This Sunday, June 19, the Great and Holy Pan Orthodox Synod will open at St. Helen Church in Crete. The Patriarchs and the Heads of all the autocephalous Orthodox Churches will gather together to discuss six pastoral issues that will help renew the Churches and give guidance for the future good of the Orthodox Churches around the world.

Our friend, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North America, His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios will join His All Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople who will inaugurate the Council as the “First among Equals,” the Patriarch of the “Second Rome.” Four patriarchs, including Kyrill, the head of the Moscow Patriatrchate, have decided for various reasons not to attend and have announced that only this past week. Yet this Council, the first in a thousand years, has been convoked by the unanimous agreement of all the Patriarchs. Therefore, as the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced, the decisions will be binding on all the Orthodox Churches.

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I would like to ask all of us in the Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre to join in daily prayer this coming week for the success of this important ecclesial event. Pray for His All Holiness, Bartholomew, for Archbishop Demetrios and for all the hierarchs of the world of Orthodoxy who come together on the Solemnity of Pentecost in the Orthodox calendar. May the Holy Spirit fill their hearts and guide their deliberations to the honor and glory of the Triune God as they meet under the protection of Mary, Theotokos, the all loving Mother of God.