After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


Memory Eternal

Marina Viktorovna Ledkovsky
reposed Tuesday November 25, 2014
Day 9: Wednesday December 3
Day 40: Sunday January 4

Mrs. Ledkovsky was the widow of the renowned ROCOR choir director of Boris Mikhailovich Ledkovsky (1975, Jordanville)  and mother of  the late Alexander Ledkovsky (2004, NY) whose compositions are included in SJKP music books.
A college-level literature book honors "the extraordinary life, path-breaking career, and pioneering scholarship of a truly modest woman—Professor Marina Viktorovna Ledkovsky..."

We Can Be Grateful to Dr. Moss

from Joanna's notepad

Why We Can Be Grateful to Vladimir Moss

Vladimir Moss has truly gone off the deep end with his super-correct disease.  Reality is truly slipping away from him.  Now he is somehow seeing Vladyka Agafangel as "assuming patriarchal power" in connection with our internal schism.  The longer he remains outside the Church, the worse he gets, the less likely it seems for his turn-around.  There are some good things, though, that can come from his truly distorted assessments of us.  One is:

Thanks to Vladimir Moss there is no doubt that our ROCA is not in any way considered on equal ground with the schisms that came from the ROCOR: (ROAC, RTOC, ROCiE).  The "true club" sees that certainly – despite that they got it backwards who is legitimate and who is illegitimate.  This provides us with some serious protection from the jurisdictional ecumenist philosophy.   Try as they might to make it seem so, ROCA is not a part of the "true" club.   Thank you!

Thank you!

The schisms of ROCOR are these schisms: ROTC.  ROAC. ROCiE.
(also, RocorMP is technically a schism, but it went to the left, not to the right)

Our ROCOR is the sole valid continuation of the ROCOR and the Ukaz #362 applies only to our ROCOR.

 So, just relax, y'all.

Related post:  V. Aga's Report 18Nov2014 to the Council regarding the schism:
machine English

Lesson in Recognizing Psychopaths

from Joanna's notepad
The Devil You Know
Donna Winger Murder
42 minutes
This video being deleted from everywhere by YouTube.
Try here:
or try

This unusual docu-drama is probably more a lesson in how hard it is to recognize a psychopath.  The clues can be subtle. 

After-the fact comments made by people involved:
38:05 we turned a blind eye to some red flags 
38:25 there's just sick and evil people out there who develop into these monsters.
38:30 everyone liked him,
         people thought he was arrogant, but they still liked him
38:45 he was afraid the community would look down on him (his image more important than somebody's life)
38:50 at some point [victim] was no longer useful to him (psychopaths are users)
39:55 maybe it was just a demon
         it's the ones that look normal that are the real danger
         the ones that charm us
         one day, when they show us who they really are (their mask slips)

The car parked facing the wrong way might not be unusual for a taxi cab driver.  The coffee and cigarettes could be used as a prop to make it appear he is just paying a social visit in order to gain entry.  Still, these are clues worth noting especially when added together with the note-to-self, 4:30.  But the law suit shows something inhuman in Mark.  Typical psychopath opportunist milks any situation to his advantage; and more, he always has to sidle himself to where he can play the victim...  But what is really impressive (to me) is the detectives picking up on the oddness of his bragging about the pregnant nanny.  And to whom he bragged!  Totally unreal.  Why did he tell them?  Then add that to the oddness of Mark following the detectives into town...

Note the red flag of an arrogant person who is likable.  This is parallel to that demonic charm of Antichrist.  Arrogance is usually sickening; if you find an arrogant person to be likable, then he might be a psychopath.

Saint John Maximovitch Openly Anti-ecumenist? Surprise!

The Decline of the EP  by St. John S&SF
• Editorial from Joanna's notepad


St. John's report about the decline of the EP is available a few places on the internet.   What is significant to me here is the surprise of the ECafe poster, romiosini, who is shocked to learn that St. John was openly against ecumenism.    World-orthodoxy can not hide St. John's sanctity, so they have to hide that the fact that he was anti-ecumenist.  Exactly how this was done, I don't know, but it was somehow accomplished because romiosini, and others outside of ROCOR, are under the impression that St. John is a "universal saint" who was "above jurisdictions".  

