The annual meeting of the Sisterhood of the Parishes of Mindanao Island was held at the parish in honor of the Resurrection of Christ in the city of General Santos. For the first time since the pandemic, members of the sisterhood from the cities of General Santos, Alabel, Kiamba, Santa Maria, Banate, Kinabalan and Arakan gathered together to discuss the current activities of the sisterhood and further development. The meeting was also attended by employees of the Department of Charity and Social Ministry of the Philippine-Vietnamese Diocese, headed by Mother Irina Grubbs. On April 29, the meeting began with a prayer service and continued with a discussion of current social projects. On April 30, the 3rd Sunday after Easter, of the holy myrrh-bearing women, the participants of the meeting prayed at the Divine Liturgy. The divine service was performed by Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev), the secretary of the Diocese of Philippi-Vietnam, in the concelebration of Priest Roman Buniel, Priest Alexei Bergado and Priest Matthew Sale.
On Bright Friday, April 21, in the assembly hall of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Hanoi, Priest Yevgeny Tsukalo met with compatriots and embassy staff dedicated to the feast of the Resurrection of Christ.
Easter Bright Week is a special time of the year. The whole week passes as one day – the Easter service is repeated daily with processions, fasts are cancelled, all prayers are replaced with Easter hymns, and believers try to take Communion daily (where there is such an opportunity). According to Orthodox tradition, clergy and believers visit neighboring parishes this week to prayerfully share Easter joy with spiritual brothers and sisters. This tradition has already been instilled in the Philippines. On Mindanao island, Easter services were performed continuously during the Bright Week in different parishes by the clergy of the diocese, headed by the Secretary of the diocese, Hieromonk Korniliy (Molev): on Monday – in the church of St. Thomas in the village of Kinabalan; on Tuesday – in the church of the Resurrection of Christ in General Santos with priests Roman Buniel and Matthew Sale; on Wednesday – in the church of the Resurrection of Christ in Lake Cebu with the same clerics. On Bright Thursday, the Easter service was held in the church of St. Ignatius in the village of Lambayong in the concelebration of Priest Roman Buniel. On Friday, the service was held in the church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in Arakan in the concelebration of Priest Moses Kahilig and deacons Raphael Frajillo and Anthony Aranco, and on Saturday – in the church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in Makalangot with Priest Nikolai Salgado. Deacon Juventinus Bulaqueña accompanied the Secretary of the diocese during the whole tour.
On April 23, 2017, the first parish of the Russian Orthodox Church after World War II was opened in Manila – in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God (the parish of the same name existed in Manila in the 1920s-1940s). Like today, 6 years ago it was also Antipascha, or Thomas Sunday. And now, six years later, the first Liturgy was served today at the new parish of the Manila Deanery – in honor of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in the city of Bakoor.
On Saturday of the Bright Week, a new parish was born in Tagaytay. At the end of the Easter service, 26 people were baptized at once – the community of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of the city of Bacoor (Manila deanery). The sacraments were performed jointly by the dean Hieromonk Alexei (Lapshin), the rector of the parish of Christ the Savior in Tagaytay, Priest David Grubbs and Priest Agustin Ponferrada. The community in Bacoor has been headed for many years by the elder Nicolas Canopen, a former bishop of one of the non-canonical denominations who converted to Orthodoxy, now together with his flock. Many years to them and to all Orthodox Christians!