Fourth Sunday of Pascha: The Paralyzed Man

Christ is Risen!

On the fourth Sunday of Holy Pascha (May 22, 2016) with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan attended the Divine Liturgy with complete devotion and joy.

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During the Bright Day of Holy Pascha, each Sunday the Gospel readings are strengthening the faithful to believe strongly in the divinity of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Gospels for the last two Sundays told us about the appearances of the Risen One to the disciples, to Thomas, to the myrrh-bearers and they all were filled with the light of Christ’s Resurrection.

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The Resurrection of Christ is a living hope, salvation and strength for the Christians in Pakistan and they strongly believe Our God is a God who suffers with his people and out of that comes resurrection. Today the healing of the “Paralyzed Man” teaches us that sufferings and persecutions are for a time being but our hope and complete faith on Jesus Christ bring salvation and peace to us. It further teaches us that we should not lose heart but constant prayers bring healing and comfort to us!

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Today we commemorated Mrs Alice Saraphina, she was reposed last year on May 22, 2015. She embraced holy orthodoxy in 2011 by the hands of first ROCOR missionary Rev. Fr.Adrian Augustus. She lived a very graceful life training her children in the fear of Lord. “May her memory be eternal!”

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Fourth Sunday of the Great Lent ST JOHN OF THE LADDER

“The Ladder” The Monk John speaks thus about tears of repentance:
“Just as fire burns and destroys firewood, so thus do pure tears wash away all impurity, both outer and inner”.

On the fourth Sunday of Great Lent (April 10, 2016) with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan participated in the Divine Liturgy and venerated the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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A special day for the Orthodox Christians as they with great reverence and true spirit of holy orthodoxy commemorated the Monk John of the Ladder as he is honoured by the Holy Church as a great ascetic saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church. On the fourth Sunday of Great Lent, Fr. Joseph Farooq preached about the ascetic life and spiritual works of Holy Father John Climacus (of the Ladder). Fr. Joseph  told the faithful that Holy Father John Climacus is the perfect example of fasting, prayers, repentance and obedience because traditions say that Saint John Climacus entered in the monastery at Mount Sinai as a sixteen-year-old boy and remained there, first as a novice, then as a hermit and finally as abbot of Sinai, until he died at the age of eighty, in about 649. He spent entire life in deeds of silence, fasting, prayer and tears of penitence.

Further Fr. Joseph told the faithful that Holy Father John Climacus is the author of spiritual work named “THE LADDER DIVINE ASCENT” and this spiritual document St John speaks about tears of repentance: “Just as fire burns and destroys the wood, so pure tears wash away every impurity, both external and internal.” His holy prayer was strong and efficacious, as may be seen from an example from the life of the God-pleasing saint. THE LADDER begins with renunciation of the world, and ends with God, Who is love (1 John 4:8).

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With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, the ROCOR Mission in Pakistan is sharing the universal message of love, peace and the sacredness of Holy Traditions of Orthodox Faith to the people of Pakistan!

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Third Sunday of the Great Lent Adoration of the Holy Cross

Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Mark 8:34

On the Third Sunday of Great Lent with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the parishioners of Saint Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church Sargodha Pakistan participated in the Divine Liturgy and venerated the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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On the Third Sunday of Great Lent, Fr. Joseph Farooq in his homely shared about the Adoration and Veneration of the Holy Cross in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Further he told the faithful that the Orthodox Christians all over the world venerate the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with true passion. On the third Sunday of the Great and Holy Lent the Church prepares and teaches the Orthodox Faithful for strict fasting, repentance, abstinence and helps the Faithful to focus their life on the commemoration of the Crucifixion during Holy Week.

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The Gospel message of this particular Sunday challenges us to face hardships and remain strong in our orthodox faith in all circumstances because the Holy Cross is the symbol of victory and strength for the Christians who are facing persecutions all over the world.

The Pakistani Christians are well aware that the most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord is a strength and joy for them in the current situation as they face hatred, discrimination, poverty and suffering.

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“O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help us with our Holy Lady, the Virgin Theotokos, and with all the Saints throughout the ages” Amen!

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Saint Matrona of Moscow Adult Education Center for Women in Pakistan

Inauguration Ceremony of Adult Education Center

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With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, on March 08, 2016, Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan inaugurated the first Adult Education Center for women in Pakistan. We dedicated the center after the name of Saint Matrona of Moscow. The event was attended by 30 women and 15 young Christian women are enrolled for the adult education. The basic motive of the center is to train the women to read and write and provide them the awareness about the social and legal issues in Pakistan. Beside this in the adult education program they will be taught the Catechism of Eastern Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Prayers.

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Speaking at the occasion, Fr. Joseph Farooq appreciated the generous support of Mrs Angela Novac Draghici for the literacy program for adult Christian women in Pakistan and called it an ideal program for those who couldn’t continue their education due to hardship or other reasons.

Moreover Fr. Joseph Farooq told the women group that the importance of this Adult Education Center is to impart basic literacy skills along with some other skills such as sewing and embroidery etc. It is equally necessary that these skills be used by the learners in their daily lives.

