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2011 TIKHONAIRE - ARTICLES

are really committed to the Church realize that these You find out how the Church heals their souls, the are difficult times and they make the Church a souls of children, despite the fact that they have gone priority. through things most adults have not experienced in I visited a parish, for instance, that is declining their life. in membership; and they know that the parish may Also, going there as a priest taught me how not grow numerically, and they have turned the parish important mission work is – to reach out to the people into an outreach center for the homeless, for those who are in the communities surrounding your church. who need to be fed. They actually have computers set As I said at my consecration banquet, in the Midwest up in the basement of their hall to help people locate we all have to be mission minded – we all have to jobs who may be unemployed, reaching out to people think of ourselves as mission churches, to obey the in that way. That may eventually bring people into the Commission of Christ and to baptize all nations and church as well. Instead of spread the Good News. … children, not having parents, bewailing the fact that Also, in my own they are having hard times, or having gone through difficult times experience with this, they make the best of it. I in their past - different forms of abuse. when I was a younger think that is a good thing, priest, there were not You find out how the Church heals a positive thing. And we mission teams going to their souls, the souls of children, will get through it. places throughout the It is a difficult time, despite the fact that they have gone world. For seminarians and of course, the diocese through things most adults have not in my diocese, at least, I is not able to do certain would like to begin a things because of limited experienced in their life. program where, before funding. It is a test in someone is ordained to itself – being able to continue to grow and do the work the priesthood, they would at least go on one mission of the Church, and reaching out to the un-churched, trip in the summer – to experience Orthodoxy outside and to the people who do not attend any church in this country. I think it is really a valuable thing for your area, regardless of the economy. their formation in the priesthood. Going on a mission trip can be a life-changing experience and certainly Q: You have traveled many times to the Hogar would be a benefit to the seminarians studying for the Rafael Ayau orphanage in Guatemala, baptizing priesthood. and chrismating scores of new Orthodox Christians there and maintaining an ongoing Q: Continuing on the theme of your experience in pastoral relationship with that community. How Guatemala: In American Church life there is does that experience influence your approach to always a tension between the need to offer prayers pastoral, and now archpastoral, care? and charity for suffering persons overseas, and the A: I think that as much as I may have done at need to offer prayers and charity for suffering the orphanage and with the monastery in Guatemala, persons “here at home.” As a pastor who has lived I have benefitted from them so much more. It really and ministered in both of those worlds, how do teaches you the fundamentals of the Faith and how you think that priests should guide their flocks in people can be committed to Christ regardless of the navigating that tension between the need abroad poverty they have to deal with – especially the and the need at home? children, not having parents, or having gone through A: It is the whole idea of the Church being difficult times in their past - different forms of abuse. larger than the building – the Church as the Body of

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2011 Tikhonaire  

The Tikhonaire from 2011

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