His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, and Archimandrite Alexander (Pihach) of the St. Catherine representation church in Moscow, represented the Orthodox Church in America at the enthronement of the new Primate of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia on February 9, 2014 in Presov, Slovakia.
The Czech and Slovak Church proudly and rightly celebrates its connection with Ss. Cyril and Methodius, the Evangelizers of the Slavs, who brought the Orthodox Christian Faith to Great Moravia, now a part of the modern Czech Republic. Metropolitan Rastislav is the Archbishop Presov and successor to Metropolitan Kristof, the former Archbishop of Prague. Interestingly, the primatial see alternates between the cites of Prague and Presov and thus, both republics that make up the totality of the Czech and Slovak Church.
In particular, we might note that many of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America are descendants of immigrants who came to the United States and Canada from the northern region of Slovakia. Our own diocese has a parish in Calhan, Colorado that is largely composed of immigrants who left Slovakia and became ranchers in the American West.
His Eminence presented Metropolitan Rastislav with an icon of Ss. Cyril and Methodius along with St. Alexis Toth, who brought many of the Uniates from this region into the Orthodox fold. The icon was written by Nikolai Tsai a member of Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco. Relics of St. Alexis were embedded in the icon.
The Churches of Antioch, Russia and Poland sent official delegations. Representatives of the Church in the Ukraine were also present