Appeal for help

Dear Parishioners, Glory to the Lord:

In recent years we have witnessed and participated in major events in our community in Calgary; The purchase of the new land, construction of our Church and the completion of the landscape surrounding the Church. We believe that each of you is proud of what has been accomplished. Continue reading

Imitate the repentance of St. Peter and Paul

Given that Paul made the same confession of faith as Peter, and had the same zeal, humility and love, surely they received the same rewards from Him Who measures everything with completely just scales, yardstick and plumbline. Anything else would be unreasonable. That is why the Lord told Peter, Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church (Matt. 16:18), whereas He said to Ananias of Paul, He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings (Acts 9:15). Which name? Clearly the name we have been given, the name of Christ’s Church, which rests on the foundation stone of Peter. Notice that Peter and Paul are equal in prominence and glory, and both hold up the Church. Consequently the Church now bestows one and the same honour on both, and celebrates them together with equal esteem. As we consider the outcome of their lives, let us imitate how they lived, or at least how they were restored through humility and repentance, even if we cannot attain to their other great and exalted achievements, which are appropriate to great men and fitting for great men to emulate. In fact, some aspects of their lives are probably impossible for anyone to imitate. Amendment through repentance, however, is more appropriate for us than for the great, since we all sin many times every day, and unless we lay hold of salvation through continuous repentance, we have no hope of it from any other source.

St. Gregory Palamas
Source: The Orthodox Church in America

Don’t be a hidden Christian

If you have faith, then you’ll rise in the morning to say your prayers. If you have faith, at lunchtime when you sit to eat, you’ll do your cross. If you have faith, at night before you fall asleep, you’ll pray again. If you have faith, you’ll work all week and on Sunday, as soon as you hear the church-bell, your legs will grow wings for you to rush to church. If you have faith, you will forgive your enemy. If you have faith, you’ll receive Holy Communion. If you have faith, you’ll go to confession at least once a year. Just as someone who is not baptized is not a Christian, in the same way, anyone who doesn’t confess, is not a Christian. Confession is one of the seven Sacraments of our holy Church.

If you have faith, you’ll also do something else: you’ll open the Gospel every day. Just as a day doesn’t pass without you eating, in the same way a day shouldn’t pass without you reading the Gospel, the holy words of our Christ.

We shouldn’t hide what we believe, but we should preach it. Have you seen the Jehovah’s Witnesses? They reach the edge of the world, abandoning everything so as to preach their satanic heresy. How much more should you do this, you who have the truth. Do you have faith? Don’t hide it, don’t be a crypto-Christian.

Preach Christ, like the holy apostles and missionaries. Do you have faith? Speak about Christ. Do you have a tongue? Sanctify it by preaching to your neighbour. Are you a mother? Teach your children. That you nurse them isn’t so special, even a bear suckles her young. Speak to your child! Are you a grandmother? Speak. If I am anything at all —I admit it— I owe it to my grandmother, may her memory be eternal. When I remember her, my eyes well up with tears. She was illiterate, but she would cuddle us, and it was she who taught us to do our cross, to say the “Our Father,” to pray… Blessed grandmothers! They aren’t like that now, their minds are constantly on what’s in fashion. So talk about Christ. Are you a father? Talk about Christ. Are you a teacher? Speak about Christ. Are you a priest? Speak about Christ. Are you a priest? Speak about Christ. Are you a Christian? Speak, and that’s when I’ll call you a Christian. I will know it by your speech, I will know it by your hands, I will know it by your legs, and by all your being. That’s how I will know that you are a Christian.

Excerpt form sermon by (†) Bishop Augustinos Kantiotes

Warm, loving, simple Christians

Looking at Orthodoxy, at its present state and its prospects in the period before us, we may see two opposed aspects. First of all, there is the spirit of worldliness which is so present in the Orthodox Churches today, leading to a watering-down of Orthodoxy, a loss of the difference between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy. This worldliness has produced the Ecumenical movement, which is leading to the approaching Unia with Rome and the Western confessions… In itself, this will probably not be a spectacular event: most Orthodox people have become so unaware of their faith, and so indifferent to it, that they will only welcome the opportunity to receive communion in a Roman or Anglican church. This spirit of worldliness is what is in the air and seems natural today; it is the religious equivalent of the atheist-agnostic atmosphere that prevails in the world…

(But also) incalculable harm has been done to the Orthodox Church by what he calls the correctness disease, when people quote canons, Fathers, the typicon in order to prove they are correct and everyone else is wrong. Correctness can truly become a disease when it is administered without love and tolerance and awareness of ones own imperfect understanding. Such a correctness only produces continual schisms, and in the end only helps the Ecumenical Movement by reducing the witness of sound Orthodoxy.

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Theology and Piety

Today’s theologians have become scientists, like the doctors, chemists and engineers, because by presenting themselves as such they will be honored by the world. And they go to Europe, the place of spiritual darkness, to receive a degree. They stuff their heads with a multitude of ungrounded and vain philosophies, and come to our land to transmit their unbelief instead of the Faith…. They do not enter into the Heavenly Kingdom, and hinder others from entering, as our Lord has said. Their punishment is that they do not see any of the wondrous things that are seen by believers, and hence they lack contrition and are cold. They are separated from God and His Kingdom, because they love the glory of men, instead of the glory of God.


