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Author Topic: Archbishop Dmitri fell asleep in the Lord!  (Read 1774 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 28, 2011, 07:22:08 AM »

His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, fell asleep in the Lord at 2am Sunday Morning, August 28, 2011, at his residence in Dallas, TX.

Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 07:24:11 AM »

Eternal be his memory
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2011, 08:11:32 AM »

Memory eternal.
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2011, 08:55:47 AM »

Source: Email from Father Marcus, Chancellor of the DOS.

In Memoriam:  +  His Eminence, Archbishop DMITRI

Orthodox Christians were deeply saddened to hear of the falling asleep in the Lord on Sunday, August 28, 2011, at 2:00 am [CDT] of His Eminence, The Most Reverend DMITRI, retired Archbishop of the Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America.  The Archbishop was eighty-seven years old.  Ordained in 1954, then consecrated to the episcopacy in 1969, his ecclesial ministry spanned fifty-seven remarkable years. 

     His Eminence was born Robert R. Royster on November 2, 1923, into a Baptist family in the town of Teague, Texas. He often credited his mother for providing him and his sister with a strong, initial faith in Christ.  After discovering Orthodoxy as teens they asked their mother for a blessing to convert, whereupon she asked one basic yet predictive question:  "Does the Orthodox Church believe in Christ as Lord and Savior?"  As it turned out, a specific emphasis on the person and work of Jesus Christ became the hallmark of the future hierarch's ministry, profoundly influencing his preaching and writing.

     Having received their desired blessing, and after a period of inquiry and study, brother and sister were received together as Orthodox Christians at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas, Texas in 1941. It was at that point that the two received the names of Dmitri and Dimitra.

     Dmitri was drafted into the US Army  in 1943, after which he underwent intensive training in Japanese and linguistics in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Military Intelligence Service Language School in Fort Snelling, Minnesota. Following this he served as a Japanese interpreter at the rank of Second Lieutenant on the staff of General Douglas MacArthur.  After his military service Dmitri completed his education, receiving a Bachelor's Degree from the (now) University of North Texas in Denton, just outside of Dallas, and a Master's Degree in Spanish in 1949 from Southern Methodist University.  He completed two years of post graduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans whereupon he returned to his home in Dallas.

     In 1954, as a subdeacon with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Constantinople, Dmitri worked with the Mexican Orthodox Community of Our Lady of San Juan de Los Lagos, at which time he began translations of Orthodox liturgical services into Spanish.  In April of 1954 Subdeacon Dmitri, his sister Dimitra and their priest, Fr. Rangel sought permission of the local hierarch, Bishop Bogdan, to establish an English language Orthodox mission in Dallas, the future St. Seraphim Cathedral.  Dmitri was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood that same year and assigned as rector of St. Seraphim's. In 1958 permission was sought and given to bring both Fr. Dmitri and the parish into the Russian Metropolia, predecessor to the Orthodox Church in America. During his pastorate Fr. Dmitri served as an instructor of Spanish at Southern Methodist University.  He functioned in this capacity for a number of years.  Dmitri also taught at Tulane University in New Orleans for a brief period during his tenure as student. 

     During the early years of St. Seraphim's Fr. Dmitri continued his missionary activities among the Mexican Americans but was intent on developing the new community placed in his care. As a direct result of his desire that people from all walks of life hear the message of Orthodox Christianity, the Cathedral remains to this day, a multi-ethic parish, consisting of both cradle Orthodox and converts.

     While working outside the Church and tending to priestly responsibilities, Fr. Dmitri found time to print his own original articles in a weekly Church bulletin. In the 1950's and 60's Orthodox theological works in English were scarce, particularly on a popular level of reading.  Fr. Dmitri saw a need and sought to address it.  Later, his curriculum for catechumens used at St. Seraphim's would be published by the Department of Christian Education of the Orthodox Church in America, with the title: Orthodox Christian Teaching. The Dallas community grew steadily;  Fr. Dmitri had a unique gift for relating to all people. Both young and old looked to him as a loving father.

