Vicars and Regions
What is a Vicar?
The term vicar originally comes to us from the Latin vicarius, being "a substitute," a sense which is still used today (doing something as a substitute for another person). The Roman Church defines "Vicar" generally as "the representative of any ecclesiastic entity," and various officials (bishops, administrative officers, etc.) will have vicars that can travel and serve in their place.
In Greek for vicar we use the term ἐπίτροπος which comes from the ancient term for "steward" (Matt. 20:8 and Lk. 8:3) or "guardian" (Gal. 4:2). In the Church the ἐπίτροπος was a senior priest in areas of very high density (too many parishes) or extremely low density (where travel times were too high) who was appointed to represent the bishop and act on his behalf – his vicarious presence. The Russian Church uses the title in a similar way, attaching it to auxilliary bishops (really chorobishops) of an Archbishop in charge of one of the smaller towns in his archdiocese.
Both uses of the word – "substitute" and "steward" - are appropriate in the context of their ministry to the Metropolis of Pittsburgh. The vicars are His Eminence's presence among the people of the various regions when he is not able to attend, and are stewards of the shepherds and flocks that are entrusted to him.
Primarily this will be manifest in three important ways:
- They will represent him at meetings or functions,
- They will keep in contact with the clergy of their region, assisting them as they grow in their ministry and attending to them in times of distress, and
- They will help address issues of dispute within the region as appropriate.
This ministry is entrusted to them because of their dedicated service, esteem among their peers, and maturity in the exercise of their priesthood. This ministry is not conducted in the absence of the hierarch or the chancellor, but is rather done in concert with them. Please continue to pray for their ministires, that in all they do God may be glorified and His Church may thrive!
The Metropolis divided into 4 regions to encourage parish cooperation, resource sharing, and mutual support; also eases administrative burdens for Metropolis.
- Within each region is a regional vicar (appointed by His Eminence)
- Responsible to the Metropolitan & chancellor
- Assists in dispute resolution cases within the region
- Works with the regional spiritual court(s) if necessary
- Vicar is also resource for clergy pastoral care / counseling
- Vicars will have specialized continuing education and training
- Each region will host activities, meetings, etc. for its parishes
- Organized by the Clergy Syndesmos Regional VP (elected by Clergy brotherhood)
- Continuing education opportunities: Regional teacher training, Parish Council seminars, stewardship seminars, etc.
- The burden of hosting events to be shared by the various parishes (not just the vicar's or VP's parishes)
- Have periodic regional activities for clergy, GOYA, JOY, etc
- Each region is encouraged to have members on the various Metropolis Committees (Finance, Youth, Religious Ed., etc.)
- Should meet in the late Summer to compile a regional calendar (festivals, regional events, etc.) which they can submit to the Metropolis for inclusion in the Metropolis calendar
Metropolis of Pittsburgh Regions and their Parishes and Monasteries/Sketes
Central Region (blue color in map): Canonsburg, Monessen, McKeesport, East Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (2), Aliquippa, Ambridge, Mt Lebanon, Altoona, Johnstown, Oakmont, Saxonburg
Northwest Region (green color in map): Cleveland (2), Cleveland Heights, Rocky River, North Royalton, Lorain, Akron, Canton (2), Massillon, Mansfield, Warren, Youngstown (2), Campbell, Farrell, New Castle, Erie, Perrysville, Hayesville
Southwest Region (red color in map): Columbus, Huntington, Charleston, Belpre (mission parish), Wheeling, Martins Ferry, Weirton, Steubenville, Morgantown, Clarksburg
East Region (yellow color in map): Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Stroudsburg, Easton, Bethlehem, Reading, Blandon, Lancaster, Lititz (mission parish), York, Camp Hill, White Haven