To the Ends of the Earth

Orthodox Christian Missions

Fiji and New Zealand: Baptisms, Feasts, Monastery

with 5 comments



Resurrected from my files, at long last some news from Fiji and New Zealand. Apologies for the delay.

December 2009 – A Historical Day In Fiji

Wednesday the 16th December 2009, the feast day of Saint Porphyrios of Aigaiou, Theophane of Basilissa and Medestos Patriarch of Jerusalem. Eight o’clock in the morning. T he contractor and his team are taking the blessing and are beginning to measure and put the indicator markers for the foundation so as to follow the design of the Church of Saint Paraskevi in the yard of the Missionary Center in Sambeto, Nandi. The day before yesterday the Cyclone passed with its frightful momentum and its incessant rains which transformed all the surrounding meadows into lakes, harassing the trees and animals and forcing the birds to hide in their dens, carrying away some men to death and leaving many areas for many days in darkness due to the loss of electrical power. Now, however, a boundless calm is spread everywhere. The clear-blue sky and the warm sun remind man, whose life returns to its normal rhythm, of the first days after the flood of Noah. The yards and surrounding trees are full of birds which fly joyfully and please their listeners with their sweet chirping. Today is very beautiful and joyful. Nothing is by accident. The first Orthodox Church in Fiji is founded in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. The elements of nature participate in their own way with our own joy, so that with much gratitude we thank and glorify our all-powerful and gift-giving God, honouring and magnifying as well His holy martyr Paraskevi, whose name and joy will from today be imprinted beautifully on this place of retreat. Archbishop of New Zealand, † Amfilochios

Newly Baptized in the Fiji Islands

Four young Fijian girls adopted the Orthodox faith and were baptized at the Missionary Center of the Holy Metropolis of New Zealand in Fiji.

His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilochios assisted Archimandrite Fr. Christodoulos and the Priest Father Bartholomew in completing the Baptisms.

The Newly-illumined received the names Maria, Anastasia and Sophronia. May the holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified.

One Soul-Stirring Experience (Fiji)

Everything seemed fine from the moment when we entered the catamaran and, leaving behind us the port of Nandi, we began to approach one after another beautiful little islands with pure-white beaches and tropical vegetation. Until, that is, we arrived at Yasawa, Ira Ira, the island of our newly-illumined sister Sophronia.

The boat was full of passengers, white tourists and brown natives, the former going to spend summer vacations the latter returning with supplies from Nandi. The Captain and crew, all natives, were completely organized and very well mannered. We looked admiringly at every island with its picturesque barges dancing upon the waves as they came alongside the boat in order to pick up and transport passengers and their baggage.

I was thinking that this was the method on the smaller islands and that for our own larger island, just as it appeared on the brochure, there would be some platform for the boat to draw alongside. Contrary to my expectation, when we arrived we saw that here as well the barges would come and take passengers and baggage and then depart quickly in the same way. They were going to Yasawa, Ira Ira.

We disembarked into one of these barges following the same procedure as the preceding boats. Our own boat was more slow-moving and therefore we couldn’t see the other boats which had passed around the cape. We were eight people inside the boat. The further we progressed the more I was thinking the Pacific Ocean was showing us its true colours. The wind began to blow with force and the waves of the sea were swelling dangerously and were literally roaring as they relentlessly hit up against the side of our boat splashing us with their salty contents. Now, however, we saw that we were passing one cape after another and the port was nowhere to be seen; we began to worry.

From the very salty water our eyes were burning unbearably and I could not see in front of me, perhaps from my little experience I would have said something to the boatman in order to assist him. He himself could not have had clear vision since he was often spreading his hand in order to take the water from his eyes.

By now we were in the open sea which necessarily we should have had to pass in order to arrive at the opposite shore where I was suspecting the port and the village of our destination would be. I began to get uneasy. The only refuge in similar circumstances is prayer. I chanted secretly the Paraklesis of our Panaghia believing that she would not leave us unprotected. “To whom else shall I flee o Pure one? And to whom else shall I run for help and be saved? Where shall I go, and where shall I find a safe retreat?” (Words from the Great Paraklesis to the Most Holy Virgin)

We approached with much effort the beach while not seeing either a port or a village. We would have to pass many more capes in order to hear from Presbytera Lydia that behind the next cape was the village. However, it was not the next cape, but rather the one after the next. After four hours struggling with the waves we finally arrived at the end of our trip. We disembarked from the boat half-swimming because there was no platform or plank, only one pure-white beach which was covered with trees providing a deep-shade.

