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Metropolitans Tikhon and Hilarion meet in 2017. Photo Credit: mospat.ru

At the invitation of His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and with the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, a delegation of clergy from the Orthodox Church in America is participating in a seven-day Summer Institute, hosted in Moscow by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion [Alfeyev] of Volokolamsk, Rector of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies and Chair of the Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations [DECR].

The Institute, which opened on Friday, June 22, 2018, is the fruit of discussions between Patriarch Kirill and Metropolitan Tikhon during the latter’s visits to Moscow in 2016 and 2017, at which time ways to acquaint OCA clergy with the life of the Church in Russia were discussed.

The OCA delegation, headed by His Grace, Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa and Archpriest Kirill Sokoloff, Rector of Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco, CA, includes clergy representing several OCA dioceses, among them Archpriests Timothy Hojnicki, Alexey Karlgut, Nicholas Solak, and Steven Vernak; Priests Andrew Bartek, Christopher Foley, Philip Halliwell, Alessandro Margheritino, and Justin Patterson; and Hieromonk Nikodhim [Preston].

The delegation’s busy agenda includes attendance at a variety of lectures and presentations by Church and secular experts; meetings with Metropolitan Hilarion and Hieromonk Stephen [Igumnov], DECR Secretary for Inter-Christian Relations; a visit to the Synodal Catechesis Department, where they will meet with His Eminence, Metropolitan Mercurius of Rostov and Novocherkassk; a visit to the Synodal Department of Church-Society Relations; and a visit to the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Service and its Chair, His Grace, Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuevo.  They also will visit numerous churches, monasteries and shrines across the Moscow region, including the OCA’s Representation Church of the Great Martyr Catherine.  A full-day pilgrimage to the Holy Trinity-Saint Sergius Lavra and the Moscow Theological Academy in Sergiev Posad is planned.  Among the other theological institutions they will visit are the Sretensky Theological Seminary and the Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University of Humanities.

The delegation will return to the US on Friday, June 29.