     From 1966 to 1967 Fr. Dmitri attended St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary in New York while concurrently teaching Spanish at Fordham University. He studied with people like Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Meyendorff, and Professor Serge Verhovskoy.  In 1969 Fr. Dmitri was elected to the episcopate.  On June 22 of that year he was consecrated Bishop of Berkeley, California as an auxiliary to Archbishop John (Shahovskoy) of San Francisco.  The consecration of Bishop Dmitri is regarded by some historians as the first consecration of a convert to the episcopate in America (though Ignatius (Nichols) was consecrated in 1932 but subsequently left the Church).   

     In 1970 Bishop Dmitri was given the title, Bishop of Washington, auxiliary to Metropolitan Ireney. He would later recall the helpful training he received as an auxiliary under both Archbishop John and Metropolitan Ireney, particularly the many periods of instruction in Church Slavonic.   

     On October 19, 1971, Bishop Dmitri was elected Bishop of Hartford and New England.  In 1972 the Holy Synod of Bishops brought Mexico under the auspices of the Orthodox Church in America, which had received its autocephaly (the right to govern itself) in 1970 from the Moscow Patriarchate.  Given his knowledge of and fondness for Mexican culture and the Spanish language, Bishop Dmitri took on additional responsibilities from the Holy Synod  as Exarch of Mexico.  He was as much beloved by the Mexican people as by those in his own Diocese.

     In 1977 at the 5th All American Council convened in Montreal, Bishop Dmitri received a majority of popular votes in an election for a new Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America. For the sake of continuity -- a cradle Orthodox occupying the Primatial See was more in keeping with the contemporary challenges of a young territorial Church -- the Holy Synod chose instead The Right Reverend Theodosius (Lazor), Bishop of Alaska who became an advocate and supporter of missionary work in the southern United States. 

     In 1978 the Synod of Bishops took an important step by creating the Diocese of Dallas and the South.   His Eminence became its first ruling hierarch, taking St. Seraphim Church as his Episcopal See.  Christ the Saviour Church in Miami, Florida, a prominent Orthodox community in the South, became the second Cathedral of the newly formed Diocese.  The Archpriest George Gladky, a veteran missionary and rector of Christ the Saviour, was named Chancellor.  He and Bishop Dmitri worked admirably with others to establish Churches and teach Orthodoxy in a region of America where Orthodox Christianity was relatively unknown.  The first Diocesan Assembly of the South was convened in Miami, August 25-26, 1978.                                                                                                                                         

     In 1993 the Holy Synod elevated Bishop Dmitri to the rank of Archbishop. During his tenure as hierarch the Archbishop chaired various departments of the Orthodox Church in America, and was instrumental, early on, in speaking with representatives of the Evangelical Orthodox Church seeking entrance into canonical Orthodoxy.

     On September 4, 2008, following the retirement of Metropolitan Herman, the Holy Synod named Archbishop Dmitri as the locum tenens. Archbishop Seraphim (Storheim) assisted him as administrator.  In November of 2008, Archbishop Dmitri's role as OCA locum tenens ended with the election of Bishop Jonah (Paffhausen) of Fort Worth as Metropolitan.  On March 22, 2009, the Archbishop requested retirement from active duty as a Diocesan Bishop effective March 31, 2009.  Under his leadership the Diocese of the South grew from approximately twelve communities to over seventy at the present time and remains one of the most vibrant Dioceses in the OCA.   

     During the past two years the Archbishop has lived quietly at his home, writing, making occasional visits to Diocesan communities, and maintaining a quiet involvement with the life of St. Seraphim Cathedral.  He was blessed in his last days to have many parishioners who visited and cared for him at home twenty-four hours a day as well as medical professionals who came to his bedside to treat and evaluate his condition.  The community in turn received a great blessing from the love and courage with which the Archbishop welcomed them and approached his illness. He remained courteous, hospitable and dignified throughout, even attending Church when his strength allowed.  These unexpected visits to the Cathedral by the Archbishop were sources of joy and inspiration to the faithful.