This is the village of our newly-illumined Sophronia. I consider how for her joy and the joy of her family and her three-hundred fellow villagers who welcomed us with special joy and honour and offered us hospitality that the weariness of our arduous journey was worth it. Orthodoxy imprinted its footprint here on this remote island of the Pacific.

May the name of the Lord be glorified.

March 2010 – News from the Monastery (New Zealand)

The last several weeks have seen, with the help and grace of God, the construction of the churches of the Holy Archangels and Saint Basileios in the Monastery of our Holy Metropolis.

Recently the frame has been finished and we are awaiting now the weatherboard, the roof, electrical installation and the plumbing.
Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of all those who evolved we expect to celebrate the Divine Mysteries inside our newly erected churches in the next two months.

God willing another spring of life and renewal is being planted, by the right hand of our good God, in New Zealand.

December 2009 – The Baptism of an Orthodox Maori (New Zealand)

“Today let companies of High Priests in spirit leap for joy, as with us they honour your memory, venerable Hierarch Chrysostom, illuminary of the Church.“

We thank the Triune God for the limitless gifts which he offers to us every day. One such gift was received on this day by as many of us who met inside the Holy Parish of Saint Demetrios in the city of Hastings.

Today the first Orthodox Maori was baptized. Archimandrite Father Christodoulos and Hieromonk Ioakeim completed first the holy mystery of baptism of the Maori—Micheal, and later the holy mystery of marriage for Michael and his Greek wife Ephigenia.

Later in the evening our joy was completed with the baptism of their three children: Stephanos, Sophia and Athanasios.
We welcome our newly baptized brothers into the Great Church of Christ, may His holy name be glorified.

More videos from New Zealand and Fiji can be found on this channel on youtube.

Source: EP Archdiocese of New Zealand

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Written by Stephen

May 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Bula! My name is Tina Potiriadis. I live in Melbourne Australia and have visited Fiji with my family many times. We are Travelling to Fiji for New Year for 2 weeks. I was overwhelmed when I heard that Fiji now has Greek Orthodox churches. We are Greek Orthodox and would love to visit the new churches. Since we first visited Fiji in 1994, we have always felt that the Fijian people with their gentle, friendly natures are perfect role models for how everyone on earth should be. And I also believe that the Greek Orthodox religion would be well embraced by the Fijians as it is the one True religion. If possible, could you please supply me with the address of the churches so we may visit. God Bless! Kindest regards, Tina Potiriadis & family.

    tina potiriadis

    November 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm

  2. Bula vinaka.
    I’m so happy we can find a greek orthodox church in Fiji
    If possible, could you please supply me with the address of the churches so we may visit.
    I live in Sydney.
    In Christ
    John Chronopoulos

    JOHN

    February 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    • Dear John,
      Yes, it is wonderful to find the Orthodox Church in Fiji, though I’m afraid I don’t know the addresses. I would recommend contacting the Greek Archdiocese of New Zealand for that information. You can do that here: http://www.ecp-metnz.org.nz/contact.htm

      In Christ,
      Stephen

      Stephen

      February 26, 2011 at 11:31 pm

  3. Χριστός αυξάνεται,with His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilochios along with my Susana [wife] & Paulina [daughter] we will travel to Greece in May 2011 for our ordination to be priest.
    Glory to God the Church of Saint George at Vitogo at Lautoka, Fiji where we will be based with the Blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilochios.

    George

    May 1, 2011 at 11:13 am

  4. Yes!!! a very good friend of mine was in Fiji for 6 months!!! she stayed at the greek monastery there, and told me any greek is welcome there!! i had no idea greeks nad Orthodox reached so far!! From what i know, the nuns are all greeks from Australia who settled there!

    yana hajisava

    July 14, 2012 at 11:37 am


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