Video: Ο Αγιορείτης π. Συμεών δε λα Χάρα (Fr. Symeon de la Jara) από το Περού & η μεταστροφή της μητέρας του

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Περού

Ο Αγιορείτης π. Συμεών δε λα Χάρα (Fr. Symeon de la Jara)

από το Περού & η μεταστροφή της μητέρας του

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Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

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“NATIVE AMERICANS MAY BECOME

THE LARGEST ETHNIC GROUP IN THE AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.”

An interview with His Beatitude Jonah, Archbishop of Washington,

Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/33241.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

In early December of 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah of All America and Canada (Orthodox Church of America) visited Russia to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the OCA’s representation in Moscow. Correspondent Miguel Palacio took the opportunity to talk with Metropolitan Jonah about the OCA’s presence in Latin America.

– Your Beatitude, in which Latin America countries is the Orthodox Church in America represented?

– Our jurisdiction extends to Mexico. We used to have parishes in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela as well, but one of them joined the Russian Church Abroad, while others simply closed.

Several communities in Latin America want to join the American Orthodox Church. We would be happy to receive these faithful people, but there would be no one to take care of them because we have very few clergymen who speak Spanish or Portuguese.

One priest, who I hope will soon become a bishop, began a mission in Ecuador, in the city of Guayaquil, where there is a large Palestinian colony. Unfortunately, his good initiative has fizzled out. I have heard that many Palestinians also live in Central American countries, one of which is El Salvador. It is curious, but they do not go to the Antiochian parishes, and are requesting to be received under our omophorion.

The Constantinople and Antiochian Patriarchates prefer to pastor the Greek and Arab diasporas. We do not understand this. The Church should give pastoral care first of all to its local spiritual children. This is our principle in the Orthodox Church in America.

– When was the Mexican exarchate organized?

– The Mexican exarchate has existed since the 1970’s. At that time, the Bishop of the Mexican national Old Catholic Church, Jose (Cortez-y-Olmos), strengthened contact with our Church and became Orthodox, together with his entire community. Thanks to his labors, hundreds of Mexicans have become immersed in the Orthodox Faith.

Not long ago, five thousand Native Americans from twenty-three areas in the state of Veracruz were baptized into Orthodoxy. However, there is only one priest to serve that entire mass of people. In general, the Mexican exarchate has very few clergymen. They are all Mexican, including the ruling hierarch, Bishop Alejo (Pacheco-Vera).

– Have you ever been to Latin America?

– I have only visited Mexico. Now I am getting ready to visit Guatemala. A friend of mine lives there — Abbess Ines (Ayau Garcia), the superior of the Holy Trinity Convent, which is under the jurisdiction of the Antiochian Patriarchate.

In Guatemala, a group of thousands of people who would like to become Orthodox have attracted my attention. Most of them are Mayan. If we take these Guatemalans in, as well as other members of the native Latin American population, then Native Americans may become the largest ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church. I, personally, would be very happy about that.

– I see that you sympathize with the original inhabitants of the American continent…

– I have the warmest feelings for Native Americans. I studied anthropology in the university, and was drawn to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. These were enormous, amazing civilizations.

I like Latin America as a whole — its art, music, literature, and cuisine. Latin Americans love life; they are open and hospitable people. I grew up in California — one of the most Hispanic states in the U.S. I was able to learn some Spanish from my Mexican friends (although I speak Spanish poorly). The priest who united me to the Orthodox Church was a Mexican. His name was Fr. Ramon Merlos.

– What does missionary work amongst Native Americans in the U.S. have in common with that amongst those of Latin America?

– To be honest, I do not yet know… Our Church has missionary experience in Alaska, where one remarkable priest serves — Archpriest Michael Oleksa, an anthropologist. He is a Carpatho-Russian; his wife comes from the indigenous Yupiks. Fr. Michael wants to conduct a conference of Orthodox Native Americans of America. This would be an extremely interesting event.

