Archbishop Seraphim - Mar 10, 2006 - Pastoral Note

At the beginning of Great Lent (2010-02-15)

His Eminence Archbishop SERAPHIM's Appeal:
To the faithful believers of the Archdiocese of Canada,
At the beginning of Great Lent 2010

In entering Great Lent, I am asking that you forgive me, the sinner. Please know that I forgive all before being asked, and I hope that by your prayers I can persist in this.

Let us always be careful to pray for one other, and this Great Lent in particular. There are many who are presently facing difficult moments. Let us do our best to help each other keep following Christ well, so that we may both arrive with joy at Pascha, and also in the end be welcomed into the Kingdom.

I am hoping that we will be able by July to produce a current Intercession List for the many who have been asking for this. If you know of any corrections, or additions from the last one, please send them to me now, at or to Lorraine Grier at

With love in Christ,
The Archbishop of Ottawa and of Canada,
The unworthy

A Project to Honour Military Service Personnel Present, and Past (2010-02-03)

His Eminence Archbishop SERAPHIM's Appeal:
A Project to Honour Military Service Personnel Present, and Past

When I was recently at a meeting in Washington, DC, I was asked by Mr Robert Burgener, a retired officer of the U.S. Army, and active parishioner of the Cathedral there, to support his project of honouring all Orthodox veterans who have served, or are serving in the Armed Forces. This record would be an electronic one. He is including Canada in his project, I have seen an example of what is being done, and I see no reason not to participate in his well-intentioned project. Mr Burgener has worked at some time in Canada.

Metropolitan JONAH has blessed this project, which is focussed on the Cathedral of St Nicholas in Washington (this cathedral being originally constructed as a memorial to those who served in the military). There is no solicitation for funds involved, and there will not be.

You may visit the website directly, or through the church website at and go to the link for special events, 2009 festival to see what has been done so far.

Perhaps you have a current, or past military service. Perhaps you know someone who does. I am making this information available, should you wish to participate.

With love in Christ, I remain yours,

The Archbishop of Ottawa, and of Canada

The unworthy



St. Nicholas Cathedral is the War Memorial Shrine of the Orthodox Church in America. This page, which will be updated weekly, includes the names of veterans from the Orthodox parishes throughout the United States and Canada.

To have your veteran's name included, please send their name, rank, branch of service, and period served such as 1941-1952, along with where they served to Include a digital photo (jpeg format) if you like.

Paschal Greetings (2009-04-17)

Archbishop † SERAPHIM
Paschal Greetings

Dear Brothers, and Sisters in Christ,

I am greeting you all in the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Christ is risen.

It is my prayer that you all may know deeply in your hearts, that you may encounter, and participate in the Love of our God, in our Saviour.  May you all shine brightly with the joy, and the light of the Life-giving Resurrection.  May this joy never fade in your hearts.  May this light of Christ, which illumines all, dispel all darkness, and evil that may try to attack you.  May you live in Him, who is the Truth.  May the weaknesses of human beings never distract you from the True Way of Christ. 

May the Risen Christ bring you all into His Kingdom.

Christ is risen

the unworthy
Archbishop of Ottawa, and of Canada

Prayers and Help for Haitian Relief (2010-01-12)

His Eminence Archbishop SERAPHIM's Appeal:
Prayers and Help for Haitian Relief

Dear Brothers, and Sisters, of the Archdiocese of Canada,

As you are likely aware by now, His Beatitude, Metropolitan JONAH, following the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti, has not only asked for our prayers for those suffering and departed at this time, but also he has directed the Charity Committee of the Metropolitan Council to send $10,000.00 to the IOCC to administer for Haitian relief. He has also asked that a special collection be taken in parishes on Sunday, 17 January 2010, and be sent directly to the IOCC.

In keeping with His Beatitude's directive, since it is between difficult and impossible for Canadians to send funds directly to charitable organizations based in the United States, I am recommending that any and all parish and individual offerings taken on Sunday be made directly to the Canadian Red Cross. There is, as we know, an immediate need, and the need will exist for some time. Indeed, I would like to recommend that collections be received every Sunday until the end of February, and that what is collected each week be immediately remitted to the Red Cross (rather than waiting for a “crowd-pleasing” amount).

Also, appropriate petitions may be used during Divine Services at this time.