The truth is that St. John was above ethnicity, and in that sense only was he "above jurisdictions".  He loved Orthodoxy – all expressions of Orthodoxy no matter what country.  But at the same time he zealously denounced  any expression of pseudo-orthodoxy no matter what country even in the case of his own country, Russia.  And he instructed Fr. Seraphim to be just as zealous, no matter who didn't like it.  (Letters)

Romiosini is so certain that St. John never spoke against the MP.  I happen to know differently.  Once in Shanghai he gave a sermon titled, "Why We Can't Commemorate the MP".  This sermon has been suppressed, and I can't find it today.  But I clearly remember reading about it (in English) somewhere in the 90's.  Also I remember reading that St. John ignored the new calendar even in his private correspondence.  This is not the distorted picture that is painted of him today.  He never accepted the new calendar.  With his experiment in France he permitted his Roman Catholic convert parishes to use the new calendar temporarily while they were making more important adjustments.  This experiment was a total failure, by the way.  When he served in these parishes he served by the Church calendar – not by the new calendar.  This fact also has been suppressed by world-orthodoxy to make St. John more acceptable to them.

Saints Judge the World 
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?
(1 Cor 6:2)

Fr. Seraphim, who completed studies in St. John's Academy in San Francisco, thought it was important to translate St. John's report for us.  He wrote an introduction to his translation which shows his judgment of the EP is the same as St. John's and a continuation of that same judgment – from "pitiful spectacle" to "anti-orthodoxy".  

"In everything give thanks...

From the Introduction to "Acquisition of the Holy Spirit in Ancient Russia"

The greatest gift bestowed upon man is his inherent ability for communion with God, for beholding God.  In this lies supreme happiness.  It is man's task to develop this gift within himself.  God's purpose with regard to man is deification.

Nov. 14/27
In "the acquisition of the Holy Spirit" lies the meaning of ascetic labors and of the lofty spiritual "mental prayer of the heart."  However, if lofty spiritual contemplation here on earth is the lot of the few, unceasing prayer is the duty of every Christian.  "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you," (I Thes. 5:17-18), says the Apostle Paul to Christians, and the great hesychast (man of stillness) St. Gregory Palamas, 14th century, calls on everyone to pray unceasingly.  According to him, all Christians, not only monks and hermits, but laymen as well, should practice unceasing prayer.  

Thanksgiving Sermon St. John Chrysostom

† 407 A.D.
“Giving thanks always for all things.”
St. Paul

What then?  Are we to give thanks for everything that befalls us? Yes; be it even disease, be it even penury.  For if a certain wise man gave this advice in the Old Testament, and said, “Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate” (Ecclus. 2:4); much more ought this to be the case in the New Testament.  Yes, even though thou knowest not the word, give thanks, for this is true thanksgiving.  But if thou givest thanks when thou art in comfort and in affluence, in success and in prosperity, there is nothing great, nothing wonderful in that.  What is required is this: for a man to give thanks when he is in afflictions, in anguish, in discouragements.  Utter no word in preference to this, “Lord, I thank thee.”  And why do I speak of the afflictions of this world?  It is our duty to give God thanks, even for hell itself, even for the torments and punishments of the next world.  For surely it is a thing beneficial to those who attend to it, when the dread of hell is laid like a bridle on our hearts.  Let us, therefore, give thanks not only for blessings which we see, but also for those which we see not, and for those which we receive against our will.  For many are the blessings He bestows upon us without our desire and without our knowledge.  

