On January 30, the rector of the Parish of Christ the Savior in Tagaytay, Priest David Grubbs, after the Divine Liturgy, performed the blessing of the water on Lake Taal. Then parishioners and employees of the Charity and Social Ministry Department of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese visited the refugees affected by the eruption of the Taal volcano 2 years ago, brought them humanitarian aid and gifts.
On January 29 the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Catmon Cebu. The service was headed by the Dean of Manila Deanery Hieromonk Alexei Lapshin.
On January 23 is the memory of St. Pavel Komelsky (Obnorsky) – the heavenly patron of Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi. We heartily congratulate our Vladyka on his day of Angel! We wish him spiritual and bodily strength in the field of archpastoral ministry, and, of course, the prayerful intercession of his heavenly patron!
The parish in honor of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ (Epiphany) in Talas, Davao del Sur, celebrated its patronal feast. The festive divine service was performed by Priest Joachim Gonzales, Deacon John Mahinay, along with many believers from different parishes of the deanery.
“The nature of the waters is sanctified today…” On the feast of the Epiphany, according to tradition, many parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church bless water sources. At the end of the service, the Great Consecration of the Ocean and the baptism of handmaid of the Lord Mary were performed at the nearest accessible place to Manila.
A new Filipino seminarian has arrived in Russia to continue his studies. Joasaph (Rolly Melano Nunez) has successfully completed preparatory courses at the training center of St Matrona of Moscow in Davao and was enrolled in the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, but because of the pandemic, he had to study remotely for the first half of the year. Now there is an opportunity to come to Russia for full-time education. We wish Joasaph God’s help in teaching the Russian language and theological sciences. We hope that having received an education, he will bring many benefits to the Church in the Philippines.
Hearken all ye nations, for God is with us!
Despite the fact that the coronavirus again mixed up our plans (half of the parish in Manila fell ill, the number of infections in the country reached a record 21800 per day, a curfew was imposed in Manila and Tagaytay), festive services were held in the parishes of the diocese, although with a minimum number of parishioners. The rest were able to participate in the joint prayer remotely – the service was broadcast from several parishes.
TO THE MOST PIOUS CLERGY AND GOD-LOVING FLOCK OF THE PHILLIPINO – VIETNAMESE DIOCESE.
“… In the manger of the poor, the Only Begotten Son is seen lying down and swaddled in swaddling clothes, the Lord of glory…”.
Beloved of the Lord, servants of the altar of the Lord, dear brothers and sisters! More than 2000 years have passed since the Nativity of Christ, but the Holy Church does not cease to proclaim to the world about the coming of the Savior into the world!The star of Bethlehem is shining again over the world, announcing the saving event of the Incarnation of God. Celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we not only remember a historical event of incomparable importance, but also experience a deeply personal celebration for everyone.The Holy Gospel says that on the holy night of Christmas an Angel appeared from heaven and said to people: “I declare to you great joy, which will be to all people: for today a Savior has been born to you in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord; and here is a sign for you: you will find a baby in a cradle, lying in a manger” (Luke 2: 10-12). The Angel spoke of great joy: God appeared in the flesh – He came to us to show the way to heaven. How not to rejoice in it? The Holy Church calls us to this joy.The Son of God brought grace-filled peace to the earth, and every one can perceive it through faith and repentance. St. Theophan the Recluse teaches us that “the Peace of God is the peace which God made with people by sending His Son, to be reconciled to us; as well as the peace that He is sending to His faithful as the Savior said: “peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you” (John 14, 27).” And this gift, peace of God, abides with us not only in the earthly life, but it will continue in eternity. The peace proclaimed by the Angels on the night of the Nativity of Christ is given to us as the greatest heavenly treasure and blessing.My dear ones, for the past two years we have been experiencing a test that has befallen the whole world. The devastating pandemic has touched the lives of many people, it has changed the usual way of our lives. Today we live in unusual conditions, we visit our temples not as it was before. Unfortunately, during all this time, due to the current restrictions, I have not been able to visit you and, as it was before, perform joint services, visit our communities, pray with the flock entrusted to me by the Lord. But I want to assure all of you that every day I offer my prayers for every community, for every clergyman, for the peace and well-being of our countries. As children of the Church, we pray to the Lord daily and offer prayer petitions for the speedy cessation of the harmful plague and the healing of the suffering. Believers perceive events happening in the world as God’s last warning for the sins of the human race. In this period of universal trial, I call on all of you, my dear fathers, dear brothers and sisters, to offer your prayers with gratitude for those who, during this difficult period, show true Christian love for their neighbors, first of all for doctors and medical workers who do their work according to the word of the gospel, “There is no more love, if anyone gives his soul for his friends” (John 15:13).
