Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Mind the Gap! An online lecture hosted by St. Tikhon's


Friday, September 25, 2020

Met. Elpidophoros on future of Orthodox-Catholic relations

(GOARCH) - The Future of Orthodox-Catholic Relations in the USA - Orthodoxy in America Lecture, Fordham University

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

The Future of Orthodox-Catholic Relations in the U.S.A.

Orthodoxy in America Lecture, Fordham University


Dear Fr. Joseph M. McShane of the Society of Jesus, President of Fordham University

Dear Fathers,

Distinguished Participants,

Dear Christ and Anastasia Economos, in whose honor this lecture series has been renamed,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends present here at the University Church and elsewhere online,


When I think of Orthodox-Catholic relations, I see the word: “Solidarity.” Let me tell you why.

Two months ago, in the middle of this sweltering summer, I picked up my phone and called His Eminence, Cardinal Dolan. I told him: “Your Eminence, I need your help. As you know, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople has been re-converted into a Mosque by the Turkish authorities. Would you be willing to sign a joint statement with me to denounce it?” It took the Cardinal less than a second to agree and by the end of the day we had issued a common statement on Hagia Sophia that ended with these powerful words: “We stand together as brothers in faith, and in solidarity with all people of good will and good faith, so that Hagia Sophia may remain what She is – a symbol of encounter, history, spiritual aspiration, and human achievement of the highest order, glorifying the One God Who has made us all to be sisters and brothers of one human family.”[1]

         The ecumenical solidarity of the last few months has been incredible. We have heard words of support from our brothers and sisters in Christ from many denominations. The ecumenical movement is not dead, but we have to recognize that its role and reality is evolving. As you all know, at the time of its inception, the ecumenical movement emerged during one of the bloodiest periods in the history of humanity, but also at a time that has seen the greatest deployment of means of communication, connecting people, circulating ideas, and building relationships across the planet. The 20th century was the century of two World Wars and the century of globalization. At the center of this tension between fragmentation and unification is an intersection, where dialogue stands as the most significant marker of today’s culture and civilization. Dialogue is now social, interreligious, and inter-Christian, or ecumenical. Dialogue is both negotiation and mediation. It is the overcoming of controversy and it transcends arguments. However, it must also be critical and rigorous, at least when it is a tool in the service of truth and unity.

Stuck at home? Get value out of your free time.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Abortion doc. from Antiochian Missions & Evangelism

Series available here.

(Antiochian) - The Department of Missions and Evangelism recently released a documentary about abortion. The nine-part docuseries, "In The Name of Choice," directed by Dn. Adam Lowell Roberts and featuring Frederica Mathewes-Green, has but one message – that about 80% of young women who have gotten abortions report that they felt like they had no choice but to abort their unborn child. They express that they felt they were either being forced by someone else to go through with the abortion (boyfriend, husband, father, mother,) or they did so to satisfy another person. In other words, the decision to have an abortion was not really THEIR choice.

In the docuseries, a number of agencies (many are Orthodox) and Christian ministries are featured. These are groups that have devoted themselves to taking a compassionate approach by presenting alternatives to young pregnant women who feel trapped and would otherwise have no support should they desire to keep the child.

The Treehouse, founded by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Wichita, KS, is featured in the second episode along with Fr. Paul O'Callaghan and Joan Farha. Many people are also familiar with Zoe for Life in the Cleveland area, featured in Episode Eight. 

A study guide for parishes will be forthcoming.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Orthodox Parenting Conference online this weekend

Sign up here. Youtube videos of the event will be up about two weeks afterward here.

Maronite spirituality webinars available soon

Registration here

The abiding draw of C. S. Lewis

Clerical error sends Nashville priest back to Serbia

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — Aleksander Vujkovic moved to the United States in 2009 first as a student studying theology in Illinois.

After studying for four years, he was finished in 2013. That’s when he went back home to Serbia, married his wife, and then returned to America to start his family.

Living in Nashville since 2014, he helped build the Saint Petka Serbian Orthodox Church into what it is today and says he’s their first full-time priest.

Vujkovic says throughout his time in the US, he’s always followed legal immigration protocol.

“I really did everything according to the law. You know I filed the tax, I was working," he said.

But he says a mistake by his lawyer is causing his return to Serbia by August 16th.

“It was very hard to accept that, but that’s reality and we don’t want to be illegal here. We want everything to be legal, that’s the reason we are going back to Serbia and we will reapply for the Green Card from Serbia.”

Vujkovic says his lawyer forgot to include the Religious Worker Visa when sending in his Green Card application. By February of this year, he was denied a new visa which started a 6-month countdown clock to deportation. After applying for a retroactive visa and appeal, Vujkovic was denied again in June.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Returning to Church as a complete person

(Pravmir) - “How to Return to a Regular Church Life after Quarantine If It Is Difficult For You?” – Priests Reply

“Soul Has Muscles Too”

The main thing the quarantine reminded us of is that a person is not only a bodily being, but also a spiritual one. A person does not only need to be well-fed and healthy. Participation in church sacraments is as essential for a Christian as going to a hospital or a store.

Such refreshing of our senses was useful for us. We understood the value of Holy Communion.

