Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines

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The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Mission in the Philippines is a jurisdiction of the Antiochian Orthodox Church governed by the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, and All Oceania. It is one of three Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in the Philippines. The Exarchate of the Philippines under the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia and the Philippine Mission of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia are the others.


On November 5, 2007, the congregation of the Missionary Servants and Handmaids of St. Francis of Assisi, Inc. applied to join the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand.

On February 28, 2008, the mission was accepted in principle by Metropolitan Archbishop Paul Saliba, Primate of Australia, together with Pentecostal Bishop Jeptah Aniceto, now the Vicar of the Davao Vicariate.

From May 19 to 22, 2008 Metropolitan Archbishop Paul visited the Philippines for the second time, where he had a colloquium with twelve candidates for ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood in Cogeo, Antipolo City and visited the Antiochian Orthodox communities in Antipolo City (Cogeo Village with 500 members, Bagong Nayon 2 with 500 members, Pagrai with 500 members and Sirona with 500 members), San Jose Del Monte City (Feliciano Subdivision, Brgy. Muzon with 500 members, and Pleasant Hills Subdivision, Brgy. San Manuel with 300 members and Kalookan City (Pangarap Village with 500 members).

Archbishop Paul ordained the Archpriest Yitzhak Pascualito D. Monsanto as the first Antiochian Orthodox priest in the Philippines and elevated him to the rank of Archpriest for the Manila Vicariate and designated as Senior Vicar, and will also cover the Davao Vicariate, which is located at Panacan City, Davao.

He also ordained into Methodius Carlito R. Rafanan, a former Roman Catholic priest of the Societas Verbi Divini (SVD, or Divine Word Missionaries) priest); to the priesthood; Ulrico Carlos G. Cabubas to the diaconate; and Abundio J. Delim, Jr., Michael A. Monsanto, Divino Z. Pedraza to the sub-diaconate. He deferred the ordination of the nine (9) candidates pending completion of the required studies on Orthodoxy. Rafanan had converted to Greek Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, only to become Antiochian to be a priest again.

From May 23 to 26, 2008 Archbishop Paul traveled to Davao City with Vicar Yitzhak Pascualito D. Monsanto to ordain convert Pentecostal Bishop Jeptah Aniceto as the third Antiochian orthodox priest in the Philippines and elevated him to archpriest for the Davao Vicariate. This priest shortly after ordination left the Orthodox Faith. Other priests left the Orthodox faith and later returned.[citation needed]

In 2009 Jeptah Aniceto left the Antiochian Church to pursue native religious teaching in Africa. His followers left the Antiochian Church as well and scattered.

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