Memory Eternal

Memory eternal . . .  Right before church this morning, my godson sent me this photo with only this caption. I knew immediately what it meant. I was saddened.  Not for him but for us.

Several years ago, in June of 2014, I had the honor of meeting with Elder Ephraim at St Anthony’s in AZ.  It was one of the most delightful moments in my life. No doubt I’ve mentioned this before, but as my audience ended, I was drawn to kneel before him and place my crossed hands (as if in prayer) on his lap.  He gave me a blessing and a prayer rope (which I have to this day).  I don’t smile much but at that moment I was beaming. 

In John 1:47, we read how when Jesus saw Nathanael he said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile”.  The Elder was like Nathanael.  He had no guile. Probably one of the few men who have walked on this planet of whom such a thing could be said.

In another passage, the Lord said that “unless one has a childlike spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven”. Elder Ephraim had such a spirit –in spades.

Our Elijah has left us, who will be our Elisha?

About GShep


  1. Memory Eternal , blessed to visit St. Anthony’s Monastery two years ago, Elder Ephraim was very humble , and is probably a saint.

  2. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Our priest told us of this this morning at Liturgy. He had been to St. Anthony’s many times, most recently with many members of our congregation only two weeks ago. His grief was palpable at this news.

    May Elder Ephraim’s memory be everlasting.

  3. May we have his holy prayers!

  4. Alitheia1875A says

    Look for an interesting reaction from the GOA and especially some of the laypeople. Those laypeople leading the charge against Elder Ephraim and his monasteries are very wealthy Greek American who believe they run the archdiocese, and to some extent, and in some ways, they do. What they, and the hierarchy, refuse to admit is that Elder Ephraim was so successful because he filled a void in the spiritual life of the GOA that was there for the taking. But the GOA had been secularized for so long that there were two over riding concerns. The first was that the metropolises were losing money that was going to support his monasteries and, second, that this fundamentalism, as they call it, was ruing parishes. All of which shows an extraordinary ignorance of Orthodox spiritual life.

    • Greatly Saddened says

      Alitheia … so sad, yet so true! A “huge” void which unfortunately the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America failed to see.
      May he rest in peace and may his memory be eternal.

  5. Alitheia1875 says

    Let’s see who attends the funeral…….

    • George Michalopulos says

      One has to wonder…

      • Alitheia1875 says

        George, Archbishop Elpidoforos will preside at the Elder’s funeral along with other hierarchs. The abbot of Philotheou Monastery of Mt. Athos will also be present.

        • I’m betting that the GOA Archbishop will take the opportunity to comfort the assembled faithful with words to the effect of:
          ”Be not afraid that your lead Shepherd has gone to be with the Lord.  I am here to HUMBLY lead you all to…and will endeavor to….”

          • Ioan,
            “I am here to HUMBLY lead you all to…”
            possibly improved and complete as:
            “I am here to HUMBLY follow the guidance of the All-Most-Holy Head of the Church on Earth, and lead you all to…”

            • Very true Ionnis, we do not know what goes on in the hearts of men.
              Check out his homily here:!1346&ithint=file%2cdocx&authkey=!AGGxnx1xsrym7OM

              In his homily, the Archbishop said: “Geronda does not want us separated. He does not us quarreling, he wants us loving each other, under the Holy Protection of the Church, under the protection of this dome which as you know the Church symbolizes the Kingdom of Heaven.”

              And: “A whole continent, America, owes the planting and the appearance of the Orthodox tradition from the East to this geronda, who today we have in front of us to offer our last embrace to. It was not easy for geronda. It was a difficult mission to a land which is very secular, which lacked the taste of ascesis and noetic prayer, the taste of Orthodox monastic spirit”

              And he calls the elder a saint: “we have the icons around us on the templon (iconostasis), on the walls and everywhere, and we ask for their intercession, for our salvation, this is how we ask the intercession of the holy fathers who live with us, among us, not only in the living icons we have around us, but also the living saints who have not yet tasted death. This is the kind of figure that geronda Ephraim was.”

              And, in summation: “Memory eternal to you geronda, of blessed memory, and where you are in the High Place in The Lord, do not forget us because you were saved from the battle with evil and sin, but we here still battle, we fight, and we will need your prayers and blessing . Eternal be your memory and unforgettable.”

              • And as usual, Bartholomew just cannot bring himself to allow an opportunity for self-aggrandizement  to pass.
                The thankful doxology to God, the unceasing prayer, the healthy ecclesiology of geronda Joseph became the guide to the many expressions in his path as a priest and as a shepherd.
                In his hearing, will echo the words of Saint Joseph who heard in a vision that the Church is based in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.”

