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The Sheep Honor the Shepherd: A Night in Honor of Bishop NICHOLAS

By Fr. John Valadez

On the night of September 9, 2017, clergy and faithful from the parishes within the diocese of New York and Washington, D.C. gathered at St. George in Little Falls, NJ, to honor their pastor and shepherd, Bishop NICHOLAS. On August 3, 2017, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph appointed Bishop NICHOLAS to the Diocese of Miami and the Southeast, knowing “his dedication to and focus on spreading the word of God,” and his effectiveness as a “shepherd and father to all clergy and laity, especially to the teens and young adults.” In love for their hierarch and in a thankful spirit, people gathered from around the Diocese to both rejoice in the news and offer something back to Bishop NICHOLAS.

The night consisted of fellowship, dinner, and sharing of fond memories. Amongst the laughter that was had and the tears that were shed, a picture slideshow played of His Grace’s time with the faithful and audio from teens thanking him for the impact he made in their lives. During dinner, speakers came forward who prepared speeches and reflections regarding their memories and relationship with Bishop NICHOLAS. Firstly, everyone heard from His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, whose letter spoke of friendship, trust, and confidence. His Eminence spoke of Bishop NICHOLAS’ tirelessness, writing, “I have every confidence that you will ably and lovingly carry on [God’s] work and continue to live as an example of a tireless shepherd in the care for your new flock.”

Speeches were heard by members of the St. George community in Little Falls, the Antiochian Women, and the "A-Men" group at St. George, all speaking with a great amount of gratitude for His Grace. The Antiochian seminarians, who had the opportunity of being close with Bishop NICHOLAS who directly oversaw them, spoke of his extreme dedication and how His Grace embodies the role of a true shepherd, guiding them by living example and love. Finally, the Very Rev. Dimitri Darwich spoke of Bishop NICHOLAS’ involvement in his pastoral ministry, the care his flock received from him, and the impact he has made in the Diocese. Lastly, St. George presented His Grace with a beautiful new engolpion as a token of their appreciation and a reminder of all our constant prayers for Bishop NICHOLAS as he takes on this new ministry.

The night ended with a heartfelt speech from His Grace, thanking the entire diocese for the many memories and the amount of gratitude they’ve showed to him. Parishioners and clergy lingered well into the night to take pictures, congratulate, and share a few more memories with His Grace. As the night came to a close, the words of Metropolitan JOSEPH became realized as everyone left remembering Bishop NICHOLAS’ “example of service and tireless work on their behalf.”

May God grant Bishop NICHOLAS many years, peace, safety honor, health, and length of days, rightly dividing the word of truth!

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Metropolitan JOSEPH Letter at Bishop Nicholas Banquet (PDF)4.57 MB