On Wednesday, 24th October / 6th November 2019, the feast of the icon of the Mother of God ‘The Joy of All Who Sorrow’, Archimandrite James (Corazza) was consecrated to the holy episcopacy of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as Bishop of Sonora and second Vicar Bishop of the Western American Diocese.
The newest Hierarch of the Sobor of Bishops of the ROCOR, a monastic of long experience and for many years the Rector of the Old Cathedral of the Holy Virgin in San Francisco, California, now joins His Grace Bishop Theodosy of Seattle as auxiliary bishops to His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America — a role in which our Diocesan Bishop, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, served prior to being assigned as Ruling Bishop in our Diocese.
Speaking on the eve of his consecration, during the rite of canonical nomination, His Grace Bishop James shared with those present, ‘To ponder that my unworthiness is about to be ranked amongst the hierarchy of [the Russian Orthodox Church] is astonishing to me. But to this humbling reflection I would nevertheless add another, if only by analogy: “Lord, I am not worthy of You, but I cannot do without You”’ (Bishop James’ full remarks on his nomination are available here).
Close spiritual friends for over a decade and one-time members of the same monastic brotherhood of St Ignatius, Bishop Irenei sent congratulatory words to the newly-consecrated Bishop James, noting: ‘With profound joy I greet Your Grace on the day of Your episcopal consecration, whereby the grace of our man-befriending God has come upon You and anointed You with the power of His Gospel, the strength of the Holy Spirit, and the election of His Father to bear the Apostolic ministry of the heirs of His Son. Today our whole Church rejoices, inasmuch as she has raised up another faithful son to bear the Cross of episcopal service, through which, it is our fervent prayer, many will find salvation.’
The Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe likewise conveys its heartfelt congratulations to the newly-consecrated Hierarch, His Grace Bishop James of Sonora. May the Lord grant His servant many fruitful years!