The Canadian Orthodox History Project began as an attempt to prepare histories and biographies of communities and persons within the Archdiocese of Canada (ADOCA) in The Orthodox Church in America (OCA). It was soon evident that such a specialised history would lack a proper context. Despite the administrative and linguistic differences, the life of all the Orthodox communities in Canada are interrelated. Therefore, the attempt is being made to gather historical information about as many Orthodox Christian communities in Canada as possible (parishes, monasteries, chapels, camps). The result should help those who are interested to understand more about the historical events which have brought the Orthodox in Canada to their present condition, and also how numerous and wide-spread are the Orthodox Faithful in Canada.
The Orthodox Church in North America is, in its totality, that same Church which was established through the mission of Saint Herman and others, sent from Valaam Monastery to Alaska in 1794. Even though many Orthodox Christian peoples came to Canada for different reasons, the mission of the Orthodox Christians in Canada is the same as that of the first missionaries. We are called by God to take what we have inherited from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Palestine, Syria, Georgia and other Orthodox lands, and plant the Truth of Jesus Christ in accordance with the Orthodox way in Canada.
We are called to baptise Canada with the Orthodox Christian Faith (Matthew 28:19-20 ; Acts 1:8).
The great variety of our communities, parishes and monasteries, and the nature of their life, reveal the many ways in which we struggle to undertake this responsibility in faithful obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.
We invite contributions from readers. We are glad to receive new information and new articles about communities, personalities, and events.
This web-site uses “wiki technology”. Although we are glad to use this technology to maintain and develop the histories and biographies, it is important that the material be as factual as possible, and that there be a consistent grammatical and spelling style. It is intended that editing will maintain this standard. For those who desire to contribute information, please send your suggestions, additions, corrections or contributions to [email@example.com] in accordance with the prescribed instructions. They will then be edited in order to fit into the text. Please do not hesitate to submit good quality photographs for inclusion. We greatly value your interest in the Canadian Orthodox History Project.
This particular overview of the history of the Canadian Orthodox Church is only a beginning. To be properly comprehensive, this history would require details of the life and work of particular priests, deacons and laymen and women who have, in their multitudes, worked hard and faithfully as Christians throughout their lives.
We begin with bishops. It is they who have the responsibility to lead, to renew by the Grace of God everything that is necessary for the good of Christ’s Church, and to give the good example to follow. It is they who have shaped and are shaping the common life of Orthodox Christians in Canada, because of what they bless, how they bless, and how they live their Christian lives. It is they who are responsible before Christ for the consequences of both their good and their bad behaviour and example, and the consequences of their decisions. It is on their shoulders that there are visible divisions until now in Canada. It is on their shoulders to find in Christ the way to overcome these artificial and unnecessary divisions. In a different context, when Archbishop John (Garklavs) of Chicago, of blessed memory, was asked what bishops do, he succinctly replied, “They bless”. Nevertheless, the work that the bishops bless is accomplished for the most part by lay-persons and clergy.
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