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Sayedna's Pastoral Visit to St. Edward and St. Dunstan

On the 24th of February, Sayedna Silouan, accompanied by Deacon George Moldoveanu, visited the Parish of St. Edward in Athelhampton, Dorset. Here, before the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence tonsured David James to Reader and elevated Nicolai Patalacci to Subdeacon. After the ordination, starting with 10:30 AM, Sayedna presided the Divine Liturgy, concelebrating with Father Filip Lommaert and Deacon George. At the sermon, Sayedna explained what a healthy Parish is and how the love, prayers and dedication of St. Edward's parishioners make it a healthy Parish. His Eminence encouraged everyone in the Parish to serve the Church and the Parish to the best of their abilities. After the Liturgy, Sayedna Silouan thanked Father David Harris, the now-retired Parish Priest, for his life in the Service of the Church and St. Edward Parish. Sayedna gifted Father David with a pectoral cross as a sign of gratitude. Sayedna also gifted Mr. Patrick Cooke, the owner of the Church building, an icon with St. Paisios as a token of gratitude for allowing the Parish the use of the Church. The visit at Athelhampton ended with everyone enjoying refreshments and orthodox fellowship. The Parish of Saint Edward will be attached to Saint Dunstan parish and served by Father Filip Lommaert.

Afterwards, Sayedna left St. Edward for St. Dunstan in Poole. Here, starting with 3 PM, Sayedna met with members of St. Birinus Mission. St. Birinus is a Western Rite Orthodox Mission recently released from the ROCOR Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe. After discussing the origin of the Western Rite Mission and various aspects of the Western Rite Liturgy, Sayedna Silouan welcomed the Mission in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland and thanked his Grace Bishop Irenei, the ROCOR Diocese, for releasing this Mission from his omophorion to our Archdiocese. The Mission will be attached to St. Dunstan Parish and will be served by Father Chrysostom MacDonnell, the Parish Priest of St. Dunstan.

After the meeting, starting with 5 PM, Sayedna attended the Vespers served by Father Filip and Deacon George while Father Chrysostom conducted the Choir. At the end of the Vespers, Sayedna talked to the faithful present in the Church about the necessity of the unity between God and men through Communion for salvation and how we can prepare in peace for Holy Communion despite the modern world's distractions, who are trying not to prevent this unity from succeeding. The day ended with a dinner shared with the Clergy and Parishioners present at the Vespers in the hall of the Church.

On Sunday the 25th, the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, Sayedna presided the Orthros starting with 8:45 AM. Father Filip and Deacon George served while Father Chrysostom conducted the Choir. The Mattins were followed by the Divine Liturgy presided by Sayedna Silouan, who concelebrated with Father Chrysostom, Father Filip, and Deacon George. Presbytera Olympias conducted the Choir. At the Sermon, Sayedna Silouan highlighted the importance of the first four Sundays of the Triodion. Each Sunday teaches important aspects of our spiritual life. The first Sunday, which is the Publican and Pharisee's Sunday, teaches us about humility; the second Sunday, which is Prodigal Son's Sunday, teaches us about repentance; the third Sunday, which is the Judgment's Sunday, teaches us about loving God and one another; and the fourth Sunday, which is Forgiveness' Sunday, teaches us about forgiveness. All these lessons are very important in our preparation for the journey of Lent, which ends with the Resurrection of our Lord, without which salvation is difficult. The visit ended up with everyone enjoying fellowship over a lunch prepared by the Saint Dunstan Parishioners.

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