And if ye believe me not, I will at once proceed to make the case clear to you.  For consider, I pray, did not the impious and unbelieving Gentiles ascribe everything to the sun and to their idols?  But what then?  Doth He not bestow blessings even upon them?  Is it not the work of His providence, that they both have life, and health, and children, and the like?  And again they that are called Marcionites, and the Manichees, do they not even blaspheme Him (i.e. as heretics)?  But what then?  Does He not bestow blessings on them every day?  Now if He bestows blessings on them that know Him not, much more does he bestow them upon us. For what else is the peculiar work of God if it be not this: to do good to all mankind, alike by chastisements and by enjoyments? Let us not then give thanks only when we are in prosperity, for there is nothing great in this. And this the devil also well knows, and therefore he said, “Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast Thou not made an hedge about him and about all that he hath on every side?  Touch all that he hath; no doubt, he will renounce Thee to Thy face!” (Job 1:10, 11).  However, that cursed one (i.e., the Devil) gained no advantage; and God forbid he should gain any advantage of us either!  But whenever we are either in penury, or in sicknesses, or in disasters, then let us increase our thanksgiving; thanksgiving, I mean, not in words, nor in tongue, but in deeds and works, in mind and in heart.  Let us give thanks unto Him with all our souls!  For He loves us more than our parents; and as wide as is the difference between evil and goodness, so great is the difference between the love of God and that of our fathers.  And these are not my words, but those of Christ Himself Who loveth us.  And hear what He Himself saith, “What man is there of you, who, if his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (St. Matt. 7:9, 11).  And again, bear what He saith also elsewhere: “Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet will not I forget thee, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 44:15).  For if He loveth us not, wherefore did He create us?  Had He any necessity?  Do we supply to Him any ministry and service?  Needeth He anything that we can render?  Hear what the Prophet says; “I have said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord, I have no good beyond Thee.” (Ps. 16:2)


Turkey Rescue

• Turkey Rescue 2014

Increase of Love and the Eradication of Hate

On the Increase of Love and the Eradication of Hate and Every Evil
Archmandrite Constantine of Jordanville 
(†November 13/26, 1975)

Memory Eternal

The day of funeral of the assassinated President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy, was marked in our Monastery by the celebration of a special Divine Liturgy for "The increase of love and the eradication of hate and of every evil."

"For zeal in following the early Christians towards God and neighbour in burning love, and to be their heirs by the power, action and grace of the Holy Spirit, let us pray unto the Lord" – this is one of the petitions of service, answering in the best way possible the necessity which, with such startling strength, manifested itself in this day of national grief. 

Thunder and lightning from out of a clear, blue sky would not be capable of producing such a startling effect, as was the assassination of President Kennedy, at the time of his goodwill intermingling with the people of Texas.  Not simply indignation, horror and pity jarred the people; the feeling of responsibility for this act could not but penetrate everyone's soul. 

In my house a person close to me is murdered – what should the owner feel?   The American system is such, that every citizen must feel himself as owner.   For every citizen, therefore, the President can not but be close.  In the President's goodwill tour amongst the people, on American soil, he is killed  . . . . This is a National sorrow!   But also, a national sin.  Something is very wrong within the nation, to permit such a thing! 

Confusion, embarrassment and – the feeling of shame penetrates the heart . . . .

Kennedy's personality was extraordinarily humane.   Every American, even if he didn't always go along with the President, has unchangeably remained under the fascination of that humaneness.   How attractive was his boldness, his simplicity, his spontaneity, his readiness, in fellowship with each and one, to tear asunder all formal, conditional restrictions, dictated by rank!   But this is not all!   All the problems of the day and of the century, however keen they might be, ready to create the most tense conflicts, – and it was enough to sense the presence of the President's personality, to see his figure, hear his voice, read about public appearances wherever they might be: perhaps one can't completely agree with him, but one fact remained firm: "In America, everything was all right!"   In the distant horizon, somewhere in the future, there are possible threatening occurrences – but now everything is all right! 

And suddenly all this crumbled, instantly – with the shot that was fired mechanically – perfect, fatally wounding the President . . . .  No, everything isn't all right! 

Whose hand is behind this? 

