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


Mountains Beyond Mountains

Life and Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, medical anthropologist

NewYork Times Book Review

''The world is full of miserable places,'' Tracy Kidder writes. ''One way of living comfortably is not to think about them or, when you do, to send money.'' ''Mountains Beyond Mountains'' is about one physician's quest to relieve suffering in just the kind of places we do not like to think about . . . . . . after I'd read the book something had changed in me and it was impossible not to become involved."

In his book, Mountains Beyond Mountains Tracy Kidder tells the story of Dr. Paul Farmer and his mission to conquer diseases among the world's poor. Pictured here, Dr. Farmer with a young Haitian boy named Alcante

In the mountains of Haiti, the village of Zanmi Lasante. At the heart of Kidder's book is the Haitian proverb "Beyond mountains there are mountains," which means as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself.

Read full text of book online:

Please help with our Haiti Fundraiser

Please go here and share the post with "social media" sites like facebook and twitter.  We need to catch up on overdue teacher's salaries and raise enough money to transport and prepare the annual food donation we get from "Feed the Starving Children".

Thank you!

related post:

ROCOR-MP nun Vassa Larin embarrasses her own synod

ROCOR-MP nun Vassa Larin caused the ROCOR-MP to publish a statement contradicting the nun's unOrthodox ideas and affirming the Church's teaching.
(statement is copy-pasted below)

Interesting to us on this subject, is something in a book published by Jordanville.
Journey Beyond Death 
by Archimandrite Panteleimon
first printing 1968, second printing 1998
pages12 and 13 describing the tollhouses (St. John S&SF taught the tollhouses.)
Homosexuality is even worse than rape.  Because it is unnatural – a sin against God and man, and against nature also.  

Comments I have received by email:
• RTOC priest: I read on FB that Email from the the "Super" liberal and crypto-papist sister Vassa (Larina), really it is shameful and anti-Orthodox...However, with this, we can see what is the real spiritual condition inside the unionist "ROCOR".
• Layman in the Ukraine: So Sr Vassa pushed the boat out too far . . . I think we said this was going to happen not too long ago.
• Reader Daniel in Oregon: Articles which she posts, are a mixture of genuine traditional-Orthodox views on some issues, combined  with pro-MP distortions and a twisting of the old ROCOR history, ..indeed of Russian Church history before and after the Bolshevik takeover.etc..
NEW YORK: July 19, 2017
Circular Communique from the Chancery of the (ROCOR-MP) Synod of Bishops
The (ROCOR-MP) Holy Synod, having received the recent text of a publicly-posted e-mail exchange, dated 2nd July 2017, between the Nun Vassa (Larin) and a correspondent, entitled “EMAIL OF THE WEEK: (from a mother, on MY SON IS HOMOSEXUAL),” together with follow-up correspondence, also posted publicly on 8th July 2017, is compelled to confirm to its flock and to all Orthodox Christians that the counsel contained therein is in contradiction to the Church’s teaching on sexuality, repentance and family life. It does not represent an Orthodox understanding of anthropology or theology, and in the counsel it purports to offer presents a grave spiritual danger to those who might follow it, in terms of their own understanding of sexuality, as well as in the rearing of children.
While it is not the norm to reply from the Office of the Holy Synod to materials posted on the internet, in this instance the wide readership of the various resources published by this author, who is an Orthodox monastic, has the potential to lead readers astray and we therefore feel compelled to issue a brief word to the faithful. It should be clear to men and women of faith that mere verbal acknowledgement, with regards to homosexuality, that “actively living it out is a sin,” is not sufficient to establish a text’s keeping with Orthodox teaching in the light of the Gospel, when the same text nevertheless equates homosexuality in numerous places to a “God-given gift, and cross,” or “one’s gift-and-cross of (homo)sexuality” — suggesting, in utter departure from all Christian teaching, that this or any means of behaviour which God identifies as sinful may be His deliberate bestowal upon some (thereby falling into the social trap of suggesting that “God made me that way”); further, that such an entrance into sin is “not a ‘choice’”; and moreover, rather than encouraging that a parent of a child identifying as homosexual should help him, with the Church’s loving care, to repent and seek healing unto redemption of soul and body and the fulness of life, instead suggest either that the child be encouraged to remain in his sin as a “humble presence in [his] parish,” falsely equating a consequent withdrawal of approach to the Holy Mysteries to the example St. Mary of Egypt, whose long struggle without Holy Communion was not due to her steadfastness in sin but to the extreme conviction of her utter repentance; or yet worse, that the parents of a child should seek out a parish that deliberately and knowingly “is acceptive of your son’s particular gift-and-cross,” once more ascribing homosexuality as a bestowal of God, encouraging at the same time the departure from ascetic transformation and the seeking out of a community that might wilfully abandon the Gospel teaching towards repentance, knowingly permitting the faithful to languish in their sin rather than be healed.
In these spiritually confused times, when many are being led astray by social norms that employ the pretensions of compassion to abandon the creation order and the teachings of Christ, which are the only true source of authentic compassion and genuine spiritual healing, there can be no room for ambiguity or false witness on such critical matters. Only the Gospel, which Christ proclaims in His Church, provides true spiritual medicine; all deviations from its life-creating message only contribute to the wounds and illness of an already-beleaguered society.
We instruct therefore that the contents of these publicly-posted materials be disregarded by the faithful as contrary to the teachings of the Gospel and pastorally harmful; that they be withdrawn and removed from any web sites or publications that seek authentically to represent Orthodox theological and pastoral teaching; and that in the future such materials be treated with most extreme reticence and caution.

Two Kinds of Offences

taken from:
Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke
 Saint Cyril Patriarch of Alexandria
  translated by R. Payne Smith
  Studion Publishers, Inc.
  Chapter 17
  page 461

Then He said unto His disciples: It is impossible but that offences come, but woe to that man by whom they cometh.

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend on of these little ones.  Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him, and if he repent, forgive him. 

What are the offences which Christ mentions as being in every way certain to happen?  Offences then are of two kinds: for some are against the glory of the Supreme Being, and assail That Substance Which transcends all, as far at least as regards the purpose of the contrivers of them: while other offences happen from time to time against ourselves, and proceed no further than to the injury of some of the brethren, who are our partners in the faith.  For whatever heresies have been invented, and every argument which opposes itself to the truth, resist really the glory of the supreme Godhead, by drawing away those who are caught therein from the uprightness and exactness of the sacred doctrines.  And such were the offences concerning which the Saviour Himself again somewhere said, "Woe to the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man by whom the offence comes."  For offences of this kind, caused I mean by unholy heretics, are not levelled against some single individual, but are aimed rather against the world, that is, against the inhabitants of the whole earth.  And the blessed Paul rebukes the inventors of such offences, saying, "But in thus sinning against the brethren, and wounding their weak conscience, you sin against Christ."  And that such offences might not prevail over the faithful, God somewhere spoke unto those who are the ambassadors of the upright word of truth, and skilful in teaching it, saying, "Go through My gates, and make a pathway for My people, and cast away the stones out of the way."  And the Saviour has attached a bitter penalty against those who lay such stumbling-blocks in men's road.

Perhaps, however, these are not the offences here referred to, but those rather, which very frequently from human infirmity happen between friends and brethren: and the accompanying discourse which immediately follows these opening remarks, and which speaks of our pardoning the brethren in case they ever sin against us, leads us to the idea that these were the offences meant.  And what then are these offences?  Mean and annoying actions, I suppose; fits of anger, whether on good grounds or without justification; insults; slanders very frequently; and other stumbling-blocks akin and similar to these.  Such, He says, must needs come.  Is this then because God, Who governs all, obliges men to their commission?  Away with the thought: for from Him comes nothing that is evil, yea! rather He is the fountain of all virtue.  Why then must they happen?  Plainly because of our infirmity; for in many things we all of us stumble, as it is written.  Nevertheless there will be woe, He says, to the man who lays the stumblingblocks in the way: for He does not leave indifference in these things without rebuke, but restrains it rather by fear of punishment.  Nevertheless He commands us to bear with patience those who occasion them.

read more of St. Cyril here:

Editorial Comment:
from Joanna's notepad
     An example of how an ambassador skillful in teaching might put a stumbling block in the path of a little one is any clergymen who revere the pseudo-elder Ephraim Moraitis of St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona.
     An example of how an ambassador skillful in teaching might put a stumbling block in the path of a little one is any clergymen who say it is a valid Orthodox opinion to think that Harry Potter books have an esoteric Christian theme.


• Milan Synod promotes pseudo-elder Theodore Irtel

Fr. Ambroise visit to Jacmel

From: Amboise Noel
Subject: retour de jacmel
Date: June 30, 2017 at 12:04:18 PM CDT
To: mama  sjkp
Reply-To: Amboise Noel

God bless you!  I made a very good trip to Jacmel for the feast of St. Augustine, I was back yesterday.  Everything is in good order except crisis of the professors for their salaries.  As you are connecting funds for the mission, how are things?  We are in difficulty for wages May and June, God will show you the way to help us resolve the crisis.  God bless you, Love to all! Amboise Noel +

Dieu vous garde ! j effectuais un tres bon voyage a jacmel pour la fete de saint Augustin,j etais de retour hier.Tout est en bon ordre sauf crise des professeurs pour leur salaires.Comme vous etes entrain de connecter des fonds pour la mission ,comment sont les choses ? Nous sommes en difficultes pour salaires mai et juin,Dieu vous montrera le chemin pour nous aider a resoudre la crise .Dieu vous benisse ,Baisees a tous !P. Amboise Noel +