Thanking you all for your Christian response to this situation, I remain in Christ yours,

The Archbishop of Ottawa and of Canada

The unworthy † Seraphim

Visit to Canada of the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of God (2009-09-22)

Archbishop SERAPHIM
The Visit of the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of God to Canada
22 September - 11 October, 2009

On 22 September 2009, the Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos of the Monastery in Pochaiv, Ukraine, arrived in Canada, to begin a series of visits in this country - visits that would prove to make a significant impression on all of us, whether we managed to venerate this Holy Icon, or not. These visits concluded
on 11 October.

Visit to Canada of the Pochaiv Icon of the Mother of God

The next stop was in Montréal, where several thousands of people came to venerate this Wonder-working Icon. Some were physically healed; others were refreshed spiritually. In every place the Mother of God stopped, she also brought people to repentance, reconciliation, and healing of the heart. As usual, She brought us, and continues to bring us, to Her Son. The next stop was Toronto, where again several thousands of people queued up to venerate this Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos. Again, there were healings, as well as renewals of the hearts and lives of people who came to her, and also to those who did not.

The next stop was in Ottawa. Here the Mother of God was in the midst of the many assembled hierarchs, and the Archdiocesan Council, and many of the faithful of the capital, and of Canada. Here the Mother of
God had come to the Cathedral which is dedicated to Her Annunciation, and which had previously, as a Roman Catholic church, been dedicated to the Feast of Her Protection (on which day the Cathedral was first blessed and used by us), and for the Episcopal Ordination of our Auxiliary Bishop Irénée (Rochon) of Québec. Here too, as before, there were healings and reconciliations and repentances. After this, there were stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina (the Romanian Cathedral of St George), Winnipeg, and finally once again, Toronto. In each of these places there were many healings, renewed hearts, repentances, and reconciliations.

In her Progress across Canada, the Mother of God approached us in the warmth and joy of her compassionate Heart, and brought with her the renewal of hope, and a desire among us all to be more seriously faithful. She brought reconciliation again and again, and she brought healing, as I have emphasised. She gave us an opportunity for closeness to her Holy Icon that is not possible for believers in Eastern Europe, because of such great numbers wanting to venerate the Icon there.

Why would she come to us like this, with such a generous and intimate expression of Love? We, who are unworthy, cannot say, but we can express the depth of our gratitude.

She arrived in Canada, and through this Icon, which has been for 450 years in the Pochaiv Monastery in Ukraine - the land of origin of most of the early founders of Orthodox life in Canada - she embraced all the children of her Son. As the Icon visited us, were there temptations among us? Of course. There could never
be such a blessing without interference from the tempter. Did they succeed? Of course not. God's Love defeats all such tricks and disturbances. If a person for some reason could not manage to participate, was such a person deprived of Grace? No. If a person was blocked from venerating this Holy Icon because the tempter had successfully sowed seeds of skepticism, or something else negative, does that mean that because of this God will reject that person? No. The Lord's Love is much greater than our limitations, and the Mother of God is an effective conveyor of that Grace.

Let us, who have had the privilege of such a close encounter with the Lord and the Mother of God, now live as well as we can, and as responsibly as we can (always with God's help), in letting this same compassionate love and generosity shine from us. Let us, as the Mother of God aiways does, ailow the Saviour to reveal Himself through us to His needy children, and let us do so with hearts full of gratitude for the gifts of such inexpressible joy and strength in Christ.

Winter Greetings (2009-01-07)

Archbishop † SERAPHIM: 2008-2009 Winter Greetings
On the Nativity of Christ, and
the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan
January 2009

Dear Brothers, and Sisters
Dear Clergy, and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada

I am taking this opportunity to greet all of you, and all others who may read these greetings, during this 2008-2009 Winter. I greet you with the joy of the Nativity of Christ, and of the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan.

The LORD shows His all-embracing love to us. In His only-begotten Son, He makes visible the fact that “God is with us”. His taking upon Himself all of our fallen human condition is a testimony of the magnitude of this love, and the depth of His humility.

May the LORD give us the Grace of the Holy Spirit, so that we may accept His embrace, and allow Him to heal our broken hearts, and lives. May the LORD so shine the light of His Love in our hearts that we may radiate this joy.

May our LORD, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ, born in the flesh, and baptised in the Jordan for our salvation, protect us, and save us all.

With love in Christ,
the unworthy
Archbishop of Ottawa, and of Canada