August 2009
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The Messenger of Sts. Theodore Orthodox Church
A Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
96 Los Robles St., Williamsville NY 14221 (716) 634-6712

Vol. X, No. 8
August 2009

Regular Services and Classes
        Saturday Night Vigil Service:      5:00pm
        Sunday Morning Services
            Divine Liturgy:                         9:30am
            Bible Study                              after coffee hour
        Wednesday Akathist:                  6:30pm
        Friday Small Compline:               6:30pm

Feast of the Transfiguration
        Vigil: Tuesday, August 18, 6:30pm
        Liturgy: Wednesday, August 19, 9:00am

The Blessing of Firstfruits will be performed at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy on Transfiguration.

Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos
        Vigil: Thursday, August 27, 6:30pm
        Liturgy: Friday, August 28, 9:00am

Both Transfiguration and Dormition are Great Feasts. Everyone who is able to attend Divine Liturgy on these feast days should prepare for and receive Holy Communion. If you cannot attend the Liturgy, you should at least attend the Vigil.        

Parish News

-Glory to God for the successful parish picnic last month.

- Many thanks to everyone who has been helping to fix up the Milton St. house

- Congratulations to Chris and Lindsey Clader, who are expecting their first child! The due date is on Nativity.

- Congratulations to our new catechumen, Barbara Griffin!

- Please remember the Enser family in your prayers as they make the transition to living in Syracuse.

- Please remember Reader George Hammond in your prayers as he prepares to begin studies at Holy Trinity Seminary next month.

- On Sunday, August 2 (n.s.), by decree of the Synod of Bishops, we will take up an offering for the St. Vladimir Memorial Church. (See decree below.)

- Fr. Peter will be in Jordanville from Monday, August 3 to Thursday, August 6.

- The Dormition Fast begins on August 14 and ends August 28. Fish is allowed on Transfiguration, August 19.


Name Days This Month

- Makrina Tkaczevski: July 19/August 1 (St. Makrina, sister of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa)

- Elijah Venticinque: July 20/August 2 (Holy Prophet Elijah)

- Anna Zolin and Anna Wheeler: July 25/August 7 (Dormition of the Righteous Anna, mother of the Most-Holy Theotokos)

- Benjamin Jackson: July 31/August 13 (New Hieromartyr Benjamin of Petrograd)

- Christopher Clader: August 18/31: (St. Christopher, abbot of Mt. Mela Monastery)

Многая Лета!                Many Years!

GENEVA: 22 June 2009
Bishop Ambrose (Cantacuzene) has reposed.

The Chancery of the Diocese of Western Europe has announced the sad news that Bishop Ambrose (Cantacuzene) reposed in the Lord today.
Bishop Ambrose, whose secular name was Peter Cantacuzene, was born on 3/16 September 1947, in Vevey, Switzerland, the son of Prince Peter Georgievich Cantacuzene (1922-1975) and his wife, Olga Alekseevna (nee Orlov, 1923-1984). He completed his secondary schooling with a certificate in classical philology, and then went on to study law at Lausanne University. Within seven years he had become a teacher of French and basic principles of law in a secondary school. In 1972, in the Vevey Church of the Greatmartyr Barbara, during its patronal feast, he was tonsured a reader. In 1974, he took part in the Third Pan-Diaspora Council.
From 1975-1978, whle he was guardian of the Cathedral of the Elevation of the Cross, he received instruction from the ever-memorable Archbishop Anthony (Bartoshevich) of Geneva and Western Europe (+1993). In spring of 1976, in Geneva, he was ordained to the diaconate, and on 13/26 September of that year, to the priesthood.
In spring of 1978, he was assigned to the parish of Lausanne-Vevey, where he has been rector ever since. He was often sent to oversee various parishes of the Diocese on a temporary or periodic basis. These included Brussels, Medon, Lyons, Bari, Montpellier and Rome. In 1991, he was elevated to the rank of Protopriest, and on 24 August/6 September 1993, he received the monastic tonsure. Three weeks later, he was consecrated Bishop of Vevey. In 2000, he was appointed Bishop of Geneva and Western Europe by the Council of Bishops.
In 2006, The Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad permitted Bishop Ambrose to retire.
May his memory be eternal!
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Decree of the Synod of Bishops regarding a special collection for the renovation of St. Vladimir's Memorial Church

