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 January 19, on the feast of the Holy Theophany (Baptism of the Lord), according to the tradition of the Iveron parish of the Mother of God in Manila, the rite of the Great Consecration of waters was performed on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. On this day, three […]
The patronal feast at the mission in honor of the St. Seraphim of Sarov in Lawigue, Tayabas (Manila Deanery) on January 15. At the end of the liturgy, Bibles and humanitarian aid were distributed to parishioners in need, and the sacrament of Baptism was performed over handmaid of God Irina.
In December 2023, with the blessing of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, in Kinabalan, Mindanao, the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese organized an Orthodox youth camp. The program of events included lectures on faith, as well as sports competitions and talent presentations. During the week, the participants expanded their knowledge of the […]
On January 4, a creative evening was held at the parish in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau: everyone worked on it! First, the parents brought fruits and sweets, made blanks for crafts, dough for gingerbread! And then the children were already creating […]
December 27, in the parish of Kazan icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau (Vietnam) a church meeting took place. The rector priest Evgeniy Tsukalo made a report on the life of the parish in 2023. Current issues and plans for the next year have been discussed then.
On Sunday, December 24, at the Archangel Michael Parish in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, a guest was received – priest Yevgeny Tsukalo, a cleric of the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese. During the Divine Liturgy, he concelebrated with the clergy of the temple, Abbot Pavel (Khokhlov) and priest Seraphim Choi. ” It is […]
On December 17, the 28th Sunday after Pentecost, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Hanoi. On this day, a parish in honor of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg was visited by the secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), who also celebrated the Liturgy. Now it’s really winter in […]