When Fr. Michael was rector of the seminary, he invited the Guatemalan community that was thirsting for Orthodoxy to send two members to receive a theological education. The idea was, of course, a good one. But people who are accustomed to a tropical climate are not likely to endure the freezing temperatures of Alaska.

– Are there Latin Americans amongst your parishioners in the U.S.?

– Of course there are. In California, thirty-five percent of the population is Latin American, and the percentage is even larger in Texas. There are Latinos both amongst the flock and the clergy in our Church. Studying in St. Tikhon Seminary is a Mexican with Native Americans roots, named Abraham. He has the obedience of sub-deacon. One sub-deacon in San Francisco is Colombian. At the end of November, I blessed a new convent dedicated to the Nativity of Christ in Dallas, the superior of which is Brazilian.

– What, do you suppose, attracts Latin Americans to Orthodoxy?

– Latinos love our Liturgy and icons; they are captivated by the deep veneration of the Mother of God within the Orthodox Church.

I have to say that the Catholic Church is quickly losing its influence in Latin America, and the reason for this is its close association with the upper social classes. A significant portion of the poorer classes, which make up the majority of the region, have become disillusioned with the Catholic pastors, and have aligned themselves with protestants, Mormons, and other sectarians.

Metropolitan Andres (Giron), the head of the St. Basil the Great Order of White Clergy in Guatemala, used to be a Catholic priest. He saw that his Church leaders were oriented towards the wealthy; in the 1990’s he left the Catholic Church, because he wanted to work for the people. Not long ago, Fr. Andres said to me, “I am old and ailing. Please take my people into your Church for the sake of their salvation.” It would be hard to call his community Orthodox, but it is gradually coming to know Orthodox teachings, and partaking of the traditions of the Orthodox Church. Besides those in Guatemala, Bishop Andres has opened parishes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other U.S. cities where his countrymen have settled.

– Are you not afraid of some conflict with the Catholic Church? After all, Latin America is still considered the “largest diocese of the Vatican.”

– There will not be any conflict. The Catholic Church relates to Orthodoxy with loyalty. Furthermore, I see no little potential for collaboration with the Catholic Church, first of all in the struggle against sectarianism.

Interview by Miguel Palacio

21 / 12 / 2009

The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

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LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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The explosive growth of Orthodoxy in Guatemala

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.comHERE

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Whenever someone speaks of “American Orthodoxy,” there is usually an unspoken understanding that the term refers to North American Orthodoxy: the United States, Canada, and sometimes Mexico. This way of speaking is indeed convenient, considering that the majority of Orthodox parishes in the Western Hemisphere are still located in North America. However, in the past few years a great change has occurred in Latin America that makes it increasingly inaccurate to focus on North America as the western outpost of Orthodoxy. Just two years ago, in 2010, the Orthodox Church received a large group of Guatemalan converts numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Now Guatemala, and possibly all of Latin America, holds tremendous promise of becoming fertile ground for the Orthodox Christian Church.

The seed of Orthodoxy in Guatemala was planted by the nuns of the Hogar Rafael Ayau, an Orthodox orphanage in Guatemala City. Many people are familiar with the incredible work of Mother Inés, Mother Ivonne, and Mother María. In fact, just this year a group of seminarians from St. Vladimir’s Seminary traveled with the seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield to see the work of the nuns and to assist at the orphanage. It is through these nuns that the Guatemalan soil was first prepared for the Orthodox Church.

Now, with the recent chrismation of a new group of Guatemalan converts that numbers between 100,000 and 200,000, the Orthodox Church is ready to blossom in Guatemala. The magnitude of the event cannot be overstated. Almost overnight, Guatemala has become the most Orthodox country in the Western Hemisphere (by percentage of national population). Furthermore, the Orthodox communities in Guatemala continue to grow rapidly and attract attention throughout Guatemala. There is still, however, little information available to the broader Orthodox world on the history and character of these new communities. For this reason, I traveled to Guatemala this summer, spending two months visiting many of the Orthodox parishes, meeting the leaders of the communities, and accompanying the bishop of the Guatemalan Church—His Eminence, Metropolitan Athenagoras—as he made his historic first visit to the new parishes in Guatemala. I returned to the United States with the desire to share what I saw and the conviction that the Holy Spirit is at work with power in Latin America…

