(Holy Cross Hermitage) - On Tuesday, July 28, Schemamonk John (Dezorzi) returned to the Hermitage of the Holy Cross. Fr. John was a part of the Hermitage brotherhood from 1998 until 2006, when he left and afterward lived in several other monasteries. However, several weeks ago he called the Hermitage because he had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, and wished to spend his last days here at Holy Cross. With the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion, he has been received once more into the Hermitage brotherhood.
Fr. John entered monastic life at Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston in 1973, at which time they were part of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. He was tonsured to the Great Schema there in 1976.
Fr. John is now the first monk to occupy the new infirmary room, located in the St. Panteleimon Dorm (Project Kellia). We are grateful to all the many benefactors who made this infirmary room possible by contributing to the Project Kellia building fund. The infirmary is set up like a hospital room, complete with a private handicapped bathroom, and provides a comfortable and safe environment for a monk who is seriously ill or recovering from surgery.
Hospice is directing the care of Schemamonk John. The nurse has informed us that this type of cancer is very aggressive and painful, but their excellent treatment is providing him with as much peace and comfort as possible. A rotation of monks keeps someone sitting with him at all times, and each day they read to him the Morning and Evening Prayers, the Akathist to the Mother of God, and passages from Holy Scripture and various spiritual books. Fr. John has prepared for a Christian ending to his life, and he was very happy to be able to come down to church to receive Holy Communion for the feast of St. Seraphim.
Although he is being kept as comfortable as possible, Fr. John is very weak and spends most of his time in bed. The hospice nurse tells us that he probably has only a short time remaining, so we ask everyone to please remember Schemamonk John in your prayers.