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Through the Cross, Joy

Let us commend ourselves… The first few days after the miscarriage were foggy and confusing. We were devastated. Afraid. Empty. We weren’t so much angry with God as numb. We shut down and withdrew. Why did we have to let go of the child we never met? Our emotional turmoil mirrored the winter weather: swirling…

Words of life

Sermon, Fourth Saturday of Lent 2016 Gospel readings for April 9, 2016   Imagine, if you will, life as a deaf person. More specifically, imagine all of the things that you can do in the course of a day that would be nearly impossible, or at least significantly more difficult, if you were deaf. How…

Changed by His grace

It was Easter morning during my first year at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and I stood at the altar of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Teaneck, New Jersey, wearing subdeacon vestments, listening to our bishop read the gospel of St. Mark. In the traditional Syriac Orthodox melody, he chanted: And entering the tomb, they saw a young…

A Flame of Love

A homily delivered in the Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on the Sunday before Theophany, 2015. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ! Today is the fourth day of January. We’ve taken the first steps into 2015. This…

The Protection of the Holy Theotokos

A homily delivered in the Three Hierarchs Chapel at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on the Feast of The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary (Wednesday, October 1, 2014). In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. S prazdnikom! When one…

Restoring the Western Rite

I was the house organist and music coordinator for the [2014 Western Rite Vicariate] Conference. I had the responsibility of organizing and leading the music for all of the services, including providing preludes and postludes. We had the organ works of Bach, Dupre, Vaughn Williams, Charpentier, Purcell, Byrd, and others. The services were sung using…

His Grace John (Abdalah) (SVOTS ’78)

I am a relatively new bishop, having served happily as a pastor for 33 years before being elevated to the episcopacy. I still have the honor of glimpsing into the intimate dynamic between people and God, as they approach me with pastoral issues—perhaps even more deeply, in my new role—and I regard this as a…