Le Seigneur distribue Sa grâce à ceux qui s’imposent les fatigues d’un pèlerinage – Saint Jean Maximovitch (+1966) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* French

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FRANCE OF MY HEART

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Saint Jean Maximovitch (+1966)

“Dans Sa bonté, le Seigneur distribue Sa grâce à ceux qui s’imposent les fatigues d’un pèlerinage: le pèlerinage ne rapproche pas Celui Qui est partout, mais les efforts des pèlerins rendent ceux-ci dignes de Sa manifestation, non par eux-mêmes mais parce qu’Il les accepte dans Sa miséricorde.”

Saint Jean (Maximovitch), Archevêque de Shangaï, Bruxelles et San Francisco.

Saint Jacob Netsvetov of Alaska (+1865) – The evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo & Athabascan peoples of Alaska

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ALASKA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

USA OF MY HEART

 

Saint Jacob Netsvetov of Alaska (+1865)

The evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo & Athabascan peoples of Alaska

July 26

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

Saint Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of Alaska, was a native of the Aleutian Islands who became a priest of the Orthodox Church and continued the missionary work of St. Innocent among his and other Alaskan people. His feast day is celebrated on the day of his repose, July 26.

Father Jacob was born in 1802 on Atka Island, part of the Aleutian Island chain in Alaska. His father, Yegor Vasil’evich Netsvetov, was Russian from Tobolsk, Russia, and his mother, Maria Alekscevna, was an Aleut from Atka Island. Jacob was the eldest of four children who survived infancy. The others were Osip (Joseph), Elena, and Antony. Although not well off, Yegor and Maria did all they could to provide for their children and prepare them to live their lives. Osip and Antony were able to study at the St. Petersburg Naval Academy and then were able to become a naval officer and ship builder, respectively. Elena married a respected clerk with the Russian-American Company. Jacob chose a Continue reading “Saint Jacob Netsvetov of Alaska (+1865) – The evangelizer of the Yup’ik Eskimo & Athabascan peoples of Alaska”

Άγιος Ιάκωβος Νετσβέτωφ της Αλάσκας (+1865) – Ένας Αυτόχθονας Αμερικανός ιερέας που αγίασε (+1865) – Ο ιεραπόστολος των Εσκιμώων Γιούπικ – 26 Ιουλίου

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NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

ALASKA OF MY HEART

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Η Νήσος Άτκα των Αλεούτιων Νήσων της Αλάσκας

όπου γεννήθηκε ο Άγιος Ιάκωβος της Αλάσκας

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Ο Ορθόδοξος Ναός του Αγίου Νικολάου στην Νήσο Άτκα

των Αλεούτιων Νήσων της Αλάσκας

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Άγιος Ιάκωβος Νετσβέτωφ της Αλάσκας

Ένας Αυτόχθονας Αμερικανός ιερέας που αγίασε (+1865)

