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 8th July, 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.


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.
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