On August 27, 2021, in the Dimitrievsky Monastery of Khanty-Mansiysk, Metropolitan Pavel of Khanty-Mansi and Surgut performed the monastic tonsure of a seminarian from the Philippines, Leo Gondayao, with the naming of his name John, in honor of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco.
The monastic tonsure took place in the church of the monastery, in honor of St. Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov.
The church was attended by the vicar of the monastery, Abbot Anthony (Kirpichev) with the brethren of the monastery and students of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy from the Philippines.
Before the beginning of the tonsure, Metropolitan Pavel addressed the audience:
“Dear fathers, brothers and sisters! Today, on this festive evening, we have gathered to perform the monastic tonsure of our brother Leo, who represents the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese and will be its cleric. And as the administrator of the Khanty-Mansi Metropolia and the Philippine-Vietnamese diocese, today I have to make this tonsure.
Monasticism is a renunciation of worldly service, and service only to the Lord God. It would seem that a person renounces the world and takes vows, dedicating his life to the Lord God. But we know that it is impossible to serve God without serving our neighbor.
The “white” clergy serve God with their small churches, families, and of course, they must pay attention to their wives and children, taking care of them.
And a monk entirely devotes himself to the service of the Lord God, but through people. And today we will offer fervent prayers to our Savior, so that the Lord would take this monastic tonsure into his arms, fill it with the power of the Holy Spirit, and His help. Because a good deed is chosen, but it needs to be followed by efforts, works, and of course, it is impossible without God’s help.
Let us ask the All-merciful Lord, the Queen of Heaven, Whose holy Dormition we are celebrating today, that She does not leave this world in her Dormition, as She promised.”
Leoneil (Leo) Gondayao, was born on May 30, 1996 in Manila, Philippines. He grew up in a Catholic family, often attended morning mass in the school church and eventually memorized the words of the service. He was baptized in Tagaytay, Philippines, by Hieromonk Philip on August 19, the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Today Leo is a student of the St. Petersburg Theological Academy.