How grateful we are to our newly enthroned Bishop Milan for his willingness to leave his home country and come to give his life for Christ's sheep in the flock of the Eparchy of Parma! Bishop Milan, formerly the auxiliary bishop of the Archeparchy of Prešov, Slovakia, has served as the apostolic administrator of our eparchy for one year prior to being named bishop. We were so blessed to be able to witness his enthronement on Saturday, June 30, at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Parma.
The canonical enthronement took place during the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Twelve Apostles. What a joy it was to be surrounded by nearly twelve bishops--successors to the Apostles--who had traveled from all over the U.S., and from Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary, to be present.
Immediately following the prayers of enthronement (see below), the priests of the eparchy and representatives from each parish were invited forward to greet Bishop Milan at his throne. Then, we were given the surprise gift of greeting him too!
At the close of the Liturgy, two other bishops named Milan gave some moving words of encouragement to our Bishop Milan. Bishop Milan Chautur, bishop of Košice, Slovakia, is the bishop who had ordained Bishop Milan as a deacon and priest. He encouraged him to remain who he is, explaining that the world needs his witness. Then, Bishop Milan Šašik, bishop of the Eparchy of Mukachevo, Ukraine, and successor of Blessed Theodore Romzha (Mother Theodora's patron), explained that there is a tradition that when a young man would be sent to the war-front, his mother would give him a small icon or other holy object to take to battle with him. He then presented Bishop Milan with an icon of Blessed Theodore Romzha containing Blessed Theodore's relics!
As Bishop Milan gives his life for us, his sheep, in this spiritual battle, may we all receive this great gift with love and obedience.
Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.
Response: Lord, have mercy.
Metropolitan: O Lord Jesus Christ, our God, in your ineffable mercy, You sent Your Spirit, the Comforter, from Your Father upon Your disciples and apostles, and through them established and built up Your church throughout the world. O good Master, we beseech You, look down from heaven upon Your servant, Bishop Milan, the new chief shepherd of the Eparchy of Parma. Grant him the spirit of wisdom and understanding. Instill in his heart the spirit of fear of God, a spirit of piety and zeal for the glory of Your holy name. For You are a mercif ul and loving God, and we give glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever and forever.
Metropolitan: In accordance with the instructions of the Holy See of Rome and by the authority vested in me, I enthrone you as the fifth Bishop of Parma. I confer upon you legitimate authority in spiritual and temporal matters and entrust you with the care of Christ's flock. You are to shepherd this flock in the manner of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who gave His life for His sheep so that on the day of judgment you may give a worthy account of your stewardship to Christ, our God: in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Apostolic Nuncio: The God-loving Bishop Milan is enthroned as the fifth Bishop of the Eparchy of Parma. He is worthy!
Clergy, then people: Axios! Axios! Axios! [Greek for "He is worthy!"]