Dear pastors, pious laity! With gratitude to God, let us enter the coming new year, let us pray to the God-Child Christ that the spirit of His holy love may settle in our hearts, again and again reviving them to a new life of grace. May our hearts become mangers ready to receive Christ, and may our good deeds become precious gifts that we are always ready to bring to Him. And may all those who need it feel our love and receive our help during these Christmas days. I cordially congratulate all of you, beloved brothers and sisters, on the blessed feast of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year, I call upon you the blessing of God and the generous mercies of the Blessed Child of Christ, born of the Ever-Virgin Mary!
By the Grace of God,
PAVEL, METROPOLITAN OF MANILA AND HANOI
On January 6, 2022, on the eve of the Nativity of Christ (Christmas Eve), Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi celebrated the Great Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great in the church in honor of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos of Khanty-Mansiysk. During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Pavel ordained deacon Ambrose Sumagaysay, a cleric of the Philippine—Vietnamese diocese, to the rank of priest. At the end of the service, the troparion and the kontakion of the Feast of the Nativity of Christ were sung in front of the Christmas Candle marking the Star of Bethlehem. Then Metropolitan Pavel congratulated the flock on the upcoming holiday: “Dear fathers, brothers and sisters! allow me from the heart to congratulate everyone on Christmas! Today we have already come quite close to this great holiday! There was time for each of us during the Christmas fast to prepare for the holiday, and the main thing is to prepare our soul, cleanse it from sins, change it for the better. Going through the field of the Christmas Fast, we had to rethink, reassess our life values, look at ourselves from the inside and ask: am I doing everything in order to be saved? To become cleaner and celebrate Christmas with dignity is the best gift for this holiday. God grant that His mercy does not leave each of us, because we hope for it. For the Lord loved the world so much that He sent His Son to live with men, to show us the way of salvation. The God-Man, the Son of God, is born, and today we celebrate the day of the coming of Christ the Savior into the world, His Holy Christmas! Thank you all, my dear ones, for the common prayers, congratulations on the holiday, may the mercy and love of God spread to each of us and cover our infirmities, our sins and bring us closer to Him! I would especially like to congratulate the cleric of the Philippine—Vietnamese diocese, Father Ambrose, who took holy orders in this holy church! This is a historic event for him and for us too. It would seem: where is the Philippines and where is Khanty-Mansiysk, but for God everything is close, everything is possible. I would like to ask you to pray for Father Ambrose, so that the Lord will strengthen him in his ministry, and he will pray for us, for the temple in which he received the grace of the priesthood! May God’s blessing be with us all. Amen!” At the end of the Service, Metropolitan Pavel consecrated the Nativity Scene.
Ambrose Sumagaysay was born in the city of Arakan, in a Catholic family and attended the Catholic Church since childhood. Currently works as a carpenter, builder. He married a parishioner of the Aglipai Church (Philippine Independent Church) and became a parishioner of this church. He learned about Orthodoxy after attending seminars on catechesis by Priest Stanislav Rasputin. Subsequently, he was baptized by Priest Kirill Shkarbul in 2015. Since that time, he became the headman of the parish in the village of Little Baguio, at the same time engaged in the construction of the church of St. Helena in this village. The parishioners of this village are former Aglipayans who have converted to Orthodoxy over the past 5 years. In 2020, Metropolitan Pavel of Manila and Hanoi ordained Ambrose Sumagaysay to the rank of deacon.