His Eminence visited the Church of Santa Xenia and the hermitage of San Ignacio in Guatemala for the feast days of both saints, accompanied by a small group of pilgrims.
They arrived in Guatemala on the eve of the feast of Saint Xenia and served a vigil service which lasted through the middle of the night. In the morning a hierarchical liturgy was served and His Eminence ordained the monk Ignatius (whom he tonsured during the vigil) to the Diaconate.
After the liturgy and procession with the icon of Saint Xenia, a festive meal was served for the faithful.
The Church in Guatemala and Latin America was founded by His Eminence over twelve years ago. He spent time speaking with the faithful, reminiscing on the first years, which were difficult years, and stressed that all glory and thanksgiving should be ascribed to The Lord: “Except The Lord build a house, in vain do we labor...”.
Afterwards, His Eminence visited the hermitage and met with the faithful of Santa Cruz, Barberena, in preparation for the feast of Saint Ignatius the God-bearer, patron of the hermitage.
A vigil service was conducted and in the morning, a hierarchical liturgy. Hierodeacon Ignatius was elevated to the priesthood. His Eminence baptized ten people on that day.
Priestmonk Ignacio is now a member of the hermitage brotherhood. May God grant him to be a God-pleasing monk, living the blessed life of obedience.
Priestmonk Maximos has been working diligently in setting up the coffee plantation with the help of the local villagers who know their work well.
During the Guatemala trip, Father Evangelos of Cuba contacted His Eminence to discuss matters involving the church in Cuba. His Eminence changed his return ticket to spend a couple of days in Cuba. There, they decided to buy an affordable home which would be a permanent place of worship. Father Evangelos’ son, who is a construction worker, will be able to help convert the home to a church. While there, the Metropolitan spoke with representatives of another community of around eighty to ninety people who are interested in joining The Church.
We ask the faithful to continue to pray for our growing Latin American Church, especially during the upcoming blessed days of Great Lent.
“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...
Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church is a beautiful mission parish near downtown Tucson, a city in southern Arizona. It was started in 1997 by Father John Bockman, who was a missionary Priest formerly serving missions in Tennessee and Massachusetts since 1990. Father John served the faithful in Tucson and the surrounding area in his home Chapel until his repose in November of 2000. His wife, Presbytera Valerie, continued to make her home Chapel available for the mission, with clergy from Saint Nectarios Orthodox Church in Seattle and His Eminence, Metropolitan Moses of Toronto (then of Portland), visiting to provide the Divine Services.Read more...
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...