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!”
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!»
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.
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.
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.
On February 22, 2020, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the Administrator of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, performed the rite of the Great consecration of the church in honor of St. Seraphim of Sarov in the village of Makalangot (Mindanao, Republic of the Philippines) and headed the divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated church.
With His Eminence served the clergy of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese: the Secretary of the diocese, hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), priest Siluan Thompson, hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), priest David Grubbs, priest Eugene Zukalo, priest Joakim Gonzales, priest Roman Buniel, and priest Moses Kahilig, hieromonk Antony (Kirpichev), Secretary of the Administrator of the Khanty-Mansi diocese, and Archpriest Antony Isakov and Archpriest Sergiy Shevchenko, deans of the Surgut and Nizhnevartovsk city deaneries of the Khanty-Mansi diocese and a cleric of the Resurrection Cathedral of Khanty-Mansiysk deacon Daniel Matveev.
At the small entrance, by the decree of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), was awarded the right to wear a golden pectoral cross for his diligent service to the Holy Church.
During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Pavel ordained the head of the parish of St. Seraphim of Sarov of Makalangot (Philippines) sub-deacon Nicholas Salgado to the diaconate.
At the end of the service, Metropolitan Pavel addressed the audience:
“Dear brothers and sisters, I cordially and sincerely greet you on this special day for all of us. Today we specifically asked the Lord to send us His divine grace and sanctify this temple, to be present here forever, so that everyone who comes to this temple will be united with God in prayer and sacraments!
“The house of God will be called the house of prayer,” as the Holy Scripture says, and today we prayed for all those who have contributed to the construction of this temple. This day is special in the annals of our diocese also because we performed the diaconal ordination of a parishioner of this church who took Holy orders today, and I hope that he will sincerely serve God and people. During 3 days of our visit, we performed three Divine liturgies and three diaconal ordinations, adding these days to the history of our diocese by adding clergy from our parishioners who are ready to serve God. But it is possible to serve God only through serving one’s neighbor. I prayed for this, and asked deacons Nicholas, Matthew, and John to pray that the Lord would strengthen them in faith for the most important service on earth – to be a worthy servant of the Lord. Our clergy has been replenished with three clergymen, and I am happy that our Church, our Filipino diocese, is growing both in quantity and in quality. I am sure that the Church Foundation being laid today will be strong and reliable, like this temple, the first in the history of this diocese, built and consecrated by the Great blessing. I think that a good start has been made and the construction of temples on the Philippines land will continue. I thank all of you for your prayers and participation in the construction of this Holy church. I congratulate everyone on this event – for this event is not only for this village and not only for the Philippines – it is a celebration of the entire universal Orthodoxy, the true Orthodox Catholic Church! I would like to give a present to this Church, an icon of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we brought from Russia, so that the Risen Lord can show everyone the way to salvation. God bless everyone!»
The community of the Makalangot church converted to Orthodoxy from the Independent Philippine Church, informally called “aglipayan”, in 2015, as a result of the adoption of the Orthodox faith by Fr. Moses Cahilig, now the priest of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese. For a long time, prayers and services were performed in a bamboo hut without walls. in 2017, the Patriarchal Exarch, Metropolitan Sergiy of Singapore and South-East Asia, blessed the construction of the temple. The Church was built with the active participation of benefactors from Russia. The foreman Igor Diamond and Orthodox community of Davao made a big contribution to the construction.
On February 21, 2020, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, the Administrator of The Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, celebrated the divine Liturgy in the church in honor of St. Matrona of Moscow in Davao city.
With his Eminence concelebrated: Hieromonk Cornelius (Molev), Secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), priest of the parish of the Iveron icon of the Mother of God in Manila, priest David Grubbs, rector of the parish of Christ the Saviour in Tagaytay (Philippines), and deacon Daniel Matveev, cleric of the Resurrection Cathedral of Khanty-Mansiysk.
During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Pavel ordained the head of the parish of St. Nicholas in Cayupo (Philippines) sub-deacon Matthew Sale to deacon.
At the end of the service, Metropolitan Pavel performed the Sacrament of Baptism.