Cheesefare week in Vung Tau

On February 27, in the parish of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau, priest Eugeny Tsukalo met with children living in the Russian subdivision.
Fr. Eugeny told the children about the national holiday “Maslenitsa”, the Lent and its significance for every Christian, large and small. He gave the children recommendations for how to carry out a small feat with children’s strength.
Then the pupils were shown a short cartoon based on the story of V. Nikiforov-Volgin “Lent”.   Then the children guessed riddles and drew.
After all, the children ate pancakes, fruit and sweets cooked by their parents.

Bishop of a non-canonical Christian community in Bacoor is converting to the Russian Orthodox Church

On February 26, Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), Priest Siluan Thompson and Deacon Ambrose Sumagaysay visited the community of the non-canonical Christian Eastern Catholic Church in Bacoor.  Bishop Christopher Medina Canopen, who is taking care about this community, while studying the history of the Church, and realized that he was in a schism, and after that he wanted to be baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church.  Since being a layman in the true Church is higher than being a bishop in a noncanonical one.

Message from Metropolitan Sergius of Singapore and South-East Asia, Patriarchal Exarch of South-East Asia

To the Most reverend archpastors, honorable clergy, venerable monastics and pious faithful of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia

My beloved in the Lord!

My sincere feelings and pastoral responsibility impel me to address you, my dear ones.

The deadly disease is striking more and more people in another trial permitted by God on Earth. Those especially suffering are the nations within the canonical responsibility of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Southeast Asia.

In its many centuries of history, the humankind has repeatedly confronted similar suffering. The Church has always remained with its people, courageously grieving together with them, helping to overcome the difficult trials, and imploring our Lord and Savior to help in a speedy cessation of the epidemics. The faithful took upon themselves additional fasting, carried out processions and special services of supplication.

Our Christian love and compassion urge all of us to strengthen our prayers for people in grave peril.

I call upon all Orthodox Christian communities of the Patriarchal Exarchate to conduct the special service of supplication (Moleben) for a speedy recovery of the sick and for the cessation of the spread of the disease.

With the intercession of the Most Pure Lady Theotokos and all the Saints, may God have mercy on us all!

With love in the Lord,

SERGIY

Metropolitan of Singapore and Southeast Asia

Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia

Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the parish of the Iveron icon of the Mother of God in the capital of the Philippines Manila on the day of the Iveron icon of the Theotokos

On February, 25, 2020, on the day of the Iveron icon of the Mother of God, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the Administrator of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the parish of the lveron icon of the Mother of God in Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines.

With His Eminence served the clergy of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese: the Secretary of the diocese Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), the Secretary of the Khanty-Mansi diocese Hieromonk Antony Kirpichev, the head priest of the church Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), the priest of the Christ the Saviour parish of Tagaytay David Grubbs, the deans of Surgut and Nizhnevartovsk city deaneries of the Khanty-Mansi diocese Antony Isakov and Sergiy Shevchenko. The diaconal rank was headed by the deacon Daniel Matveev, the clergyman of the Khanty-Mansiysk’s Cathedral in the name of Christ’s Resurrection.

During the Divine Liturgy the parishioner Matthias Calo was made a reader and  

the subdeacon Ambrose Sumagaysay was ordained to the deaconate.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Pavel addressed the audience:

“Dear brothers and sisters!

The history of the Orthodox mission in the Philippines is closely linked to this church. In 1922, after the revolutionary years in Russia, the church was built here in Manila in the honor of the Iveron icon of the Theotokos. It lasted until 1945 when it was destroyed by the American army during the war with Japan. During my recent meeting with the leadership of the PH Ministry for Foreign Affairs, we came to the decision to restore the church in the name of the Iveron icon of the Theotokos, which is considered the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy in Manila. 

