Archimandrite Nikolai [Soraich] Consecrated to Episcopacy at Dallas Cathedral
DALLAS, TX — Archimandrite Nikolai [Soraich], former Rector of Saint Paul the Apostle Church, Las Vegas, NV and Chancellor of the Diocese of the West of the Orthodox Church in America, was consecrated to the episcopacy at Saint Seraphim Cathedral here on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, 2001.
Archimandrite Nikolai, 52, was elected Bishop of Baltimore and Auxiliary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America by the members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops at their spring 2001 session. His consecration was celebrated in conjunction with the consecration of recently completed Saint Seraphim Cathedral.
Presiding at the two-day celebration was Metropolitan Theodosius, assisted by His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South; His Eminence, Archbishop Herman of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania; His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate; and His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco and the West. Also participating were Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, Dean of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY, and nearly 50 priests and deacons.
The celebration opened on Saturday evening, as Archimandrite Nikolai celebrated Great Vespers at the cathedral, after which the formal Rite of Election and Acceptance were conducted. In his Statement of Acceptance, Archimandrite Nikolai painted a touching picture of the inspiration with which his parents, devout Orthodox Christians, had provided him. Reflecting on their simple yet unswerving faith in God, Archimandrite Nikolai spoke of the great wisdom they shared with him as they encouraged him to serve the Church from his earliest years.
“During the week of the Holy and Life-giving Cross of the Great Fast that we have just concluded, the Holy Synod of Bishops called me to serve the Church as a bishop,” Archimandrite stated in his Statement of Acceptance. “I am prepared to respond as a monastic – with obedience to the will of God as expressed through the hierarchs of the Church. I am prepared to lay down my life and accept the Cross which that office will place upon my shoulders. The beginning of my episcopal ministry, under the guidance of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, will take me to the land first blessed by Saint Herman and his missionary companions, to that land and to the peoples to whom Saint Innocent dedicated his life’s efforts. My desire to serve the Orthodox Church in America and share in its mission has seemingly been blessed in a very real way by the saints and missionaries who first inspired me to share in their missionary work. I have now been called to share in their work. I am now being sent to walk where they walked. I am now being asked to give my life to the same peoples to whom they gave their lives. All this I willingly accept, confident in the support of the prayers and intercession of Saint Herman, Saint Innocent, and all the Saints who have