The Theological and Spiritual Perspective for Choosing the naming in honour of Saint Matrona Moscow:

Some years ago, I read of the life and works of Saint Matrona of Moscow and this had a deep impact on my mind. Futhermore it has strengthened me spiritually and has encouraged me to face all hardship in my pastoral ministry and to accomplish the tasks ahead of me. She was blind but God has granted her the light of Jesus with the gift of spiritual vision!! Saint Matrona bore infirmity with humility and patience, and God made her a vessel of grace. She never attended any school for formal education but acquired spiritual discernment, vision and knowledge of the sacred traditions.

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As Saint Matrona of Moscow comforted and spiritually strengthened the Russian faithful during the Communist Regime. I believe that She will become a source of spiritual encouragement for suffering Christians in Pakistan. I pray to the Heavenly Father that may Saint Matrona of Moscow Center become a source of solidarity, peace, love and harmony in Pakistan.

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Goals and Objectives of Saint Matrona of Moscow Adult Education Center:
(The basic literacy skills are important for life)

1- To enable them to read and write themselves.
2- To provide them awareness of Orthodox Christian family values and Orthodox Traditions.
3- To impart the knowledge of Eastern Orthodox Catechism and they will be able to learn Orthodox Prayers, so that they may strengthen and steadfast to their faith in the Islamic State of Pakistan.
4- To enable them to have the ability to change an individual’s life and to solve real-life problems through teamwork within the context of an active learning environment.
5- After the completion basic literacy course, further skills such as sewing, embroidery and handcrafts will be taught to them so that they may earn their livelihood.
6- To foster confidence, trust and determination so that they may deal the difficulties and hardships in their day to day life.
7- To polish their inner talents and potentials.

Background:

The adult Christian girls and women in Pakistan have been denied privilege of human right and basic right to education. They are denied not only the right to education, but also the right to decide matters relating to their marriages and divorce. Often abuses are compounded: poor girls and women are trafficked and subject to forced marriage. The Christian girls are the easy prey of forced marriage and in most of cases the Christian girls are forced to embrace Islam even a married Christian women are victim of Islamic Marriage Act.

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There are number of cases that Christian girls and women are raped and forced to have sex at their work places, especially who are working in the houses of rich Muslim land lords and businessmen.  Nearly 2,000 women and girls from various minority sects were forcibly converted to Islam through rape, torture and kidnappings.

We are thankful to God that St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan is conducting meetings and organizing different awareness programs for them. We are also working to uplift their living standards. For these purposes we have launched an adult education program for adult Christian women and later on a stitching school. The main motive of the mission is to protect the Christian women from sexual harassment at workplaces and to save them from forced conversation.

Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan with the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, humbly request the kind donors to show their generosity towards the poor and deprived Christian women folk. The mission plan is to open more Adult Education and Skill Centers for women. We need your generous support to buy sewing and embroidery machines for them. You can also help us by becoming a parish link and promoting the work of the Mission in your local community and to your church. We will keep you up-to-date about our work and latest events.

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Your generosity makes it possible for Fr. Joseph Farooq preaching the holy orthodoxy in the most difficult region of the South East Asia. He reaches out to communities, families and children in desperate need, bringing the light of Christ to the darkest of circumstances.

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Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare Sunday) Acts of Mercy and Good Deeds (Preparation for Great Lent)

To the sheep, He will say “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”

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With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New Your, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on Sunday March 06, 2016, Divine Liturgy is celebrated for the Pakistani Orthodox Christians.

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On the “Sunday of the Last Judgment” the Holy Church of Christ is revealing the truth of the Gospel to Her faithful and moreover preparing them for the Great Lent. The Parable of the Last Judgment has emotional and spiritual characters, helping the entire Orthodox Christians to do acts of mercy in their earthly life to attain the salvation and the Kingdom of God. Father Joseph Farooq preached the sermon on the last judgment by Saint John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco.

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Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan extends heartfelt thanks to everyone for your prayers and passionate support to spread the Gospel and preach the holy orthodoxy in Pakistan.

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House blessings in the mission

With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, on February 08, 2016 Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan has started the house blessing of Orthodox Christian families in Pakistan. Fr. Joseph Farooq is blessing the houses of parishioners going from door to door by following the practice of the Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Families like this spiritual practice very much and feel the spiritual renewal for their families.

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It is the practice of Orthodox Church for centuries that priest visits the orthodox families blesses the houses of orthodox families. The family is considered an extension of the church and the home a “little church”. This service is performed by the priest and according to the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church, the holy water, holy oil, and incense are used and a lesson from the holy Gospel is read. All the rooms of the house are sprinkled with holy water and each of the four outer walls are anointed with the sign of the Cross with holy oil, a candle placed before them, and after the censing of the house, the lesson from the Holy Gospel is read. At the conclusion of the blessing, the inhabitants are blessed with holy water.

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Houses are traditionally blessed with water blessed at the Feast of Theophany, during the time from Theophany until the beginning of the Lenten Triodion, which begins four Sundays before Great Lent begins. This is not a hard and fast rule, but an appropriate principle to follow. So the houses of the orthodox families can be bless by priest at any time of the on the request of the parishioners.

