Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

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Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

by His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico

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ORTHODOX CULTURE

Thirteen years ago, when I undertook the (then newly-established) Holy Metropolis of Mexico with only three priests and three mainly Greek-speaking communities, in Mexico, Panama and Venezuela, I would never have expected, let alone conceive the miracle that is unfolding today for our Orthodox Church in Latin America. We all lived the miracle of Cuba, when Fidel Castro’s government undertook the construction of the Sacred Temple of Saint Nicholas in Havana and officially received Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who officiated the inauguration of that Holy shrine in January of 2004. In the decade that passed, we experienced the propagating of our faith in the states of Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, etc… just as we experienced – and continue to experience – the continuing drama of the people of Haiti, after the catastrophic earthquake of last January. A drama which unfortunately will heal, only after several years have passed.

Greece became acquainted with Christianity and lived its own Pentecost around two thousand years ago, through the Apostle Paul and the other Apostles. Greece is the most Continue reading “Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy”

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The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

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The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

Source:

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JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Whenever someone speaks of “American Orthodoxy,” there is usually an unspoken understanding that the term refers to North American Orthodoxy: the United States, Canada, and sometimes Mexico. This way of speaking is indeed convenient, considering that the majority of Orthodox parishes in the Western Hemisphere are still located in North America. However, in the past few years a great change has occurred in Latin America that makes it increasingly inaccurate to focus on North America as the western outpost of Orthodoxy. Just two years ago, in 2010, the Orthodox Church received a large group of Guatemalan converts numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Now Guatemala, and possibly all of Latin America, holds tremendous promise of becoming fertile ground for the Orthodox Christian Church.

The seed of Orthodoxy in Guatemala was planted by the nuns of the Hogar Rafael Ayau, an Orthodox orphanage in Guatemala City. Many people are familiar with the incredible work of Mother Inés, Mother Ivonne, and Mother María. In fact, just this year a group of seminarians from St. Vladimir’s Seminary traveled with the seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield to see the work of the nuns and to assist at the orphanage. It is through these nuns that the Guatemalan soil was first prepared for the Orthodox Church.

Now, with the recent chrismation of a new group of Guatemalan converts that numbers between 100,000 and 200,000, the Orthodox Church is ready to blossom in Guatemala. The magnitude of the event cannot be overstated. Almost overnight, Guatemala has become the most Orthodox country in the Western Hemisphere (by percentage of national population). Furthermore, the Orthodox communities in Guatemala continue to grow rapidly and attract attention throughout Guatemala. There is still, however, little information available to the broader Orthodox world on the history and character of these new communities. For this reason, I traveled to Guatemala this summer, spending two months visiting many of the Orthodox parishes, meeting the leaders of the communities, and accompanying the bishop of the Guatemalan Church—His Eminence, Metropolitan Athenagoras—as he made his historic first visit to the new parishes in Guatemala. I returned to the United States with the desire to share what I saw and the conviction that the Holy Spirit is at work with power in Latin America…

Le Seigneur distribue Sa grâce à ceux qui s’imposent les fatigues d’un pèlerinage – Saint Jean Maximovitch (+1966) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French

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Saint Jean Maximovitch (+1966)

“Dans Sa bonté, le Seigneur distribue Sa grâce à ceux qui s’imposent les fatigues d’un pèlerinage: le pèlerinage ne rapproche pas Celui Qui est partout, mais les efforts des pèlerins rendent ceux-ci dignes de Sa manifestation, non par eux-mêmes mais parce qu’Il les accepte dans Sa miséricorde.”

Saint Jean (Maximovitch), Archevêque de Shangaï, Bruxelles et San Francisco.

Saint Jacob Netsvetov of Alaska (+1865) – The evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo & Athabascan peoples of Alaska

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Saint Jacob Netsvetov of Alaska (+1865)

The evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo & Athabascan peoples of Alaska

July 26

Saint Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of Alaska, was a native of the Aleutian Islands who became a priest of the Orthodox Church and continued the missionary work of St. Innocent among his and other Alaskan people. His feast day is celebrated on the day of his repose, July 26.

Father Jacob was born in 1802 on Atka Island, part of the Aleutian Island chain in Alaska. His father, Yegor Vasil’evich Netsvetov, was Russian from Tobolsk, Russia, and his mother, Maria Alekscevna, was an Aleut from Atka Island. Jacob was the eldest of four children who survived infancy. The others were Osip (Joseph), Elena, and Antony. Although not well off, Yegor and Maria did all they could to provide for their children and prepare them to live their lives. Osip and Antony were able to study at the St. Petersburg Naval Academy and then were able to become a naval officer and ship builder, respectively. Elena married a respected clerk with the Russian-American Company. Jacob chose a Continue reading “Saint Jacob Netsvetov of Alaska (+1865) – The evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo & Athabascan peoples of Alaska”

Άγιος Ιάκωβος Νετσβέτωφ της Αλάσκας (+1865) – Ένας Αυτόχθονας Αμερικανός ιερέας που αγίασε (+1865) – Ο ιεραπόστολος των Εσκιμώων Γιούπικ – 26 Ιουλίου

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Άγιος Ιάκωβος Νετσβέτωφ της Αλάσκας

Ένας Αυτόχθονας Αμερικανός ιερέας που αγίασε (+1865)

