Developing a church school program for children of seminarians and faculty of St. Vladimir's Seminary (SVS) can be challenging: How do you spark the minds and shape the souls of students who already are immersed in church services, a rhythm of fasts and feasts, and a family life preoccupied with all things religious? To meet the challenge, SVS Church School Coordinator Katrina Bitar, herself a "PK" (priest's kid) and a 2nd-year seminarian in the Master of Arts program at SVS, decided to punctuate the season of Advent with a series of activities centered on charity.
Russian Orthodox mission in Belfast has had its first Orthodox Communion service - known as the divine liturgy.
It was celebrated in Slavonic and English by Father George Zavershinsky, right, and Deacon Nikolai from the Moscow Patriarchate parish of St Peter & St Paul in Dublin.
The liturgy took place on Saturday, December 20, in the St George's church in the city centre, made available by the Church of Ireland.
Bulgarian delegation including Bishop Neofit, Transport Minister Petar Mutafchiev, MPs and diplomats from the Bulgarian mission in Istanbul, Turkey, has visited the two Orthodox Churches in Edirne - St. George and St. St. Constantine and Helena. Minister Mutafchiev was received by Universal Patriarch Bartholomew I. At the invitation of the council of Churchwardens, on Saturday Bishop Neofit would serve a Solemn Mass marking the 110th anniversary of the sanctifying of the St. Stefan temple in Istanbul.
On the Feast of St. Herman of Alaska, December 13, 2008, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah visited the seminary campus to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and to preside at a panikhida (memorial) service in honor of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the falling asleep of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, who served as the dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary (SVS) from 1962 until his death in 1983. His Beatitude, who was elected Metropolitan of All America and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) this past November and who is an alumnus of SVS, recalled in his homily at the memorial service the influential words and works of Fr. Alexander.
One thousand three hundred year old Chanukah money in Jerusalem: a hoard of more than 250 gold coins was exposed yesterday (Sunday, 21 December 2008) in the excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in the ‘Giv ‘ati car park' in the City of David, in the Walls Around Jerusalem National Park. The excavations at the site are being carried out on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, in cooperation with the Nature and Parks Authority and are underwritten by the ‘Ir David Foundation.
During these days of Advent there are once again clear signs of a warming between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church in Russia. During a solemn Orthodox Liturgy on 19 December, Catholic Bishop Josef Werth of the diocese of the Transfiguration of the Lord in Novosibirsk formally presented Russian Orthodox Bishop Aristarch of Kemerovo and Nowokuznesk (Siberia) with a relic of Saint Nicholas. This solemn Liturgy, which was also attended by the apostolic Nuncio in the Russian Federation, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, was being held to celebrate the Russian feast of Saint Nicholas in the Orthodox cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kemerovo which, despite the fact that it was a weekday, was filled to overflowing.