in Alexandria under the chairmanship of Patriarch
Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa on Monday, the Holy Synod of
the Church of Alexandria resolved to establish 5 new dioceses for the
Church, reports the Patriarchate’s website.
The decision came on the first day of the session that is scheduled to run through Friday.
Theodosius Tsitsivos was elected as the Metropolitan of Katanga, and
Archimandrite Daniel Biazis, the secretary of the Holy Synod, was also
elected as the new Metropolitan of Aksum.
Innocentios of Burundi
and Rwanda (from here)
new Diocese of Malawi was created by dividing the former Metropolis of Zambia and Malawi and will be led by Archimandrite Photios
(Hadjantoniou), the abbot of St. Sabba’s Monastery in Alexandria, who
was born in Nikaia, Attica, in 1954.
newly-established Diocese of Gulu and East Uganda will be led by
Archimandrite Sylvester (Kisitou), also from the Monastery of St. Sabba
in Alexandria. He was born in Uganda and studied theology in Greece.
Diocese of Toliara and South Madagascar will be led by Archimandrite
Prodromos (Katsoulis), who was born in Sparta, Greece, in 1982.
The bishop for the new Diocese of Goma and Kisangani has not yet been chosen.
Synod also resolved to raise the Bishop of Rwanda to the dignity of
Metropolitan. The Diocese is currently headed by His Grace Bishop
Innocentios of Burundi
Feast days of st Nektarios & Holy Archangels in the Orthodox Church of Tenke, Democratic Republic of the Congo (November 8 & 9 2018). Holy Metropolis of Katanga. See photos here, here & here. About the Holy Archangels, here & here.
Icon of the Holy Archangels with the Lord Jesus Christ from the city of Serres, Greece (photo from here)
A miracle occurred at the seminary in Nairobi recently, reports His Eminence Archbishop Makarios (Tillyrides) of Nairobi and All Kenya.
On November 9 2018, the feast of the great St. Nektarios of Aegina [Bishop of Pentapolis, Libya], an icon of the saint at the Patriarchal Seminary of Archbishop Makarios III in Nairobi, where they faithfully celebrate the services every morning and evening, began to stream myrrh just before Abp. Makarios departed to serve Liturgy, as he reported to Romfea.
Great Vespers with artoklasia was celebrated in the school’s chapel dedicated to St. Macarius the Egyptian on the eve of the feast, after which Abp. Makarios gave a sermon in which he exalted St. Nektarios as a great example for Orthodox Christians, and assured the students and all those gathered that “Indeed … the saints are always with us, beside us, literally surrounding us and listening to us when we talk to them and ask them for something.”
The Kenyan hierarch’s words would be proven true in a marvelous manner the next morning, when, as Abp. Makarios was preparing to go serve Liturgy in a nearby village, an altar server came and told him, “Something’s happening in the holy church right now that we don’t understand.”
Going to the seminary’s chapel, Abp. Makarios found that the icon of St. Nektarios was streaming a fragrant myrrh from two places—from the holy Gospel and from the hand of the saint holding the Gospel.
As His Eminence writes, he crossed himself, venerated the icon, and said aloud, “Lord have mercy!” He then left to serve the Divine Liturgy in the village as scheduled.
Returning to the seminary in the early afternoon, he was informed that the myrrh continued to flow during the Divine Liturgy at the seminary, stopping only once the Liturgy ended.
As Abp. Makarios writes, the miracle was especially touching for the younger African brethren who had never experienced such a thing, which is unthinkable in their culture.
The Kenyan archpastor writes:
They saw that what is said orally to strengthen their faith now had a tangible opening in the direction of holiness, to see the grace of the Holy Spirit literally overwhelm them and overcome logic and the mind by the wisdom, greatness, and power of the saint.
His sanctifying power was now unfolding in them, He descended from the throne of His glory from the heavenly to the earthly, and came and dwelt in them, and with the infinite height of His holiness He manifested to us all, unworthy, His unfailing mercy.
"...If every person were to learn from it, millions of our fellow human beings would not die from hunger or poverty. In addition, many rich people would not suffer from agonizing worry and anxiety over their possessions, and maybe save their souls from being lost due to their wealth..."
THE GOSPEL (For the Ninth Sunday of Luke)
Orthodox Diocese of Mozambique The Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke. (12:16-21)
The Lord spoke this parable: The land of a rich man brought forth
plentifully; and he thought to himself, What shall I do, for I have
nowhere to store my crops? And he said, I will do this: I will
pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my
grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample
goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.
But God said to him, Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and
the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So is he who lays up
treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. As He said this, Jesus called out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee. For Children Click on the link to listen to the Holy Gospel here.
Orthodox Metropolis of Zambia & Malawi The Parable of the Rich Fool can
be found in Luke 12:13–21. The key to understanding this parable is in
verse 15 (and later summarized in verse 21). Luke 12:15 says, “Take
care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does
not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Jesus says this to
the man who asked Him to arbitrate between him and his brother. In
ancient times, the firstborn was guaranteed a double portion of the
family inheritance. More than likely, the brother who was addressing
Jesus was not the firstborn and was asking for an equal share of the
inheritance. Jesus refuses to arbitrate their dispute and gets to the
heart of the matter: Covetousness! Jesus warns this person, and all
within earshot, that our lives are not to be about gathering wealth.