     For his former Diocese and the Orthodox Church in America, His Eminence leaves behind a progressive vision of evangelism and ecclesial life, a solid foundation upon which to develop future communities and schools. He leaves the faithful the experience of having had a compassionate father whose enthusiasm was contagious, inspiring many to look profoundly at their own vocations in the Church.

     Archbishop Dmitri's greatest joys as well as sorrows were connected to his episcopal ministry. The establishment of new missions, the ordinations of men to the priesthood or diaconate, and the reception of others into Orthodoxy were continual sources of delight.  In addition he patiently dealt with clergy and laymen during his tenure who needed correction.  In fact, it would be difficult to recall an instance where he strongly reprimanded anyone, at least publicly.  Private, gentle advice when needed was more "his style."  At times his approach confused and frustrated some who believed that his manner of oversight should be stricter; that he should be more demanding in his expectations.  Again, this was never the Archbishop's way.  It was not in his character to remind people bluntly of their responsibilities. The Archbishop chose to lead by example rather than by decree.  Ultimately and personally this became a source of his extraordinary influence and popularity.  Accordingly he lived in a modest manner and was generous to a fault, not only giving beyond the tithe to his Cathedral, but donating to seminaries, charities, diocesan missions, and persons in need.

     As stated, Archbishop Dmitri's episcopacy was strongly characterized by a single-minded devotion to the person and work of Jesus Christ.  His publications are testimony to this dedication.  They include commentaries on: The Sermon on the Mount, The Parables of Christ, The Miracles of Christ, St. Paul's Epistles to the Romans and to the Hebrews,  The Epistle of St. James, and the Gospel of St. John.  His works also include the aforementioned Introduction to Orthodox Christian Teaching, as well as A Layman's Handbook on The Doctrine of Christ.  Some of these have been translated into other languages, enthusiastically received as instructional tools by the faithful abroad.  When asked to document his personal thoughts concerning evangelism or American Orthodoxy the Archbishop consistently hesitated, preferring instead to dwell on the teachings of the fathers regarding Scripture and Church doctrine.

     For many years His Eminence was the editor of the first diocesan newspaper in the Orthodox Church in America:  The Dawn.  This modest publication was a primary means of education and an instrument of unity amongst members of a Diocese spanning over one million square miles. One full page in The Dawn was regularly devoted to making available his translations of Orthodox Spanish material.  Later the Archbishop included a Russian page to minister to the needs of new immigrants.

     The dignity that he brought to his episcopacy was well known.   People commented on his bearing, the way he carried himself as a bishop of the Orthodox Church.  Some found it surprising that such an august figure possessed great love and respect for others, that he presented himself as one of the people.

     Without exaggeration it can be said that His Eminence was a rarity, a unique combination of faith, talent, intelligence and charisma. For the Diocese of the South, indeed for the Orthodox Church in America, he was the right person at the right time.

     Forty- two years a bishop, each day offered in service to Christ with Whom he now enjoys the blessedness of the Kingdom.  We pray for his continued prayers and we thank the Lord for having given His flock the gift of Archbishop Dmitri. May his Memory Be Eternal.

      "Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct" (Hebrews 13:7). 

     "For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel..." (I Corinthians 4: 15)

 

 
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2011, 09:13:35 AM »

May God grant him pardon and rest.
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2011, 09:28:58 AM »

May the Lord remember his ministry in His Kingdom!
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 09:33:04 AM »

Memory eternal!
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 09:53:15 AM »



Memory Eternal!!!!  My God his soul eternal peace and rest!  He was well loved by so many.  Including myself.