They endeavor today, with the plight of the Church, to find its causes, and hold that the answer is to be found in scientific theological education. But the evil is to be remedied only by education in piety…. What will it benefit the Church if students go to (say) Geneva? They will return with Protestant principles. We are told by these same persons that our Church has remained behind a whole century. How good it would have been if the members of the Church today had the piety of those who lived a century ago! External [secular], scientific education is fine when it is joined to piety.

Photis Kontoglou
From “Meetings with Kontoglou”, by Constantine Cavarnos

Protecting your mental health

Christ is in our midst, my dear readers!

Today in our country we see a stable growth in psychiatric illnesses. The main cause provoking these illnesses is the media. It is precisely thanks to their efforts that people are going out of their minds in the direct sense of the word. The media destroys the psyche, kills the soul, and destroys the health of entire populations. During the Second World War there wasn’t such a growth in psychiatric illnesses as we can observe today in our society. Some people are on antidepressants, others having taken to drink, and yet others just go out of their minds by themselves.

During the blockade in Leningrad, cinemas were open in the city where they showed for free, as a rule comedies, or gave concerts of symphony music. People related that one session of such psychotherapy plus a cup of hot water worked miracles. A person would be revived, rise out his depression, and try to go on living. The authorities understood how important it is to take care of their fellow citizens’ psyches.

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Saint Basil of Ostrog Procession in Niksic

In the evening of the day when St. Basil of Ostrog is celebrated every year a procession goes through Niksic, a town which is close to the Ostrog monastery. Special attention deserves that the population of Niksic is around 60 thousand people and almost the whole city participates in the procession. In the short video below are included views from above the procession on 13th March, 2024.

The Three Births of Christ

St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite says that Christ in His human nature had three births: the first from the Virgin Mary, the second by baptism, and the third by resurrection.  With reference to these three births, He was called the first-born because, in the first, He is first-born among many brothers; in the second, He was called first-born of the new creation; and in the third, first born of the dead.  If we are attentive, we will discover that forty days after these births, after each of these three happenings of the Lord, there followed an important event. Forty days after His birth, He was brought to the Temple and we have the Feast of the Presentation.  Forty days after His baptism in the Jordan River, He conquered the devil in those three temptations in the desert.  And forty days after His resurrection, He ascended into heaven and offered to His Father the first-fruits of our own nature.

Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

St. Kosmas of Aitolos: The story of Judas

There was a town named Iskaria near Jerusalem. A Jew lived there with his wife. She saw in a dream that she would give birth to a devil who would burn the entire world. She revealed what she had seen to her husband… Finally she gave birth to Judas. They kept him for two months, and then put him in a trunk and threw him into the sea and said: “If God wills, let him be saved; if not, let him be lost.”

Near the harbor there were some passersby who, seeing the chest in the deep, went and pulled it out. They opened it and found the child and took him to their town, Iskaria. But they didn’t tell anyone they found him in the sea, but that he was an orphan. His [real] parents said: “Why, don’t we take him and make him our own?” So they took him and he grew up. In the same year his mother gave birth to another child. When the children became twelve years of age, they quarreled and Judas beat the true son. The parents said to Judas: “Why did you beat our child? We have adopted you. We, my child, plan to make you both our heirs, to divide everything equally.” Hearing that he would receive an equal share with the other boy, what do you think Judas was moved by the devil to do because of his avarice? One day he took a stone and killed his brother. What did the father do? Kill him? No. He felt sorry for him. When Judas killed the boy, he became frightened and left and went to Jerusalem, where he took service with a king who gave him charge of the treasury, that is, to receive and pay monies. Why did he take service with the king? Because of his avarice he believed he had much to gain.

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What Christ looked like

Many people wondered what Christ looked like, and we still wonder, because there were no photographers then like there are today, nor photographic cameras, nor painters like there are today, to paint Him. However, there is one wonderful testimony about Him and His miraculous character, which was written down by the Holy prophet David.

Holy Tradition says that when prophet David was a shepherd, when he was tending sheep in the fields of Bethlehem, there was once a great heat, so he hid in a cave to protect himself from the heat. And there, the tired child fell asleep. And while sleeping, he felt a terrible danger, he felt that something was squeezing him, constantly squeezing him! And the child woke up from that pressure and had something to see: a dangerous and poisonous snake had wrapped itself around him, around his entire body. And just when the snake was about to bite his face David, terrified by the horror he encountered, cried out: “Lord, save me!” And at that moment, Tradition says, a Child of indescribable beauty appeared! And the whole cave was filled with an indescribable light, light that turned that poisonous and vicious snake into dust and ashes and saved David! 

When king David later became king and prophet, he wrote the following words in his psalm: “You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips“. And the interpreters say that he wrote it down remembering that Child that shone in front of him in the cave in Bethlehem, in which that Child was later born… And with those words he described the appearance of Christ, that Christ is the most beautiful among all the sons of men. There is no man, no poet, no writer, no painter who could describe His image!

Excerpt from a sermon of metropolitan Amfilohije Radovic, Palm Sunday, 2009

Recall a sin every troparion

The Great Canon of Repentance by St. Andrew of Crete, especially when it is read in the Standing of St. Mary – There are many, many troparions. It seems hard to stand, hard to listen! It’s a long service. But you know, when you’re standing, you don’t notice that the canon has passed. 

When the choir sings “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.” – for every troparion I have to recall a sin I have done. And when for each troparion you recall: “Lord, I have sinned in this”, and for the next troparion – in that, and for the third – in that… your soul begins to revive. And a repentant sigh comes, and tears appear in your dry eyes, and every word of the canon tears your soul!

Metropolitan Arseny of Svyatogorsk