am, awaiting the arrival of Bishop Alexander.

Activities During and in Preparation for the Visit:

A reception will be held in honor of His Grace’s visit, following the Sunday Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on December 4.  A sign-up sheet will be placed in the Church hall for people to designate dishes that they can bring.  Looking ahead to Bishop Alexander’s visit, special rehearsals for both the choir and servers will be conducted in preparation.  In addition, special activities are in the planning process for Sunday evening, as well as Monday morning, December 5 with local deanery clergy

We invite all of our friends and members to join us for this very important weekend and to greet our new father in Christ.