5,000 Native Americans Baptized Orthodox in Mexico

http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

5,000 Native Americans Baptized Orthodox in Mexico

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://ourneytoorthodoxy.com/2010/07/5000-indians-baptized-orthodox-in-mexico/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

The conversation published below took place in early December 2009, during the visit of Metropolitan Jonah (OCA) to Russia to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Moscow representation of the Orthodox Church in America, and is devoted to the activities of the Church in Latin America.

-Your Beatitude, in which Latin American countries is the Orthodox Church in America represented?

-The jurisdiction of our Church extends to Mexico. Previously, we also had some parishes in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela. But some of them left for the Russian Church Abroad, the others were closed.

Several communities in Latin America want to join the Orthodox Church in America. We would be happy to take these believers, but there is no one to care for them, because we have very few priests who speak Spanish or Portuguese.

A priest – I hope he will soon become a bishop – began a mission in Ecuador in Guayaquil, where there settled a major Palestinian colony. Unfortunately, in Continue reading “5,000 Native Americans Baptized Orthodox in Mexico”

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protesantism to Orthodoxy

http://protestantsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

PROTESTANTS MET ORTHODOXY

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

by

Fr. George Johnson

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I am a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, serving in the cathedral of St John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. There are some almost uncanny parallels between our lives, even down to the grumpy choir directors. I was (and sometimes still am) the grumpy choir director, however.

I became interested and involved in Anglicanism through a singing job in a “high” church in 1968. At the time, my focus was primarily musical. My parents were devout Southern Baptists, and, while I now appreciate their humility and devotion, in my youth I did not so much. The Episcopal Church offered an escape from the music and worship of the Baptists, which, shall we say, were not to my taste.

The Western liturgical tradition as carried on by the high-church Anglicans seemed to me to be just the right combination of grandness and sobriety justly suited to worship. Having just come from the Baptists, the intellectual and spiritual confusion which at length gave rise to tradition-destroying innovations did not concern me for a long time. I chalked it up to our fallen state, for which God was making accommodations which I did not understand. I thought I could press on for the sake of art and faith, and pray that everything would come out alright. It was going to take a great deal to make me want to throw away Tallis, Byrd, Weelkes, Purcell, …, RVW, Walton, Britten, … , not to mention all the great hymns and tunes, and the gorgeous language of the (old) Prayer Book and Psalter.

A great many things happened, but I’ll cut to the chase. In 1984 or 5, a lesbian member of our parish who sang in my choir asked me to be a member of a committee to help her explore a calling to the priesthood. Needless to say, I begged off. But I did not have the courage to tell her that the thought of her as a priest made me sick. You may be familiar with the musical “Fiddler on the Continue reading “The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protesantism to Orthodoxy”

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994) and the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk

http://saintsofmyheart.wordpress.com

SAINTS OF MY HEART

67965bda8324386dc807c927dab21261-700.jpg

ceb3-cf80ceb1ce90cf83ceb9cebfcf82.jpg

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos in Greece (+1994) 

and the young George the Tibetan Buddhist monk

Source:

http://www.orthodoxpath.org

Elder Paisios and the young George from the Far East

ORTHODOX PATH

George, a young man of sixteen or seventeen, came to Mount Athos in Greece to go from one monastery to another. Though Greek by blood, he had been raised abroad from early childhood among Tibetan Buddhist monks in their monastery. He had made a great deal of progress in meditation, and he had become an accomplished sorcerer, able to summon any demon he wanted. He was also an expert in the martial arts. Using the power of Satan, he made impressive displays of his abilities: he broke hazelnuts in his palm, and tossed away the shells while the nuts remained attached to his hand. He could read closed books. He struck large rocks with his bare hand, and they shattered like walnuts.

Some monks brought George to Saint Paisios so that he could help him. George asked Saint Paisios what powers he had, what he could do, and the St Paisios answered that he himself didn’t have any power, and that all power is from God.

George, wanting to demonstrate his power, concentrated his gaze on a large rock in the distance, and it shattered. Saint Paisios took a small rock and made the sign of the Cross over it, and told him to destroy it too. He concentrated and performed his magic, but he couldn’t shatter it. Then he started trembling, and the satanic powers―which he thought he controlled―since they weren’t able to break the rock, turned against him and hurled him to the opposite bank of the river. Saint Paisios picked him up in a miserable condition.

