On July 14/27, 2017 His Eminence Metropolitan Demetrius, accompanied by Hierodeacon Sergius, arrived in Edmonton, Canada for a one week pastoral visit. They were met at the Airport in the late afternoon by Reverend Father Andrew Kencis, his Matushka, and Monk Seraphim.
That evening the All-night Vigil, with Metropolitan Demetrius presiding, was served at the Cathedral Parish of St. Vladimir’s, which was founded by Archbishop Ioasaph of Blessed Memory. The following morning a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy and was followed by a festive trapeza where there was an extended question and answer talk given by the Metropolitan. The major themes discussed by the Metropolitan was the urge to cultivate the spiritual life, to remember always that we must both confess the Holy Orthodox faith, but never forget to so in a loving manner. The metropolitan, continuing the theme from the Clergy Conference in July, warned against the temptations of “the right” which according to the Holy Fathers can be much more subtle and dangerous than obvious coarse sins and passions.
The Metropolitan and Hierodeacon Sergius then were taken to the historic Holy Protection Convent in the company of Abbess Ambrossia and one of the lay-sisters of the convent which is 1 ½ hours outside Edmonton. The metropolitan was received with the ringing of bells and chanting. There was outdoor meal served in the long summer evening of the North. In the morning after matins there was breakfast with a short reading and the remaining time was spent answering written questions from the sisterhood on the spiritual life and monasticism. A pannahida was served in the very historic cemetery where Bishop Savvas is buried along with many Hieromonks, priests, and faithful. The original chapel and holy gates built by Archbishop Ioasaph still stand and are functional. After another open air trapeza in the mid-afternoon the All-night Sunday vigil served for the Sunday of the Holy Fathers in the convent house chapel dedicated to St. John Maximovitch. After the vigil the Metropolitan returned to Edmonton to St. Vladimir’s to prepare for another Hierarchal Liturgy Sunday morning. After the Liturgy there was a parish trapeza and a talk was given, followed by the Metropolitan speaking privately to whomever needed to see him.
On Sunday afternoon Fr. Andrew and Matushka took the Metropolitan to their home which is at the historic Skete of the Dormition which is also 1 1//2 hours outside Edmonton. This skete was founded by Metropolitan Vitaly and three bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia came out of the brotherhood, Metropolitan Vitaly, Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco, and Archbishop Paul of Australia. The original brotherhood church, alas, has fallen into ruin, but a parish church was moved to the property which was built in 1941.
Vigils were served for both St. Seraphim of Sarov and Prophet Elias. The Metropolitan served the Divine Liturgy as a priest on St. Seraphim’s Feast and a Hierarchal Liturgy was served on the feast of Prophet Elias. Several families took Holy Communion for the first time in the GOC after speaking with the Metropolitan and ascertaining that they could do so in good conscience with no compromise of their Orthodoxy. There were informal talks at breakfast after the two liturgies with a small number of faithful present and also in the evening during the evening meal and later around a pleasant bonfire in the splendid Northern Landscape.
The Metropolitan also visited the local cemeteries where many faithful are buried and served pannahidas.
The landscape is very similar to Russia and Ukraine and one can see why immigrants settled in Alberta by the tens of thousands from those places. There were at one time an estimated 800 Orthodox Churches serving Russian and Ukrainian immigrants in those parts. Alas, most of the churches are empty now becaue the congregations have died off and the children moved away, either being maintained as state monuments or are falling apart due the ravages of the harsh northern climate.
Early Thursday morning the Metropolitan left for New York City to be present for the celebration of Great Vespers for the Feast of St. Markella.
“Trust ye not in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation.”
We mustn’t have absolute trust in human beings for our salvation, no matter what dignity they have. Human beings are changeable. Today they are saints, tomorrow—deniers. Today—sinners, tomorrow—righteous. We must have absolute trust in God, and in Him we must base our hopes of salvation. “Blessed is he of whom the God of Jacob is his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 145:5). Read more...
St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox Church began as a mission parish in the year 2000, in a home chapel in Palm Coast, FL – a small town on Florida’s northeast coast located between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. After two years, it became necessary to have services in area community centers, rented for Sundays and other Holy Days. Read more...
Registration is now open for the 2017 St Xenia Camp. Please visit the St Xenia Camp website for more information and registration.
The Family Youth Conference will be held Friday, October 20 - Sunday, October 22 at The Dormition of the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Concord, NH.
Q. In considering becoming part of the GOC in America, I am getting warnings from various circles that the attitude of GOC people is that of being “walled off,” “arrogant,” “judgmental,” and “in your face” toward those not in the Genuine Orthodox Church, with accusations such as “World Orthodox” priests are “not even Christians” and the like. Could you give me your personal, realistic assessment of this dynamic and possibly refer me to an official statement on how GOC members should and do relate to and communicate with those in “World Orthodoxy”? Read more...