Burton, MI (Bulgarian Diocese) Led by its Prelate, His Grace, Bishop Alexander, the OCA's Bulgarian Diocese held its 53rd annual Diocesan Conference here on June 25-26, 2016, hosted by St. Nicholas Church.
Two days earlier, on June 23, a Diocesan Clergy Convocation began with Vespers for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist at Holy Dormition Monastery, Rives Junction, MI.
“The clergy, in the presence of Bishop Alexander, discussed canonical, personal and Diocesan matters arising from the surprising election of the Bishop to a second see,” said Fr. Don A. Freude, Chancellor. “The clergy unanimously recommended that these discussions continue at the business session of the Diocesan Conference on June 25 .”
At that meeting, Bishop Alexander reported on his visitations as well as matters of concern for the Diocese. Reports were also presented by the Chancellor, Treasurer and the delegates to the Metropolitan Council as well the Diocesan auditors.
Conference chair, Fr. Andrew Jarmus, said that , “the clergy and lay delegates offered insights into the life of their respective parishes as they approved the budget for 2016-2017. Moreover, the delegates took up the discussion on Bishop Alexander’s new episcopal responsibilities that the clergy had initiated at their convocation.”
The Conference concluded on Sunday, June 26 with the Pontifical Divine Liturgy led by Bishop Alexander who ordained Deacon Esteban Vazquez to the priesthood. Over 170 people attended the Liturgy. At its conclusion Bishop Alexander spoke of the vitality of so small a Diocese in that three years will have seen three of its native sons ordained to the priesthood.
Immediately after the Liturgy everyone enjoyed a festive banquet, renewing friendships and fellowships, some since the first Conference in 1963 and others begun and nurtured within the past year.
A part of the Orthodox Church in America since 1976, the Bulgarian Diocese has seventeen parishes, three recently established missions, and one monastery in nine states. Bishop Alexander is the Diocese’s second ruling bishop.