“The Church that encompasses the whole world encompasses also this and every place”

?On 25 June, 2023, the third Sunday after Holy Pentecost, which in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is dedicated to the memory of all local saints, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe marked the memory of All Saints of the British Isles and Ireland with a hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Parish of St Colman of Oughoval in Stradbally, Ireland.

Arriving on Saturday morning into Dublin, Vladyka Irenei spent the day with the Parish Priest, Fr Sergei Mironenko, and members of the Parish, visiting nearby sites and meeting to discuss the life and future activities of the Parish.

At the Sunday Liturgy, celebrated in the beautiful temple that stands in the very region where St Colman struggled in asceticism after the model of the monastic community of Iona, the faithful dedicated to his heavenly protection lifted up prayers to Almighty God in thanksgiving for their patron saint, all the saints of Ireland and the British Isles, and for the whole world.

In his homily, the Bishop drew the faithful’s attention to the mystery of the Church’s presence in every place. “On this day,” he preached, ‘”Church draws our attention to our feet; or rather, to the ground on which our feet are placed: this place, this earth, this island. The Church, which is universal, which encompasses the whole world and all peoples, sanctifying every culture and tongue and history and race, today reminds us that she is also profoundly local. She is here, in this place, on this very spot where we are living out our lives.”

He continued: “She sanctifies this ground, and is glorified in this temple. And she takes the men and women of this island and turns them into saints. … And it is precisely that which is the most important lesson: that God, Who is glorified in His saints, wants, desires, even longs, to use this sacred land, this place, to sanctify you. This place that He has created has been fashioned in order to take your soul, however dark, or broken, or tired it may be, and transform it into a living image of His eternal love. The saints that have shone forth here are not just relics of history: they are living witnesses and pastors, desiring in this very moment to shepherd you, their spiritual flock, to salvation.”

Following the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Priest Sergei exchanged warm greetings with the Ruling Bishop, after which Vladyka remained in the Parish for the whole of Sunday, conversing with the faithful and discussing the spiritual life.

In the evening, His Grace departed for England.



Official website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Copyright © 2019
Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Republication or retransmission of materials must include the reference:
"The Official Website of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia."
75 East 93rd Street
New York NY 10128 U.S.A.
Tel: (212) 534-1601
E-mail for content information: englishinfo@synod.com
E-mail for technical information: webmaster@synod.com