Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shepherd and Flock?

A large Ukrainian Orthodox parish in the Midwest just received its first hierarchical visit in twenty years. It's roughly five hours away from its diocesan see and is part of a diocese that comprises only twenty-five communities. It's also by no means the most geographically isolated of those communities - the local parish here in Portland, for example, definitely has it beat. And to be clear, we're talking about a visit from the diocesan bishop, not the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA or anything like that.

My question is this: Is this the average experience of Orthodox parishes in North America? Our parish was rather spoiled under Archbishop Job (Osacky) of thrice blessed memory as we got yearly visits from him, but I know he had a rotation set up to ensure that he visited all the communities in his diocese at least once every two (or three?) years. The Midwestern American Diocese currently consists of eighty-two communities, so that's quite a lot of travel considering that such visits usually last a couple of days. Was his emphasis on knowing his diocese an exception to the rule though? How sad if it was :-/.

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