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Chapter 39: Bishop Gregory as a Member of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church

After Bishop Gregory was consecrated, no additional bishops were made for America at that time. Bishop Gregory represented the Synod in Russia, and his diocese was the city of Denver and he was a vicar bishop of the Hierarchal Sobor. As vicar of the Hierarchal Sobor, he was appointed to open churches anywhere in the world, “even in China,” said the metropolitan. The following year, seeing the diocese in America growing with priests and deacons, by the decision of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, Bishop Gregory was made a ruling bishop with the diocese of Denver and Colorado. A ruling bishop has complete control of his diocese, which includes all the monasteries, convents, parishes and clergy, as stipulated in the holy canons. Even those priests outside of his immediate diocese who were brought to the Church through Bishop Gregory commemorated him.

The Feast of Pentecost at Dormition Skete

In 2004 the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church elevated Bishop Gregory to the rank of archbishop, with the dignity to wear a jeweled cross on his klobuk. Before this was announced to Bishop Gregory, Metropolitan Valentine made a trip to America to visit a Russian priest in New York and then to travel to Colorado where a gathering of all the clergy was to be held. When he arrived in Colorado, we learned that he had been experiencing chest pains at least since his arrival in New York. When these pains became acute, Bishop Gregory decided to call an ambulance and take him to the hospital. The emergency room doctor determined that he was close to having a heart attack, and therefore he was transferred to the cardiac center at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. The doctors in Colorado Springs determined that the metropolitan‘s arteries were very constricted, and they wanted to perform as quickly as possible a pentuple bypass surgery. After the metropolitan agreed to the surgery it was performed two days later. The operation was successful, but unfortunately he suffered a staph infection, which was a major setback. His recuperation was slow but steady. As Pentecost was approaching the metropolitan made a special effort to celebrate that feast at Dormition Skete and elevate Bishop Gregory to the rank of archbishop. Many of the clergy and faithful gathered from all over America for this event on the feast of Pentecost.

Elevation of Archbishop Gregory

Pentecost — Elevation of Archbishop Gregory

Archbishop Gregory
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Last Updated: July 12, 2011