Nel l’ultimo tempo sentiamo notizie che arrivano da tutto il mondo sulle conversioni all’ortodossia . Leggendo questi giorni una notizia sull’apertura di una nuova chiesa ortodossa russa in Pakistan, ho sentito una grande gioia e un sincero grazie a questo giovane sacerdote ortodosso della ROCOR del Patriarcato di Mosca. L’esempio di questo bravissimo sacerdote che per la fede non teme ne le persecuzioni ne la morte , ma testimonia la Santa Fede Ortodossa in un paese dove il cristianesimo e proibito. Grazie a Dio che ancora esistono esempi vivi di fede e testimonianza sincera di fede ortodossa. Grazie a voi nuovi fratelli cristiani che avete accettato nel vostro cuore Cristo come Dio e Salvatore unico. Grazie alla Chiesa Ortodossa Russa che si impegna nel diffondere con amore e carità la fede dei nostri padri , l’Ortodossia.
Mons. Rev. Avondios
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion and with the assistance of my former colleague the Very Reverend Father Mushtaq Andrews of the Church of Pakistan (Anglican), who sponsored me for the visa, I travelled to Pakistan to preach Orthodoxy to a group of individuals who were seeking Orthodoxy.
I arrived in the city of Sargodha and after a period of hotel arrest was released on the personal guarantee of a Catholic Member of Parliament in Pakistan, the Honorable Tahir Naveed Chaoudhary, who intervened on my behalf. I arrived at the venue 6 hours late and started my homily which lasted 2.5 hours and was video recorded.
In my homily I spoke about pre-Christian times, God’s plan for salvation, Mary the Mother of God, her Virginity and Chastity, Christ and His mission, His death on the cross, the formation of the church, the apostles and their mission; Sts Ignatius and Cyprian on the role of the Bishop and the Church and the three fold ministry of the Bishop, Priest and Deacon; the Seven Councils of the Church. Then I came to Orthodoxy and explained what is Orthodoxy; the Fathers of the Church; the Bishops in Orthodoxy, Orthodox Mindset and humility; Icons, Fasting and praying, Worship; Differences between the West and East, the great Schism of 1054, Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Anglicans and Orthodoxy, other Protestants and Orthodoxy, Biblical interpretations by the Protestants, the meaning of Great Lent in Orthodoxy and the same in the west how Christ is the victim in the west and the Victor in the East.
After my homily I baptized and christmated 174 in two services. The service at night went on till midnight and the morning service till about 1 pm. I also took in two former Roman Catholic Priests who have expressed their desire to serve the Russian Church.
On my return to Australia, Vladyka formerly blessed the formation of the St Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan under the canonical protection of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. I have been appointed as Spiritual Director of the Mission, based in Sydney. Cyril Amer Shahzad is appointed the Administrator in Pakistan.