“Another time,” recounted St Paisios, “while we were talking, he suddenly stood up, grabbed me by the arms and spun me around backward. ‘Let’s see Hadjiefendis get you lose, if he can,’ he said. I felt it was like blasphemy to say that. I moved my hands a little, like this, and he was jerked away. He jumped up in the air and tried to kick me, but his foot stopped near my face, like it had hit an invisible wall! God protected me.

“At night, I kept him there, and he slept in my cell. The demons dragged him down into the pit and thrashed him for failing. In the morning he was in a bad state, injured and covered in thorns and dirt. He confessed, ‘Satan beat me up because I couldn’t defeat you.’”

St Paisios convinced George to bring him his magical texts, and he burned them. “When he came here”, St Paisios recalled, “he had some sort of charm or amulet with him. I went to take it, but he wouldn’t give it to me. I took a candle and said, “Lift the leg of your pants up a little.” Then I put the lit candle against his leg―he yelled and jumped up. “Well,” I said, “if the flame from a little candle is for you, how are you going to endure the fire of hell that you’re going to end up in because of what you’re doing?”

St Paisios kept the young man close to him for a little while and helped him, so long as he was willing to be obedient. He felt such compassion for him that he said, “I would leave the desert and go out into the world to help this boy.” He made an effort to learn if he had been baptized and even found out the name of the church where his baptism had taken place. Shaken by the power and the grace of the Elder, George wanted to become a monk, but he wasn’t able to.

Saint Paisios would refer to George’s case to show what a delusion it is to think that all religions are the same, that everyone believes in the same God, and that there’s no difference between Tibetan Buddhist and Orthodox monks.

From the Book:

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

©2012 For the English Language by The Holy Monastery Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian

Video – Fr. Peter Gilquist, USA: Why Protestant Clergy are coming to the Orthodox Church

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

Fr. Peter Gilquist, USA:

Why Protestant Clergy are coming to the Orthodox Church

Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

by

His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico

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.

Orthodox children of Cuba

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 blessed country in the world. And this is because – as I point out to our priests – whichever stone you lift, underneath it you will find the relics of a Saint, a Martyr, a holy man, a fighter for the Orthodox faith… We, however, in Latin America are living our Pentecost today. For us – with the exception of the few Greek Orthodox Communities – Orthodoxy has only just arrived in Latin America. I recall six years ago, when our Ecumenical Patriarch visited Cuba to officiate in the inauguration of the Holy Temple of Saint Nicholas, there were only four Orthodox Cubans, whereas now, more than one thousand Cuban families have been baptized and have embraced Orthodoxy. And every day, there are more – many more – who seek to acquaint themselves with the Faith of our Fathers. Six years ago, with the inauguration of Saint Continue reading “Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy”

New Zealand: Orthodoxy in the Land of the Kiwi

http://newzealandofmyheart.wordpress.com

NEW ZEALAND OF MY HEART

New Zealand:

Orthodoxy in the Land of the Kiwi

Source:

http://orthochristian.com

http://orthochristian.com/46971.html

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

An interview with the dean of parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in New Zealand, Archpriest Vladimir Boikov
We imagine New Zealand as a distant, fairy tale land at the end of the earth. Its landscapes have become known only recently through their depiction in the movies.

Nevertheless, few know that Orthodox parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad have existed here for a half century now. Other local Orthodox churches also serve the spiritual needs of their flocks in New Zealand. Today we are speaking with Fr. Vladimir Boikov, a recent guest of Sretensky Monastery, about the Orthodox Church today, the Russian diaspora, and the spiritual problems of New Zealand society.

—Fr. Vladimir, what is the Russian Church like in New Zealand; how is it administratively organized in that distant, seemingly exotic land?

—We are part of the diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Church Abroad. The majority of the Russian flock in our diocese lives in Australia. There are especially many people from Russia and the former USSR in Sydney.

