Memorial Day Weekend - May 26, 2002
Cathedral of SS. Boris & Hlib, Cleveland, Ohio
Newly-Ordained Reverend Father Robert Bower

During the Memorial Day Weekend, 2002, Metropolia clergy and their families from the Central Deanery of the Archeparchy of Cleveland visited the Cathedral of SS. Boris & Hlib. During this historic weekend, at a Pontifical Divine Liturgy, Deacon Robert Bower was ordained to the holy priesthood.

The clergy concelebrated Great Vespers with the Archbishop on Saturday evening. At the altar were Fathers John Johnson, Theodosius Walker and Thomas Wiggins. Deacon Robert Bower served as the deacon and Vladyka Michael presided at the service.

On Sunday morning, the Archbishop offered a Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the cathedral church. Clergy from the Central Deanery: the Dean, Protopresbyter John Johnson, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Manitowoc, Wisconsin and the V. Rev. Thomas Wiggins, assistant at the chancery office and cathedral, concelebrated with Vladyka Michael. During the Liturgy, Protopresbyter John Johnson, Protopresbyter of the Central Deanery, presented the candidate to the Archbishop for ordination. Cathedral Protodeacon Konstantin Rouban also served at the Liturgy.

Parishioners of the cathedral and visitors from area parishes joined in the festive Divine Liturgy, including Pani Matka Mary Johnson of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Pani Matka Crystal Bower also serves as the coordinator of our eparchial office of religious education, under the direction of the Metropolitan and Archbishop. She is the resource person for the distribution of Sunday school text books, adult education needs, videos, tapes and other informative material about the Orthodox Christian faith. Father Robert and Crystal also minister with the developmentally impaired and have many items that apply to ministry in this category, for use by the clergy and lay leaders of our church.

The newly-ordained Father Robert, a recent graduate of Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana will be the pastor of St. Nectarios Church in South Bend Indiana. He is a vocation from Protection of the Mother of God Church in Plymouth. Father Robert and his Pani Matka Crystal expressed their thanks to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Stephan and His Eminence, Archbishop Michael for the confidence expressed in them and their ministry and pledged to continue to work closely with the bishops, the dean of the central deanery and deanery clergy as well as all of the priests, deacons, religious and faithful of our Metropolia.

St. Nectarios, a twentieth century Orthodox bishop was chosen by Metropolitan Stephan as the patron of the South Bend parish, in recognition of his special devotion to the saint. St. Nectarios is also a patron to Father and Pani Bower as Crystal's crismational name is Nectaria and they have long been inspired by his saintly life and powerful intercession.

Speaking in a phone conference, His Beatitude the Metropolitan remarked, "We are happy to welcome Father Robert and Pani Crystal as part of our Metropolia's clergy families. Confident that God will bless their ministry to the people of the South Bend area, and their labors in our eparchial programs and departments, I offer them my sincerest best wishes as well as my blessing and encouragement along the new path that the Lord has placed them on. They both bring to our church a variety of experience in ministry and many God-given talents. May they be sustained by their deep faith in God, dedication to the church and through the support and kindness of all of the clergy and faithful of their deanery, eparchy and of our entire Metropolia."

The website for St. Nectarios Church is located at the following link: St. Nectarios Orthodox Church, South Bend, Indiana.

May God grant to the newly-ordained Father Robert and his Pani Crystal, many happy and blessed years in service to God's church and our Metropolia. Christ is Risen! Na Mnohaya i blahaya l'ita! Christos Voskres!

Please run your mouse over each photo below, to see a caption of that particular moment. To view a caption again, just place the mouse back over the picture.

The Pontifical Divine Liturgy begins. The clergy recite the opening prayers with the Archbishop at his throne. At the Little Entrance: The Archbishop blesses the four corners of the earth with the trikirion.

The Archbishop blesses with the beautiful prayer: 'O Christ, the true light, who enlightens and sanctifies everyone who comes into the world. + Mark us with the light of your countenance, that, walking in it we may see the light of your glory, which is beyond understanding. + Direct our steps in the observance of your commandments. + Through the prayers of your most pure Mother, O Christ our God, save us. +' The Gospel is chanted in both English and Ukrainian.

The Gospel is chanted in both English and Ukrainian.

Protopresbyter John Johnson, dean of the Central Deanery of the Archeparchy of Cleveland, presents the candidate for ordination. The ordinand and his dean approach the Archbishop who is seated at the altar.

The moment of ordination. The Archbishop places his omophorion over the ordinand's head, lays his hands on him and pronounces the words of ordination: 'The Divine Grace, which always heals that which is infirm and supplies what is lacking, promotes, through the laying on of hands, the devout deacon, Robert, to the priesthood. Therefore, let us pray for him, that the Grace of the Holy Spirit may come upon him, and let us all say.' People: 'Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.' The newly-ordained receives the insignia of the priestly office. For the phelonion: 'Receive the garment of the priesthood, by which mercy is made known, for God is powerful to make you abound in mercy and perfect work. Axios!'

The newly-ordained receives the chalice and diskos from the Archbishop: 'Receive the power to offer sacrifice to God and to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the living and the departed in the name of the Lord. Axios!' When receiving the liturgikon: 'Receive this liturgikon, that you may with the utmost attention and fear of God, perform sacrifices acceptable to the Lord. Axios!'

The newly-ordained Fr. Robert Bower exchanges the kiss of peace with his ordaining bishop.

The Archbishop presents the newly-ordained Fr. Robert to the congregation. At the Great Entrance, the concelebrating clergy, including the newly-ordained, bring the prepared holy gifts to Archbishop Michael who makes the commemorations at the royal doors.

The Archbishop commemorates His Beatitude, Metropolitan Stephan, all of the God-loving bishops of the church, the clergy, religious and faithful of our Metropolia and their needs and intentions. Vladyka Michael and the concelebrating clergy pause for a photo at the conclusion of the Pontifical Divine Liturgy. From left to right are: Protodeacon Konstantin Rouban, Cathedral of SS. Boris & Gleb; V. Rev. Protopresbyter John Johnson, Dean of the Central Deanery and pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Manitowoc, Wisconsin; Archbishop Michael; newly-ordained Fr. Robert Bower, pastor of St. Nectarios Church, South Bend, Indiana; the V. Rev. Thomas Wiggins, assistant at the chancery office and Cathedral of SS. Boris & Gleb.

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