The Orthodoxy in America proceeds from Russian missionaires who came in 18th century to Alaska (that time – Russian territory) and then down to California. Orthodox Church of America was granted independence from ROC exactly 50 years ago. But still, the other Orthodox Churches are well represented in USA, including ROC, ROCOR, Constantinople, Greek etc. The saint patron of the Philippines John of Shanghai and San Francisco whose memory will be soon on July, 2, belongs to the constellation of NA saints. With them, in this dramatic time let us pray to God for America.
A week after the birth of the Church, we remember all its saints, for they are its fruit, the purpose of Christ’s saving Sacrifice, and the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. Someone may not like something in a particular parish (the parishioners are not saints, and the priest is not without sin); and someone does not fully understand the Orthodox doctrine. But to see “which faith is true”, it is enough to compare the saints of different denominations. As Jesus Christ said, every good tree brings forth good fruit (Mt. 7:17). If the Orthodox Church even in our time generates such saints as Seraphim of Sarov, Paisius of Athos, John of Kronstadt, then we are in a reliable ship, the Pilot of which is the Spirit of God. It is not easy to recognize a real Saint through his deeds or words, because he hides them. But the very atmosphere that is created in his presence testifies to his holiness: no one can create an atmosphere that is foreign to his spirit. The spirit of humility distinguishes our saints – it is the Holy Spirit that dwells in them. The acquisition of this Spirit is a necessary condition for eternal life. For proud people cannot co-exist in eternity: they do not know how to give in, love only themselves and, as a result, make life around them hellish. Humility is the only ground for true Love, it is the “atmosphere” in which God Himself resides. Congratulations to all on the name day and on the upcoming fast – a time for humility of body and soul!
“I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail over it.” Christianity is more than a teaching or a religion. Christianity is a Church that originated almost 2000 years ago in Jerusalem, when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles in the upper room of Zion, and they suddenly became spiritually one body with Christ, and received supernatural abilities. Just as there can be no living organ separate from the living body, so there can be no Christian outside the Orthodox Church founded by Christ and His life-Giving Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the most mysterious Person of the divine Trinity, and He governs the Church. He is the chief Author of the Bible (where He only mentions Himself a little, as a humble author should). He is the inspirer of the Holy fathers and martyrs who showed the highest theology long before the Ecumenical Councils, as we know from the Roman protocols of their interrogations. The Holy Spirit is the one who sanctifies the life of Christians and guides them to all truth. It animates every soul in general. The greater His presence is, the closer one is to God. The less it shows – the more a person is likened to animals or demons. Therefore, acquiring the grace of the Holy Spirit – deification – is the goal of every Christian’s life. And this is a hard work for the whole lifetime. It is not easy, because grace is collected bit by bit in prayers, Church Sacraments and feats of self-denial, but is lost in a moment by one consent to passion or a vain thought. Yet, not a single breath remains unnoticed: only he who is walking will overcome the way… A special feature of the service on Pentecost is the kneeling prayers at the end of the service. In them, we express our infinite gratitude to the Holy Trinity for all that has been done for our salvation, which we have experienced again over the past months: the arrival of the Savior into the world, His preaching, suffering and death for us, His Resurrection, Ascension and apotheosis – the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The quarantine in the Philippines did not allow churches to be filled, but in Vietnam, 33 people drew near the Holy Chalice at the parish of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau. Exactly 3 years ago, on Pentecost, priest Eugene arrived in Vietnam to perform divine services for the first time.
The translation into the Waray-Waray language of the church services of Hours and Typika have been completed in the training center of St Matrona of Moscow in Davao. This language is spoken in Visayas. Now the parishioners of St.Nicholas of Serbia in Palo, Leyte, can start Orthodox prayers in their native language. English or Tagalog languages were previously used for praying there. It is noteworthy that this language is spoken on the Tubabao island, where 6000 Russians together with St. John of Shanghai found temporary shelter 70 years ago. Now, by the prayers of St. John of Shanghai, Orthodox sermon came to the descendants of those Filipinos who had showed generous hospitality to Russian refugees.
On June 1, the parish of st. Matrona of Moscow in Davao city, with the support of the Synodal Department for charity and social service and private donors, distributed food packages to two hundred of the poorest families of Barangay 9 in Davao city. The local administration provided assistance in organizing the distribution of food packages.
On April 15, the parish of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau hosted a meeting of the Consul General of the Russian Federation in Ho Chi Minh City Mr Sadykov with the rector of the parish priest Evgeniy Tsukalo. Timur Sirozhevich Sadykov just arrived at […]
Today, the Catholic Philippines celebrate Easter. But today, the Jews also celebrate their Easter (the exodus from the Egyptian captivity). The Orthodox Church does not celebrate Easter together with the Jews, since the Resurrection of Christ was after the Jewish Old Testament Passover. In our calendar, today is the middle […]
On March 29-31, at the education center of St. Matrona of Moscow in Davao city, one more seminar was conducted about Lenten services for the clergy. Now it was for the General Santos deanery. Priest Roman Buniel and deacons Matthew Sale and Alexiy Bergado, after the classes, together with Hieromonk […]
On March 23-24, at the education center of Blessed Matrona of Moscow, a seminar was conducted about Lenten services for the clergy of the Davao deanery. Priest Moses Cahilig and deacons Ambrose Sumagaysay and Nikolay Salgado, after the class, together with Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), completed a full daily circle of […]
During the Cheesefare Week, hieromonk Korniliy (Molev) visited two communities of the Independent Nestorian Church in the province of Northern Zamboanga, that wish to join Orthodoxy. Last year, the priest of these communities came to the Davao Mission Center to get acquainted with the history and teachings of the Orthodox […]
Open to me the doors of repentance, O Giver of Life! Tomorrow let us start a new life! Already the whole year is like the Lord is waiting for our repentance, pushing us to turn our minds towards Him. And now this season is starting: if not now then when […]
On March 11, a tea party with pancakes for children was held at the parish in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. Priest Eugene told the children about the upcoming Great Lent, gave several recommendations on how children, due to their age, could pass the field […]
On March 9-10, the Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev) at the invitation of the Russian compatriots, made a pastoral visit to Cagayan-de-Oro (northern Mindanao). The Russian Stretch Ceiling company operates in this city and its director Andrey Sayapin and his staff have been waiting for an Orthodox […]
The Last Judgment is the last act of history and the beginning of eternity. Today is the end of the annual cycle, because next week we remember the creation of the world and the life of the first people in paradise (meat is no longer allowed, since meat was not […]
Yesterday, March 6, in the church of the Kazan Icon of Mother of God in Vung Tau (Vietnam), the Divine Liturgy was held. On the universal day of the commemoration of the departed, many parishioners gathered in the church to prayerfully remember all the Orthodox Christians who have died from […]