The faithful of the Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America were shocked today by Archbishop Dmitri Royster’s announcement of his resignation from the active episcopate effective March 31st.
Vladyka Dmitri has been the only Archbishop many of us have known in the Diocese of the South and we could never have had a more godly example of Christian leadership and pastoral care. I remember many visits he made to my parish over the last 17 years and what impressed me so many times was the care he took to make every moment of his short visits an opportunity for teaching the faithful. I won’t also forget his look of sheer enjoyment when we celebrated special events with a mariachi serenade; if there is ever someone who could be described as having a ‘twinkle in their eye’, Vladyka Dmitri always fit the description.
What a shocking day but not unexpected. The demands of serving in the episcopacy without a break for forty years would wear anyone out. God grant you peace and serenity in your well-deserved retirement Vladyka. We can only hope that you’ll have time to keep writing and instructing us in the Orthodox faith.