BUENOS AIRES: July 10, 2009
The Services of Bishop John of Caracas
The Feast Day of All Russian Saints
On the feast day of All Russian Saints, June 21 according the civil calendar, His Grace Bishop John of Caracas, along with Protodeacon Nikolai Radis, arrived for the feast-day celebrations of the church of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Buenos Aires suburb of Lanus. The service in All Saints Church was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Platon of Argentina and South America and Bishop John, who were joined by Priest Mikhail Chaika and Protodeacon Nikolai.
After Divine Liturgy, a trapeza was offered at the parish hall for the clergy and worshipers.
The Namesday of Bishop John of Caracas
On July 7, the feast day of St John the Forerunner, a festive celebration was held at Resurrection Cathedral in Buenos Aires headed by three archpastors: Metropolitan Platon (Moscow Patriarchate); His Eminence Metropolitan Silouan (Antiochian Patriarchate) and Bishop John, along with Hegumen Gerasim and Hegumen Peter (Serbian Orthodox Church); Protodeacon Igor Bulatov (Russian Church Abroad); Fr Mikhail (Moscow Patriarchate) and Protodeacon Nikolai (Russian Church Abroad).
The hierarchs and clergymen gathered for this service to celebrate Bishop John’s namesday. Resurrection Cathedral’s choir sang magnificently, adding to the splendor of the hierarchical service.
After Divine Liturgy, all three bishops addressed the worshipers with short sermons. Metropolitan Platon noted the special meaning of the witness of John the Baptist, who was a prophet of the Old Testament and the Forerunner of the New Testament, tying together thereby both Testaments. Metropolitan Silouan expressed his joy at the concelebration with the Russian bishops in a Russian church. Bishop John pointed out that a service at which three hierarchs officiate is a very rare event in Buenos Aires, especially with the participation of a bishop of the Antiochian Church, which was established by Apostle Peter, where the first use of the word “Christian” arose (it is interesting to mention that this was the first service in Resurrection Cathedral in Buenos Aires with a representative of the Antiochian Church since April 15, 1963, when, in celebration of its feast day, a hierarchical service was performed by three bishops: those of the Constantinople and Antiochian Patriarchates and of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia).
The Senior Priest of the Cathedral prayed in the altar and communed of the Holy Gifts: Mitred Protopriest Vladimir Skalon, who had been seriously ill since January of this year and has not been able to conduct services.
After services, a Lenten trapeza was offered at the bishop’s residence for the clergy and parishioners.