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On Tuesday, April 28, 2009, His Holiness, Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia received His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH of All America and Canada, together with his delegation consisting of Archbishop SERAPHIM of Ottawa and Canada, and Chairman of the Department of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA); Archimandrite Zacchaeus, OCA Representative to the Moscow Patriarchate; Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, OCA Chancellor; Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of the OCA Department of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations; Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov; and Novice Gregory (Stevens) at his Official Residence at St. Daniel’s Monastery.

During the course of the meeting, His Holiness expressed gratitude to His Beatitude for making this first historic visit to the Russian Orthodox Church and stated in joy in beginning a new and spiritually fruitful relationship with the newly elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America. His Holiness, Patriarch KIRILL stated clearly that the joys as well as the sorrows of the Orthodox Church in America are also the joys and concerns of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is due to the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church, as the Mother Church granted Autocephaly, is now the Sister Church of the Orthodox Church in America and therefore the relationship between the two has great significance.
In response, His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH sincerely thanked His Holiness for blessing him to make this first visit to the Russian Orthodox Church and to have the opportunity to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with the Patriarch on two occasions, as well as to visit Valaam Monastery, somewhere that holds a very special place in His Beatitude’s heart as it was here that he first became acquainted with Russian Orthodox monasticism.

In honor of his missionary work as well as for laboring for the strong brotherly relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Church in America, His Holiness, Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia awarded His Beatitude with the Order of Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna I Grade. Likewise, His Holiness bestowed the same Order to Archbishop SERAPHIM (II Grade) and to the members of the OCA Delegation in the Priestly ranks (III Grade).
His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH bestowed the Orthodox Church in America’s Order of St. Innocent – Gold Class to His Holiness, Patriarch KIRILL of Moscow and All Russia.

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