There have always been fewer Russians in New Zealand. The main wave of Russian immigrants came after the Second World War. These were people resettling from Europe and China. Russians came from China in the 1950’s–1960’s, first to Australia, and then some families reached New Zealand. Nevertheless, with time the majority of them returned to Australia, influenced by familial ties and the particularities of life in New Zealand.

—In other words, we can say that the Russian diaspora in New Zealand appeared during the period after the Second World War?

—Yes. Especially many Russians appeared in Australia, and as I said, significantly fewer in New Zealand. The first Russians who came to that country founded three of our parishes. The problem is that there have never been sufficient resources to cover New Zealand in our diocesan center; and, as I think, also because the question of support for parishes and missionary Continue reading “New Zealand: Orthodoxy in the Land of the Kiwi”

A German Protestant comes to know Orthodoxy through the wireless

http://textsorthodoxy.wordpress.com

TEXTS – ORTHODOXY

A German Protestant

comes to know Orthodoxy through the wireless

On Saturday 8-8-2009, at the Holy Monastery of Dohiariou at the Holy Mountain, in an atmosphere of devotion, the German Dominik Weiel 40 years old Geologist, renounced Protestantism and entered Orthodoxy, receiving the baptismal name Michael.

Michael became acquainted with Athos and Orthodoxy through his communication via the wireless with Radio-amateur brother of the Monastery Fr. Apollo SV2ASP/A, who began in 1991. The experienced German Radio-amateur DL5EBE, then as an undergraduate, when he heard for the first time the inexperienced Agiorite monk with a weak signal calling, he communicated with him and offered to help him. This was the first opportunity for him to come to Athos, meet the monk and set up the station. This visit became a landmark in his life. He met the Elder Gregory, Abbot of the Monastery and the brothers, whom he loved and continued to visit to the Monastery, always following its full daily program.

When he completed his University studies he was employed by a German petroleum products company, active throughout the world. For many years now he works in Moscow and because of this it was many years since he had visited Athos. However, despite of this, he did not cease his communication. All this period he struggled within himself on his conversion and finally decided to be baptized, thus he came to Athos. Those days it happened that we had a lot of work in which he took part. The days would pass and he was anxious to be baptized. Finally on Friday the Elder asked him “do you wish to be baptized?’ “It would be my great pleasure” he replied and immediately his face shined. Then we invited Mr. Stavro Pomaki, Officer in the Army Air Force, radio-amateur and spiritual child of the Monastery, who even though he was far from his home, he eagerly agreed to become his godparent. Very shortly later everything was ready, so the morning of Saturday after the Divine Liturgy, he received the holy baptism at the harbor of our Monastery in the presence of the whole brotherhood and pilgrims and finally very happy he returned to his work.

Let us pray that the Archangel Michael, the protector of our Monastery whose name was given by the Elder, support him on the difficult road of his life he struggles daily.

Source:

https://www.impantokratoros.gr/590BD9B9.en.aspx

Video – Congo, Africa: Nina & her mother – From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

http://faithbookorthodoxy.wordpress.com

FAITHBOOK – ORTHODOXY

Congo, Africa: Nina & her mother

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

“Bible Answer Man” booted from Bott Radio Network after Hank Hanegraaff joins Eastern Orthodox Church

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

“Bible Answer Man”

booted from Bott Radio Network after Hank Hanegraaff

joins Eastern Orthodox Church

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

‘Bible Answer Man’ Booted From Bott Radio Network After Hank Hanegraaff Joins Orthodox Church

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Most of us knew this sort of thing was coming. They cite concerns over ‘biblical accuracy’ without offering so much as one single example of any Biblical inaccuracy from Hank.

The “Bible Answer Man” radio show program with Hank Hanegraaff has been booted from Bott Radio Network over concerns regarding ‘biblical accuracy’, following Hanegraaff’s conversion into the Eastern Orthodox Church.

“We want to make sure that our listeners know that the programming that we have on Bott Radio Network is thoroughly biblical,” said BRN President Richard P. Bott II, a member of Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kansas, according to Baptist Press.

BRN had reportedly been broadcasting the “Bible Answer Man” since the 1980s, even before Hanegraaff joined the show in 1989.