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Elder Ephraim wrote about how his own elder, Joseph the Hesychast, was temporarily in schism with the Ecumenical Patriarchate over the calendar revision.  Joseph the Hesychast later recognized his own error of schism, repented, and returned to commemorating the Patriarch.  We now count Joseph the Hesychast among the saints of the Orthodox Church.

                  • Gail Sheppard says

                    Let’s hope that Bartholomew recognizes his errors and repents for the schism he created and returns to the Church.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      He hasn’t left the Church.  He hasn’t been deposed either.  Even Russia still acknowledges that he is Patriarch of Constantinople.  
                      Now the Archbishop of Cyprus is saying that it is Moscow that wants to create a schism:
                      “Are the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Archbishop of Athens, and the Patriarch of Alexandria heretics, and thus you stopped commemorating them?” 

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      You can’t blame the schism on Moscow when it was Bartholomew who created the situation by going into the MP’s territory and granting autocephaly to an unrepentant, non-ordained, schematic group. If Bartholomew didn’t think Ukraine belonged to the MP, why did he previously acknowledge Metropolitan Onufriy as the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine?

                      The Archbishop of Cyprus is a Greek, Joseph. Greeks don’t like the idea of some other ethnic group, especially the Russians, leading the Church in any capacity. He’s saying that if the Russians would just accept what Bartholomew did and commemorate him, there would be no schism.

                      And the answer to your question is “yes.” If one prays with a schismatic, one becomes a schismatic. A schismatic is one who splinters off from the Church. Bartholomew has splintered off from the Church. He hasn’t been deposed yet.

                  • Schism is one thing. Asserting that the Church is based in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is quite another.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      It’s like saying the OCA is based in Sysosset, NY, and the Moscow Patriarchate is based in Moscow. 
                      Whether we currently agree with Patriarch Bartholomew’s actions or not, the historical primacy of the Orthodox Church is based in Constantinople.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Joseph, no one disagrees with the primacy of Cpole. We are instead shocked and saddened by the SUpremacy currently wafting over the waves of the Bosporus.

                      We’re talking two whole different animals, Joseph.

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      oseph Lipper (December 17, 2019 at 3:16 pm) says:

                      Whether we currently agree with Patriarch Bartholomew’s actions or not, the historical primacy of the Orthodox Church is based in Constantinople.


                      That’s been true only since the middle of the eleventh century. Before the pope of Rome and his people left The Church back then, Rome held the position of primacy among the churches, and its bishop was considered ‘first among equals’.

                      Having left The Faith and The Church, they lost their primacy and title, and this could happen again with their successors in the primacy. In case you didn’t notice, schism has almost always been followed by heresy, creating breaches which are now almost impossible to repair. The schismatic group which Constantinople attempted to create in Ukraine is already tending in that sad direction.

                      If Constantinople (and Alexandria and others) continue on their present path, they too will soon leave The Church, which will be made smaller by their departure but go on being faithful and whole.

                      The remaining local churches will have to work out the question of primacy then without the help of their faithless former co-religionists.

                      Honestly, Mr Lipper, it would be very helpful if you’d learn some serious history and authentic Orthodox Christian ecclesiology, and see how they fit together.

                    • Indeed we are, George.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Primacy, schrimacy….
                      Please explain….’primacy’.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Tim, take a look at what Elpi thinks primacy is. How would you characterize a bishop who is first without equals? A pope, maybe?

                      The primacy of the archbishop of Constantinople has nothing to do with the diptychs, which, as we have already said, merely express this hierarchical ranking . . . If we are going to talk about the source of a primacy, then the source of such primacy is the very person of the Archbishop of Constantinople, who precisely as bishop is one “among equals,” but as Archbishop of Constantinople, and thus as Ecumenical Patriarch is the first without equals (primus sine paribus).


                    • Monk James Silver says

                      Tim R. Mortiss (December 17, 2019 at 9:18 pm)says:

                      Please explain….’primacy’.

                      ‘Primacy’ is an abstraction of the adjective ‘prime’, meaning ‘first.

                      In ecclesial terms, it might be best to understand ‘primacy’ as the characteristic designation of the local Orthodox Christian church/patriarchate considered to be first in honor (for various reasons) among all the Orthodox Christian churches, all of them of equal in status.

                      Fidelity to Orthodoxy is the main criterion of being a local church, and of being The Church as a whole, and there is no primacy without it. Originally, this honor was accorded to Rome as the capital of the empire at the time, and also as the only local church founded by two apostles rather than by only one. When Rome formally abandoned Orthodox Christianity in the mid-eleventh century, the primacy passed to Constantinople, until then considered second in honor as ‘New Rome’ and capital city of the astern Roman empire.

