Pastoral Note from the Most Reverend NATHANIEL, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate

Anonymous - Posted on 19 March 2020

March 19, 2020

Martyrs Chrysanthus and Daria and Companions


Beloved and Patient Father Pastors,

Dedicated Father Deacons,

Honorable Monastics,

Courageous Faithful in Christ,


Let us give glory and praise and worship to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit!


Recently, we deemed it a necessary decision to temporarily close our churches as a precaution against unknowingly spreading the Coronavirus within a gathering of our worshippers. You will recall that we urged all to pray at home with the family, clergy or the faithful. Monastics continue scheduled prayer in the confines of the monastery.


We are writing to you this short Pastoral Note to bring to your attention two services which may be prayed in our homes, namely: the Akathist to Our Lady of Hawaii and the Akathist to our Father, Polycarp (Morusca), first bishop of our God-protected Episcopate. These services may be accessed in the Romanian and English languages by clicking on the hyperlinked titles above. 


This year, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in North America, as well as the commemoration of the canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska. We remind you that many other saints graced North America and those who are beloved of the Romanian nation. The lives of some of the American saints can be found in translation into Romanian HERE, from the original English text (Portraits of American Saints). We are proposing the Akathist of the icon of our Lady of Hawaii and Bishop Policarp not to the exclusion of other saints. While not neglecting the many Saints of North America, we propose these, because they hold a very special place in the history and life of the Episcopate.


Clergy, faithful, and monastics, will recall that the holy myrrh-bearing icon of Our Lady of Hawaii blessed our Episcopate Congress in 2018. At that time, we were presented with a copy of this icon which graces our Chancery. It is fitting that we ask for the intercessions of our heavenly Mother at this time of the Coronavirus crisis in North America. She has graced numerous parishes, monasteries and institutions with her presence. Let us now call on her to cover our nations with her veil of protection, and let us give thanksgiving to our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, her son and our God, Physician of souls and bodies. 


It is also fitting for us to call on the intercession of Bishop Policarp, a Confessor of the Orthodox Faith, our first bishop, who, even though restrained from returning to us, never forgot his flock in North America. We are aware that we have family and acquaintances throughout the world who also are subject to the same Virus and, of course, we include them in our prayers.


Dearly Beloved, let us make of our homes a “micro” church, a home church, as in the apostolic days. Let the time we usually set aside on Sunday to attend the Divine and Holy Liturgy be the time for family worship before the holy icons which bless our homes. God forbid that we use this dedicated time for passing enjoyments instead of fervent prayer arising from the heart of our homes. 


We embrace you with faith and love in the risen Christ, our true God, whose love for us knows no boundaries of time or place.



+NATHANIEL, Archbishop