Orthodoxy in the Republic of Ireland
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Orthodox Churches trace their roots to the twelve male apostles who, according to Christian teaching, were chosen by Christ to continue his teaching. The Orthodox movement comprises a group of independent churches that follow particular teachings, each having the right to elect its own leaders. The Christian Bible is the key holy book of the Orthodox Churches, who share the principal beliefs of other traditions of Christianity. The Orthodox movement is the largest Christian community in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, while it is the second largest Christian community in the world.
Later documented presence of Orthodoxy in Ireland dates from the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. White Russian refugees arrived in small numbers and settled throughout the country. The Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy was held in various locations around the Dublin Quays by visiting priests from England. However, in the mid-1960s, Nicholas Couris, an elderly Russian aristocrat and former officer in the Imperial Russian Army and the anti-communist White Army, was ordained a priest for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. He served a growing congregation of Russian White emigres, Greek immigrants, and Irish born converts out of a Dublin house chapel until his death in May 1977.
But the community continued to grow. In 1981, the Greek Orthodox parish of Our Lady of the Annunciation was formed and began holding services in the St. Mary's Church, Dublin 1. The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Great Britain and Ireland consecrated the former building which had been given over by the Church of Ireland and elevated it to the level of a Cathedral on 24 May 1981. In 1986, after the building was declared unsafe, the parish transferred to a house chapel in Artane. However, in November of that same year, the Church of Ireland transferred another defunct church in Ranelagh. The parish is currently looked after by Father Thomas Carroll. The Russian Orthodox parish of Saint Peter and Paul was dedicated at the Dublin suburb of Harold's Cross in 2001, under the authority of the Moscow Patriarchate. Father Michael Gogoleff, a Russian-French priest, serves as the dean of the parish. Father Nikolay Evseev is an appointed resident priest who succeeded Father George Zavershinsky who's been in the same position from 2002 until the August 2009. Located in a defunct parish of the Church of Ireland the community is rather large and made up of emigres from the various republics of the former USSR; faithful from Poland and Rusyns from Eastern Slovakia. There is also a significant number of Orthodox Irish; mostly converts. The services are conducted in Church Slavonic but a significant amount of English is used along with smatterings of Greek, Georgian language, Romanian, Serbian and the Irish language. In September 2009, the Bishop of Sourozh paid a visit to the Irish parishes of his diocese. In 2010 October, the Russian Orthodox Church of Ireland opened two more congregations, in Athlone (Connaught Province) and Drogheda (Leinster Province).
The Romanian Orthodox Church
The late 90s saw an influx of people from Eastern Europe. The Russian Church (Moscow Patriarchate) began its services in 1999 with monthly Liturgies at the Greek Church Arbour Hill, but subsequently moved to premises at Harold’s Cross Dublin in 2002, thanks to the Church of Ireland (Anglican). There are about 1,500 members of the church. They also have monthly Liturgies for members in Waterford, Cork and Galway. The Romanian Church came into being with its own priest in October 2000. From January 2001 Sunday worship took place in Belvedere College chapel in the centre of Dublin, courtesy of the Jesuit Fathers. In June 2005, the Church of Ireland made available their church at Christ Church Leeson Park, Dublin 4 to the Romanian Orthodox community. It is currently named "Romanian Irish Orthodox Church" with the celebration of "The Exaltation of Holy Cross". This church served about 1,500 people in the Dublin area, about 120 in the two new parishes. On April 9, 2006 a fourth Priest in Ireland was ordained with responsibility for two new parishes in Cork and Galway. There are also occasional Liturgies in Tipperary, Tralee, Killorglin and Navan. Since 2010, the parish in Ballsbridge split location for convenience reasons in two provisional locations in Blanchardstown area with 3 new priests holding the Liturgy every Sunday. An intense activity is noted on weekdays as well and there is an evening mass on Wednesdays and Fridays. Special masses are held for each of the celebrations of the Romanian Orthodox Calendar.
The Syriac Orthodox Church community is growing in Ireland. The members of the Syrian Orthodox Community who are from India belonging to the Syriac Orthodox Church under the Holy See of Antioch. Most of them are employed in different hospitals and elsewhere. St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church in Waterford is one of the main Syrian Orthodox Churches in Ireland.
The Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church,the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia all have a presence in Ireland and are continuing to grow.
- The Fascinating Life of Father Nicholas Couris
- The Dedication of Saint Peter and Paul's Russian Orthodox Church in Dublin
- The History of the Orthodox Church in Ireland until 1987
- The Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in Stradbally, County Laois
- (Russian) The Website of SS. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church in Harold's Cross
- St.Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church, Waterford, Ireland, Fr. Babu Alias was appointed as the Vicar of St. Mary's Church on 8th February 2009 by the present Bishop His Grace Kuriakose Mor Dioscoros Metropolitan
- The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Ireland, Scotland, North East England and its Affiliated Regions