It is impossible to imagine a sensible motive for Kennedy's assassination.   It is difficult to imagine another person, to such an extent personifying "Americanism."   This is especially startling for primordially Protestant America, keeping in mind that JFK was a most devout Catholic.   He not only appeared as an incarnation of American domesticism, but he was at the same time, in his domestic attractiveness, an exemplary human being.   A faithful family man, in the past a valiant warrior, he, in his position as head of the state, actually personified his people, never displaying any deliberate willfulness.   Could he be suspect to a predilection for communism?   Impossible.   He was anti-communist.   His degree of anti-communism didn't coincide with the demands of the "extremists": circumstances dictated this.   By what was determined the measure of his practical anti-communism?   By that, which was the clear will of the nation: by unwillingness to enter into conflict, as long as something greater than self-defense against communism was at stake.   After all, the principle of "co-existence" has been accepted by everyone in America – even by the extreme anti-communists! 

Kennedy did not stand in the way of either anti-communists or anti-anti-communists: his decision, in every given moment, in every given case, was a concrete practical deduction from the present correlation of internal forces.   Isn't it obvious that the perpetrated attempt was senseless!   There is no reason to explain it as an extreme manifestation of political strife.   It is clear, on the other hand, that this was not a manifestation of insanity of one person.   Whose blow was this?   Evidently, this was the action of satanic hate, having the task of destroying, with one blow, the center of balance of American life.   In the name of what?   In the name of what is said in the service as it is officiated by us "hatred, envy, evil zeal and other passions."   The purpose of this satanical hate is to provoke that which presently appears to be the most dangerous, as far as the evil and unmerciful enemy lies in wait: to generate a passionate, elemental, completely senseless disunion.   This is what kind of terrible phantom has arisen above the fresh grave!   Prayer must drive away this phantom, – prayer brought to God in radiant remembrance of the President of America, who fell in the line of duty, laying down his life for his country.

Love, true love – such love only, generating from a general sorrow, is capable of opening the bright way to the future.   And here does not the tragic lot of the assassinated President call towards something new?   Love –true love!   What must be understood by this?

Everybody is talking about communism.   Everything revolves around it.   But what is communism?   Is this a way of life, of equal value with another already existing way of life and, consequently, one that must be endured and perhaps even respected?   No!   Communism is a conscious revolt against God.   Is it possible to recognize such a power as equal in value with others?   Is it possible not only factually to co-exist with it – enduring its proximity, but even to enter into constant organic contact with it?   At best, after all, does it not mean to become, oneself, likewise neutral in regard to God?

America's experience shows how it is possible obviously and quickly to change, exactly in this direction.   Isn't America becoming "neutral" in this sense?   Hasn't such a viewpoint acquired, already, even formally the right to citizenship?   A huge majority does not sympathize with such tendencies.   It, however, does not fight nor resist, although there exists very simple, definite legal means for this.   This is also neutrality!   The same neutrality which now makes headway – in several variants – throughout the universe, forming that new "pluralistic" or "post-christian" climate into which some entity is moulding the universe.

Mutual love – for what is it doomed, in such conditions, but to turn itself into different variants of organized self-love?   In such condition arises the thought: Does not the catastrophe which we now experience possess some significance in the way of God's Providence?   Should it not open the eyes of the American nation to how far the contemporary world is straying from the true path, far away, and even in the persons of her best representatives carrying along America away from true love?   To a high degree Kennedy's quality of attractiveness personified mutual love – on the American scale.   This mutual love now, more than in the past, has united everyone around the fresh grave.   But doesn't God call towards something greater? 

Love, true love – can it find its expression in unification in the name of a more intimate, organic communion with atheists?   Must one not pray for such an "increase of love" when this love would embrace, before all, our brothers within the clutches of atheistic communism? 

Here is the salvation of the world.   For if atheistic communism holds on and succeeds now, then it is only because of the increasing development in organic intimacy of the free world with communism – the free world becoming itself more and more neutral.   Living forces growing beneath the yoke of communism – this is where the eyes of true love must be directed – true love that ought to flare up in flame around the fresh grave!   This is what our prayer is about. 

The personality of Kennedy, noble and fervent in its idealism, is a sacrifice.  In order that this sacrifice not remain fruitless, it must illuminate love, which bound him with his people, with a new light "in order that perfect in thy love, our God, we may be." 

Here is what we the Russian Orthodox prayed for, having been given shelter on freedom-loving American soil, and in this way expressing our grateful sympathy in the hours of her deep national sorrow, and further it is only through such prayer that the American nation, which has given refuge to us, our homeland and the entire world, will be led to salvation. 

Johnson took oath and assumed the responsibility of President.   He takes upon himself the burden of the highest power in the world's leading country, in such outstanding conditions, when the whole setting of political consciousness is capable of being radically changed.   It is therefore difficult to form any conjecture as to the trend of his rising activity, the gravity of whose responsibility is difficult to overvalue.   One can only prayerfully wish that the distinguished statesman, having many years of political experience, may be at the height of the exalted mission entrusted to him – not by humans – but by God.  May God help him!

Archimandrite Constantine.
Translated from editorial of Orthodox Rus, November 28, 1963, Jordanville, N.Y.

photos taken from Internet Sobor

Two Versions of the same sermon

Check it out

St. Philaret's sermon given at St. Herman's Glorification
• Fr. Seraphim Rose version

• MP version

This is what the MP is feeding world-orthodoxy.  There is no excuse for this much difference in these versions.  World-orthodoxy does not want its foolish flock to learn anything about Antichrist because world-orthodoxy is the work of Antichrist.  Platina tries to suppress the old Orthodox Word magazines to help keep the world-orthodox flock in the dark.  

Anyone putting together a set of old Orthodox Words for their home and parish libraries, contact me, Joanna, for help finding issues you are missing.

Look what came from Athos!



• Forum18 complains about Russia's discrimination against pagan religions/cults.
20 November 2014

God gives the increase

New novice John is received in the GOC monastery in New York, this week.

His natural brother back home in California shares the joy:

"Oh, some good news, my brother has recently joined Holy Ascension Monastery in Bearsville!  He called me last Friday telling me he won't be coming home!  So pray for the Novice John, after St. John of Shanghai.  That is he in the photo.

"My brother has desired to be a monastic for years now.  He is deeply influenced by the Optina elders, especially St. Barsanuphius of Optina and the monastic writings of the fathers of Gaza, St. Dorotheos of Gaza and the Monastics of Sinai, St. John Climacus."

St. Philaret New York feast day

St. Philaret's feast day is on the feast of St. Michael but transferred to the nearest Sunday.  This is the day of his repose, and the day his relics were revealed incorrupt (traitor Laurus tried to hide the fact).  Our GOC Sister Church as yet celebrates St. Philaret's feast day according to the Hocna reckoning (Oct. 28).  I look forward to the day when we celebrate St. Philaret's feast day together according to the ROCA glorification.  -jh

Text of a leaflet (published by SJKP):

On the feast of the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers, 8/21 November 1985, His Eminence the Most Rev. Metropolitan Philaret, First Hierarch of Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reposed in the Lord.

Born George Niko-lae-vich Vozne-sensky in the city of Kursk, Russia in 1903, he emigrated in 1920 with his family to Harbin, China, to escape the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution.  After the death of his mother, his father received the monastic tonsure and was consecrated Bishop of Hailar; he was active in Russian Orthodox church life in Manchuria until the invasion of that country by Soviet military forces, when he was repatriated to the USSR and died.

As a young man, George Niko-laevitch completed his theological training in Manchuria in 1931.  That same year he was ordained deacon, priest and received the monastic tonsure, with the new name Philaret, after Saint Philaret the Almsgiver.  In 1934, he was made hegumen, and in 1937 archimandrite.

Archimandrite Philaret fulfilled various priestly duties in Harbin, Manchuria, until 1950.  He became known for his opposition to the Soviets and rejection of the hope that any substantive change with regard to freedom of religion would be forthcoming in the USSR under Stalin’s regime.  He categorically refused to accept a Soviet passport, despite tremendous pressure from those Russians deluded by the Soviet propaganda, including his own ecclesiastical superiors.