                      The primate or ‘first bishop’ of the most honored church is considered to be ‘first among equals’, enjoying a position of honor among all the other bishops, all of whom are exactly equal in status as bishops but with varying responsibilities within the local churches.

                      The primate of the church which is first in honor is not above his fellow bishops, but in front of them. He serves in the principal place when several bishops serve together liturgically.
                      He is the most prominent bishop in a procession of bishops, and he serves as chairman of their meetings. Yet he has no administrative responsibilities within any local church but his own, and no authority over the local churches as they together form the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Orthodox Christian Church.

                      At the same time, he has the responsibility of adjudicating canonical disagreements which are referred to him because they cannot be resolved within or between local churches, and — with the consent of the local churches – he may convoke pan-Orthodox synods.

                      Orthodox Christianity has no ecclesial office which corresponds to the universal jurisdiction in all matters, local and general, sacred and mundane, which is attributed by Roman Catholics to the pope of Rome.

                      I hope that this is of some little help to clarify the concept of ‘primacy’ in The Church.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Very well said, Monk James.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Primacy doesn’t exist within the Orthodox Church without synodality.  Likewise, synodality doesn’t exist without primacy.  The two are interconnected concepts. 
                      If we look at a Local Church, for example the OCA, we can see that Metropolitan Tikhon, when speaking as the Primate, always speaks the mind of the OCA’s Holy Synod.  In his person, he is the voice of that synodality.  Without the synod, he would have no primacy.
                      Yet bishops don’t always agree or see things in the same way.  If bishops become stubborn and senseless in their disagreements with each other, then the principles of synodality and primacy are both rejected.  We can see this currently, to some extent, with the Church of Cyprus.  The Primate of the Church of Cyprus just called out three bishops who violated the ruling of Cyprus’ Holy Synod to remain neutral on the topic of Ukrainian autocephaly.  This is a crisis of synodality in Cyprus, but it is also reflected as a rejection of the Primacy of Archbishop Chrysostomos, who speaks on behalf of the Cyprus Holy Synod. 
                      The primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch, however, is at a different level.  His primacy is based on the Synodality of the Ecumenical Councils and it’s accepted canonical norms.  This is the synodality that he is accountable to, and it is the synodality that he represents.  To reject this understood primacy of the Ecumenical Patriarch is then to reject the Synodality of the Ecumenical Councils and it’s accepted norms. 

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      It’s an example of primacy as the Orthodox understand it, i.e. as first among equals, in the sense that Chrysostomos is an administrative head. He does not get to speak for them unless they’re in agreement. They weren’t. The 3 or 4 bishops who spoke out against Chrysostomos did not have the same understanding as he did when it came to being “neutral.” Being neutral, in their minds, did not include bashing Russia for reacting to Bartholomew for going into their territory and granting autocephaly to unordained, unrepentant schismatics.

                      The bishops who are usually “stubborn and senseless” are the ones who think they can dictate to others and completely overrun anyone who disagrees with them up to and including the entire Church.

                    • “Joseph Lipper says
                      December 19, 2019 at 9:24 am

                      Primacy doesn’t exist……………..”
                      you wrote very axiomatically about important things without  including references (e.g. to Canons).
                      Can we have them now, please?   

                    • Joseph Lipper: “Metropolitan Tikhon, when speaking as the Primate, always speaks the mind of the OCA’s Holy Synod.  In his person, he is the voice of that synodality. ”

                      I doubt it. His Synod has its own voice and can overrule Metropolitan. He is not like Pope of Rome who supposedly is always right, when speaking “ex cathedra”.

                • AlBrian, Atleast this explains why spiritual giants such as Elder Philotheos Zervakos and Photios Kontoglu have never been canonized. Being too critical of the EP and following the royal path is too much for the Phanarites. I find funny all these visions and dreams to justify the new calendar, modernism,  and ecumenism, when these very saints while alive said not to trust in dreams.

                  • Gus,
                    “Elder Philotheos Zervakos and Photios Kontoglu have never been canonized.”
                    – sometimes the hierarchy have canonized somebody and the millions of laity have not agreed and canonization has been withdrawn.
                    – sometimes the people de-facto accept somebody as if canonized (example St.Nektarios), the hierarchy does not agree, the people press on and in the end the person is canonized. St. Nektarios’ canonization was only in 1969 accepted by Patriarch Petros!
                    -The fact of the matter is that a real Saint will not tell his disciples to promote his canonization when he dies. In fact the real Saint does not think he/she is a real Saint but a sinner! The Saint in heaven couldn’t care less whether he/she has become a Saint on earth. 
                    – If more and more people see miracles through the assistance of Zervakos, or Kontoglu etc the hierarchy will eventually give in. 
                    – It seems that some real Saints may live in our city but only God knows them, they are low-profile, they will never be discovered and canonized.