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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2011, 10:11:29 AM »

Memory eternal!
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2011, 10:17:56 AM »

Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2011, 10:33:16 AM »

Memory eternal!
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 11:06:07 AM »

+Memory Eternal.
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 12:57:17 PM »

He was such a kind, gentle and thoughtful man.  We always looked forward at my parish to his archpastoral visitations.  And he was so humble and approachable too.  I remember he could tell some interesting stories, especially about the Second World War and serving under General Douglas MacArthur. I remember vividly a story he told us once about baptizing the son of Lee Harvey Oswald. (Oswald had lived in Russia and married a Russian woman. And she was Russian Orthodox.) She came to the Cathedral in Dallas to request baptism for her son. Apparently she was pregnant at the time the Kennedy assassination occurred and when Oswald was shot and killed shortly thereafter.   Dmitri remarked that at the baptism there were reporters from all the world's major newspapers there taking pictures and asking questions. It was just fascinating to hear him talk about it. He said the Cathedral's circumstances at the time were very humble.  They were meeting in a former Methodist church they had purchased and only just started to renovate. If I recall correctly, I think he said their baptismal font was a old metal washtub.  Such humble beginnings and look what they have now! 

I will certainly miss Dmitri.  I think everyone at my parish will.

May his memory be eternal!
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« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2011, 12:58:56 PM »

Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2011, 01:01:29 PM »

Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2011, 02:17:25 PM »

Memory Eternal.
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2011, 02:41:13 PM »

Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη.  May his memory be eternal.

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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2011, 03:02:56 PM »

The Repose of His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri: http://oca.org/news/headline-news/the-repose-of-his-eminence-archbishop-dmitri

Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2011, 03:13:34 PM »


Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2011, 03:53:56 PM »

Memory eternal. He was a true bishop to us, a father who will be sorely missed.
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« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2011, 03:54:21 PM »

Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2011, 04:47:59 PM »

He ordained my priest. May his memory be eternal!
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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2011, 04:58:11 PM »

Eternal Memory!  He was a brilliant man and a true pioneer among westerners converting to Orthodoxy!
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2011, 06:07:32 PM »

I will certainly miss Dmitri.  I think everyone at my parish will.
May his memory be eternal!

Lots of tears at St. John's today. I got a little misty-eyed myself when we sang Memory Eternal at the end of liturgy and after Fr. Marcus had given a eulogy to us. It has been four years since Vladyka has been able to make it to South Carolina so many of the newer families weren't familiar with him.
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« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2011, 01:49:04 AM »

Mey the memory of the Lord's servant, Archbishop Dmitri, be eternal!
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« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2011, 08:23:13 AM »

Christ is risen!
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« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2011, 10:15:41 AM »


Memory Eternal!
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« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2011, 01:17:23 PM »

"Archbishop Dmitri’s ministry spanned 57 remarkable years".  Indeed,  MEMORY ETERNAL!
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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2011, 01:50:19 PM »

Memory eternal.
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« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2011, 02:58:47 PM »

May his memory be eternal.

Thanks for the vita.  He completed the contest well.
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« Reply #30 on: August 29, 2011, 03:51:31 PM »

May his Memory be Eternal.

Amen!
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« Reply #31 on: August 29, 2011, 11:35:43 PM »

May the Lord have mercy on the soul of His servant! May he enter into the Peace of the Lord! May his memory be eternal! Amen!
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« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2011, 02:13:25 AM »

One of my friends at our parish wept yesterday morning.  Archbishop Dmitri tonsured him a reader years ago, and served as his spiritual father.  I could only think to say "Memory eternal" when I heard.  Please keep Archbishop Dmitri in your prayers especially during these first forty days.
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« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2011, 07:58:29 AM »

"Eternal memory, grant unto Thy servant,' Dmitri, the Archierarch,' who is worthy of blessedness and eternal memory."

What an exceptional record of service in the Vinyard of our Lord!  

His Eminence had also served as a locum tenens of the OCA's Albanian Archdiocese in the '70's.  In that capacity he visited the Albanian parish in my area.  I had assisted in chanting  for a weekend of Divine Services, which His Eminence (he was a bishop at the time) celebrated; and had the opportunity to experience his kind and warm nature.

Interesting story about Oswald's son, Tikhon.

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« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2011, 04:39:20 PM »

May his memory be eternal.
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« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2011, 12:27:02 PM »

May dear Vladyka's memory be eternal!
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Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2011, 01:05:37 PM »

Message moved to other thread because it is not a prayer.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,39229.0.html
« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 01:12:37 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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