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The house blessing shows the connection of strong spiritual unity of orthodox families with orthodox traditions and the Faith.

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35th Sunday after Pentecost. Venerable Cyril Schemamonk and Venerable Maria Schemanun (1337)

With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, a regular Sunday Divine Liturgy is celebrated at St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church in Pakistan. Today Fr.Joseph Farooq preached about the life of Sts Cyril and Maria parents of our Blessed Holy Father Sergius of Radonezh. Fr. Joseph told the faithful that the parents of Saint Sergius were pious and faithful Christians who were adorned with every virtue. They have set a perfect example for the Orthodox Christian families how to teach and uplift the children with love, care teaching them the orthodox tradition with passionate concern.

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Further Fr. Joseph Farooq told the faithful that when the child (Saint Sergius) in Maria’s womb cried out three times in the church during Liturgy, people were astonished. Although frightened at first, Maria came to see this event as a sign from God that her child would become a chosen vessel of divine grace. She and her husband agreed that if the child was a boy, they would bring him to church and dedicate him to God.

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It is important to share that with each passing day our Orthodox Community is acquainted with common Orthodox Christian traditions and growing spiritually as individuals and as a community. Very joyfully they are learning about Holy Orthodoxy and embracing orthodox practices in their daily life.

Please join us in offering a special prayer asking God’s help for making Russian Orthodox Church alive in Pakistan.

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Sunday after the Baptism of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ After Feast of the Theophany.

With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, a regular Sunday Divine Liturgy is celebrated at St. Sergius of Radonezh Orthodox Church in Pakistan. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated and holy orthodoxy preached with passion and love. The community was very happy to receive the Holy Communion every Sunday and on feast days. We thank everyone for the patience, prayers and passionate support to spread the Gospel and preach the holy orthodoxy in Pakistan.
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THE BLESSED FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST IN PAKISTAN

Merry Christmas! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, on January 7, 2016 the Russian Orthodox believers outside Russia in Pakistan celebrated Christmas according to Traditions and Faith of the Mother Church (Russia). It is our true joy and strong spiritual unity that we celebrated Christmas on the same date along with our Orthodox brothers and sisters around the world by following the “Julian calendar”. therefore Orthodox Christians annually celebrate Christmas Day on January 7.

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January 7 “The Day of Joy and Blessing” For Pakistani Orthodox Christians

It is worth mentioning that the Christmas Lent is a favourable time in which we need to bring the fruits of repentance and prayer. The ROCOR priest Fr. Joseph Farooq in Pakistan preached forty days of fasting to the orthodox believers and they were taught not to eat meat and were asked to pray for the repentance of their sins and do some charity for the poor and needy. The Christian Community in Pakistan is very poor but they do some charity for their brothers and sisters. Many of the faithful come for confession during the regular Sunday’s Divine Liturgy to gain spiritual perfection. All the religious services on New Year and on Christmas Day were full of orthodox worshippers in Pakistan.

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Festive Divine Liturgy:

On January 7, 2016: With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Festive Divine Liturgy was celebrated for Pakistani Orthodox faithful of ROCOR. About 300 orthodox worshippers and 30 non-orthodox who wish to embrace holy orthodoxy attended the Divine Liturgy. On Christmas day, during the Divine Liturgy special prayers were offered for peace in Syria, Pakistan and Middle East and other parts of the world, we also offer prayers for the health of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, for the Orthodox clergy and orthodox faithful all over the world.

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Homily of St. John Chrysostom on the Nativity of Christ:

After the Divine Liturgy, Fr.Joseph Farooq preached the deep theology of Christ’s incarnation which is interpreted by Blessed John Chrysostom Archbishop of Constantinople and the teacher of church. In his sermon, Fr. Joseph Farooq emphasized that faithful should strengthen their faith as they face trials, tribulation and persecutions.

Nativity Epistle of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion:

I am grateful to His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Archbishop of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, who shared his special Christmas Message and greetings with ROCOR Community in Pakistan.

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Distribution of Gifts, Ration and Warm Clothes:

I am thankful to the kind donors who generously contributed with pure heart for the Christmas gifts, ration for poor orthodox families and warm clothes for children. May the Most Holy Mother of God save them all. I extend my heartfelt thanks to all my kind donors and may God bless their donations and charity for the poor and needy.

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Humble Request:

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, Saint Michael the Archangel Orthodox Mission in Pakistan has dedicated the Year 2016, that with help of kind donors, we shall be able to buy land and build the first Holy Russian Orthodox Church in Pakistan and school for Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Christian Children.

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Pastoral visit in Sarghoda

The traditional work of mercy by the Eastern Orthodox Church to care the Sick and Elderly. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Fr. Joseph Farooq the representative of ROCOR mission in Pakistan visits Orthodox families regularly. The prayers strengthen their faith and bring spiritual healing for family members. Fr. Joseph spent time with them and people share their joys and sorrows and they are being comforted by preaching the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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