Skip to comments.Southernmost Church in the World: Where Father Kirilov Celebrates Mass at 25 Degrees Below Zero
Posted on 07/18/2015 8:38:28 AM PDT by marshmallow
"The Russian workers at the South Pole expect, like every other believer, spiritual support and a Church very devoted to God." With these words Russian Orthodox priest Sophrony Kirilov describes his task. He's a "special envoy" of the Moscow Patriarch on King George Island, as the British call them, or Isla 25 de Mayo, as the Argentines say. The island belongs to the sub-Antarctic archipelago of the South Shetlands. Here Father Kirilov cares for the southernmost church in the world.
The Russian priest is one of a hundred people who spend even the winter in this latitude, although the temperatures can reach minus 25 degrees centigrade. In the summer the average temperature rises only slightly above the zero-degree mark. The island is 95 kilometers long and at its widest point 25 kilometers wide. Overall, it accounts for an area of 1150 square kilometers, in which, after all, 500 people stay there in the summer. The majority lives in the Incorporated in a Chilean settlement Villa Las Estrellas (Star Village). In winter there are all of the 50 people. They have the Catholic Chapel of Mary Queen of Peace in the settlement.
The archipelago was discovered in 1819 by British navigator William Smith. He took possession of it for Britain and gave the largest island the name of the then reigning British King George III from the House of Hanover.
Father Kirilov is 38 years old and belongs to a group of Russian priests who rotate in Antarctic chaplaincy. It is for the fourth assignment to the Southern Shetlands. A "special place", he says. "In the world there is no peace and quiet. Here, however, it is silent. God loves the silence. It is a privileged moment in the relationship between man and...
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The pope is going to have a hard sell convincing this guy of global warming.
And, unlike the pope, this man is focused on more important things that global warming, social justice, capitalism, etc.
I love this quote. Very differeent idea than what one gets at a typical guitar-strummin', gong-bangin', drumkit-poundin' novus ordo mass.
BTW since these are Orthodox priests, shouldn’t this be more properly called Divine Liturgy rather than Holy Mass?
I believe so.
The South Shetland islands which lie just off the Antartic mainland northwest penninsula are territories claimed by the UK. Through the UK they are admisistered by the Falkland Islands as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich islands and assigned as territorys of The Falkland Islands.
Nardi sounds like he’s Argentinian and ptobably doesn’t recognize their claim although he does admit to the initial naming by a Brit. Anyway it’s the middle of winter there.
From solitude and silence are born tender contrition, and meekness; the activity of this latter in the human heart may be compared to that quiet water of Siloe, which flows without noise or sound, as the Prophet Isaiah speaks of it: 'the waters of Siloe that go softly' (Is. 8:6). St. Seraphim of Sarov, Little Russian Philokalia, Vol. 1
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