Abba Seraphim in Sweden
Abba Seraphim was invited to Stockholm to address the Orthodox Group of the Christian Council of Sweden (Sveriges Kristna R?d) during a day conference ?En R?st Ropar I ?knen? on 27 May. He spoke on the subject ?The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism ? present and future challenges?. Following this, accompanied by Fr. Gunnar Lind, he drove to the ?stanb?cks kloster near Sala, which is the only male monastic community in the Church of Sweden and observes the Benedictine rule. After welcome by Abbot Caesarius and his community, Abba Seraphim joined them for supper before an informal discussion of common issues.
The following morning he attended the community?s morning mass during which he delivered a short homily. After a tour of the monastery and its activities (candle-making is one) there was an opportunity to discuss ecumenical issues. Abba Seraphim and Fr. Gunnar then drove to the Mariakyrkan at Sigtuna, where they were welcomed by the former (1993-1997) Archbishop of Uppsala, Gunnar Weman, who conducted them around the church, where he had served as parish priest prior to his episcopal consecration. After lunch at the Swedish Church in Sollentuna, where he viewed some of the social ministry of the parish?s Diaconal Life Centre, Abba Seraphim returned to the Coptic Orthodox Church in Midsommarkransen in Stockholm, where he conferred with Fr. Bakhomious. In the evening Abba Seraphim attended the H?galids Church in Stockholm where he gave a talk on ?Worship and Healing in the Liturgy?. At the end of the evening Abba Seraphim met with the Church Council of St. Mary & St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church.
On 29 May, accompanied by Fr. Gunnar, Abba Seraphim made a fraternal visit to Mgr. Anders Arborelius, the Catholic Bishop of Stockholm, and they were able to discuss a number of ecumenical issues. In the afternoon Abba Seraphim travelled to meet the Prioress (Mother Marianne Nordstr?m) and Sisters of the Holy Spirit at Helgeandssystrarna, Alsike kloster, where they discussed religious life in the Church of Sweden and visited the mediaeval church art Alsike.