With the blessing of His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, the Association of War Volunteers 1912-1918 and of their descendants and admirers organized a scientific meeting on the topic “The Role and significance of priests in the Balkan Wars and the First World War”, held at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade on 20 December 2016.
On the afternoon of the 14th/27th of November 2016, a music event performed by the Choir of St James the Brother of God Cathedral and “Branko” Choir of the Patriarchate of Serbia took place in the auditorium of Notre Dame Hotel, near the New Gate. The event was hosted by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
From the pen of Bishop Danilo (Krstić) and Hieromonk Amfilohije (Radović), originally published in Serbian (in 1996) and now available in English for the first time, this Catechism book is a great introduction into the basic evangelical teachings of the Orthodox faith and life. Authors of this publication are offering this simple but existential gift to all. This wonderful book belongs to Christian Orthodox Catechism series and explores the mystery of faith in Old and New Testament. Among many other questions it answers these existential inquiries: What is true faith? Who is God? What is God like? Who is man? What is God’s revelation? What is the Bible, or the Holy Scriptures? What is the Old Testament? What is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Why is the Lord Jesus Christ called the God-Man? What did Jesus say on Saturday, the Sabbath? How does the history of the Church begin? It concludes with the chapter on the prayer life of the Church and the last days.
It was good to meet you again in Detroit last week. Congratulations again on your enthronement.
Your Grace: As you know, I distributed a flyer at the Assembly for my new book. I would like to give you more background on why I wrote it.
Many clergy have approached me over the years with their concern that they did not receive enough leadership and management education -- whether in seminary or later. They said they felt less than fully equipped to handle the myriad of practical, administrative, relationship, and management issues facing them in a parish -- in a way consistent with the Orthodox faith and their role as the leader of the parish.
Saint Paraskeva the New was born into a pious family, living during the eleventh century in the village of Epivato, between Silistra and Constantinople. Her older brother Euthymius became a monk, and later he was consecrated as Bishop of Matidia. One day, while attending the divine services, the words of the Lord pierced her heart like an arrow, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself” (Mt. 16:24). From that time she began to distribute her clothing to the needy, for which reason she endured much grief from her family.
Upon the death of her parents, the saint was tonsured into monasticism at the age of fifteen. She withdrew to the Jordanian desert where she lived the ascetic life until she reached the age of twenty-five. An angel of the Lord ordered her to return to her homeland, so she stayed at Epivato for two years.
St Paraskeva departed to the Lord at the age of twenty-seven, and was buried near the sea. Because of the many miracles which took place at her grave, her relics were uncovered and found to be incorrupt. They were placed in the church of the Holy Apostles at Epivato, where they remained for about 175 years.
And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
1. And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. Being full of love for us and caring for our salvation, and desiring to stop the mouths of the ungrateful, He overlooks nothing that is His to do, even if there’s no one to pay attention. The Prophet knew this when he said: That Thou might be justified in Thy words and prevail Thou art judged (Ps. 50). So here, too, when they wouldn’t accept the sublime meaning of His words, but said that He had a devil, and attempted to kill Him, He left the Temple and healed a blind man, placating their anger by His absence, and, through the miracle, softening their hardness and cruelty, making them believers in His words. And He performed a sign which was not adventitious, but one which took place then for the first time: Never since the world began has it been heard that someone opened the eyes of a person born blind. Someone may, perhaps, have opened the eyes of a blind person, but not of anyone blind from birth. And that He fully intended to do this when He left the Temple is clear from the following: it was He who saw the blind man, not the blind man who came to Him. And He looked at him so pointedly that His disciples noticed. And they came to question Him, because when they saw Him regarding the man so earnestly, they asked Him, “Who sinned, this man, or his parents?” Wrong question. How could he sin before he was born? And why, if his parents had sinned, would he have been punished? Why, then, did they put this question? Before, when He healed the paralytic, He said, “Look, you’ve been made well, sin no more.” Now they understood this to mean that he was paralyzed through sins and said, “Well, that man was paralyzed because of his sins; but what would you say about this one? Has he sinned? You can’t say that, since he’s been blind from birth. Did his parents sin? You can’t say that either, because a child doesn’t suffer punishment for its father.” Just as, when we see a child that’s been badly treated, we might say, “What can you say? What’s the child done?” It’s not so much a question as bafflement. The same is true of the disciples here: they weren’t asking for information, but rather they were perplexed. What then does Christ say?