Saturday, May 10, 2008

Onion Dome: a catechumen's biography

Too funny. Original article here.

New Catechumen Whips Lax Parish into Shape

May, 2008

Catechumen Vasily (Or Vasileos, or also William, depending on the day) is a very unique man. Having found the Church through an online forum last month at the unusually young age of 21, Vasily knew that God must have something special planned for him in the Church, "Seriously, how many people of such great intellectual prowess such as myself and of such a young age join the Orthodox Church? And it's not like anyone ever helped me either, so far I know more about Orthodoxy than anyone I've met," said Vasily in a recent interview. "Really, it's like they say, 'To him whom much is given, much is required,'" said the catechumen as he filled out his applications for seminary.

The first thing Vasily noticed he entered his parish, All Saints of East Calamaria, were all the mistakes everyone was making, "As a catechumen who is learning everything by the books, I really feel like it's my position to help those who were raised so ignorantly in the faith learn how to really live an Orthodox life."

Vasily's first attempt at improving the spiritual life in his parish was by passing out ankle-length skirts and head-coverings to women attempting to enter the Church, "The canons are clear: women MUST cover as much of their bodies as possible when in church. When I first came to this parish, almost all the women were dressed like streetwalkers, with pants and uncovered hair! I think it was a real temptation to us men to see all these loose women around. And you know, ladies, the Virgin Mary doesn't hear your prayers if you're wearing pants."

That particular move really helped Vasily make new friends in the parish. Along with another like-minded young male convert, Ivan, he founded a new parish society: The Women's Modesty League. Interestingly, meetings have thusfar been very lightly attended by the women of the parish and Vasily and Ivan sit around with other single, young men discussing the women's outfits from last Sunday.

"Did you see Marie's new lavender skirt last week? It was in total violation of canon 58 of the Pentaxalion Council of 1644. I mean, you could see her smooth, supple calves in that thing!" noted Ivan at a recent meeting of the WML.

"Yeah…she really would make a good Orthodox wife if she'd just stop wearing such licentious outfits all the time!"

"I know, I'd kill for a wife as hot ... I mean ... um ... pious as her!"

Unfortunately, inside sources say the WML is in for a possible schism, as members disagree on men wearing shorts in public. Some say men exposing their legs is a sign of "whoredom" and makes men look like as "flaming as Richard Simmons in a rainbow jumpsuit." Others say they are comfortable on a hot day, and the real problem is with the women.

Vasily's amazing work with the women of the parish is quite apparent. Vasily tells us that of a particular instance with Suzanne, a cradle Orthodox Christian and mother of three,

"Suzanne was telling me about the death of her Methodist mother-in-law and the funeral that she and her children had attended at that heretic church. I couldn't believe her enormous ignorance of the canons, but really what can be expected of cradles? So I told her about the 993rd canon of Pansynaxaria and how she was basically bound for hell until she went to confession. She seemed pretty grateful."

Vasily continued to describe for us another cradle Orthodox blunder to which he came to the rescue, "One day this Greek-looking woman brought her yiayia's baklava to coffee hour, and I was simply horrified! Hasn't she read where Saint Gregory the Theologian tells us that all cooking is sinful? This woman brought an abomination into the house of God! It's almost as bad as the time I saw a three year old girl eating chicken on a Friday."

How does Vasily handle all the heathenry in right in his own parish? "It's really the Jesus prayer that gets me through it all. I don't know what I would do if I wasn't a hesychast like Saint Seraphim of Sarov. You know, the other day, I think I saw a bit of uncreated light in the mirror as I was praying. Here! I have a picture of it," he said as he showed the reporter his camera phone.

"Uh ... I think that's the flash from the picture."

"No, no it's not," he snapped, flipping his phone shut.

Truly, All Saints of East Calamaria is blessed to have a catechumen like this one!


  1. This would be funnier still if I hadn't met folks like this before!

    Too true!

  2. LOL, Joseph, I love the Onion Dome. :-P