The Synod of Bishops of the -Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which had by then established itself in New York, tried persistently to obtain an exit visa for him; but it was not until 1962, with the onset of Chairman Mao’s “Cultural Revolution”, that Archimandrite Philaret was finally -permitted to travel to Hong Kong.  From there he went immediately to Brisbane, Australia, where a considerable number of his former parishioners from Harbin had settled.  Those parishioners deluged the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops with petitions urging his consecration as Bishop of Brisbane.  This movement received the support of the late Archbishop Savva of Sydney, who felt the need of a vicar bishop, and in 1963 the consecration was -celebrated.

In 1964, when the elderly Metropolitan Anastasy of Blessed Memory announced his retirement as First -Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the Bishop of Brisbane, who had accompanied Archbishop Savva to the Council of -Bishops, was chosen to replace him.

As First Hierarch, Metropolitan Philaret distinguished himself by steadfastly opposing any organic participation of the Orthodox Churches in the  ecumenical movement.  His letters to the late Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople and to Archbishop Iakovos in America, and his “Sorrowful Epistles” to all Orthodox bishops clearly set forth his stand in that respect, as did his criticism of the infamous “Thyateira Confession” published by the late Archbishop Athenagoras in Britain.

In 1965, he presided over the glorification of St. John of Kronstadt in New York City (the first canonization of any saint celebrated in the United States), and subsequently he oversaw the glorifications of St. Herman of Alaska (1970, San Francisco), St. Xenia of St. Petersburg (1978, New York) and All the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia who have shone forth under the persecution raised by the atheists (1981, New York).  It should be noted as well that more saints and martyrs were canonized during Metropolitan Philaret’s life than during that of any other ruling hierarch in the history of the Church.  

Vladyka Metropolitan Philaret showed a great spiritual concern for all the dioceses for which he was responsible as a Metropolitan.  In England, after the repose of Archbishop Nikodem in 1977, he shouldered responsibility for the British Diocese, until Bishop Constantine was appointed.  During that period, he several times visited England and showed a lively interest in the attempts to bear missionary witness there.  It was under his loving guidance that the first plans were made for the reception and enshrinement of the sacred relics of Saint Edward the Confessor, and by his fiat a Brotherhood was established.

Vladyka Metropolitan Philaret guided the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for some twenty-one years, during a very difficult period in her history.  Through this period, many of the older Russian émigrés began to die, and soberly and carefully the Metropolitan encouraged the growth of small mission parishes and monastic sketes.  During his episcopate, too, considerable numbers of Orthodox Christians from other ethnic backgrounds (particularly Greek Orthodox Christians) joined the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, seeking spiritual shelter from the gradual abandonment of Orthodox confession by their own hierarchs.  The reception into a church which had hitherto been largely Russian of such groups and individuals was a matter which needed the Metropolitan’s wise and careful pastoral oversight.

Nearly a thousand people attended the Metropolitan’s funeral, which was held at the Cathedral of the Mother of God of the Sign in New York, on the Sunday after his blessed repose.  Eight hierarchs, thirty-one priests and eight deacons led the service.  At the end of the ceremony, when the faithful had given their Archpastor the last kiss, his relics were taken to the convent of Novo-Diveevo in Spring Valley, where they rested the night.  In the early morning they were taken to Holy Trinity Monastery at Jordanville, where, after the Divine Liturgy, they were laid to rest in the crypt of the Cemetery Chapel of the Dormition of the Mother of God.

The handmaiden of God Nadia Mokhoff said, “This man was the kindest.  He would take the youth that no one cared about and bring them into the church with nothing but kindness.  He was a father to every single one of us.”  His care for the young people of the Church was something that did indeed characterize his episcopate.  His instructions to young people have been published in English translation, and only a year before his blessed repose the Metropolitan presided at the consecration of his vicar, Bishop Hilarion of Manhattan, to whom he particularly entrusted the spiritual care of the youth.  Larry Binins in Newsday (Monday, 25th November) caught the key-note of the Metropolitan’s ministry by portraying him as “kind Bishop of Russian Orthodoxy.”

Let us all, good hand-maidens and servants of our Holy Orthodox Church, never forget to pray for the memory of our most beloved blessed Metropolitan Philaret.

A Personal Testimony
“A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine…”

Having been appointed by the late Metropolitan warden of the Kursk Hermitage in Mahopac these seven years, I had some occasion to know him.  Our relationship was quite formal; I did not know him with that ease and intimacy with which so many others knew him, yet I thoroughly appreciated the quiet and intensely dignified presence of this gentle and angelic man who left us on the Feast of the Angels to join that heavenly choir.

Great silence and time were mainsprings of his person.  His very words were encased in silence; they arose out of -silence.  He seemed to wait there, behind the silence, so as to greet one in a holy place.  He waited for us all, even the whole Church, and condemned no man; neither did he despise any.  Those who were foolish and naked he protected; he hated mockery.  With the greatest respect and attention he waited; never to break, nor despoil, nor wound — that in silence and in secret our hearts might arise in us and recall us again to the True Love.  He knew full well that wisdom and love and the redemption of a Christian soul can be neither legislated nor coerced.

He gave “time” to men with an extravagant generosity.  These gifts of “time” would suspend a human life in hope.  For so many he bought a few more days, months or years in which a soul might be recalled, unbruised in kindness to his Christ.  His very presence imparted a certain freedom, a freedom which probed the deepest recesses of the heart, seeking some shame and sanity that would enable the heart to be broken from within by the Lord Himself.

The Metropolitan lay in state in the Synod Cathedral those several days, -magnificent, still, with that same -unbroken presence.  An experience of terrible -vacancy and loss — bankruptcy was on the faces of so many.  Only the spiritual beauty and power of the requiem services were able to address it.  Like the eternal “Russian monk” described by a great writer of the last century, our Vladyka “kept the image of Christ fair and undefiled, in the purity of God’s truth, from the time of the Fathers of old, the Apostles and the martyrs.”

Others will write historical descriptions of Vladyka; we wished only to say a word about him here in Mahopac.  Our rector, Archpriest Konstantine Fedoroff, a spiritual son of Vladyka, is certain that Vladyka has not left us — nor ever will.  He exhorts everyone to preserve the spiritual content of Vladyka’s injunctions, and to hold most dear Vladyka’s final testament to his flock, “to hold fast and keep clean before God that which our holy Church has given us from the beginning.”
Simeon Richards


After Vladyka’s repose, the following message was found in his typewriter.  No date was indicated, but one must conclude that it was typed within a few days of his peaceful repose.  For all us, his spiritual children, it is his spiritual legacy, a reminder for us to live as true Orthodox Christians.  

“Hold that fast which thou hast”
These words from the Book of Revelation [Rev. 3:11] have a particular significance in our time, our greatly sorrowful and wicked days which are full of temptation.  They remind us of that priceless spiritual treasure which we possess, as children of the Orthodox Church.  Yes, we are rich.  And this spiritual wealth is that which the holy Church possesses, which belongs to all her faithful children: the teaching of the Faith, our wonderful, salvific Orthodox Faith; the countless living examples of the lives of people who have lived according to the Faith, according to those lofty principles and laws which the Church sets before us, and who have attained that spiritual purity and exalted state which is called sanctity; the beauty and magnificence of our Orthodox divine services, and a living participation in them through faith and prayer; the fullness of the spiritual life of grace which is accessible to each and every one; and, what is the crown of all, the unity of the children of the Church in that love of which the Savior said:  “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another” [Jn 13:35].
?Metropolitan Philaret


Message from Vl. Andronik


To the faithful members of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canadian Dioceses of the ROCA

November 05\18, 2014
Holy Martyrs Galacteon and Episteme

Dear in Christ fathers, brothers and sisters, faithful sons and daughters of the Church Abroad!

On this coming Sunday, November 10\23, the 24th week of Pentecost, the Church Abroad celebrates the memory of St. Philaret of New York.

One of Bishop Philaret’s many acts of service to the Church Abroad was his ability to maintain the strict adherence and observance of all church Rules, Canons and the Orthodox Faith and thereby preserve peace and unity within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The Church Abroad always allowed and respected diverse opinions.  Even in such pointed church questions such as whether grace is present or not present in the mysteries of New Calendarists and even the MP, each diocesan bishop could express and hold to his own personal opinion and deviate slightly to either side of the official ROCA position in anticipation of a final determination on the question by a future Ecumenical Council.

