Article published Friday, August 26, 2005
New Antiochian bishop installed at St. George Prelate to oversee 50 parishes
By KARAMAGI RUJUMBA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in West Toledo was the scene of the
enthronement of His Grace Mark Maymon, right, as Bishop of Toledo and the
Antiochian Churchs Midwest Diocese yesterday. Bishop Mark, 47, was born in
Indiana and raised a Catholic. He is the first convert to be elevated to the
rank of bishop in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North
America. He will oversee the Midwest Dioceses nearly 50 parishes.
(PHOTO at URL THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH )
His Grace Mark Maymon was enthroned last night as Bishop of Toledo and the
Midwest Diocese of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in an elaborate
service at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral on Woodley Road.
Surrounded by priests and deacons, Bishop Mark, 47, stood beneath the arched
holy doors of St. George Cathedral and received the blessing and
gold-colored pastoral staff from His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, leader of
the 450,000-member Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North
"I present you this arch pastoral staff that you may feed the flock of
Christ entrusted to you. For the obedient, let it be a staff of shepherding,
and for the disobedient, let it be a staff of discipline," proclaimed His
Eminence Metropolitan Philip as he officially enthroned Bishop Mark as the
bishop of the "God-protected City of Toledo and the Holy Diocese of the
Adorned in his new, brightly colored vestments, his holy staff in his left
hand, Bishop Mark was escorted by the Rev. Father Basil Koory, dean of St.
George Cathedral, to the bishop's throne while the choir melodiously chanted
the hymn "God Grant You Many Years."
Born in Indiana and raised a Roman Catholic, His Grace Mark Maymon is the
first convert to be elevated to the rank of bishop in the Antiochian
Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. He will oversee the
diocese's nearly 50 parishes in 10 states, which include St. George
Cathedral and St. Elias Church in Sylvania. Bishop Mark, who was consecrated
in a ceremony in December in Damascus by Patriarch Ignatius IV, now oversees
one of the largest and oldest dioceses in the United States. It encompasses
parishes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
The new bishop of Toledo and the Midwest Diocese attended Indiana University
South East, then transferred to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. He
graduated from Oral Roberts with a bachelor of arts degree in biblical
literature and a minor in business administration in 1985.
He then went on to complete a master's degree in biblical literature from
Oral Roberts, graduating with honors and earning the distinction of the Old
Testament Student of the Year.
It was during his studies at Oral Roberts that Bishop Mark says that he
first became interested in Eastern Orthodoxy and he converted from
Catholicism after joining the faculty at Oral Roberts.
No longer a father, Bishop Mark removed his black robes midway through the
enthronement ceremony and emerged in his new red vestments with green
patches and a white shawl.
He cut an impressive figure, flanked by candle-carrying deacons as he rose
to deliver his first sermon as bishop.
"I am overwhelmed at the occasion taking place here tonight," said Bishop
Mark, standing in the bishop's corner. In a short sermon, he recalled a
passage about the teachings of Luke in the Book of Acts and preached about
the virtues of openness and acceptance of "all peoples of the world" as key
tenets of Eastern Orthodoxy.
He challenged his congregation and the members of his new diocese to "carry
forth the vision" of spreading the Gospel to everybody, for "if we fail to
preach," he said, "we have failed to receive the Gospels."
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