Life is so much more than the “abundance of possessions.” Jesus
proceeds to tell the man the Parable of the Rich Fool. This person was
materially blessed by God; his land “produced plentifully” (verse 16).
As God continued to bless the man, instead of using his increase to
further the will of God, all he was interested in was managing his
increase and accumulating his growing wealth. So the man builds larger
barns in place of the existing ones and starts planning an early
retirement. Unbeknownst to him, this was his last night on planet earth.
Jesus then closes the story by saying, “So is the one who lays up
treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” So the point of
the Parable of the Rich Fool is twofold. First, we are not to devote
our lives to the gathering and accumulation of wealth. There is an
interesting point made in the parable. God says to the man in the story,
“And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” This echoes the
thought expressed in Ecclesiastes 2:18 (“I hated all my toil in which I
toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will
come after me”). You see it all the time in people who are singularly
devoted to the accumulation of wealth. What happens to all that wealth
when they die? It gets left behind to others who didn’t earn it and
won’t appreciate it. Furthermore, if money is your master, that means
God is not (Matthew 6:24). The second point of the Parable of the
Rich Fool is the fact that we are not blessed by God to hoard our
wealth to ourselves. We are blessed to be a blessing in the lives of
others, and we are blessed to build the kingdom of God. The Bible says
if our riches increase, we are not to set our hearts upon them (Psalm
62:10). The Bible also says there is one who gives freely and grows all
the richer (Proverbs 11:24). Finally, the Bible says we are to honor God
with the first fruits of our increase (Proverbs 3:9–10). The point is
clear; if we honor God with what He has given us, He will bless with
more so that we can honor Him with more. There is a passage in 2
Corinthians that summarizes this aptly (2 Corinthians 9:6–15). In that
passage Paul says, “And God is able to provide you with every blessing
in abundance, so that having all contentment in all things at all times,
you may abound in every good work.” We are blessed by God, so we can in
turn “abound in every good work” and be a blessing in the lives of
others. So, if God has blessed you with material wealth “set not your
heart on it” and “be rich toward God.” That is the message of the
Parable of the Rich Fool.
The parable in today’s Gospel is a brief, but powerful story.
If every person were to learn from it, millions of our fellow human
beings would not die from hunger or poverty. In addition, many rich
people would not suffer from agonizing worry and anxiety over their
possessions, and maybe save their souls from being lost due to their
wealth. Let’s look at the rich person in the parable. God
gave him fruitful land with an amazing yield of crops. Instead of
rejoicing in God and glorifying him for this blessing, he was
overwhelmed with worry: “What shall I do, since I have no room to store
my crops?” (verse 17). “What shall I do?” People who say
this usually have no house to live in, no clothes to protect them from
the weather, or bread to give to their children to keep them alive!
But a rich person who suddenly becomes even richer saying these same
words is outrageous. Sadly, this is our reality. There are
countless examples of wealthy people who suffer serious psychological
problems and anxiety over how to maintain and increase their wealth.
Those who cling to material things and are constantly trying to get more
will suffer a great fall. “Rich men turned poor and went hungry”
(Psalm 33:11), and the Apostle Paul warns us: “Those who desire to be
rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful
lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Timothy 6:9).
But the great misery of the rich in the parable would come
quickly. While he wondered where he would store his crop, and dreamed
of living high for many years, he heard the voice from Heaven say to
him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose
will those things be which you have provided?” (verse 20). By acting
in this way, the rich person loses both his earthly goods and the
treasure of Heaven. This treasure is denied because the rich person,
due to their greed, was not able to do the good works needed to get it.
Maybe the rich would ask: “Why am I dying now? What did I do
wrong? There was no stealing here, and this is what I have earned.
It’s mine!” Here we see the great mistake, both of the rich
in the parable and of every person of wealth. They are under the
illusion that the riches they possess are for them alone. They do not
understand that God has given them this to share it. This goes back to
the teaching of St. Basil the Great: You are a keeper of your fellow
human beings. Do not think that all this was given to you for yourself
only…For all this, you will be asked directly….Do you think that this is
unfair, with so much given to you, and you give nothing to others?
The extra food you keep belongs to the person who is hungry. The
clothes you have filling your closet are for the naked. The money you
get and hide away is for the one who needs it. So much inequality,
and so many people in need who could be helped. In God’s
Wisdom, he allows rich people their wealth to benefit not just them, but
all people. If everyone just kept what they needed, and gave away the
rest, there would be no poor in the world. My
brothers and sisters in Christ, let us apply the teaching of the Apostle
Paul: “Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content (1
Timothy 6:8). Let us make sure that we are rich in what will earn us
our permanent riches in Heaven. Amen.
on the afternoon of Thursday 8th November 2018, His Beatitude Theodoiros
II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Arica arrived in the
country of the blood diamonds, Sierra Leone, accompanied by
Archimandrite Athanasios Kayembe. At the airport His Beatitude was
welcomed by the local Metropolitan His Eminence George of Guinea, the
Ambassador of Egypt, the Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Guinea Fr.
