| First Orthodox Easter liturgy in Seychelles - 07.04.2010
Father Sergios (Srdjan Janosevic) of the Seychelles parish of the Greek Orthodox Church held his first Divine Liturgy in Seychelles for the Easter celebration on Sunday April 4.
A small community of some 70 faithful including Seychellois, Greek, Russian, Ukranian, Romanian and Serbian believers attended the service, which marked the historic occasion of the first Orthodox service of the community’s first Orthodox priest.
The liturgy was attended by the Russian Ambassador to Seychelles, Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin, the Commanding Officer of the Greek Navy frigate H.S. Limnos, Commander Yiannis Partsalivis as well as the Honorary Consul of Serbia to Seychelles, Dr. Miodrag Todorovic.
“Christ is risen from the dead, and through death He did trample upon death, and thus bestowed on those in the tombs the gift of immortal life,” sang Father Sergios the words of the Troparion of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ in Greek, which was the original language of the first Christian church.
Father Sergios celebrated the liturgy in English, with the choir singing Russian, English and Greek hymns.
Father Sergios read the message of the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodoros II, which centred on recollection of the injustices, suffering and exploitation of people of the African continent.
“If we all comprehend that Christ suffered, was put to death and rose for all of us regardless, then tolerance, understanding, respect and love will find a place in our societies. People may have different starting points but they have a common destination – the sanctifying elevation of human existence as in the image and likeness of God,” read the Patriarch’s message.
Father Sergios is known to most as Srdjan Janosevic, a Serbian man and naturalized Seychellois who has lived and worked with his family in Seychelles for 23 years. He spent his whole working life in the airline industry, serving 15 years with Jugoslav Air Transport (JAT) and 20 years with Air Seychelles. In 2008 following his retirement, he became more interested in spiritual work of the Orthodox Church. Last year, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Dimitrios of Tanzania and Seychelles visited Seychelles and established a parish. The Archbishop asked Srdjan to enter the priesthood, and he was ordained deacon in Tanzania last year, and in December was ordained priest in Greece.
“When Archbishop Makarios was exiled in Seychelles, he learned to love this country very much, just as I have after so many years living here. Now I will continue his mission and legacy, and serve the community as best as I am able to,” said Father Sergios.
The Eastern Orthodox Church is a communion of 14 autocephalous churches (such as the Orthodox Church of Greece, and the Orthodox Church of Russia), and is the second largest single Christian communion in the world, with over 300 million faithful. It has 52 parishes in Africa that are under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa.