Two New Missions Established in Cuba

On July 7, 2017, Metropolitan Demetrius sent two priests to Cuba to start the mission of our church on the island. Hieromonk Maximus (Marretta), the dean of Latin America, accompanied the recently ordained Fr. Evaggelos Garcia Luaces, a Cuban native who had formerly been a deacon in the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Havana, the capital of the Carribean country of 11.5 million. The next day they met a group of pilgrims (Jamie Goodman and Paul and Juliana Volkman) from the United States who had come to be godparents for the new Cuban converts. On Saturday, July 9, Fr. Evaggelos assisted by Fr. Maximus baptized 5 people and chrismated another 5 people who had formerly belonged to the New Calendar church. The service occurred in the home of one of the faithful, followed by the Liturgy, and was attended by other people who are interested in the faith. The next day, Sunday, Fr. Evaggelos served the Liturgy and Fr. Maximus gave a talk about the Orthodox Church and fidelity to tradition. The next day they went to see Old Havana, a beautiful Spanish colonial city. On Wednesday July 12, they celebrated the Liturgy for the feast of St. Peter and Paul and went to see an apartment that the congregation will use for services, since they are only able to meet every other week in the current house.

On Saturday, July 15, Fr. Maximus, Fr. Evaggelos, and Presbytera Xenia (Fr. Evaggelos’ wife) went to Santa Clara (a large city in the middle of the country, about 4 hours drive from Havana) to start another mission with a group that had formerly been in a non-canonical jurisdiction. There they chrismated 11 people and served the Liturgy on Sunday. On Tuesday, July 18, Fr. Maximus returned to the United States, while Fr. Evaggelos remained in his home country in order to serve the two missions there.

The mission in Havana is dedicated to St. Andrew the First-called, while the mission in Santa Clara is dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Missionary work in Cuba, an impoverished communist country where the average salary is $25 a month, presents special challenges. One problem, for example, is the massive lack of transport. Cars are very rare and mostly date to the 1950’s, while to travel to another province you need to buy a bus ticket 3 months in advance. While religion was suppressed for many years during the Cold War period, there is now relative religious freedom. The most pressing issues for our new missions are to get permanent facilities to worship in, to get registered with the state, and to get a vehicle so Fr. Evaggelos can travel to the various missionary communities.

We ask prayers from all for the successful establishment and growth of the missions in Cuba.

Those interested in helping financially may send a check to:

Holy Ascension Monastery
521 Cold Brood Rd.
Bearsville, NY, 12409
Checks should be made out to Holy Ascension Monastery and earmarked “Cuba Missions.”

2017cubamissions001
2017cubamissions001
2017cubamissions002
2017cubamissions002
2017cubamissions003
2017cubamissions003
2017cubamissions004
2017cubamissions004
2017cubamissions005
2017cubamissions005
2017cubamissions006
2017cubamissions006
2017cubamissions007
2017cubamissions007
2017cubamissions008
2017cubamissions008
2017cubamissions009
2017cubamissions009
2017cubamissions010
2017cubamissions010
2017cubamissions011
2017cubamissions011
2017cubamissions012
2017cubamissions012
2017cubamissions013
2017cubamissions013
2017cubamissions014
2017cubamissions014
2017cubamissions015
2017cubamissions015
2017cubamissions016
2017cubamissions016
2017cubamissions017
2017cubamissions017
2017cubamissions018
2017cubamissions018
2017cubamissions019
2017cubamissions019
2017cubamissions020
2017cubamissions020
2017cubamissions021
2017cubamissions021
2017cubamissions022
2017cubamissions022
2017cubamissions023
2017cubamissions023
2017cubamissions024
2017cubamissions024
2017cubamissions025
2017cubamissions025
2017cubamissions026
2017cubamissions026
2017cubamissions027
2017cubamissions027
2017cubamissions028
2017cubamissions028
2017cubamissions029
2017cubamissions029
2017cubamissions030
2017cubamissions030
2017cubamissions031
2017cubamissions031
2017cubamissions032
2017cubamissions032
2017cubamissions033
2017cubamissions033
2017cubamissions034
2017cubamissions034

Orthodox Awareness

Bartholomew Prays at Iftar

Iftar, refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is done right after sunset.

We report the following unchanged as it was published:

"The leaders of the Armenian, Roman, Jewish and Syrian communities of Turkey sat around the fasting Iftar dinner in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul." Read more...

Missions

Saint Matthew the Evangelist, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Jonesboro is a town located near the Eastern border of Arkansas, with a population of approximately 60,000. From a human standpoint, it’s not the most likely candidate for a traditional Orthodox mission, but for an Orthodox Christian who orders his priorities around Christ and His Church, it makes perfect sense. Read more...

Youth

Report and photos from the 2017 Youth & Family Conference

Ask A Priest

Civil Annulment's Effect on Church Marriage?

Q. This concerns a U.S. marriage. If the marriage is civilly annulled, what is the effect upon the Church marriage? Is it also annulled? Read more...