Themistocles Adamopoulos, Representative of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and the Holy Clergy of Sierra Leone.
Then, in a special boat, the Patriarch went to the capital, Freetown, where reporters from the local Media were expecting him.
In his brief statements His Beatitude
referred to the importance that Sierra Leone holds in his heart, and
that with great joy he returns to the country after 6 years to
inaugurate the new Orthodox Church's schools.
On the morning of Friday 9th November,
His Beatitude attended the service at the Holy Church of Ss Constantine
and Helen for the feast of St Nektarios and then met with Mr Alie Kabba
the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Minister welcomed the Patriarch to
Sierra Leone, thanked him for the wonderful work done by the Orthodox
Church in the country, particularly in the field of education and
assured him that the state would assist the efforts of the Alexandrian
His Beatitude, in turn, thanked him for
the warm welcome and hospitality and expressed his joy that he has
returned to such a troubled country to bless the new works done
exclusively for the children The Patriarch then went on to the St
Moses of Ethiopia Missionary Centre in the Waterloo area. He was
welcomed there by the Minister of Education, the Clergy and hundreds of
children from the Orthodox Schools.
The Doxology was sung in the Holy Church
and then His Beatitude did the Sanctification for the inauguration of
the first Orthodox Children’s Village for orphaned children who have
lost their parents and guardians due to the deadly Ebola virus.
The Orthodox Children's Village is a
model village for the Orthodox Church and there the orphaned children
will find maternal love and affection from surrogate mothers, shelter,
refuge, food, medical care and education.
His Beatitude, with deep emotion,
inaugurated the first two houses and blessed 24 orphaned children who
will be accommodated there. A festival followed in which all the
At the beginning of the celebration, His
Eminence George welcomed the 117th successor of St Mark,
Theodoros II, and expressed his joy that on the day of his feast St
Nektarios led the Patriarch to the suffering land of Sierra Leone and
the children immediately broke out into cheers and applause.
Thereafter, His Eminence briefly
referred to the daily activities of the Patriarchate and to his
Missionary journeys throughout Africa and to the unique love he has for
all his spiritual children. In conclusion he congratulated Fr.
Themistocles and his colleagues on their daily struggle to support the
suffering people of Sierra Leone.
Thereafter, the Minister congratulated
the Patriarch for the Orthodox schools and their high standards and
promised that the Ministry of Education would always be at his side.
The wonderful celebration was brought to
a close by the Patriarch with words of love, thanking the friends of
the Missions throughout the world for supporting the struggle of the
Patriarchate and in conclusion thanked the Minister of Digital Policy,
Telecommunications and Information Mr. Nikos Papas and the Deputy
Minister Mr. Lefteris Kretsos, who gladly accepted his proposal and
agreed on the participation of a group from ERT on his journey to Sierra
Leone (you can see the video).
ERECTION OF AN ORTHODOX SCHOOL IN THE MOST IMPOVERISHED NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE PLANET
afternoon of Saturday 10th November 2018, His Beatitude Theodoros II,
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, laid the foundation
stone for the building of an Orthodox Primary School in the most
impoverished neighbourhood of the planet in the slum areas of Crew Bay
in the heart of the capital of Sierra Leone, where the Patriarch is on a
five-day visit. Twenty-seven thousand people live in
the slums of Crew Bay, 7 thousand of which are children, who truly live
under the most impoverished conditions existing on the planet and many
of these children die before they reach they age of five, due to their
lack of vaccinations. For the education of these children until today
there was a rudimentary school of two classes, with non-existent
sanitary facilities. In the torrential rains of last winter, the camp
lost 300 people, and more than 3,000 were forced to leave their homes.
The foundation stone was laid in the presence of the
mayor of the city, the Municipal Council and the members of the
Community of slum residents. With deep emotion His Beatitude thanked the
pupils of the 1ST High School in Halandri, who will be making a
decisive contribution to the building of the new school, which will
improve the quality of the education of the children from the slum area.
The representative of the residents of Crew Bay, emotionally thanked
the Orthodox Church for the God-loved work which they have undertaken to
bring to fruition in their slump camp, saying he is one of the children
who grew up there and who was deprived basic education and that for the
first time today he will sleep peacefully and joyfully.
Patriarch was warmly welcomed by the newly-elected Mayor Mrs. Yvonne
Aki Sawyer at the Municipality in the city, which during the tough years
of slavery, the slave traffickers used it as a place of keeping the
slaves, before they were loaded onto the ships bound for Brazil. The
capital of Sierra Leone is the city which received the first free slaves
who returned to Africa and that is the reason why it was named
Freetown. The Mayoress, deeply moved by the presence of
the Patriarch in her city, offered him the “key to the city” and thanked
him for the interest shown by the Orthodox Church in supporting the
suffering citizens of Freetown, particularly the little children. In his
reply the Patriarch thanked the Mayoress for the welcome and assured
her that the Patriarchate will always be present in all her efforts to
life the quality of life of the residents, not only of the capital but
of the entire country.