The Byzantine Catholic
Eparchy of Parma
To: The Clergy, monastics and lay faithful of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Permit me to join you in mourning the loss of your spiritual father, the God-loved bishop, Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos. All Christianity grieves the loss an exemplary spiritual leader. Metropolitan Nicholas is clearly such a person.
It was my joy to have had many opportunities to share life in Christ with His Eminence, and through his invitation, with the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, most recently at the celebration of his 75th birthday.
The Lord was truly blessed by his 75 years of serving the Lord as a Baptized Christian, 52 years as a priest, and 28 years as a bishop. We see in his life how each ordination did not discontinue the expectations of the previous but were included in his life as priest and then as bishop.
His emphasis on that which unites rather than that which separates has allowed for local ecumenical initiatives that reflect those of the universal churches. In particular, he repeatedly commented on the commonality between the faithful of the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and the Byzantine Catholic Church in the U.S.A., without denying the differences between us.
In reflecting on his 75th birthday, I was reminded of the words of Joshua near the end of his life. The book of Joshua, in the Hebrew scriptures, recounts: "Joshua said to all the people, 'Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness ... choose this day whom you will serve, ... as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24)
Many years ago, Metropolitan Nicholas along with his people chose to serve the Lord and he served the Lord in that sincerity and faithfulness Joshua called for. We thank him for his years of sincerity and faithfulness. I pray that each of us who have benefited from his example and his leadership may mirror that sincerity and faithfulness.
May his memory be eternal and his legacy be honored.
Bishop, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma