Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Visit the USA Oct 20 - Nov 6. 2009

JOHNSTOWN, PA --  His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas has been invited and will take part in liturgical celebrations and meetings with His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I  during his upcoming Archpastoral Visit to the United States from October 20 - November 6, 2009.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will arrive in New Orleans, on Oct. 20 to begin his Apostolic and Patriarchal Visit to the United States. The purpose of this, his sixth visit to our nation, is twofold: to convene and preside over the Eighth Religion, Science and the Environment (RSE) Symposium, and to celebrate the 10 th anniversary of the enthronement of Archbishop Demetrios of America as the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

His All Holiness, under whose high patronage the Religion, Science and the Environment Symposia take place, will lead a large and diverse group of theologians, scientists, policy makers, environmentalists, representatives of business and NGOs, and media for a five day Environmental Symposium entitled; " Restoring Balance: The Great Mississippi River ."

Following the Symposium, His All Holiness will travel to New York City for a week-long celebration of the 10 th Anniversary of the Enthronement of Archbishop Demetrios. It will commence on Oct. 25, with the Feast day Great Vespers of St. Demetrios the Myrrh-streamer at the Parish dedicated to the Great-Martyr in Merrick, NY. The next day, the His All Holiness will preside at the Feast day Divine Liturgy at St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria, NY. On the evening of the 26th, His All Holiness will preside at the 9th Annual Prayer service for the United Nations at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. The service is sponsored jointly by the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) and the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Bishops in America (SCOOCH). On Tuesday, October 27th, His All Holiness will meet with the Primates of SCOBA.

Later in the evening of the 27th, Fordham University will bestow an honorary doctorate in law to His All Holiness. In recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarch's leadership in the fields of environmental responsibility, and interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue, Fordham is also presenting the initial volume of a three-part series of the major speeches of His All Holiness. Among all the festivities organized by Fordham, there will be a special opportunity for the students of the local Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) to meet with and receive the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarch.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28th, His All Holiness will have meetings with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations, as well as with Jewish religious and lay leaders hosted by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

His All Holiness will also travel briefly to Atlanta, and celebrate an Ecumenical Doxology in the Annunciation Cathedral of the Metropolis. Following his return to New York City on Friday, Oct. 30th, he will attend a reception at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA), which will be presenting a month-long (mid-October to mid November) exhibition in honor of His All Holiness and his environmental initiatives.

That evening, His All Holiness will attend a gala musical celebration at the famed Alice Tully Hall in New York , both in honor of his presence in the United States and in tribute to the decade of service of Archbishop Demetrios. Maestro Peter Tiboris will lead the Manhattan Philharmonic in a program and a special appearance by the Archdiocesan Metropolitan Youth Choir.

On Saturday, Oct. 31st , His All Holiness will address the Archdiocesan Council and meet with the National Board of Philoptochos. In the evening of the 31st, the Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate will present their annual banquet in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch. A special speaker for the evening will be the newly enthroned Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, His Excellency Timothy Dolan.

On Sunday, November 1st, His All Holiness will preside at a Patriarchal Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Demetrios and all the Members of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City. In a rarely seen occasion, he will personally conduct the investiture of the new Archons of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle.

In the evening of November 1st, the Patriarchal Delegation leaves for Washington DC. While in the DC Metro Area, His All Holiness will mark his 18th year as Ecumenical Patriarch in a Doxology service at the Sts. Constantine and Helen Church in Annapolis, MD .

Throughout the first week of November, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will meet with the highest leaders of our Nation: the President, the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, the Secretary of State, and the Majority Leader of the Senate. Both Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton will host dinners in honor of His All Holiness.

Our Diocesan Apostolate for Information Technology has been assisting  the  Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Internet Ministry with the development of a special Patriarchal Visitation Website which provides up to date information, including live video feed and archived multi-media of the Environmental Symposium and other planned events.  Upon the commencement of the patriarchal visitation,  the Information Technology Apostolate will assist with the posting of media coverage, and a special multi-media project involving Orthodox youth.

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to the United States  can be followed online at: