In the News

Visitation of His Grace, Bishop Ilia (Katre) of Philomelion Sunday, July 3, 2016

June 24th, 2016

It is with boundless joy and fervent anticipation that we announce the visitation of His Grace, Bishop Elias of Philomelion, on Sunday, July 3, 2016
 
His Grace was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, USA, to Albanian immigrant parents who had arrived in the United States in 1920. During his youth, he attended the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George, whose priest influenced his decision to become a priest. During this period, he learned the Albanian and Greek languages while he completed his secondary education.
 
His Grace pursued his theological education at Holy Cross Theological Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts, graduating in 1961.
 
That same year he married Presvytera Helen, with whom he had 3 children: Sotir, Mark and Eugenia. Also that year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate, and then to the Holy Priesthood, and was assigned to the Holy Trinity Albanian Orthodox Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
 
After having served at Holy Trinity Church until 31 August, 1983, His Grace accepted an assignment as Dean of Student Affairs at the Hellenic College and Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts. He served in this capacity until 1988.

In 1988, he was assigned to be the pastor of Saint John Greek Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he served until 2002. During these years he was involved in the construction of a new church, a community centre, and an administration building for that community.�

In 1992, His Grace was twice sent to Albania by Patriarch Bartholomew to assist in the re-organization and �re-building the Albanian Church that had almost been destroyed while the country was under communist rule.

His dear wife, Presvytera Helen, reposed in the Lord in 2001.

On May 12, 2002, then Father Ilia was ordained to the Holy Episcopate in Constantinople by Patriarch Bartholomew. He was given the title Bishop of Philomelion (a former diocese and city in what is now Turkey), and was assigned to lead the Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America.

In 2004, Bishop Ilia was transferred by Patriarch Bartholomew to the Church of Albania, to the omophor of Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, who then assigned him to be the Dean of the Resurrection of Christ Theologic Academy at Saint Vlash’s Monastery near Durres, Albania. During this time, he expanded, strengthened, and lengthened the course to a full four-year program. After serving as dean for 3 years, Bishop Ilia returned to the omophor of the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew, and has continued his service as ruling bishop of the Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America.�

Please join us in welcoming His Grace to Saint Sophia Cathedral.  Orthros: 8:00 AM, Divine Liturgy: 9:30 AM.