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Light of the Paschal Vigil
Blessed and dedicated by the late Metropolitan Nicholas, of blessed memory, the chapel is part of the Apostolate of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (the Mother Church of Christ’s poor), serving under the Omophorion of Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa (ACROD).
Tuesday to Saturday from 5–11 a.m.
06:00 Doors open for silent prayer
08:30 Divine Liturgy
As of July, with COVID restrictions easing, you no longer need to register to attend our services in person.
We do ask, however, that you wear a mask and practise physical distancing when inside the church.
Visitors and newcomers are, as usual always, welcome!
Questions? Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“If you’re made mistakes in the past and turned away from God, you are welcome in our Church. If you’ve doubted, been skeptical, and asked questions about faith, you are welcome in our Church. If you are struggling with drugs or pornography or some other addiction, you are welcome in our Church. If you were out drunk all night and party too much, you are welcome in our Church. If you’re having sex before or outside of marriage, you are welcome in our Church. If you are struggling with your gender identity, you are welcome in our Church. If you can’t quit some disappointing habit or disgusting trait, you are welcome in our Church.
The Church is a hospital for the broken, lost, empty, confused, desperate, and rejected. The Church is a place of healing, a place of renewal. The Church is a place of rest, of refuge, of comfort, of new life. The Church is where we encounter the Living God and find love with His family.
Everyone who has sinned has a future, and every saint has a past. How do we break the chains of sin, addiction, and bondage? Through loving prayer and Christ-centered fellowship, through prayer for you and prayer with you! There isn’t a single person within the four walls of the Church who doesn’t have something they regret or hate about their past.
We’ve all made mistakes, and will continue to do so. But by God’s grace and with His mercy we can find new life. God gives us a second, and a third, and a fifth, and a hundredth chance to come to our senses and return to His loving home. So whatever you’ve done, whatever you’re doing, and whatever you will do, don’t despair. God loves us too much to ever give up on us.
You are welcome in our Church!”
At St. John the Compassionate . . . (660 kb PDF).
Text of a presentation by Archbishop Sotirios of Canada, September 2021 (225 kb PDF).
Father Nicolaie Atitienei is the Spiritual Father and serving priest of St. John the Compassionate Mission. Father was born in Solca, Romania. He attended West University of Timisoara (Romania) Faculty of Letters, History and Theology, where he earned a Masters in Social Psychology and graduated from four years of seminary. His knowledge of Orthodoxy is not only academic or from just reading books, but from having actually lived under Ceauşescu and then the fall of communism in Romania. Father’s experience of Orthodoxy and its influence in society comes from a lived experience, an experience that helps him understand the reality in which the Mission finds itself witnessing the Orthodox faith.
After coming to Canada he earned an MSW from U of T.
After humbly serving over twelve years at the Mission, where all of his four children grew up, he was chosen to lead our community. The community also petitioned our ruling bishop to ordain him to the priesthood. His leadership is in continuity of the original spirit of the Mission, as well as a new deepening of the Mission’s life.
His wife Presbytera Michaela beautifully serves as a cantor.
Under his leadership a new mission-parish opened in Scarbough called St. Zoticos, where he also serves. Father is sought by many people for counseling and as a spiritual father, both in the church and outside the Mission.
He serves and leads by words that are inspiring, but also by a humble nurturing care of each person. He is a prolific writer, winning several literary awards back in Romania. He now publishes a weekly inspirational text for our Sunday bulletin – some of these writings can be heard on Ancient Faith. Our community is deeply grateful for Father’s leadership, and is witnessing a renewal of people and good works.
Deacon Pawel Mucha came to St. John’s in 2007, planning to stay for one year. Originally from the UK, he previously had a career in teaching. Ordained as a deacon for the Mission in 2010, he is now Prefect of the Lived Theology School at the Mission.
Sub-deacon Arsenio Tibayan, originally from the Philippines, speaks fluent Tagalog, is married and has two children, also serving at St. Zoticos Mission.
Luke O’Neil is a Brother of Mercy who serves as an ordained Reader, and leads the weekly daily services at St. Silouan Chapel. He came to Orthodoxy from the United Church of Canada. He is the community librarian and historian. He has a great knowledge on the lives of the saints, and a vast collection of icons of lesser-known saints. Brother Luke is the regular member of Lourmel house. You can hear his stories of Mission life on the Ancient Faith Parables of Community blog.
Starosta Miroslava is married, a mother of two, and a recent retiree from the financial world. “I am blessed to serve as Starosta in our humble community. I serve with joy and reverence, with faith in our church and gospel. I care for all people of God, and humbly I am in service of the poor and the church, working along with our spiritual Fathers and the Sobor. With all my heart I rejoice to serve in humility, to help take care of people, to give and receive blessings, and to pray in our chapel. I am truly blessed to be part of our community.”
Presbytera Mihaela is our cantor. Like her husband, she is originally from Romania. She is a full-time teacher and mother. As well as her beautiful – some say angelic – voice, she brings to the community a practical knowledge of Orthodox liturgical music traditions.
In many parts of the liturgy, we are encouraged to sing as a community.
St. John’s Mission has a wealth of new books available for purchase, with subjects including Orthodox spirituality, saints, and theology. Here’s a sample lists (approx. 1 Mbyte each), or come to 155 Broadview and enjoy browsing at your leisure: