With God’s Grace, on the Saturday of Bright Week, April 21/May 4, 2019, His Grace Bishop Maximus of Pelagonia was ordained by His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos of Athens and all Greece, at the Sacred Monastery of the Holy Archangels in Athikia, Corinth. Concelebrants were Their Eminences, Metropolitan Gerontios of Piraeus and Salamina, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Attica and Voiotia, Metropolitan Gregory of Thessalonica, Metropolitan Photios of Dimitriados, Metropolitan Moses of Toronto, Metropolitan Demetrius of America, and their Graces, Bishop Ambrose of Methoni, and Bishop Klimis of Gardikion.
Also, many Priests and Deacons took part in the ceremony, among which was the Proto-presbyter, Reverend Fr. Thomas Marretta from America, who is the father in the flesh of the new Bishop.
The Orthodox Greek-Byzantine Choir chanted, under the direction of chanting instructor Michael Makris. Hymns of the Resurrection were combined with those of the Feast of Holy Pentecost.
Before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, the Bishop-elect, Fr. Maximus read the Confession of Faith in Greek, in three parts. Prior to the Apostle reading and the beginning of the Ordination ceremony, His Beatitude Archbishop Kallinikos spoke before the Bishop-elect, reminding everyone that the history of our Church has been one of great struggle, and of the burden of responsibility that is borne by each of Her Bishops. The Bishop-elect then read his ordination speech in Greek.
Afterward, the order of Ordination to Bishop followed. The vesting of His Grace, Bishop Maximus of Pelagonia with the hierarchical vestments took place, as the exclamation of “Axios!” was repeated, for his worthy and distinguished conduct, election, and ordination. During the remainder of the Divine Liturgy, the newly-ordained was given the honor to serve as second bishop, alongside His Beatitude, our preeminent Archbishop.
Before the Communion of the faithful, a sermon was delivered by His Eminence, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Attika and Voiotia, addressing, among other topics, the position of the Bishop in the Church, as he offered his best wishes for the newly-ordained.
Before the end of the Service, His Grace Bishop Maximus of Pelagonia, received his hierarchical Miter, as well as his Staff, from His Beatitude the Archbishop. His Grace Bishop Maximus then read the Dismissal, and passed out Antidoron to the faithful, while receiving their best wishes.
A celebratory meal followed, which was offered by the Sisterhood of the Holy Monastery. This joyous trapeza completed the hope-filled and moving Hierarchical ordination of a new and worthy Member of the Hierarchy of the Holy Synod of our Church.
His Grace Bishop Maximus of Pelagonia, in the world Emanuel Marretta, was born in Tom’s River, New Jersey, on January 17, 1979, to a clergy family. His father in the flesh, Fr. Thomas, was ordained Deacon and then Presbyter by Saint Philaret, Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Young Emanuel spent most of his youth in New York, since he moved there at the age of 11. In 1997, he moved to Jordanville, New York, to study Theology at the Seminary of the Sacred Monastery of the Holy Trinity, under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
In 1999, he became a Novice Monk. In 2001 he completed his studies and moved to the Sacred Monastery of the Ascension of the Savior, of our own Sacred Metropolis of America, where, the following year, 2002, he was tonsured a Rassophore Monk by his Elder, His Eminence Metropolitan Pavlos of America. He was given the name Maximus, in honor of St. Maximus the Confessor. On January 21, 2008, he was ordained Hierodeacon, once again by His Eminence Metropolitan Pavlos. The following year, January 22, 2009, he was ordained Hieromonk by His Eminence Metropolitan Pavlos, at the Church of St. Maximus, of our Metropolis, where Fr. Thomas Marretta serves as Protopresbyter.
In 2012, Fr. Maximus was sent on a Missionary visit to Guatemala by His Eminence Metropolitan Demetrius, who by that time, had joined our Church as His Grace Bishop Demetrius of Boston. Bishop Demetrius had become Fr. Maximus’s Elder, after the health condition of His Eminence Metropolitan Pavlos, formerly of America, had become worse. In 2015, a Sacred Skete was founded in Guatemala, where Fr. Maximus settled and has lived the last few years, after being appointed Head of the Missionary Communities of our Church in Latin America, by the current Metropolitan His Eminence Demetrius of America.
Besides English, the new Bishop speaks Russian, Spanish, and Greek, and he is distinguished by his monastic spirit and disposition, his missionary zeal, and overall, his love for the Church.
To His Grace Maximus, Bishop of Pelagonia: Many Years!
Please find pictures from the ordination below.
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2021 St. Xenia Camp
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