On Facebook, the Philippine Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) writes:
On Saturday, September 26, Orthodox Priests Stanislav Rasputin and Silouan Thompson received into the fold of the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church four former parishes of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church by baptizing 187 former Aglipayans in Sarangani Province, in the Philippines.
The baptism took 6 hours despite big waves (2½ meters high) in the ocean, making the baptism very difficult. After the baptisms, a Divine Liturgy was served for the newly-accepted Orthodox community where the newly baptized faithful received their first communion.
Fr Stanislav and I baptized despite unusually boisterous waves. At times it felt like playing with a kennel full of 200-pound mastiffs: We got knocked down repeatedly! One particularly strong wave took Fr Stanislav’s epitrahil (stole) right off his neck and washed it out to sea – we think it’s halfway to Malaysia by now.
Kiamba is in an area where the Moro Nationalist Liberation Front (Islamic secessionist group) is quite active, and several foreigners in Mindanao have been abducted this week by various groups of evildoers; so we were grateful for the escort the Philippine National Police provided for our sacrament and our procession from the church to the beach and back (even if their machine guns at a Christian sacrament seemed a little strange to American eyes.)
Between ROCOR and MP missions, this makes a total of nine Russian Orthodox parishes in the Philippines, in addition to about many more mission communities still in catechism.
With the blessing of ROCOR Metropolitan Hilarion and of MP Archbishop Mark of Egorievsk, I travel often to teach and serve the Liturgy in these missions and parishes in addition to serving at my own parish of St John Maximovitch in Santa Maria. Also very busy are visiting missionaries from Russia and elsewhere: This month, besides Fr Stanislav, we have benefited from the work of Maxim Bardin, Maria Golik, and Anastasia Mikhailova. Before the end of the year, I understand the Moscow Patriarchate means to assign a full-time priest to Mindanao, bringing the total count of resident clergy up to two. Please pray for this decision, and for the clergyman selected!
Baptism photos below:
Ready to begin.
Instructions in English with Cebuano translation.
Lined up for anointing.
“The servant of God is anointed with the oil of gladness…”
Chrismation: “The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (“Seal!”)
The Epistle reading
The Gospel reading
“As many as have been baptized into Christ…”
It’s hard to take a group shot with so many people!
Divine Liturgy at the newly-received Orthodox parish of St Joseph the Betrothed at Kiamba. There is not yet an iconostas, but the people and the Liturgy are at last Orthodox!