Dallas, June 30, 2021
Photo: Facebook The Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America gained another hierarch yesterday, as Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel), who is greatly beloved throughout the diocese, was consecrated as Bishop of Forth Worth, auxiliary to His Eminence Archbishop Alexander.
Fr. Gerasim was elected by the Holy Synod on May 18, after several years of serving at the St. Seraphim of Sarov Cathedral in Dallas. A report on his consecration is published on the site of the Orthodox Church in America.
The event began with the nomination and proclamation of a bishop, celebrated before Great Vespers the evening prior. In his acceptance speech, Bishop-elect Gerasim reflected on the role of Sts. Sergius and Herman of Valaam in his life and asked for the prayers of all to help him bear the heavy cross of the episcopacy.
Watch his entire acceptance speech:
On the morning of the New Calendar feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the Divine Liturgy and hierarchical consecration were celebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada together with Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh, Archbishop Alexander of Dallas, Archbishop Paul of Chicago, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa, and Bishop Andrei of Cleveland of the Orthodox Church in America, as well Bishop James of Sonora of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Metropolitan Isaiah of Nikozi and Tskhinvali of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Before the start of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop-elect Gerasim offered his statement of faith, proclaiming the Nicene Creed and the Church’s Trinitarian and Christological dogmas and pledging to uphold the Church’s teachings and canons.
At the Little Entrance in the Divine Liturgy, a number of Diocese of the South priests and deacons received various liturgical awards, and during the singing of the Trisagion, Bishop-elect Gerasim was presented to the bishops in the altar for consecration.
Met. Tikhon dedicated his homily to the apostolic ministry of Sts. Peter and Paul, calling on all to follow in their footsteps.
During the Divine Liturgy, the newly consecrated Bishop Gerasim ordained Deacon Jeremiah McKemy to the holy priesthood and Subdeacon Theophan Alvarez to the holy diaconate.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Met. Tikhon welcomed all who had gathered for the wonderful event, especially the guest bishops from ROCOR and the Georgian Church, and congratulated Bp. Gerasim, “exhort[ing] him to always remember to show mercy, consolation, and kindness to the flock of the Diocese of the South.”
Bp. Gerasim then offered his first episcopal blessing to all the gathered clergy and faithful.
Watch a video of the entire Liturgy:
Bp. Gerasim had been serving as rector of St. Seraphim’s Cathedral in Dallas and administrator of the Diocese of the South for the past several years.
He was received into the Orthodox Church during his college years in 1980 and went on to spend 28 years in the monastic life at St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, and the associated St. Michael’s Skete in Alaska, spending about a year under the direction of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of blessed memory.
He was instrumental in bringing the monastery back into the canonical Orthodox Church after it went astray following the repose of Fr. Seraphim in 1982, and served as its second abbot from 2000 to 2009 within the Serbian Orthodox Church.
In 2009, Fr. Gerasim began studies at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, being considered an episcopal candidate for the Diocese of Alaska. He was not chosen for this position, but went on to graduate from seminary as class valedictorian, after which he was assigned to Holy Virgin Cathedral in Los Angeles, and then St. Seraphim’s Cathedral in Dallas in 2013, where he has been serving ever since.