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New Metropolitan of Denver enthroned at Assumption Cathedral

His Eminence Metropolitan Constantine of Denver was enthroned on June 22, 2024 at the Assumption Cathedral in Denver, CO.

The Patriarchal Representative attending the service was Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa from the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of North America. Hierarchs witnessing the momentous service were Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarch; Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, Locum Tenens for the Metropolis of Denver; Metropolitan Savas of Pittsburgh; Metropolitan Apostolos of New Jersey; Bishop Athenagoras of Nazianzos; National Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Bishop Nektarios of Diokleia; Bishop Thomas Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; Bishop Andrei from the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America; Cardinal James Francis Stafford, Archbishop Emeritus of Denver; Bishop Peter Eaton, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Southeast Florida; Chancellor of the Metropolis of Denver Fr. Louis J. Christopulos; Chancellor of the Metropolis of New Jersey Archimandrite Fr. Nektarios Cottros, Metropolitan Constanine’s family, and many clergy and faithful from across the country.

Following the recommendation of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Holy and Sacred Synod, presided by 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 serving the Metropolis since 1982, and as Bishop and Metropolitan since 2002.

The Enthronement Ceremony was attended by hundreds who exclaimed, “Axios!” and offered prayers and good wishes for the new Metropolitan to serve the Metropolis for many years.

Addressing Metropolitan Constantine, 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.”

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.

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.

Photographs: GOARCH/Dimitrios Panagos