Ο ιεραπόστολος των Εσκιμώων Γιούπικ

26 Ιουλίου

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SYNAXARION-HAGIOLOGY

Ό Άγιος Ιάκωβος Νετσβέτωφ της Αλάσκας γεννήθηκε από πατέρα Ρώσο και Άλεούτια μητέρα στή νήσο Atka της Αλάσκας τό 1802. Ολοκλήρωσε τις σπουδές του στήν ιερατική σχολή του Ιρκούτσκ στή Σιβηρία. Μετά τή χειροτονία του σε πρεσβύτερο, επέστρεψε στήν Αλάσκα, οπού επί τριάντα πέντε χρόνια άσκησε τά ποιμαντικά του καθήκοντα μεταξύ των αυτοχθόνων, υπό συνθήκες διαβιώσεως ιδιαιτέρως επισφαλείς, συνεχίζοντας ετσι τό έργο του άγιου Γερμανού [13 Δεκ.]. Μόλις τό επέτρεπε ο καιρός, επιβιβαζόταν σε εύθραυστα καγιάκ η φόρτωνε τις ισχνές του άποσκευές σε κυνήλατα ελκυθρα και συνοδευόμενος από μερικούς κατώτερους κληρικούς, ξεκινούσε τις ιεραποστολικές του περιοδείες γιά νά φωτίσει τούς διάσπαρτους αυτόχθονες πληθυσμούς των Άλεούτιων Νήσων. Διέδωσε επίσης τό φώς του Ευαγγελίου στή φυλή των Έσκιμώων Γιούπικ, oι όποιοι κατοικούσαν στήν κάτω κοιλάδα του ποταμού Γιούκον (μεταξύ 1845 και 1863). Υπήρξε ό δεύτερος Όρθόδοξος ιερέας πού τόλμησε να εισδύσει στις περιοχές αύτές, μετά τον Άγιο ίερομάρτυρα Ίουβενάλιο. Κι ενώ γενικά συναντούσε καλή υποδοχή και γρήγορα προσηλύτιζε τούς αυτόχθονες στήν αληθινή πίστη, πολλές φορές άντιμετώπιζε την έντονη άντίθεση των σαμάνων μάγων. Δεν ηρκείτο μόνο στο νά βαπτίζει τούς ιθαγενείς, αλλά φρόντιζε γιά την πνευματική ζωή του ποιμνίου του, διδάσκοντάς του τις στοιχειώδεις αρχές τής χριστιανικής ηθικής, πώς πρέπει κάνεις νά προετοιμάζεται για νά αξιωθεί νά κοινωνήσει των άχράντων Μυστηρίων, με την εξομολόγηση, τή νηστεία και την προσευχή. Μετέφερε μαζί του μία σκηνή που χρησιμοποιούσε πρόχειρα ώς ναό, όταν το ψύχος δεν έμπόδιζε τον εκκλησιασμό παγώνοντας τα Τίμια Δώρα. Όταν δεν βρισκόταν σε ιεραποστολικές περιοδείες, μετέφραζε την Καινή Διαθήκη στή γλώσσα των ιθαγενών ίδρυσε, μάλιστα, και ένα σχολείο. Προς τά τέλη του βίου του, έχοντας ταλαιπωρήσει την υγεία του σ’ αυτές τις περιοδείες, συκοφαντήθηκε από κάποιον άλλο ιεραπόστολο στον επίσκοπο Πέτρο, ό οποίος είχε διαδεχθεί τον άγιο Ίννοκέντιο [31 Μάρτίου]. Εκλήθη να παρουσιασθεί στή Σίτκα, έδρα της επισκοπής της Aλάσκας· απολογήθηκε και χωρίς δυσκολία κατόρθωσε να αθωωθεί. Μετά από πολλές περιπέτειες, παρέδωσε την αγία ψυχή του στη Σίτκα στις 26 Ιουλίου του 1865 και κατατάχθηκε επίσημα στους Αγίους της Ορθοδοξίας το 1994.

Πηγή:

Νέος Συναξαριστής της Ορθοδόξου Εκκλησίας

Εκδ. Ίνδικτος

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Ο Ορθόδοξος Ναός του Αγίου Νικολάου

στη Νήσο Άτκα των Αλεούτιων Νήσων της Αλάσκας

Νήσος Atka, Αλεούτιοι Νήσοι, Αλάσκα, ΗΠΑ

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Το ηφαίστειο Korovin της Νήσου Άτκα, Αλάσκα

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Νήσος Άτκα, Αλάσκα

με τον Ορθόδοξο Ναό του Αγίου Νικολάου στο βάθος

του Αλασκινού χωριού

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Άγιος Ιάκωβος της Αλάσκας

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Ο Άγιος Ιάκωβος της Αλάσκας 

& ο Άγιος Νεομάρτυρας Πέτρος ο Αλεούτιος

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