Fr. Ritsi Elevated to Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne

Fr. Martin Enthronement


Archbishop ELPIDOPHOROS of America elevated Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi to Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople following Divine Liturgy at Sts. Constantine and Helen GOC in Bethesda, MD on May 14.

His All-Holiness accepted my humble request to bestow upon Fr. Martin the highest honor a clergyman can have in our Orthodox Church," said the Archbishop. "It is time to honor Fr. Martin at the level of the Ecumenical Patriarch for the work of OCMC in missions around the world. It is fitting that we award the cross of Agia Sophia to him since it is the missionary church par excellence in the world."

Upon receiving the honor, Fr. Martin said," Receiving this honor from the Ecumenical Patriarch and Archbishop ELPIDOPHOROS shows how our church values the work of mission as central to Her being. The Archbishop stated that 'A church without missions is a Church without a mission,' and this action is equally a tribute to the efforts of so many throughout the past decades to establish OCMC and preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth."

Concluded the Archbishop, "The commandment to preach the Gospel to all nations has never changed. Orthodox Christians engage (the world) in order to share the good news of God's providential love for all humankind. The work of OCMC is a labor of love."