On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto held a conference on the Ecumenical Patriarchate entitled Reflecting on the Past; Looking toward the Future. The conference was opened by His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto, followed by two personal Video Messages by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (in Greek and in English). The presentations by various scholars and specialists covered the historical and ecclesiastical role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, its missionary work and struggle for religious freedom, as well as the persistent efforts of its Archons of the Order of St. Andrew to serve the needs and promote the rights of Orthodox Christians throughout the world.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irenaeus arrived to Mt. Athos on 20 October 2014.
Since Patriarch Paul as the primate of the Serbian Church did not visit Mount Athos, and that Patriarch German visited Mt. Athos in 1978, this is the first visit of the Serbian Patriarch to Mt. Athos after 35 years. According to the Athonite laws all primates of the Local Orthodox Churches when they enter the ground of Mount Athos they should visit its seat –capital town of Karyes. Patriarch Irenaeus was welcomed by protos – administrator of Mount Athos fathr Symeon from the holy monastery of Dionysiou (one-year mandate was given to representatives of the five Athonite monasteries: Saint Lavra, Saint Paul, Hilandar, Vatopedi and Dionysiou).
The leader of the “Common cause” (“Obshcheye delo”) project for the restoration of the Russian North’s wooden churches, Priest Alexei Yakovlev, has reported that around 45% of the wooden churches of the Russian North are doomed to destruction, reports Interfax-Religion.
“In 15-20 years 45% of these churches will no longer exist,” he said on Thursday, speaking at the “Religion and the World” II international forum in Moscow.
More than 2,000 people gathered yesterday Oct. 18, 2014 at 130 Liberty Street, the new site for Saint Nicholas National Shrine at the World Trade Center, for the historic event of the Blessing of the Ground and the symbolic “laying of the corner stone.”
The small and humble church of Saint Nicholas was the only house of worship destroyed in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The new Greek Orthodox Saint Nicholas National Shrine Church, designed by world-renowned Architect Santiago Calatrava, is expected to begin construction this year and to be completed within 24 months.
In the South military district over 300 conscript soldiers from the military formations and units stationed in the Volgograd region, have received Holy Baptism in the river Karpovka, reports Interfax-Religion.
“The Sacrament of Baptism was performed by chaplains of the military units of the Volgograd garrison during the summer training period at the “Trudboi” firing range,” reports the district’s press service.
On Wednesday, October 8, 2014, the feast of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, His All-Holiness visited the former Byzantine Church dedicated to the memory of these saints. The current building’s construction is traced back to the Roman Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora. In 1497, it was converted to a mosque and currently bears the name of Küçük Ayasofya Camii, that is, Little Haghia Sophia.