MEXICO CITY, MEXICO [OCA] — His Grace, Bishop Alejo of Mexico City, welcomed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, to Mexico for a brief archpastoral visitation during the second week of January 2010.
For many years, the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America customarily visited the faithful in Mexico in conjunction with the Great Feast of Theophany. Prior to his retirement and the election of Bishop Alejo, His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, also participated in the annual visitation in his capacity as Exarch of Mexico.
Great Vespers was celebrated at Mexico City’s Cathedral of the Ascension on Saturday, January 9. The following morning, Metropolitan Jonah presided at the Divine Liturgy, after which the Blessing of Water — a highlight of the annual visitation — was celebrated.
Prior to his departure on Wednesday, January 13, Metropolitan Jonah visited communities throughout the region. At every mission, including one in the midst of a building project, he was well received by clergy and laity alike, answering their questions while encouraging them to share their faith with others through evangelistic ministry.
Joining Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Alejo was His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West and Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Alaska, and Archpriest Michael Oleksa, a specialist in the evangelization of native peoples, who hope to establish links between clergy in Alaska and Mexico as a means of encouraging the latter in their evangelistic outreach to the Mexico’s indigenous population.