Annual Report January 2011
Submitted by Lee Kopulos
REPORT of the 49th DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY and
The Assembly Sessions
Just so you can get the gist of it all, the following is a short summary of this 2 ½ day Assembly with some plenary session results and other significant reports:
Chancellor’s Report Highlights: The Episcopal Selection Committee, chaired by Michael Dorish, had to move fast due to the untimely death of Archbp. Job who had planned to retire in 2011. The Committee settled on three candidates for Diocesan Bishop: Fr. David Mahaffey; Fr. Paul Gassios and Fr. Mathias Moriak. Also, Archbp. Job did not have a Last Will and Testimony so settling his affairs took a long time. The Metropolitan has commented that we have a number of parishes that are deteriorating and considering closing some of them. Joe Kormos Parish Development Facilitator is attempting to assist these parishes in reversing their downtrends. Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak has been offered a position at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and work for the Central Church. This is effective September 1. Phil Sokoloff will take over Diocesan office duties. Due to the upkeep and repairs necessary for upgrading the LaSalle property, the Consecration of the next hierarch will not take place until May 13-15, 2011 at Christ the Savior Church in Chicago. A Diocesan Clergy Convocation will take place May 12 & 13 in Chicago and will result in a cost saving to all the parishes.
• Procedure for the election of a candidate for bishop of the Midwest Diocese is as follows:
• On the First Ballot, a candidate must receive 2/3 majority to get elected;
Balance Sheet Total Assets $816,210 and Total Liabilities $ 536,387
Personal Comments & Observations
Fr. Andrew and I took this election very seriously. Upon our arrival Monday night and Tuesday, we took every moment and breaks in meetings to review the CD’s on each candidate. The in-depth CD’s were the best. These CD’s helped both of us determine the best candidate. In the end it became obvious that Fr. Matthias had the qualities we were looking for in our next bishop. On Wednesday morning at 7:10 am a bus was made ready to transport all of us to St. Mary’s Cathedral where we participated in the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 8am. Thereafter we walked across the street to the Fellowship Hall for a fine breakfast. Finally, we were called to go back to the Cathedral for the election of our next hierarch. The three candidates were dismissed to go back to their home parishes after a short Daily Vespers Service calling upon the help of the Holy Spirit in our deliberations. Then the ballots were distributed to 141 lay and clergy delegates (1 bishop; 73 clergy; and 67 lay people).
On the First Ballot, Fr. David Mahaffey was dropped from the list. On the Second Ballot, Fr. Matthias Moriak was elected our next bishop of the Midwest Diocese!!! Fr. Andrew will play the video of our new Bishop-elect in a few Sundays at Fellowship Hour. It is sufficient to say that Fr. Matthias is a highly qualified priest with 39 years of experience in 3 parishes of the Carpatho Russian Diocese. He is a widower who was married for 25 years and has two grown adult children. He is also a tonsured monk and has spent time on Mt. Athos. Interestingly, the day of Fr. Matthias’ election is also the day for our American Saint, St. Innocent, another widower who was elected the first Bishop of Alaska and eventually became Patriarch of Russia.
After the election we all departed for our bus and the trip back to the hotel and to our airport. At the airport we had occasion to sit and converse with many of our fellow priests, deacons and lay delegates. It is always a pleasure to be with them and hear their stories.
The Assembly was conducted in a very first-rate and brotherly manner. This Diocese has a wonderful camaraderie about it. It is a very good group with an excellent understanding of the importance of conciliarity in its decision-making. This is because we have been served by a fine bishop in Archbishop Job of blessed memory. He has set a fine standard of operation that we can build upon. The Midwest Diocese is the largest in America with 75 churches to administer in 7 States.
I have a binder that has more detailed information on the whole Assembly if anyone wishes to see it.
Update for the Annual Meeting
We expect the bishop-elect Hieromonk Matthias to be installed as our bishop in early May. One of the reasons for the time-lag is to do some important repairs to the residence we have on LaSalle Street here in Chicago. We are told that he may still come to town and visit some of our churches. We do know that he has been an observer at our Holy Synod and local Diocesan meetings.