The Christian Post confirmed last week that Hanegraaff, who is also the president and chairman of the Christian Research Institute, was chrismated on Palm Sunday at Saint Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Some, such as Rod Dreher, an Orthodox Christian and author of the New York Times best-selling book The Benedict Option, told CP last week that the news of Hanegraaff joining the Orthodox Church is “astounding.”

“Many evangelicals seek the early church; well here it is, in Orthodoxy,” Dreher said.

“I am sure some will be scandalized by Hanegraaff’s conversion but I hope at least some will wonder how someone as knowledgeable about the Bible as Hank could convert to Orthodoxy, and go to a Divine Liturgy to taste and see what it’s like.”

100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy

http://orthodox-heart-sites.blogspot.com

ORTHODOX HEART SITES

100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy

Continue reading “100+ Stories of Our Days – Coming to Orthodoxy”

Three reasons to join the Eastern Orthodox Church – Michael Witcoff, USA

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

3 Reasons to join the Eastern Orthodox Church

by

Michael Witcoff, USA

Michael Witcoff is a Christian, a copywriter, an author, and a marketing consultant. He believes the West is experiencing divine wrath for turning our backs on God, and that the only hope for salvation is to unite under one faithful banner as our enemies have under theirs.

* * *

Friends and brothers, it’s been quite a while since I last wrote to you. Between my consulting business and my growing interest in the world of blockchain technology, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately.

But the time seems right for me to come back to Return Of Kings and share a bit more of my journey with you. The rhythm I aim for in life is to learn and grow, then share and teach.

Today’s topic, Eastern Orthodoxy, is something I’d never even heard of when my last article here was published. But since discovering what it is and delving deeper into its mysteries, it’s consumed an enormous amount of my time and attention.

So much of it, in fact, that I recently decided to leave my Wesleyan ways behind and become a full-fledged member of the Orthodox Church. Today, I’d like to share with you my top three reasons for doing so.

1.It’s The Church That Jesus Planted

During my time as a Protestant, it never even occurred to me that a denomination existed reaching all the way back to the time of the apostles.

Once I realized there was an unbroken chain of tradition reaching back nearly 2,000 years, I began to ask an entirely new kind of question. What did they teach? How did they worship? What did they believe? How did it get Continue reading “Three reasons to join the Eastern Orthodox Church – Michael Witcoff, USA”

The Mane Man – An Interview with Troy Polamalu of Pittsburg Steelers Team, Samoa & USA – Journey to Orthodoxy

An Interview with Troy Polamalu

The Mane Man

By

Gina Mazza

Pittsburgh Magazine, August 2009

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/08/24/wild-interview-with-troy-polamalu/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Football is a given: How was this year’s Super Bowl experience versus XL? Tomlin versus Cowher? Goals for the coming season?

Fatherhood is new in Polamalu’s life since the birth of his son, Paisios, named after a beloved contemporary Greek Orthodox monastic, Elder Paisios, on Oct. 31, 2008. Has daddy-dom been life-changing? Will he encourage his son to play professional sports? How’s that
beautiful new mom doing?

And last but not least: Faith. In order to properly meet Polamalu where he lives, this is the requisite, the grounding force that gives meaning to everything he does, every play he makes. Polamalu’s evident gratitude to the one who made him is marbled throughout our talk – from his training regime to his travels to Mount Athos, a monastic site in Greece, a place he calls “heaven on earth.”

While he has a reputation for being one of the NFL’s fiercest players, Polamalu would prefer “Tasmanian angel” over “Tasmanian devil” because his ball game is about glorifying God. “Football is part of my life but not life itself,” he says. “Football doesn’t define me. It’s what I do [and] how I carry out my faith.”

Whether shooting a Coke Zero commercial or running up the sand hills on Manhattan Beach to train – which he’s probably off to do after this interview – Polamalu, 27, is refreshingly modest and introspective, choosing his words as precisely as he picks his spots on the gridiron. He’s intense when the Continue reading “The Mane Man – An Interview with Troy Polamalu of Pittsburg Steelers Team, Samoa & USA – Journey to Orthodoxy”

Video – Guatemala: The Divine Liturgy in a Mayan language (Ghuj)

http://divineliturgyexperiences.wordpress.com

EXPERIENCES DURING THE DIVINE LITURGY

Things-You-Should-Know-Before-Traveling-to-Guatemala.jpg

Guatemala: The Divine Liturgy in a Mayan language (Ghuj)

Link: Conversions to Orthodoxy

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

Conversions to Orthodoxy

The conversion of French Photographer Frère Jean (Gérard Gascuel) to Orthodoxy

http://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

The conversion of French

Photographer Frère Jean (Gérard Gascuel)

to Orthodoxy

Photographer Gérard Gascuel who worked with Marcel Marceau and Salvador Dali and now is Hieromonk Gerasimos says he decided to become a monk after hearing an Athonite monk singing.

«I was 33 when the editor in chief of an influential Japanese magazine sent me to Greece to make a report about the life of Athonite monks,» Father Gerasimos was quoted as saying by the Rossijskaya Gazeta daily on Tuesday.

Going around the monasteries he came upon a monastery where there is an ancient tradition to keep skulls of deceased monks.

«I went into the crypt and then life was divided: ‘before’ and ‘after’. When I was going back I met a Greek monk and we talked about the meaning of life. His English was poor… And suddenly he started singing!» Father Gerasimos recalls.

According to him, it was then that he decided to become a monk.

«I made a decision in few seconds. Having returned to France, I delivered my report to the magazine, sold my estate and became an ordinary monk on Athos. I spent many years in the Holy Land at St. Savvas Monastery in the Continue reading “The conversion of French Photographer Frère Jean (Gérard Gascuel) to Orthodoxy”

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994), the false evolution & the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old & the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

http://easternorthodoxchurch.blogspot.com

EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

NZ-38220

photo_1

Saint Paisios of Mount Athos (+1994),

the false evolution & the temptation of atheism when he was 11 years old

& the appearance of Jesus Christ to him

From the age of eleven [says Saint Paisios], I would read the lives of the Saints, I would fast and keep vigil. My older brother would take the books and hide them, but that didn’t stop me. I would just go into the forest and keep reading there.

Later, when I was fifteen, a friend of my brother named Costas told my brother, “I’ll make him willingly give up all this nonesense.” He came and explained to me Darwin’s theory of evolution. I was shaken by this, and I said, “I’ll go and pray, and, if Christ is God, He’ll appear to me so that I’ll believe. I’ll see a shadow, hear a voice—He will show me a sign.” That’s all I could come up with at the time.

So, I went and began to pray and make prostrations for hours; but nothing happened. Eventually I stopped in a state of exhaustion. Then something Costas had said came to mind: “I accept that Christ is an important man,” he had told me, “righteous and virtuous, Who was hated out of envy for His virtue and condemned by His countrymen.” I thought to myself, “since that’s how Christ was, even if He was only a man, He deserves my love, obedience, and self-sacrifice. I don’t want paradise; I don’t want anything. It is worth making every sacrifice for the sake of His holiness and kindness.”

God was waiting to see how I would deal with this temptation. After this, Christ Himself appeared to me in a great light. He was visible from the waist up. He looked at me with tremendous love and said, “I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in Me, even if he dies, he shall live” (Jn. 11:25). He was holding the Gospel in His left hand, open to the page where the same words were written.

With this event, the uncertainties that had troubled my soul were overcome, and in divine grace I came to know Christ as true God and Savior of the world. I was convinced of the truth of the God-man, not by men or books, but by the very Lord Himself, who revealed Himself to me even at this young age. Firmly established in faith, I thought to myself, “Come back now, Costas, if you want, and we’ll have a talk.”

Source:

Books of St Paisios

Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

South-America-Patagonia-1-guanaco.jpg

25915.p.jpg

“NATIVE AMERICANS MAY BECOME

THE LARGEST ETHNIC GROUP IN THE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.”

An interview with His Beatitude Jonah, Archbishop of Washington,

Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/33241.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

In early December of 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada (Orthodox Church of America) visited Russia to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the OCA’s representation in Moscow. Correspondent Miguel Palacio took the opportunity to talk with Metropolitan Jonah about the OCA’s presence in Latin America.

– Your Beatitude, in which Latin America countries is the Orthodox Church in America represented?

– Our jurisdiction extends to Mexico. We used to have parishes in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela as well, but one of them joined the Russian Church Abroad, while others simply closed.

Several communities in Latin America want to join the American Orthodox Church. We would be happy to receive these faithful people, but there would be no one to take care of them because we have very few clergymen who speak Spanish or Portuguese.

One priest, who I hope will soon become a bishop, began a mission in Ecuador, in the city of Guayaquil, where there is a large Palestinian colony. Unfortunately, his good initiative has fizzled out. I have heard that many Palestinians also live in Central American countries, one of which is El Salvador. It is curious, but they do not go to the Antiochian parishes, and are requesting to be received under our omophorion.

The Constantinople and Antiochian Patriarchates prefer to pastor the Greek and Arab diasporas. We do not understand this. The Church should give pastoral care first of all to its local spiritual children. This is our principle in the Orthodox Church in America.

– When was the Mexican exarchate organized?

– The Mexican exarchate has existed since the 1970’s. At that time, the Bishop of the Mexican national Old Catholic Church, Jose (Cortez-y-Olmos), strengthened contact with our Church and became Orthodox, together with his entire community. Thanks to his labors, hundreds of Mexicans have become immersed in the Orthodox Faith.

Not long ago, five thousand Native Americans from twenty-three areas in the state of Veracruz were baptized into Orthodoxy. However, there is only one priest to serve that entire mass of people. In general, the Mexican exarchate has very few clergymen. They are all Mexican, including the ruling hierarch, Bishop Alejo (Pacheco-Vera).

– Have you ever been to Latin America?

– I have only visited Mexico. Now I am getting ready to visit Guatemala. A friend of mine lives there — Abbess Ines (Ayau Garcia), the superior of the Holy Trinity Convent, which is under the jurisdiction of the Antiochian Patriarchate.

In Guatemala, a group of thousands of people who would like to become Orthodox have attracted my attention. Most of them are Mayan. If we take these Guatemalans in, as well as other members of the native Latin American population, then Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church. I, personally, would be very happy about that.

– I see that you sympathize with the original inhabitants of the American continent…

– I have the warmest feelings for Native Americans. I studied anthropology in the university, and was drawn to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. These were enormous, amazing civilizations.

I like Latin America as a whole — its art, music, literature, and cuisine. Latin Americans love life; they are open and hospitable people. I grew up in California — one of the most Hispanic states in the U.S. I was able to learn some Spanish from my Mexican friends (although I speak Spanish poorly). The priest who united me to the Orthodox Church was a Mexican. His name was Fr. Ramon Merlos.

– What does missionary work amongst Native Americans in the U.S. have in common with that amongst those of Latin America?

– To be honest, I do not yet know… Our Church has missionary experience in Alaska, where one remarkable priest serves — Archpriest Michael Oleksa, an anthropologist. He is a Carpatho-Russian; his wife comes from the indigenous Yupiks. Fr. Michael wants to conduct a conference of Orthodox Native Americans of America. This would be an extremely interesting event.

When Fr. Michael was rector of the seminary, he invited the Guatemalan community that was thirsting for Orthodoxy to send two members to receive a theological education. The idea was, of course, a good one. But people who are accustomed to a tropical climate are not likely to endure the freezing temperatures of Alaska.

– Are there Latin Americans amongst your parishioners in the U.S.?

– Of course there are. In California, thirty-five percent of the population is Latin American, and the percentage is even larger in Texas. There are Latinos both amongst the flock and the clergy in our Church. Studying in St. Tikhon Seminary is a Mexican with Native Americans roots, named Abraham. He has the obedience of sub-deacon. One sub-deacon in San Francisco is Colombian. At the end of November, I blessed a new convent dedicated to the Nativity of Christ in Dallas, the superior of which is Brazilian.

– What, do you suppose, attracts Latin Americans to Orthodoxy?

– Latinos love our Liturgy and icons; they are captivated by the deep veneration of the Mother of God within the Orthodox Church.

I have to say that the Catholic Church is quickly losing its influence in Latin America, and the reason for this is its close association with the upper social classes. A significant portion of the poorer classes, which make up the majority of the region, have become disillusioned with the Catholic pastors, and have aligned themselves with protestants, Mormons, and other sectarians.

Metropolitan Andres (Giron), the head of the St. Basil the Great Order of White Clergy in Guatemala, used to be a Catholic priest. He saw that his Church leaders were oriented towards the wealthy; in the 1990’s he left the Catholic Church, because he wanted to work for the people. Not long ago, Fr. Andres said to me, “I am old and ailing. Please take my people into your Church for the sake of their salvation.” It would be hard to call his community Orthodox, but it is gradually coming to know Orthodox teachings, and partaking of the traditions of the Orthodox Church. Besides those in Guatemala, Bishop Andres has opened parishes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other U.S. cities where his countrymen have settled.

– Are you not afraid of some conflict with the Catholic Church? After all, Latin America is still considered the “largest diocese of the Vatican.”

– There will not be any conflict. The Catholic Church relates to Orthodoxy with loyalty. Furthermore, I see no little potential for collaboration with the Catholic Church, first of all in the struggle against sectarianism.

Interview by Miguel Palacio

21 / 12 / 2009

Video: Bishop Anthony Bloom’s conversion from atheism to the Orthodox Christian Faith

http://greatbritainofmyheart.wordpress.com

GREAT BRITAIN OF MY HEART

Bishop Anthony Bloom’s conversion

from atheism to the Orthodox Christian Faith

東正教會: 瑞士阿爾卑斯山脈 Orthodoxy in Swiss Alps ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* 东正教在中国 – Chinese Video

http://edelweissofmyheart.wordpress.com

EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

東正教會: 瑞士阿爾卑斯山脈 Orthodoxy in Swiss Alps

Вьетнам, 2017: Находившаяся в коме вьетнамка приняла христианство после видения Божией Матери ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Russian

http://vietnamofmyheart.wordpress.com

VIETNAM OF MY HEART

Sunset in Halong Bay

vietnamese-woman

Вьетнам, 2017: Находившаяся в коме вьетнамка

приняла христианство после видения Божией Матери

Отец Георгий Максимов:

Я писал ранее про вьетнамку, которая крестилась накануне Пасхи под влиянием Самой Богородицы. Теперь я получил ее собственный рассказ и фото, так что помещаю их здесь. ‘Меня зовут Нгуен Тхи Май Ань. Я живу и работаю в городе Вунгтау. Я была буддисткой, но однажды в моей жизни произошло невероятное событие. Около года назад я лежала в коме в больнице. В это время я увидела сияние, яркий свет, и прямо передо мной возникла Богородица Дева Мария. Она протянула мне бутыль с водой и дала мне пить. Как только я выпила воду, свет и Богородица исчезли, а утром следующего дня я внезапно вышла из комы после долгого забытия. Я выжила и через несколько дней стала молиться Господу и Богородице, просить их о скором выздоровлении. И я решила, что когда вернусь домой, то стану христианкой. И через несколько дней во сне мне опять было видение, что будет человек, который приведет меня в церковь, я буду есть там Хлеб и пить Святую Воду вместе со всеми и ходить вокруг храма. После того как я выписалась и вернулась домой меня пришел навестить мой друг Женя и принес мне икону Богородицы со Спасителем. Я была невероятно рада, потому что это был тот самый образ, который я видела во сне. Я была очень счастлива, я рассказала другу о том, что видела во сне, и он отвел меня в православную церковь где молятся русские в 5-м районе города Вунгтау, чтобы там я встретилась с Богородицей и Господом. Эта церковь стала местом, где я Крестилась и родилась во второй раз под покровом Пресвятой Богородицы и по Благодати Господа. И 17.04.2017 я приняла Крещение и стала православной. Я бесконечно счастлива! Благодарю Тебя, Господи и Тебя Богородица за мое “второе рождение” и дарование мне Источника Жизни!’
На фото она единственная сидящая, поскольку накануне крещения попала в аварию и сломала ногу. Но даже это не изменило ее решимости и она крестилась с именем Анна. Сейчас она активно участвует в жизни общины и читает на службах часть молитв на вьетнамском языке.

Fr-George Maximov

Facebook