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 September 17, the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, the secretary of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the parish in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God in Manila, in the concelebration of the cleric of the Iveron parish, Priest Agustin Ponferrada. […]
On September 9, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Nha Trang. It is always nice to see both regular and new worshippers. The Russian Orthodox Church in Vietnam now has four parishes (in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Vung Tau), but so far only one priest. Since […]
September 9 in Lawigue (Tayabas) the Divine Liturgy was celebrated. The service was conducted by Priest Augustine Ponferrada. After the service, the volunteers of the diocesan Department for Charity and Social Service and the FMI Foundation organized a charity lunch and distribution of humanitarian aid.
On September 3, parishioners of the Dormition parish in the village of Banate, Mindanao, gathered in the temple for joint prayer. Most recently, the parish celebrated the patronal feast – this is noticeable by the carefully decorated church. After the Typica, the faithful held a meeting to evaluate the results […]
On September 5, a prayer service for the beginning of the new school year was held in the church in honor of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in Vung Tau. We also prayed for those students who live in other cities of Vietnam. God bless you, dear […]
On September 1, 2023, at the parish of Christ the Savior in Tagaytay, a quarterly meeting of the Department for Charity and Social Service of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese was held. The meeting was attended by: the rector of the church, Priest David Grubbs, employees and volunteers of the Department for […]
Parish in honor of the Dormition of the Most Holy Virgin Mary in the village Banate celebrated the patronal feast. There is no permanent priest in the parish. Despite this, believers celebrate Typica every Sunday and pray in the temple. The festive divine services were performed by the secretary of […]
The Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese has purchased sets with school supplies for children in the city of Tayabas. By the beginning of the new school year, employees of the Department of Charity and Social Service of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, together with volunteers of the FMI Family Foundation, purchased and distributed the sets […]