I wanted to share with you the joyful news that our Chancellor of the Metropolis of San Francisco, Fr. Apostolos Koufallakis has been elected to serve as a bishop by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
His election as a bishop means that he will continue to serve the faithful of the Metropolis of San Francisco assisting Metropolitan Gerasimos now as a bishop. I ask that we keep Fr. Apostolos in prayer as he prepares to be elevated from a priest to a bishop on December 20 at the Cathedral in New York.
Below is the press release of the event – “Axios! He is worthy!”
+ Fr. Jeffrey
It is with great joy that I wish to announce to all our clergy and faithful in the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco that the Holy Synod of our Ecumenical Patriarchate has elected the Very Rev. Archimandrite Apostolos Koufallakis, the Chancellor of our Metropolis, as Bishop of Medeia.
His Grace Bishop-elect Apostolos shall serve under the Archbishop of America, as do all auxiliary bishops of our Archdiocese; however, he has been appointed by the Archbishop to serve the specific needs of our Metropolis, according to the regulations of our Holy Archdiocese. Thus, Bishop-elect Apostolos will occupy the position of Acting Chancellor of the Metropolis of San Francisco and be responsible to the Metropolitan, while continuing his active involvement in the various ministries, committees and programs of our Metropolis.
As your Metropolitan I have often noted that it is impossible for me to attend all the events that are taking place in our Metropolis. There are too many important activities throughout our Metropolis that require attention and prompt response. The geography of our Metropolis is quite vast and our parishes are very active, thus our Metropolis would be enhanced by the addition of a bishop. It is worth noting that adding a bishop to serve in our Metropolis was a goal of our Metropolis Strategic Plan, and one that should, over time, assist our Metropolis to grow and strengthen the ministries of our Church.
An auxiliary or titular bishop is not elected to an extant diocese of the Church. Medeia is an ancient city, where there once was a Christian community, but no longer. An auxiliary bishop is greeted as “His Grace” (Theofilestatos). When he celebrates the Divine Liturgy, he commemorates the ruling hierarch of the Metropolis. With the permission of the Eparchial Synod he, like all bishops, may perform all services that are reserved for the hierarchy.
Bishop-elect Apostolos has many desirable characteristics for a hierarch. Foremost is his faith in the Lord, and his love and fidelity to His Holy Orthodox Church and our Archdiocese. His care and concern for the clergy and the faithful of our Church is evident at every occasion.
Bishop-elect Apostolos will be ordained to the Episcopacy on Saturday, December 20, 2014 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York. Meanwhile I ask that you include Bishop-elect Apostolos in your prayers, asking our Lord and all the Saints to strengthen him and keep him worthy of his new ministry.
With Love in Christ,
+Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco