Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Mother Cathedral

00 St Michael Cathedral. Sitka AK. 19.08.14

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St Michael Cathedral is a great example of Old Russian church architecture. The greatest Orthodox Missionary in Alaska, Bishop Innokenty Veniaminov, designed it. He came to Sitka in 1834, returned to Russia in 1838, and became a bishop in 1840. He was the first Bishop of Alaska, and upon his return to Sitka in 1841, he began planning the construction of the cathedral. Bishop Innokenty laid the cornerstone in 1844 and hired carpenters and craftsmen to build it. The building used spruce logs with an outer layer of clapboard, and sailcloth covered the ceilings and walls for insulation and acoustics. The history of St Michael Cathedral began when a ship carrying the St Michael icon sank, along with all its valuable cargo, 30 miles short of its destination. Thirty days after the Neva sank, the undamaged crate carrying the icon washed ashore at Sitka and local residents found it On 20 November 1848, Bishop Innokenty consecrated St Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Cathedral. The building is laid out in the form of a cross, with three altars dedicated from left to right to the Mother of God “of Sitka”, St Michael the Archangel, and St Innokenty.

Bishop Innokenty learned how to speak the Tlingit language, and the Tlingits loved him, as he went all-out to understand their way of life and spiritual needs. He provided them with medicine and vaccines. Today, 90 percent of the cathedral congregation is Tlingit, as well as other native groups. The music in the liturgy is sung a capella (unaccompanied voice) in English, Slavonic, Tlingit, Aleut, and Yupik. Bishop Innokenty eventually returned to Russia and became the Metropolitan of Moscow and all the Russias. The Church canonised him a saint in 1977.

On 2 January 1966, tragedy struck the cathedral. A fire in Sitka’s business district in the middle of the night eventually spread to the church. Scores of local people rushed to the cathedral, where they formed human chains to remove most of the treasures… original artworks, icons, and religious objects, at the risk of their own lives. Unfortunately, the fire destroyed the structure, the clock built by Bishop Innokenty, Bishop Innokenty’s library, and bells. The Icon of the Last Supper above the Royal Doors in the main altar also perished in the blaze. Immediately after this tragedy, concerned citizens made plans to rebuild the cathedral in its original form, beauty, size, and style. They formed the Sitka Historical Restoration Committee, including many prominent citizens. It took 10 years to rebuild due to the difficult conditions peculiar to Alaska. The original plans were extant and they used them in the reconstruction. The replacement was completed and consecrated on 21 November 1976. The generous support of thousands of people in Sitka, throughout Alaska, and Lower 48 states made all of it possible.

The National Parks Service designated St Michael Cathedral a National Historical Monument and the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops named it an architectural and historical monument. To this day, its clergy serve a full cycle of liturgical services to accommodate the needs of Orthodox believers in Sitka, and it’s the “Mother Cathedral” of the Orthodox Church in America.

20 August 2014

Junjun Ablaza

Manila Bulletin

http://www.mb.com.ph/mother-cathedral/

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

16 August 2014. Now, For Something Entirely Different… There Be Orthodoxy in Darkest Africa, I Hear…

00 african orthodox church. 16.08.14

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Do you know WHY Holy Orthodoxy is the fastest growing religion in Sub-Saharan Africa? Of course, it’s the True Faith and it appears to simple innocent people with signs and wonders. However, there’s more to it… unlike the RCs and Protestants, Orthodoxy appeared in Black Africa as ANTI-imperialist. It didn’t come in under the protection of the colonialists’ bayonets. Catholics, Anglicans, and Protestants all came to the black man as a part of the white man’s often brutal, sometimes patronising, but always condescending dictatorship.

On the other hand, Orthodoxy came to modern Africa from Greece and (especially) Cyprus. Cyprus, like much of Africa, had been under arrogant and arbitrary British rule and imperialism. Like the Africans, the Cypriots loathed their “paternal” overlords and their condescending snootiness… they struggled long and hard to break free. When Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda struggled for their freedom and dignity after World War II, they found rich support from Metropolitan Makarios of Cyprus, who furnished Africans with both spiritual weaponry (The Holy Faith) and material weaponry (military training and support from Cyprus).

The African peoples NEVER forgot this… Greeks and Russians (yes, even in the time of the USSR) won the love of the African peoples… and their Faith inspired Africans too… Orthodox Christianity. It was a Christianity free of the White Man’s Diktat. The struggle of the Kenyan freedom fighters against the Brit occupiers was a hard one, as the Brits had no scruples and spared no one. However, with God’s help, in the end, the natives kicked out the Brits and won their freedom. Cyprus was the first nation to recognise the sovereignty and independence of almost a dozen African states. Africans haven’t forgotten this… nor have they forgotten the cruelties of the conceited and snotty Western Europeans and Anglo Americans. We see their narcissism and wilfulness in the Ukraine today, don’t we? They sure haven’t changed, have they?

BMD

Sunday, 12 February 2012

ROCOR Mission Opened in Sargodha in Pakistan

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With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral of New York and Eastern America, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), Archangel St Michael Russian Orthodox Mission opened in Pakistan. On 30 January 2012, the Orthodox mission formally began in Sargodha. The parish priest serving there is Fr Adrian Augustus from Sydney, according to Theorthodoxchurch.info. At the mission, 57 Pakistanis have accepted baptism; in addition, Fr Adrian chrismated over 117 more. The Russian Orthodox mission in Pakistan is under the jurisdiction of the ROCOR Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. Today, there are also missions under the jurisdiction of the EP and the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Pakistan.

10 February 2012

Pravoslavie.ru

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/news/51519.htm

Friday, 22 July 2011

Orthodox Biker Rally in the Kuzbass

More than 70 bikers from several Siberian cities will take part in a two-day Orthodox motorcycle rally, passing through Kemerovo Oblast. The route of rally will cover more than 100 kilometres, a spokesman of the local diocese informed Interfax on Friday. On 23 July, a molieben will kick off the event, then, riders will go to the Fountain of St John the Baptist, after that, they’ll ride on to Belovo. A concert and entertainment will end the first day of the rally; the participants, including riders from Barnaul and Novosibirsk, will sleep out in tents under the open sky. The next day, the bikers will disperse to go home. Both baptised and unbaptised riders are welcome; their age or the type of motorcycle they ride doesn’t matter. The purpose of the rally is to involve young people in the Orthodox faith.

22 July 2011

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=41589

Editor’s Note:

Some silly konvertsy think that Russia and Greece are “holy lands” (conversely, others attack the home countries mercilessly). They’re dense… Russia and Greece are full of ordinary sinful-ginful folks (most of whom are baptised Orthodox, though). They’re full of all the faults that fallen mankind’s prey to… yet, they’re ORTHODOX societies deep down… America is NOT, emphatically so. That doesn’t mean that we cave in, assimilate to Sectarian heresy, and act like the heretics surrounding us, as some wish us to do. No… however, it does mean that the average American isn’t receptive to Orthodoxy and its worldview… most are deeply Sectarian, they require YEARS to rid themselves of its malign influence. Look at how they misuse and abuse the Fathers and the Canons. Lordy! It makes you want to have a bonfire of their godforsaken books in the churchyard… I DO mean that! The Church isn’t a set of rules… it isn’t a set of books to memorise… it isn’t a “look” to imitate down to the last detail… it’s the bikers from Kemerovo Oblast who’re going to have one hell of a good time, and remember their God whilst they’re at it. That’s what I believe… and I do think that most of you agree with me…

BMD

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