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.