At this time, the vessel of our salvation, the Church Abroad, is being buffeted from the forceful blows of disagreements which are harming the unity and Christian love within the Church.

The current situation is all the more tragic, as the unrest is being caused mostly by politics.  For the message of the Church Abroad to bear fruit as it found itself in various countries all over the world, it had to be and try to remain apolitical.  Monarchists and democrats, Vlasovites and anarchists and NTS members all found a home and peace in the Church.  Representatives of various races and nations also found a home alongside ethnic Russians.

For me, an archbishop who spent most of his years of service to the Church Abroad in the monastic silence of the Holy Land, as with all those clergy and laypeople in my see, it is painful to endure the current unease.

Political disagreements cannot reach such a fevered pitch in the Church, which is made up of true Christians who abide in this world, but in the Words of God, “not of this world.”  One could understand and take comfort if the disputes between brothers were not because of political views, but from different interpretations of the Holy Fathers, in the understanding of the Canons, or in religious matters such as name worship or the lack of grace of apostates.

In conclusion, I appeal to all clergy and flock in my care and give my blessing to all the parishes to read this Proclamation from the ambo after the Sunday Liturgy in memory of St. Philaret of New York and to serve a moleben to Bishop Philaret and raise our holy prayers for the restoration of peace in the Church Abroad and a beneficial outcome of the forthcoming ROCA Council of Bishops, whose decisions we await humbly with hope and in a spirit of service.

+Archbishop Andronik
of Syracuse and St. Nicholas, Ottawa and Canada

Archpriest Victor Dobroff
Secretary of the Syracuse and St. Nicholas Diocese


• Minutes from the diocesan conference of the Dioceses of Canada and Syracuse and St. Nicholas on October 29, 2014, at the Tolstoy Foundation in Valley Cottage, NY.

Attendees:  Abp. Andronik, Archpriest Gregory Kotlaroff, Archpriest Vsevolod Dutikow, Archpriest Daniel Meschter, Archpriest Nikita Grigoriev, Archpriest Oleg Mironov, Fr. John Hinton, Dcn. Fr. Dimitriy Dobronravov, Mark Kotlaroff, George Lukin, Maria Evdochenko and Tatiana Rodzianko.

The conference began at 10:00 AM with the prayer “Heavenly King.”

Conference Agenda:
1. Financial Report.
2. Loan obligations for purchase of the Synod House and how to pay it off soonest.
3. Protocol for clerics being away temporarily from their parishes.
4. The ROCA Assistance Fund and its function.
5. A discussion of D. Gontscharow’s letter.
6. Events in Russia and Ukraine and their relation to our Synod.

Details provided by email to ROCA members.
joannahigginbotham@gmail.com  or contact Matushka Irene

Spiritual Impoverishment in RocorMP

from Joanna's notepad

The Holy Cross Hermitage eNewsletter (November 2014) published a sermon given by a GOA priest, Thaddaeus Hardenbrook, of St. Lawrence GOA Church in Felton, California:

Nakedness and Abstinence
One of the many paradoxes of the Orthodox Christian life, abstinence from sensual things is what restores and sanctifies nakedness. By sin Mary found herself naked in fornication and prostitution, but by abstinence she found herself naked like an innocent child before God. . . .

Does this sound as unsober and far-fetched to you as it does to me?  

Also in the same (one page) newsletter is advertised a book by the "elder" Ephraim of Arizona, The Art of Salvation.   It was this "elder" Ephraim's monastery in Arizona where a monk committed suicide in 2012 which helped expose many questionable teachings and practices at the monastery.

Having access to the true Orthodox legacy of the old Jordanville fathers (Abp. Averky, Archim. Constantine, Abp. Andrei, et. al.) why would the Hermitage ever waste space with things scrounged from the depths of world-orthodoxy?  It seems like sabotage.  My heart is breaking for the monks trapped in there...