Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 9th September, 4pm

To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.
To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.
The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

"It's Now or Never: The Return of the Eastern Christians to Iraq and Syria" - John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need gives the annual Christopher Morris Lecture in the Society's 90th year. Monday 27th November at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 pm Divine Liturgy, 7-15 pm Lecture, 8-15 pm Reception. £10 donation requested. RSVP to johnchrysostom@btinternet.com







Sunday, 26 April 2015

Cardinal Nichols: What are our leaders doing about religious persecution? - Telegraph

What are our leaders doing about religious persecution? - Telegraph
Saturday, 25th April, 2015

The recent car bomb explosion in Erbil, in Iraq, came as a particular shock since only five days before I had been on that very street. My heart went out to those killed or injured in the blast. But online reactions were sharply divided: “Close 95 per cent of mosques, transform them into educational and social centres!” was one comment, “Terrorists do not have religion and want only to create hatred and confusion” was another.

They sum up the modern dilemma: is religion an enemy, a dreadful problem which we have to defeat or solve? Or it is a friend, a rich resource for our needed solutions and for our hope for the future?

The historical evidence is clear. Many of humanity’s greatest and noblest achievements have sprung from faith in God. Countless lives of love and service of others have their origins in a depth of religious faith sustained through prayer and community living. This religious instinct to seek meaning and purpose in life seems intrinsic to humanity. In fact, freedom of religion is a fundamental human right because the religious dimension of our lives is central to how we understand ourselves and others.

But this is not a licence for irresponsibility; the right to religious freedom should never be used as a pretext to justify acts that violate the freedoms of others. We all bear a responsibility in working out the place of belief in contemporary society. Religious believers have to give a rational account of their faith – rational not in the narrow sense of “scientific”, but in the broader sense of appealing to and supported by our faculty for reasoned thought. This is its bulwark against fundamentalism. Religious leaders also have to make clear their opposition to irrational fundamentalism and the terrible destruction it ferments.

At the same time, society has a duty to respect the rights of believers. Their legitimate place in society needs to be acknowledged together with their role in forming and nurturing the human spirit, helping to shape and articulate the ethical principles by which a creative society is maintained. When, as a matter of secularist dogma, this respect is missing or denied, society is weakened since reciprocity and mutual trust are undermined.

Religious fundamentalism and secularist ideology are joint contributors to a dangerous spiral of mistrust and antagonism that makes lasting solutions more difficult to attain.

As the election approaches, it’s a good time to reiterate that people of all faiths seek a partnership with government in which their gifts, and responsibilities, can be used productively and with mutual respect, rather than be met with suspicion. All public institutions should recognise that faith is at the core of our society; something seen daily in the actions performed by devoted communities that help sustain the common good of all Britons.

This means that central and local government have certain responsibilities to fulfil. They should strive to understand the coherence of religious beliefs. They should recognise the role of that belief in education, based on parental wishes. They should provide adequately for the meeting of spiritual needs in public services.

They should engage in respectful partnership with religious bodies in the provision of support for the needy and the marginalised, and they should avoid legislative measures that effectively limit freedom of religious expression in matters that do not infringe or impede the rights of those who hold different views. The harassment of those who have wished to provide services in accordance with their beliefs, when alternative services are readily available, has been understandably seen as the pursuit of an ideology and not of the common good. We should be questioning candidates on all these matters.
Equally important is the readiness of a future British government to speak and act in defence of all endangered religious groups who are targeted, persecuted and killed precisely because of their beliefs – something I saw at first-hand with the Yezidi and Christian communities in Iraq. Any reluctance by a UK government to speak and act in this way, especially on behalf of Christian communities facing unprecedented persecution, would be particularly significant. It would undermine the mutual trust between our foremost religious faith and our public representatives that is so necessary for the wellbeing of our society.

The Catholic community in England and Wales is profoundly committed to the common good of our society. Alongside those of other faiths we make substantial contributions to the human capital on which our society depends and to the religious and spiritual capital that nurtures service and human resilience among families and communities today.

Our commitment to our society is clear. I hope that this election will be an opportunity for candidates and parties to make clear their commitment to these partnerships.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols is the Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Society of St John Chrysostom

Monday, 20 April 2015

Mitred Archpriest Alexander Nadson: An Appreciation from Father John Salter, Chairman

I first met Father Alexander fifty-seven years ago, shortly after he came to London. He came to dinner with me at King’s College Hostel, where I was a theological student.

Over the years, I came in touch with him in various places. I remember encountering him at Gatwick airport, when we were about to board a ‘plane for Rome in 1996. He was on his way to an ad limina meeting when bishops and priests of a certain rank have to report to the Holy See. Father Alexander made it quite clear that ad limina visits were not particularly popular to him. “I would rather be in North Finchley,” he quipped.
Father Alexander stood his ground against the Latins when he thought they had overstepped the mark in relation to the Eastern Catholic Churches. I well remember being with him at a gathering of clergy, when I protested at an attempt to impose a Latinisation by a Roman Catholic prelate. “But as a member of the Latin Church, you ought to be used to Latinism,” the prelate admonished me. “But,” I replied, “I have never been a member of the Latin Church” (having passed from Anglicanism to the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate). “And neither am I,” piped up Father Alexander.