If today, when churches reopened to everyone, you find it difficult to return to regular church life, simply ask yourself: why do I need this? What do I want from going to church? Such questions to yourself are generally important in many situations of our life. If you find the answer, your energy will be renewed, going to church will have a meaning, and you will find strength to do it.

When a person really has a need to participate in the Eucharistic life, if he cannot live without communication with Christ through the sacrament, he goes to church and takes Communion. If he does not feel such a craving for Christ, if he was merely forced to do it by his relatives, as it sometimes happen, or by the circumstances of sorrow or illness, then Communion unfortunately turns into an unnecessary rite for him.

So ask yourself this: Is Holy Communion important to me? And if the answer is “yes”, then give yourself a light spiritual kick and go to the church!

But if you suddenly felt that you cannot find the answers to the questions “why?” and “is it important?” yourself, talk to your confessor and try to find these answers with his help.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

St. Herman's offering online classes!

(OCA-DAK) - The campus at St. Herman of Alaska Seminary in Kodiak, AK. will be closed this fall semester because of COVID19.  Remote learning will be offered instead.

His Eminence Archbishop David sees this an opportunity to offer seminary-style learning to those contemplating enrolling in seminary and has secured an endorsement from The Board of Trustees to teach two courses open to the public. The courses are, Introduction to Doctrine and Canon Law (CANON 302) and Comparative Religion (COMP 302).

Non-seminary students can audit these courses or take them for credit. Those seeking credit must meet all course requirements.  Auditors attend classes but are not invited to participate in class discussions.

CANON 302 will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 PM beginning on September 8.  COMP 302 will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM, beginning on September 9.

Please email office@sthermanseminary.org with the subject line, “course interest” or call the seminary office at 907-486-3524 if you want to enroll or learn more about the program. You may also contact the Chancellery of the Diocese of Alaska at 907-677-0224.  New applicants will be accepted through Labor Day for both courses.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Belarus: Clergy don't protest

Moscow, August 21 (Interfax) - The Belarusian Orthodox Church called on the clergy to refrain from participating in political life and urged its flock not to follow provocations amid the events taking place in the country.

"We are again reminding the clergymen about the promise they gave before God not to participate in the political life of society, not to be a temptation and an object of people's division," the synodal department of the Belarusian Orthodox Church said in a release issued on Friday.

According to the report, the Orthodox Church "believes it is not consistent with its mission to call for participation or non-participation in political rallies, but it strongly condemns all types of violence, fanning hatred and intolerance against anyone, doctors, police, teachers, authorities, or some other social groups."

The document says the Belarusian Orthodox Church hopes that the relevant bodies will investigate "outrageous situations of cruelty" and contains a call for speedy restoration of peace, unity and mutual understanding. Besides, it states that special requests and prayers are said in all Orthodox churches and monasteries of Belarus during liturgies "for the people of Belarus." The church calls on all Orthodox Christians of Belarus and everyone who cares about the future of the republic to join this prayer.

"As to participation in public life and issues relating to the expression of people's will, we are asking everyone to be reasonable so that our faith, trust in God and church symbols are not used by anyone ass an instrument for achieving political or other earthly goals that are far from the high spiritual and moral ideals that the world's Savior Jesus Christ and His Holy Church are preaching to us," the statement said.

"Take care of yourself and those who are dear to you, don't follow to provocations, evil calls and promises, but act according to the evangelical moral law and the legislation of the Republic of Belarus in all deeds," the document said.

Mosaic installation

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Coptic Liturgy: Dr. Brian Butcher

An Introduction to the Ethiopian Liturgy

Warning: There is some occasional upspeak that, while it drives me to distraction, might not bother you in the least.

An Introduction to The Ethiopian Liturgy by Augustine Dickinson from SMP1102 - Introduction to Eastern Christian Worship, Instructed by Dr. Brian Butcher, Sheptytsky Institute, Toronto, Canada, May 2020.

Friday, August 21, 2020

A National Day of Remembrance of the Brâncoveanu Martyrs

(Romanian Patriarchate) - The law establishing August 16 as “The National Day of Remembrance of the Brâncoveanu Martyrs and of Awareness of Violence against Christians” was ratified by Romania’s President on July 16, 2020. The date was chosen to coincide with the date when the Romanian Orthodox Church commemorates the Holy Brâncoveanu Martyrs, canonized in 1992.

The aim of the national day is to inform the public, including young people, about the role of Christianity in the history of Romania and of the nature and extent of anti-Christian persecution, which continues to these days.

“The Holy Brâncoveanu Martyrs exemplarily illustrated martyrdom as the ultimate proof of love for Christ in the history of the Romanian Christianity”, is stated in a press release of the Romanian Patriarchate, which has welcomed the establishment of the remembrance day.

“That is why the proclamation of a national commemoration day for their martyrdom should be for us an opportunity to become more aware of today’s violence against Christians. This violence takes different forms of persecution today, from the Christphobia of the new ideologies to the filmed executions of those whose only guilt is that of being Christian”.

In this context, the Romanian Patriarchate advocates for “the memorial recovery of Christian martyrdom and for the protection and promotion of religious freedom as a fundamental right of every human person”.