The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad
On April 22/May 5 heard: A petition from St. Vladimir’s Society for the carrying out of collections to go toward the repair work at St. Vladimir Memorial Church, dedicated to the Millennial of Russian Orthodoxy, in Jackson, NJ.
Resolved: That all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad carry out special collections on the nearest Sunday for St. Vladimir’s Day this year and in 2010.
It is on this matter that you receive this decree.
+Metropolitan Hilarion
President of the Holy Synod
+Archbishop Kyrill
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Metropolitan Hilarion makes pastoral visitation to the Asian parishes of the Diocese

On Monday the 22nd of June, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion departed from Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport to begin an eight day visitation of the parishes in South Korea and Indonesia that are under the canonical protection of the Australian & New Zealand Diocese.
His first destination was Seoul, capital of South Korea where he was met by Deacon Father Paul Kang, who drove the Metropolitan to Holy Trinity Skete in the rural seaside village of Yonghwa.

On Tuesday the 23rd of June, His Eminence served the Divine Liturgy in the Skete’s Church of St Anna. The Head of the Korean Orthodox Mission, Father Justin Kang and his wife Matushka Helen, have both felt for a long time the call to the monastic life. Thus, during the Liturgy Father Justin Kang was tonsured to the small schema with the new name of John - Johan in Korean – in honour of St John of Kronstadt and will be based at Holy Trinity Skete. Matushka Helen Kang was tonsured into the small schema with the new name of Elizabeth in honour of the New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia. Mother Elizabeth is attached to St Helen’s Chapel in the village of Chanjho.

On the following day, Wednesday the 24th of June, Vladika Hilarion again served the Divine Liturgy in St Anna’s Church, and ordained the Revd Deacon Doctor Paul Kang to the holy priesthood. The son of Hieromonk Johan and Nun Elizabeth, Father Paul lives in the Korean provincial city of Gumi with his wife Matushka Anna. Holding a Ph.D. in Material Science, Father Paul works for the international electronics company LG.
Upon his tonsure, Hieromonk Johan retired from his position as head of the Korean Orthodox Mission. In his place Metropolitan Hilarion appointed Revd Dr Paul Kang to head the Mission which will now be based at the Chapel of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Gumi.

The prayers of the faithful are asked for the newly tonsured monastics Hieromonk Johan and Nun Elizabeth, and the newly ordained head of the Korean Orthodox Mission the Revd Dr Paul Kang.

On Thursday the 25th of June Metropolitan departed Korea from Incheon and flew to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, arriving late in the evening. He was met by the Dean of the Indonesian Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Daniel, and clergy and laity of the deanery.

Very early the next morning, Friday the 26th of June, His Eminence flew to the city of Solo in East Java, and taken immediately to Holy Trinity Church. Here he was met by most of the Indonesian deanery clergy, many parishioners and afforded the honour of a traditional Javanese welcome by a group of dancers. The size of the Indonesian nation meant that many of the clergy had to travel vast distances to gather in Solo for their deanery meeting.

At the appropriate places during the Divine Liturgy His Eminence ordained Deacon Athanasius Mori Muzendi to the Priesthood, to serve the missionary community in Jayapura, Papua (Irian Jaya), and sub-deacon Aleksander Kobesi to the Diaconate to serve the Indonesian Orthodox community in Bali.

At the Sunday Liturgy the next day, almost all of the clergy served together with the Metropolitan. Reader Moses Kristianto was ordained Sub-deacon, and then Deacon, and Deacon Michael Momongan was ordained to the holy Priesthood. Father Michael will take charge of the Orthodox community in Manado, Sulawesi left orphaned by the tragic death last year in a motor accident of his brother Father Gregory Momongan. Over fifty people, including those newly illumined in Baptism, made their communion.