Ο ιεραπόστολος των Εσκιμώων Γιούπικ

26 Ιουλίου

Ό Άγιος Ιάκωβος Νετσβέτωφ της Αλάσκας γεννήθηκε από πατέρα Ρώσο και Άλεούτια μητέρα στή νήσο Atka της Αλάσκας τό 1802. Ολοκλήρωσε τις σπουδές του στήν ιερατική σχολή του Ιρκούτσκ στή Σιβηρία. Μετά τή χειροτονία του σε πρεσβύτερο, επέστρεψε στήν Αλάσκα, οπού επί τριάντα πέντε χρόνια άσκησε τά ποιμαντικά του καθήκοντα μεταξύ των αυτοχθόνων, υπό συνθήκες διαβιώσεως ιδιαιτέρως επισφαλείς, συνεχίζοντας ετσι τό έργο του άγιου Γερμανού [13 Δεκ.]. Μόλις τό επέτρεπε ο καιρός, επιβιβαζόταν σε εύθραυστα καγιάκ η φόρτωνε τις ισχνές του άποσκευές σε κυνήλατα ελκυθρα και συνοδευόμενος από μερικούς κατώτερους κληρικούς, ξεκινούσε τις ιεραποστολικές του περιοδείες γιά νά φωτίσει τούς διάσπαρτους αυτόχθονες πληθυσμούς των Άλεούτιων Νήσων. Διέδωσε επίσης τό φώς του Ευαγγελίου στή φυλή των Έσκιμώων Γιούπικ, oι όποιοι κατοικούσαν στήν κάτω κοιλάδα του ποταμού Γιούκον (μεταξύ 1845 και 1863). Υπήρξε ό δεύτερος Όρθόδοξος ιερέας πού τόλμησε να εισδύσει στις περιοχές αύτές, μετά τον Άγιο ίερομάρτυρα Ίουβενάλιο. Κι ενώ γενικά συναντούσε καλή υποδοχή και γρήγορα προσηλύτιζε τούς αυτόχθονες στήν αληθινή πίστη, πολλές φορές άντιμετώπιζε την έντονη άντίθεση των σαμάνων μάγων. Δεν ηρκείτο μόνο Continue reading “Άγιος Ιάκωβος Νετσβέτωφ της Αλάσκας (+1865) – Ένας Αυτόχθονας Αμερικανός ιερέας που αγίασε (+1865) – Ο ιεραπόστολος των Εσκιμώων Γιούπικ – 26 Ιουλίου”

ᎣᎩᏙᏓ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎮᎯ ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster) – Cherokee

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ᎣᎩᏙᏓ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎮᎯ

(Lord’s Prayer – Pater Noster)

ᎣᎩᏙᏓ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᎮᎯ
ᎦᎸᏉᏗᏳ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᏕᏣᏙᎥᎢ
ᏣᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎨᏒ ᏫᎦᎾᏄᎪᎢ
ᎠᏂ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏫᏂᎦᎵᏍᏓ ᎭᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ
ᎾᏍᎩᏯ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏥᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎭ
ᏂᏓᏙᏓᏈᏒ ᎣᎦᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᏍᎩᎥᏏ ᎪᎯ ᎢᎦ
ᏗᎨᏍᎩᎥᏏᏉᏃ ᏕᏍᎩᏚᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏯ ᏥᏗᎦᏲᏥᏁᎰ ᏦᏥᏚᎩ
ᎠᎴ ᏞᏍᏗ ᎤᏓᎪᎵᏰᏗᏱ ᎨᏒ ᏫᏗᏍᎩᏯᏘᏅᏍᏔᏅᎩ
ᏍᎩᏳᏓᎴᏍᎨᏍᏗᏉᏍᎩᏂ ᎤᏲ ᎨᏒᎢ
ᏣᏤᎵᎦᏰᏃ ᏣᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ
ᎠᎴ ᏣᎵᏂᎩᏗᏱ ᎨᏒᎢ
ᎠᎴ ᎡᏣᎸᏉᏗᏳ ᎨᏒ ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ
ᎡᎺᏅ

Two Quechua Women from Bolivia Accept Orthodox Baptism

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Two Quechua Women

from Bolivia Accept Orthodox Baptism

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JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Here is a story of the good work of the martyred priest, Fr. Daniil Sysoyev (+2009).

Immediately following Christmas services, in one of the Orthodox churches in the southern districts of Moscow, two women of the Quechua people of South America accepted Orthodox baptism.

“We talked with them about the faith, and they read the Creed of the Orthodox Church in Spanish, which I downloaded for them from the Internet”,

said Fr Daniil Sysoyev, the rector of the parish of St Thomas the Apostle in Kantemirov, in an interview with our Interfax-Religion correspondent, describing how he served the Sacrament of Baptism for these women.

According to Fr Daniil, the two women from Bolivia, a mother and daughter, who accepted baptism, were in Moscow pursuing studies. They learned about the Orthodox faith from one of their friends, who is of the Inca people from Peru and a long-term resident of Moscow.

In baptism, the women took the names of Maria and Yelizaveta, in honour of St Mary Magdalene and Grand Princess St Yelizaveta the New Martyr.

“Quite possibly, this is the first time in history that Quechua people embraced Orthodoxy”, Fr Daniil noted.