Today I especially have prayed and asked the Mother of God to help us in the renovation of this church. I am very happy to share with you the ecclesial prayers at the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Iberian icon of the Theotokos. This day is a special one for this Church and for all those who are praying in it, since today, the deacon ordination has been performed and another clergyman has been added to our Diocese of Philippines and Vietnam.

I would like to congratulate especially the deacon Ambrose on entering the ministry on the day of the celebration of the God’s Mother of Iveron icon, and wish him spiritual strengths and virtues. May the Queen of Heaven be his Patroness and Protectrix, helping him in the diaconal ministry of his flock.

I would also like to make a present to this church, the copy of the miracle-working image of the Blessed Virgin “The Joy and the Consolation”, which is originally located on the Mount Athos. The same icon will be given to our parish in Tagaytay, to the people who were affected by the volcano erruption. 

God bless everyone!”

MEETING of the Lord. Encounter Love

For three Sundays we have been preparing for Lent of repentance, considering its biblical examples at the Liturgy. However, neither the story of Zacchaeus, who distributed half the estate to the poor (LK. 19: 1-10), nor the story of another publican who initiated the Jesus prayer (LK. 18:10-14) are as impressive as today’s parable of the prodigal son (LK. 15:11-32). This one contains the whole history of our salvation, from the fall of Adam to eternal joy in the Father’s house. It is sad that the way to God for many passes through the country of swines, and only troubles make us remember that we have a Helper and a Protector. But it is even more terrible that formal righteousness kills love, and, because of envy, itself refuses the feast of eternal life, leading to spiritual suicide.

The reason is that the formalist, alike Pharisee, while fulfilling the commandments, wants justice from God in return. But… he doesn’t need God himself! While God wishes love from us. Because He is a Person, not a soulless karma. And what is love? Here it is: “I want not your possessions but you”(2 Cor.12:14). Love forgives everything, covers everything, and pays for everything; you should not expect “justice” from love. The father’s love for the unlucky son cost him a large part of his estate and tears, while the Heavenly Father paid for his love for us with the blood of His Son. Since He did not condemn either the prodigal or the publican, we can only imitate them in repentance and forgive everyone, remembering: “All that you have done to people, you have done to Me” (see Mt.25: 40, the Sunday of the Last Judgment).

Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi celebrated the divine Liturgy in the church of St. Isidore of Rostov in Alabel

On February 24, 2020, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, administrator of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, celebrated the divine Liturgy in the church of St. Isidore of Rostov in Alabel.

With His Eminence served the clergy of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese: the Secretary of the diocese, hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), priest Siluan Thompson, priest David Grubbs, and priest Eugene Zucalo, Hieromonk Antony (Kirpichev), Secretary of the administrator of the Khanty-Mansi diocese, Archpriest Antony Isakov and Archpriest Sergiy Shevchenko, deans of the Surgut and Nizhnevartovsk city deaneries of the Khanty-Mansi diocese. The diaconal rank was headed by the cleric of the Resurrection Cathedral of Khanty-Mansiysk, deacon Daniel Matveev.

During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Paul ordained the head of the parish subdeacon Alexy Bergado to deaconate.

At the end of the service, Metropolitan Paul addressed the audience:

 “Dear fathers, brothers and sisters! There is no greater glory than to glorify your Heavenly Father together. Despite the fact that we are of different nationalities and live in different countries, we are united by Christ. We are brothers and sisters of one great Church and children of one Father. By praying together, we glorify the Lord, and we ask and pray that He will show us His mercy in the future, and help each of us to walk the path of life. I thank the Almighty for the opportunity to be with you today, to pray and glorify Him in this blessed land. As our Exarch Metropolitan Sergiy said: “Christ came to this land, and here the true Catholic faith is confirmed and strengthened.”

 Yesterday, I met with the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, and during the meeting I spoke about our communities of Mindanao, formed after the “aglipayan” division, there are already 30 of them. Mr. Minister said a remarkable thing: “aglipayans have always sought truth, and today they have found it by coming to the faith that was founded by Jesus Christ Himself!” I hope that our communities will receive support from the state, both in registration, land and legal issues. We will ask the Lord to bless these plans to come true. I thank all of you, my dear, for your common prayers, and I especially congratulate deacon Alexy on taking Holy orders. I hope that he will serve sincerely! God bless everyone!»

Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi met with Philippine foreign Minister Teodoro Loxin

On February 23, 2020, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi met with the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Mr. Teodoro Loxin, in Manila.

During the working meeting, the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines conveyed greetings to the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, his Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia. The Minister also expressed gratitude for the presence and missionary activity of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Philippines and in particular within the island of Mindanao, supported by historical documentation confirming the continuity and necessity of the educational mission. When planning a trip to Russia, the Minister expressed his desire to attend the divine Liturgy, noting that it is only possible to understand the soul of the Russian people through faith, and its integral part is the Church Service. The Minister of foreign Affairs of the Philippines expressed his full support for the issues and projects of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Philippines and the possibility of organizing a meeting between the ruling Bishop of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, and the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Mr. Rodrigo Duterte.

The meeting was also attended by Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation in the Republic of the Philippines Igor Anatolyevich Hovaev.

Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi celebrated the divine Liturgy in the Church of the Iveron icon of the mother of God in Manila

On February 23, 2020, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the Administrator of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, celebrated the divine Liturgy at the parish in honor of the Iveron icon of the mother of God in Manila.

With His Eminence served  hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), Secretary of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, and hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), priest of this church.

At the end of the Service, Metropolitan Pavel read a message from the Exarch of South-East Asia, his Eminence Sergiy, Metropolitan of Singapore and South-East Asia:

To the most Reverend bishops and clergy, monastic and God-loving congregation of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia

“Beloved of the Lord!

Heartfelt feelings and pastoral responsibility encourage me to turn to you, my dear.

A deadly disease is affecting more and more people, in another test, let by God on Earth. The peoples of the countries of canonical responsibility of the Patriarchal Exarchate of South-East Asia are particularly affected.

Over the centuries, humanity has repeatedly faced similar suffering. The Church has always been with its people, courageously sharing their sorrows, helping them overcome difficult trials, and pleading with our Lord and Savior for help in ending epidemics as soon as possible. Believers imposed additional fasts, made processions, and special prayers.

Christian love and compassion compel all of us to increase our prayers for people in mortal danger.

I call on all Orthodox communities of the Patriarchal Exarchate to perform a special prayer singing for the speedy recovery of the sick and the cessation of the spread of the disease.

Through the intercession of the most pure Theotokos and all the saints, may God have mercy and forgive us all!”

Also in the Church, a prayer singing was performed for the speedy recovery of the sick and the cessation of the spread of the disease.

Under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, a Diocesan meeting of the clergy and laity of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese was held

On February 22, 2020, after the divine Liturgy, in the church in honor of St. Seraphim of Sarov (Makalangot, Mindanao, Republic of the Philippines) a Diocesan meeting of the clergy and laity of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese was held under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi.

Metropolitan Pavel made a report summarizing the results of the work of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese for 2019.

To date, it consists of 33 parishes and 11 prayer rooms. In 2019, 125 baptisms were performed, including 13 babies, 18 weddings, and 6 funerals. Every week, the divine Liturgy is celebrated in 6 parishes of the diocese. The Administrator of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, visited the diocese 2 times in 2019 – in August and October, performing 5 Divine Liturgies and 8 prayers.

During the meeting, the members of the Diocesan Council were elected. By the decision of the meeting, the diocese’s Confessor was elected priest Siluan Thompson, and the chairmen of the diocesan departments were appointed.

The information Department of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese will be headed by hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), the religious education and catechization Department by hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), the social service and charity Department by priest David Grubbs, and the missionary Department by priest Moses Kahilig.

The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese has 5 deaneries: Manila, Davao, General Santos,  Davao del Sur and Vietnam.