San Francisco, CA - His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos was enthroned today as Metropolitan of San Francisco during a solemn ceremony at the Ascension Cathedral in Oakland, CA. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Archbishop of America and Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, presided over the ceremony which was attended by more than 1500 faithful and clergy from the Metropolis and from across the country.

The Enthronement Ceremony began outside the Cathedral with the official offering of the proper archpastoral staff by Archbishop Demetrios to Metropolitan Gerasimos as a symbolism of pastoral and administrative responsibilities.

During the service the Archbishop read a letter from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. In his letter to Metropolitan Gerasimos, the Patriarch among other things stated, “The Church, through our Humility, fervently prays for the generous illumination and the grace of the Most Holy Spirit for the benefit of a God-loving fruitful pastoral diaconia in the Holy Metropolis that was entrusted to you, for the glory of the Triune God, joy and praise of the Great Holy Mother Church of Christ and salvation of the souls of your pious flock…Walk in brotherly love and cooperation with His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America, the brother Hierarchs, the clergy and the laity, in order that you be blessed in your assigned task and glorify our Triune worshipped God, to Whom the glory, the honor and the worship belong to the ages of ages. Amen.”

Archbishop Demetrios also offered words of instruction to Metropolitan Gerasimos, quoting directly from the special Epistle of Apostle Paul to the young Bishop Timothy: “Be for the believers a model in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity… Attend to the public reading of the Scripture, to comforting practice, to preaching, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:12-13)… But the purpose of the instruction is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5) His Eminence closed his comments by offering a gift of a cross for blessing, and exclaiming, “Axios!” “Worthy!”

Responding to these remarks in his Enthronement speech, Metropolitan Gerasimos stated, “Beloved clergy and faithful in this Metropolis, I come to you as a servant of God. My entire life is marked by our Lord’s words: ‘I am among you as one who serves.’ As such, I embrace you with joy and gratitude for accepting me as one of your own… As I extend my hand to work with you in our Lord’s Vineyard, I rejoice to be among you, to build, to grow, to harvest.”

Attending the Enthronement Ceremony were Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, Bishop Dimitrios of Xanthos, Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana, Bishops John of Amorion and Anthimos of Olympos, Ecumenical Representatives, including Archbishop William Levada of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco, public officials including the California State Treasurer Phil Angelides and members of Metropolitan Gerasimos’ family including his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Peter Michaleas.

Following the Enthronement Ceremony, a luncheon was held at the Church Center where a number of dignitaries offered their welcome to Metropolitan Gerasimos. On Sunday, April 3, Metropolitan Gerasimos presided at his first Divine Liturgy as Metropolitan at the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco, CA and offered, with Archbishop Demetrios, a Memorial Service for his predecessor Metropolitan Anthony.