Metropolitan Constantine of Denver Enthroned June 22, 2024

DENVER- His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine of Denver was enthroned today, June 22, 2024 at the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, CO by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America. The Patriarchal Representative for this auspicious occasion was His Eminence Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa of American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of North America. Hierarchs present at the momentous service were their Eminences; Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, who served as Locum Tenens for the Metropolis of Denver; Their Graces; Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos; Bishop Nektarios of Diokleia; Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America; Bishop Andrei from the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of the OCA. 

Ecumenical representatives who were present for the enthronement included Cardinal James Francis Stafford, Archbishop Emeritus of Denver; Bishop Peter Eaton of the Episcopal Church in Southeast Florida. 

Following the recommendation of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Holy and Sacred Synod, presided by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, elected then Bishop Constantine of Sassima as Metropolitan of Denver on May 17, 2024. He succeeds Metropolitan Isaiah, who recently retired after offering over three decades of Arhcpastoral ministry in the Metropolis of Denver - beginning in 1992.

The time-honored and majestic Enthronement Ceremony was attended by hundreds of clergy and laity of the Denver Metropolis and throughout the Archdiocese who exclaimed, “Axios!” and offered prayers and good wishes for the new Metropolitan to serve the Metropolis for many years.

Addressing Metropolitan Constantine, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros remarked, “Now, you arise from the work of an Assistant Bishop to that of a ruling Metropolitan of the God-Protected Metropolis of Denver, within the Holy Eparchy of the Archdiocese of America. You are the one who will decide many critical things that will affect your clergy, your faithful, and will give a character and flavor to the atmosphere of the Metropolis.

“You have assumed the leadership of the largest Metropolis, in terms of square miles, and the smallest Metropolis, in terms of numbers of faithful. It is a challenge of which I know you are more than capable of shouldering. For you have served here since your elevation to the episcopacy, in October of 2022. Your natural gifts and your episcopal experience will guide you aright as your lead this flock. And remember, the Shepherd leads from the back of the flock, watching all his sheep until they are safely inside the sheepfold. Stay with them. Remain with them. Abide with them. In their triumphs and their defeats. In their advances and their withdrawals. In their joys and in their sorrows. Be their shepherd and guide them aright, in the narrow ways of the Lord, because truth is always more difficult than falsehood, compassion more strenuous than neglect, and love more demanding than hatred.”

This is the ministry of a true pastor, a shepherd who is willing to sacrifice even his life for the sheep. You have our unconditional support and love, and of all your brothers on the Holy Eparchial Synod, where you shall now add your eloquence and wisdom.” (full text here)

Upon his Enthronement, the Metropolitan remarked, “ Your Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, I thank you, from the depths of my heart, for your encouragement, perseverance, love, and care for me. On behalf of myself, and the entire Metropolis of Denver, we keep you in our prayers as you celebrate today the fifth anniversary of your enthronement, Axios! May our Lord guide you in all things. Having that understanding of my Hierarchal ministry, the first being the Liturgical worship, it is through that path that leads us towards His salvation. Not at any time can we be relaxed in any of these circumstances but strengthened in all things. We are a powerful voice in worship, not an ancient faith, but a continual faith that is unchanging, unadulterated, and what we know to be true. Even in the most difficult times, we find that strength to continue in what God calls us - to be good and faithful servants. Spreading the word of Christ to all, and those waiting to hear of the Good News of Christ is paramount. We cannot be afraid, but rather strengthened. Our lives today compel us to be empowered by faith, it is not done just in a singular expression, but always ready and prepared to be those examples of what it means to be an Orthodox Christian. No matter where we find an Orthodox Church - whether in the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, or by the warm air of the Gulf of Mexico, our churches are home. For myself, having the blessing already to visit all of the parishes within our sacred Metropolis, I rejoice in seeing how God is working. Our people have band together under the Banner of our Lord, work diligently to keep our churches thriving, and under the guidance of their priests, to worship our Lord. His love for His people is immense, and we are witnesses of this very alive faith. (full text here)

Our Metropolis of Denver has a wonderful future. We have parishes in some remote areas, along with the big cities that are thriving. I am proud to say, and with confidence, that our churches are growing. Parishes in towns that became decimated when the economy changed are on the upswing. People are finding the faith, or they are reverting back to what they knew. Each community has shown the manifestation of our Lord in bringing our faithful closer to Christ. Youth are in church, accepting leadership positions, and bringing their friends and family back. Folks who left the church for whatever reason are returning, and it is our priests who are using technology and personal contact to interact and communicate with our faithful. The time is now to plant ourselves firmly in this soil that is waiting to be tilled to God-willing, continue to strengthen as a Body of Christ. I am committed to serving our faithful.”

Following the moving Enthronement Ceremony, a Luncheon was held in the Cathedral Hall with Fox News Chief Washington Correspondent Mike Emanuel as Master of Ceremonies.

BIOGRAPHY

Metropolitan Constantine was born in 1966 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the son of the late Petros (a refugee from Asia Minor born in Athens) and Sarah (of Mobile, Alabama), and is the youngest of three children. From an early age, Metropolitan Constantine served as an acolyte at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore, Maryland, under the late Fr. Constantine M. Monios, a mentor who encouraged him to pursue ordained ministry. In 1988, he began his studies at Hellenic College and graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 1994. He was ordained to both the holy Diaconate and Presbyterate in 1996 by the late Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey, and was assigned to the Annunciation Cathedral in Baltimore, the same parish where he was baptized and raised. He was elevated to Archimandrite in 2002, at which time he was also installed as Dean of the Cathedral and served as its Proistamenos for 24 years. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Hellenic College.

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Upon the recommendation of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America to the Holy and Sacred Synod of Constantinople, presided by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the unanimous election to the Episcopacy of the Very Reverend Constantine Moralis on July 22, 2022, was announced, with the title of the once renowned See of Sassima. The new Bishop Constantine of Sassima was appointed as the auxiliary Bishop for the Holy Metropolis of Denver, to serve under His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver. His ordination took place on October 15, 2022, at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York City, New York, with His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America presiding, along with hierarchs and clergy from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. As the Auxiliary Hierarch, Metropolitan Constantine traveled to all the parishes within the Metropolis at least once, and more than once to multiple parishes to become familiar with their locations and meet the faithful parishioners of the Metropolis. His responsibilities will be to oversee the largest Metropolis geographically, which includes 13 states with 49 parishes.

May God Grant Him Many Years!

AXIOS!

Photo: GOARCH/Dimitrios Panagos.

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