Clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church in America, together with guests from other Orthodox churches in the US and throughout the world, will gather in Washington, DC, on December 28, as the newly-elected primate of the Orthodox Church in America, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, is officially enthroned in St. Nicholas Cathedral.
“There is much excitement around Metropolitan Jonah's election,” said the OCA's communications director, Father Andrew Jarmus. “He is a gifted speaker with natural leadership skills. His vision of the challenges that we face in the OCA and the way to address them has kindled hope in the hearts of many Orthodox faithful both in the OCA and outside of our church.”
Metropolitan Jonah was born in 1959, in Chicago, IL, and was baptized into the Episcopal Church. He was received into the Orthodox Church in 1978 while a student at the University of California, San Diego. He pursued Orthodox theological studies in the 1980's and the early 1990's, while taking a year off of doctoral studies, he spent a year in Moscow where he considered a calling to monasticism.
He was ordained a priest in 1994 and in 1995 was tonsured a monk. Father Jonah spent 13 years serving in California, opening a number of new parishes and starting St. John of San Francisco Monastery, now located in Manton, CA.
On November 1 in Dallas, TX, Father Jonah was consecrated Bishop of Forth Worth and Auxiliary Bishop of the OCA's Diocese of the South.
“It was assumed that Bishop Jonah would serve in the Diocese of the South for the foreseeable future,” Father Jarmus said. But on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the 15th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America in Pittsburgh, PA, after only serving as a bishop for 11 days, Bishop Jonah was elected Archbishop of Washington and New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada, the church's highest ecclesiastical office.
“The evening before, Bishop Jonah spoke to council delegates about the current state of affairs in the OCA,” Fr. Jarmus said. “His open and forthright presentation has been identified by many as a turning point of the council, and certainly proved to be a turning point in his life.”