Meeting of the Augmented Council of the Archdiocese and the Archbishop’s Jubilee

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A meeting of the Archdiocesan Council was held on June 23rd, augmented by the presence of the Deans and the Chairman of the canonical commission of the diocese (Tribunal ecclésiastique).

The meeting discussed the present situation of the Archdiocese in its different aspects. After an introductory report by Archpriest Jean Gueit, Rector of the parish of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker in Nice and Dean of South-Western France, a broad exchange of opinions produced the re-assertion of the importance of formulating a vision of the common future of the Archdiocese on a purely ecclesiological basis. An outline for a statement on this vision of the Archdiocese was discussed and needs to be re-worked to reflect the various sentiments expressed.

In this respect, Archbishop Gabriel recalled the particular vocation of the Archdiocese, formulated by his predecessors of blessed memory, notably Metropolitan Evlogiy and Archbishop George of Evdokias, which consisted in testifying to the one thing necessary: salvation in Christ in the fullness of the Orthodox faith and the liturgical and spiritual life, independent of all cultural or national contingencies or any kind of interference.
Finally, Archpriest Wladimir Yagello, Rector of the parish of Notre-Dame-du-Signe in Paris and chairman of the diocesan canonical commission presented a plan for the regulation of this commission, which was discussed, amended and then adopted.

The following day, June 24th, was the tenth anniversary of Archbishop Gabriel’s consecration as bishop. Nearly all the Deans remained to take part in the Divine Liturgy. The Archbishop desired to celebrate a simple liturgy, but the cathedral congregation, together with the diocesan administration, prepared a surprise for him. The administration presented the Archbishop with a kitchen appliance and the congregation gave him a dikirion and trikirion.

In addition, the Sisterhood had prepared a festal meal. The presence of more than ten concelebrants and a good number of the faithful produced a deep emotional response, preventing the Archbishop for several minutes from finding a voice to reply to Archpriest Anatole Rakovitch’s congratulations.