Father Alexander worked closely with his friend Bishop Ceslaus Sipovitch, the Apostolic Visitor for Byelorussian (now Belarusian) Catholics at Marian House and the prep school of St Cyric of Turov. Between them they made Marian House a vibrant centre for the Byelorussian Catholics, one of the smallest of the so-called “Uniate” Churches and one which had many difficulties to surmount, particularly in Byelorussia and Poland, countries where the Church was misunderstood by the Orthodox and all the Latins too. Here in England, Alexander and Ceslaus established excellent relations with the Byelorussian Orthodox of both the Synod and the Constantinopolitan jurisdictions; and when the Orthodox established themselves at my Church of St Silas in Islington, Mrs Guy Picarda, an expert on Byelorussian music, was sent from Marian House to train a choir for the parish priest, Father John Pierkarski, who was always a welcome guest at Marian House.

Father Alexander worked hard to make Marian House library a repository of works on Byelorussian culture and I remember giving him a deacon’s robe of red velvet, embroidered with silver, which I had found in a dressing-up box in my first parish.

He will be missed by those who worship at Marian House, but also by those clergy who met him on a regular basis at the Catholic Ethnic Chaplains’ gatherings in London. He himself was, “a great priest, who in his days pleased God.” May the Lord God remember His servant Alexander in His Kingdom, now and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Archpriest Alexander Nadson - Memory Eternal - Вѣчнаѧ память!

Society of St John Chrysostom's photo.

Fr Mark Woodruff, Vice-Chairman, writes:

With great sadness we learn this morning that Father Alexander, our past Chairman, reposed in the Lord late on Wednesday evening 15th April.

For decades he has been the leader of the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church since the passing of Bishop Ceslaus Sipovic, protecting the diaspora from persecution and martyrdom under the Soviet Union, and promoting Belarusian culture, history, identity and freedom from the peerless library and museum collection of Belarusian literature, academic writing, artefacts and manuscripts at Marian House, in North London, a world treasury of Belarusian life and history.

It is not nowadays realised that after links with the Mother Church in Constantinople were lost and became impossible to maintain because of political upheavals dividing Eastern Europe, the ancient unity between Rome and the North East European Byzantine churches was restored and strong. At one point over 90% of the Belarusian Church was Greek-Catholic. With Russian annexation under the tsardom, followed by suppression under the atheist state that followed it, the Belarusian Catholic Church was steadily and ruthlessly persecuted, with forced conversions to Russian Orthodoxy, the expropriation of churches, monasteries and other institutions and assets. Accompanying this at various points were legal dissolution, persecution and imprisonment of clergy and even martyrdoms, as in the neighbouring regions of what is now Ukraine and Russia proper.

Today the Belarusian Catholic church is a shadow of its former self, but maintains some form of life in Belarus and the diaspora. In Britain its life has been placed under the care of the Holy Family eparchy for Ukrainians, so that its value as a body defending freedom and human rights at a time when Belarus remains unfree under a communist-style and corrupt dictatorship, not to mention language and identity, may be strengthened and preserved.

Father Alexander was a vigorous defender of Christian freedom and the civilisation of the land from which he was exiled. He was also a devoted scholar, priest and monk. Until he became infirm in late 2014, he maintained a daily cycle of offices and Liturgy in the chapel of Marian House, working daily, too, in the beloved library. When Belarus and its churches are free again, Father Alexander will be recognised, we trust, as a significant servant of his Church and people, the conservation of their national patrimony, the telling of their true story abroad, and the survival of an almost lost older order to hand over to new generations for its renewal and restoration.

He was also a passionate promoter of the Union of the Churches of east and west. He believed deeply in the integrity and rights of his own Belarusian Greek Catholic Church, but not in the rival interests of churches seeking to justify their separation. He sought and hoped for the reunion of Catholic and Orthodox, not out of the spirit of old resentments but in the spirit of reconciliation that was honest and truthful about the past and its injustices, but concerned out of freedom and mutual respect and charity to make a new future together, for the sake of the people of his land. Having seen a Europe divided, and the divided Church oppressed by fascism and atheist powers, he believed the unity of Christians was vital to the reconstruction of Europe's civilisation and true destiny.

For many years, Father Alexander served as our Society's Chairman, effectively refounding it in the mid 20th century with a new lease of life and purpose, especially considering the plight of the churches oppressed under the Communists and the diaspora in the west. Even in old age, the bond with the Society and the work he invigorated had a daily reminder: at the chapel in Marian House, the iconostasis is that created for the inauguration by Bishop Myers of the Society in 1926 at the Liturgy in Westminster Cathedral.

Father Alexander, may your memory be eternal. Со свѧтыми, упокой, Христе, душу раба Твоєгѡ, протоієреѧ Алеѯандра. Вѣчнаѧ память, Христосъ воскресе!

Our present chairman, Father John Salter, will write a personal appreciation shortly.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Archpriest Alexander Nadson - Memory Eternal

Please follow this link to our Facebook page to read a first appreciation of Father Alexander, who left our world last evening, 15 March 2015.