The Hierarchs, Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Dear Brother Hierarchs, Clergy, Monastics and Faithful of hte Antiochian Archdiocese,
It was with a heavy heart that I learned of the passing of our dear Metropolitan Philip, your spiritual leader and God-pleasing servant. With fondness and love I remember our meetings and his wise and fatherly advice to myself and all our brother bishops. His decades and decades of service to his people and flock, as well as his efforts in uniting those outside the Church with the beauty and holiness of Orthodoxy, can be likened to very few. We remember with profound gratitude his defense of our own Serbian Orthodox people during the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia of the 1990’s. Metropolitan Philip’s leadership and energy will be sorely missed by us and many throughout the world.
On behalf of myself, of my brother hierarchs and of all clergy and faithful of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, please accept our sincerest sympathies and condolences on this loss, and be assured of our unworthy prayers for him and for your entire Archdiocese. As we approach this week of of veneration of the Precious Cross of our Lord, we recognize in His Eminence Metropolitan Philip a true servant of Christ who took up his cross and followed His Lord, serving Him to the end. We are confident that he will hear the words of that Lord: “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Master.” May our Lord Jesus Christ, for whose Conquest of death we are currently preparing ourselves in these holy days of Great Lent, indeed make his memory to be eternal!
With prayers before the Lord,
President of the Episcopal Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America
Bishop of New Gracanica and Midwestern America