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 Lenten Divine Service, ending it with the Vespers with the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
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 Church. Due to the pandemic, teaching the faith for these communities was remotely, but, finally, it was possible to visit them personally. Local Christians were keenly interested in the teachings of the holy fathers, asked about the nature of evil, about the danger of superstition. We hope that with God’s help, people in this region will have the opportunity to learn about the intact apostolic faith.
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 else? Last week we remembered the life in Paradise, but our ancestors didn’t last long there. And today we are reminded that we are in exile in this world for reason: to learn to obey to God and to be humble (for the proud people can’t get along with each other in eternity).As the first step, we ask all our neighbors for forgiveness…
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 of fasting with benefit for the soul.
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 priest for a long time. Originally from Vladivostok, Andrey has been working in the Philippines for several years as a representative of a Japanese company, and now he has started his own small business. He is one of the few compatriots who was forced by work to spend the time of the pandemic in the Philippines, sending his family home. Being a deeply Orthodox person, he is very suffering to remain for a long time without pastoral care, so as soon as it became possible to move around the island of Mindanao, Fr.Cornelius came to Cagayan, gave communion to the Orthodox employees of the company and consecrated its office.
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 eaten in paradise).
At the Last Judgment, the Lord, wishing for the salvation of all, will ask only for the works of mercy. “What you have done for your neighbor-you have done for Me” – how much you need to love a man to say so! Only own children are loved in this way, that’s why we must see each other as the children of God. This is the difference between Christian charity and universal charity.
Today, the newly baptized Nicholas and Ariadne were married in Tagaytay. It is remarkable that after 21 years of living together, their love has become even stronger, and they share it with many people in need, helping the poor families of Bacoor (a suburb of Manila), showing an example of evangelical charity and selflessness.
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 time immemorial.
Saint Athanasius (Sakharov) wrote: “If all Orthodox Christians began to pray exclusively only for their relatives and friends, what would be their grace?.. In this order, when everyone would pray only for their own, the prayer for our beloved relatives and friends and for ourselves would continue only for a few years or decades after the death, only as long as those who knew and loved them are still alive and have not forgotten them, and then there would be no one to remember them.”
After the service, the parishioners, together with the rector, Priest Yevgeny Tsukalo, gathered in the refectory for a memorial dinner.