New Pan-Orthodox Bishop for Latin America and the Caribbean
Bishop-Elect Andrew (Vujisic) of Tralles: Archimandrite Andrew (Vujisic) is the bishop-elect of Tralles, with the responsibility of establishing and administering Pan-Orthodox communities in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean for the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This is a new development in the life of the Orthodox Church in the diaspora.
Archimandrite Andrew (born Zoran Vujisic on January 30, 1957) is the first child of the late Vojislav and Sofia Vujisic (born Jovovic). He is a Montenegrin of the Mora?ani clan, and is a close relative of Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral. He lived in the former Yugoslavia until he was 12 years old. In 1969, his family moved to West Germany, where he lived for one year before migrating to Australia. He is fluent in Serbian, English, and Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Romanian, Hungarian, and German.
He completed his undergraduate studies at Thomas Edison State College, and earned his Licentiate of Orthodox Sacred Theology at the St Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary. He also completed a M.A. Ed. degree, with Honors, at the University of Phoenix; a D. Min. in Marriage and Family Therapy (Summa cum laude) at Southern Christian University; and a Ph.D. in English and Applied Linguistics at Rhodes University. Recently he has further earned a Th.D. in Practical Theology from the University of South Africa with his doctoral dissertation on The Impact of Neptic-Psychotherapeutic Treatment on Self-Reported Depressive Symptomatology and Comorbid Anxiety. He was also elected to “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges” in recognition of his academic accomplishments and scholarship.
He returned to Australia in 1981, and after receiving the monastic tonsure, he was ordained to the diaconate on January 29 (January 16, O. S.), 1988, and to the priesthood on February 15 (February 2, O. S.), 1989. After his ordination, he served as assistant priest in St. Mary’s Orthodox Parish in Sydney, Australia, where he was instrumental in bringing many converts to Orthodoxy, several of whom now serve as Orthodox clergymen. He also served as interim rector of Holy Annunciation Romanian Orthodox Parish and of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Parish, both in the Sydney metropolitan area.
From 1982 through 1995, Fr. Andrew served as director of St. Mary’s Orthodox Community Welfare Center and coordinator of the parish’s Community Refugee Sponsorship Program. He was also the administrator of the Archdiocesan Community Housing Program, which provided low cost housing for underprivileged families. Additionally, he served as Archdiocesan Religious Education Coordinator for Public Schools from 1991 through 1995.
In 1996, Fr. Andrew arrived in the Caribbean where he established St. Spyridon’s Orthodox Mission, the first Orthodox parish in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico on December 13 (November 30, O. S.), 1999.
In addition to his pastoral duties, Fr Andrew is the Rector of St. Basil of Ostrog Higher Institute of Theological Sciences and has also served as a professor of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Turabo in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, and as a counselor/therapist at the University’s Resource Center for Counseling and Professional Orientation. He was recently appointed Director of the University’s Center for Language. He is also the editor of Puerto Rico’s only ambilingual linguistic journal, Glossa, which is distributed globally.
On September 29, 2009, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected Archimandrite Andrew as Bishop of Tralles. The announcement of his election, citing the growing number of Orthodox immigrants to Latin American countries who are deprived of pastoral care, states that the Bishop-elect will assume the responsibility of establishing and administering pan-Orthodox communities wherever necessary.
Archimandrite Andrew will be consecrated to the episcopacy by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St George in the Phanar on November 21 (November 8, O. S.), 2009, on which day he observes his Krsna Slava.