Joint divine liturgy of the Hierarchs of the diocese

On August 18, 2021, on the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the Patriarchal Exarch of Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Sergiy of Singapore and Southeast Asia, led the Divine Liturgy in the church in honor of the Apostle John the Theologian at the diocesan administration of Surgut.

His Eminence was co-served by Metropolitan Pavel of Khanty-Mansi and Surgut, Archbishop Feofan of Korea, Secretary of the Thai Diocese Archimandrite Oleg (Cherepanin), Secretary of the Khanty-Mansi Diocese hegumen Anthony (Kirpichev). The deacon’s rank was headed by Deacon Daniel Matveev.

The liturgical hymns were performed by Filipino students of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.

At the end of the service, Metropolitan Sergiy addressed the audience:
“Your Eminence, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi, Bishop Theophan, my Korean fellow, dear fathers, brothers and sisters! Vladyka, I thank you cordially, everything is going right in your life, apparently you are under the special protection of the Mother of God, thank you for your invitation to come here to your land and hold a meeting of the Synod of the Exarchate of Southeast Asia. Thank you for organizing this important event for the Orthodox Church of Southeast Asia, but most importantly – for the common prayers.”
In his response, Metropolitan Pavel noted:
“Thank you, Your Eminence, for your kind words, because only together we can glorify our Heavenly Creator. Today most of our dioceses in Southeast Asia are represented here, and of course, we would like to ensure that the common prayer is not lost due to the spread of coronavirus infection. But despite all the restrictions, we are together today, thank you for your joint service and prayers!”

Seminar on Catechism

The seminar on Catechism for priests of Mindanao island at the center of St. Matrona in Davao has ended. For several days, the priests studied how to organize a systematic catechization in their parishes. They also attended lectures on the history of Ecumenical Councils. During the days of the pandemic, meetings of the priesthood are especially difficult, so for the fathers it was also a unique opportunity to pray and, of course, to celebrate the Divine Liturgy together.

Memory eternal

In Mindanao, the leader of a mountain tribe brother John died of covid. He had brought many of his fellow tribesmen to Orthodoxy with him. Memory eternal!

In some unknown way, John became very fond of Orthodoxy and patiently waited for the missionaries for more than two years. After his baptism, he decided to donate the land on which his house stood for the construction of the temple and demolished his own house! A very zealous Christian. Remember him.

On August 10, a service for the departed brother John was held in Davao by Hieromonk Cornelius together with priests Joachim, Moses and Roman.

Due to lack of vaccines, the vaccination rate is slow in the Philippines, that’s why facing the new strains of the coronavirus, the authorities impose new lockdowns in Manila some other territories.

Charity mission in Quezon

The Department of Charity of our diocese has weekly outreach mission in Quezon province, 130 km from Manila. Dozens of poor people, mostly hungry children, are fed with champorado (rice dish) and other food and snacks. Catechetical classes are also held for those preparing for the Holy Baptism. After the miraculous healing after Baptism of one of these people many of them wish to become Orthodox.

Patronal feast in Makalangot

On August 1, on the day of St. Seraphim of Sarov, the congregation in Makalangot (Arakan, Cotabato) celebrated its Patronal feast.

The spiritual celebration was headed by the Secretary of the Philippines-Vietnamese diocese Hieromonk Cornelius Molev with priest Moses Cahilig and deacons Nicolas and Ambrose.

Humanitarian mission in Laguna province

The Department of Charity and Social Ministries-Philippines and Vietnam-ROC (Moscow Patriarchate) first responded to calamity victims on the lakeshore of Laguna thru the FMI Outreach led by Fr. David Grubbs in November 2020. Since then, continued supplies of nutritious food, shoes, multi-vitamins, clothes, even personal care items (soaps, toothbrush, toothpaste) are being distributed to children in rural areas thru the Theotokos Mercy-feeding. Now led by a native Orthodox priest Archimandrite Philemon based in a town of Siniloan, the parish of “The Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross of the Lord” has recorded a total of 3000 beneficiaries within the first quarter of the year. Several anonymous donors (in cash or in kind) have shown a typical of Filipino norm of bayanihan even in the midst of Covid pandemic. Our volunteers & beneficiaries can sing with joy “Through the prayer of the Theotokos…”

Through the 2nd quarter of the missionary works, the spirit of orthopraxy has taken an upward step. In addition to sharing God’s plenitude with the hungry, this charitable activity is now coupled with nurturing the spiritual needs of the beneficiaries. The pastoral care includes short catechetical instructions thru icons, hymns, and blessing the households with Holy Water. The presence of a “man-in-black” with his trained volunteers harness the atmosphere of Christian community. Though lacking of proper venue & orderly arrangements, the event practically touches the hearts of grateful beneficiaries. Eventually as this missionary develops, the priest will be focused on praying & teaching the Word of God and administering the Holy Sacraments. At the beginning of this 3rd quarter of the year, we hope to see more volunteers “go-grow-glow” in God’s love “Through the prayer of the Theotokos…”