Early the next morning, Monday the 29th of June, the Metropolitan flew back to Jakarta where he was met by parishioners from St Thomas parish. Some of the clergy, including ordination candidates, had travelled by bus the night before from Solo and were delayed in arriving, so the Liturgy at St Thomas’ Church began rather late. Before the Divine Liturgy Reader Chrysostomos Rolling Swempry Gaspersz was ordained Sub-deacon, and during the Liturgy Deacon Moses Kristianto was ordained to the holy Priesthood, and Sub-deacon Chrysostomos Gaspersz to the Diaconate to serve with Father Athanasius Mori Muzendi in Jayapura, in the Indonesia province of Papua .
Please pray for the newly tonsured monastics Hieromonk Johan and Nun Elizabeth, the newly ordained Readers Kirillos Baroto and Alexander Kambuaya, Deacon Father Chrysostomos Gaspersz, and the new priests Fathers Paul Kang, Athanasius Mori Muzendi, Aleksander Kobesi, Michael Momongan and Moses Kristianto.
Please pray for the all the clergy and faithful people of the Korean Orthodox Mission and the Orthodox Church of Indonesia as they witness to Christ in very difficult, challenging, and, in Indonesia, often dangerous situations.
Both mission areas are very, very poor and lack many resources. They need the financial help of Orthodox Christians in more affluent countries such as the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. If you would like to help, please send a contribution to the ROCOR Diocesan Office, 20 Chelmsford Avenue, Croydon, NSW, Australia clearly marked for either the Korean Orthodox Mission or the Indonesian Orthodox Church. Your support of our brothers and sisters in Christ is urgently needed. Supporting Orthodox missionary activity in non-Christian areas is part of the great legacy and tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. In helping ROCOR’s missionary activity in Korea and Indonesia we are obeying the command of our Saviour to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and follow in the footsteps of generations of Russian missionaries such as St Innocent of Irkutsk, St Tikhon of Moscow, St Nicholas of Japan and St John of Shanghai and San Francisco.
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Saints Commemorated on the Sundays of This Month
The Holy Prophet Elijah

A man who saw God, a wonderworker and a zealot for faith in God, Elijah was of the tribe of Aaron, from the city of Tishba, whence he was known as 'the Tishbite'. When Elijah was born, his father Sabah saw angels of God around the child, swaddling it with fire and feeding it with flames. This was a foreshadowing of Elijah's fiery character and his God-given fiery powers. He spent his whole youth in prayer and meditation, withdrawing often to the desert to ponder and pray in tranquillity. At that time, the Jewish Kingdom was divided into two unequal parts: the Kingdom of Judah consisted only of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with its capital at Jerusalem, while the Kingdom of Israel consisted of the other ten tribes, with its capital at Samaria. The former kingdom was ruled by the descendants of Solomon, and the latter by the descendants of Jeroboam, a servant of Solomon's. The prophet Elijah came into the greatest conflict with the Israelite king, Ahab, and his evil wife Jezebel, for they worshipped idols and turned the people from the service of the one, living God. On top of this, Jezebel, being a Syrian, persuaded her husband to build a temple to the Syrian god, Baal, and appointed many priests to the service of this false god. Elijah performed many miracles by the power of God: he closed the heavens, that no rain should fall for three years and six months; called down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice to his God, while the priests of Baal were unable to do this; brought rain from the heavens at his prayers; miraculously multiplied corn and oil in the widow's house at Zarephath, and restored her dead son to life; prophesied to Ahab that the dogs would lick up his blood, and to Jezebel that the dogs would devour her - which came to pass; and performed many other miracles and foretold many events. He talked with God on Horeb, and heard His voice in the calm after the great wind. At the time of his death, he took Elisha and appointed him his heir as a prophet; he parted the Jordan with his mantle and was finally borne to heaven in a fiery chariot drawn by fiery horses. He appeared together with Moses, to our Lord Jesus Christ on Tabor.

The Holy and Great Martyr Panteleimon

Born in Nicomedia of a Christian mother, Eubula, and a pagan father, Eustorgius, he studied medicine as a young man. The priest Hermolaus befriended him, instructed him in the Christian faith and baptised him. Panteleimon miraculously healed a blind man whom other doctors had treated in vain: he healed him by the name of Christ and baptised him. From jealousy, the doctors denounced Panteleimon as a Christian, and he went before the Emperor Maximian for judgement. 'He stood before the earthly ruler in the body, but in his mind he stood before the heavenly King.' He freely declared himself to be a Christian before the Emperor, and, in front of his eyes, healed a paralytic of a long infirmity. This miracle brought many of the pagans to the Christian faith. The Emperor put him to torture, but the Lord appeared to him on several occasions and delivered him whole and uninjured. Then St Hermolaus suffered, along with Hermippus and Hermocrates. Condemned to death, St Panteleimon knelt in prayer. At that, the executioner gave him a blow on the neck with his sword, and the sword broke as if made of wax. The executioner could not kill him until he had finished his prayer and had himself given the word to behead him. Panteleimon was beheaded under an olive tree, which after that became laden with fruit. 'Panteleimon' means 'all-merciful'. God the all-merciful received his righteous soul, and glorified him among His greatest saints, his relics remaining incorrupt. This wonderful martyr suffered with honour as a youth for Christ on July 27th, 304. St Panteleimon is invoked in the prayers at the blessing of water and the blessing of oil, together with St Hermolaus and the other unmercenaries and wonderworkers. The loveliest church dedicated to him is to be found on the Holy Mountain.

Our Holy Fathers Isaac, Dalmatus and Faustus

Isaac is commemorated separately on May 30th. St Dalmatus was first an officer under the Emperor Theodosius the Great, who held him in great honour, but, when his spirit awakened within him, he scorned all that is of this world, abandoning his rank, and took his only son Faustus off to the outskirts of Constantinople, to St Isaac's community, where they were both tonsured as monks. Dalmatus consecrated himself utterly to please God in his life, which was a joy to the elder, Isaac. When Isaac came to the hour of death, he installed Dalmatus as abbot in his place, and the community later came to be called after Dalmatus. He sometimes fasted for forty days at a time, conquering by his fasting the invisible power of the demons. He took part in the Third Ecumenical Council in 431, and battled against the Nestorian heresy. Being pleasing to God, he entered peacefully into rest in the 5th century. His son Faustus supported his father in everything and, after a godly life, died peacefully in that community.

The Holy Martyrs Laurence the Archdeacon and Pope Sixtus, and others with them

When Pope Stephen (see August 2nd) was killed, St Sixtus was installed in his place. Sixtus was an Athenian, first a philosopher and later a Christian. At that time, the Roman bishops were being killed one after the other in such quick succession that to be made Bishop of Rome was tantamount to a death sentence. The Emperor Valerian was determined to stamp out Christianity, and Pope Sixtus was quickly brought to trial with two of his deacons, Felicicius and Agapitus. When they were being taken off to prison, Laurence said to the Pope: 'Where are you going, Father, without your son? Whither, O Bishop, without your archdeacon?' The Pope consoled him with the prophecy that he would undergo yet greater suffering for Christ, and follow him very soon. And indeed, as soon as Sixtus and the two deacons had been beheaded, Laurence was arrested. He had been inspired to set in order both his own affairs and those of the Church. As treasurer, he had taken all the Church's valuables to the house of a widower, Cyriacus. At that time, he healed Cyriacus of terrible pains in the head by the touch of his hand, and restored the sight of a blind man, Crescention. Thrown into prison, Laurence there healed an elderly prisoner, Lucillus, of blindness and baptised him. Seeing this, the warder, Hippolytus, also received baptism, and later suffered for Christ (see August 13th). As Laurence would not deny Christ, but strongly counselled the Emperor Valerian to abandon his false gods, he was beaten on the face with stones and on his body with scorpions (chains with poisoned teeth). A soldier, Romanus, who was present at the torture, came to belief in Christ and was immediately beheaded. They finally put Laurence on an iron grid and lit a fire underneath. Roasting in the fire, Laurence gave thanks to God, and mocked the Emperor for his paganism. When he had given his pure and heroic soul to God, Hippolytus took his body by night, first to the house of Cyriacus and then to a cave, where he buried it. St Laurence suffered, together with the others, in 258.

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