                    • Solitary Priest says

                      Nobody who is still alive can be called a saint. Also, one ROCOR bishop went to his grave considering St. John of San Francisco not to be a saint.
                          For the record, St. John was not despised by most of his fellow bishops. Half of the ROCOR Synod chose him to be Metropolitan in 1964. It was he who propose that Bishop Filaret be chosen.

                    • Ioannis, the people know Elder Philotheos and the iconographer/theologian Photios Kontoglu are saints as they venerate him. Photios was the first to call out the ecumenism of Athenagoras and wrote a book on the difference between Orthodoxy and Papism in response to Athenagoras. He saw the inevitable and dying a few months before Athenagoras lifted the papal anathema.  You would think a man whose relics are fragrant and incorrupt and are venerated at St Ephraim’s Monastery in Nea Makri Greece would be a saint 55 years after his death….yet even though being the greatest greek Orthodox artist of the 21st century all the head honchos boycotted his funeral and they still do the same today. 

                    • Monk James Silver says

                      Solitary Priest (December 17, 2019 at 11:14 am) says:

                      Nobody who is still alive can be called a saint. Also, one ROCOR bishop went to his grave considering St. John of San Francisco not to be a saint. SNIP


                      In his letters, St Paul consistently refers to the Christians still living in the churches he is instructing as ‘saints’.

                      Wouldn’t it be better for us to aspire to be ‘saints’ (holy people) while we yet live, and not to be called that only after we die?

                    • Solitary Priest: ‘Nobody who is still alive can be called a saint.’
                      When the priest who baptised me (Fr John Maitland Moir) had not yet reposed, a Thyateira and Great Britain (EP) Bishop came to St Luke’s in Glasgow and told us that he had met a living Saint in Edinburgh – which Saint was Father John.
                      Few I know who ever who met Fr John would disagree.
                      This same Fr John made headline news in Scotland at the turn of the millennium when, despite a court order, he refused to reveal the whereabouts of a mother and daughter to an abusive father.

                    • Monk James Silver
                      December 17, 2019 at 5:12 pm
                      Solitary Priest.

                      “In his letters, St Paul consistently refers to the Christians still living in the churches he is instructing as ‘saints’.
                      Wouldn’t it be better for us to aspire to be ‘saints’ (holy people) while we yet live, and not to be called that only after we die?”

                      Indeed, St.Paul uses the word “saint” (ἃγιος) thirty eight (38) times, and all these times it is used for ALL the people of the Church not just clergy! There is a web-site for that but I have lost it. Professor P. Trempelas interprets that as faithful and baptised.

                      The ones who have died and are commonly known as “saints” are actually something more than the mere “saints” used by St.Paul.
                      The Church usually adds another title like HosioMartyr, Magalomartyr, Apostle, etc.

                      I totally agree with Monk James Silver to use (like st.Paul) “saint” for all members of the Church. Mind you, there some people in Greece (clergy and laity) who still use this custom of St.Paul’s.

              • Jackson,
                it strikes me that Elpidoforos knelt down before the body of papa Ephraim.
                What does that kneeling mean, e.g. great respect for papa Ephraim as a new Saint even before officially recognized,  or great supplication to God to save a big sinner or what?
                Alternatively, do you, or Monk James Silver, or anybody else know whether kneeling of the Bishop is mentioned in the formulary of the office funeral?

                • Monk James Silver says

                  Some people, even bishops, make a prostration before a corpse  —  any corpse — before and after giving the final kiss.

                • Jenny Deringas says

                  Elps also knelt at the grave of Iakovos.  He’s a good polytrixian

                  • Jenny,
                    Are you absolutely sure?
                    If yes, then E. kneeling before papa ephraim is of no particular value…….

                • Ionnis. I do not believe that there was any protocol regarding the Archbishops action. I believe that he did so because he respected Geronda Ephraim; he had a recent meeting with him (in Arizona ?) and it is difficult to have a one on one with a holy person such as Geronda Ephraim without walking away changed.
                  Today in the homily by Father Carellas, he told us the following story (about someone that he knew):
                  A certain young man went to some kind of meeting where the elder was at a table on the podium. He was not a believer in the stories that he heard regarding the charisms of the elder. He thought to himself, if he is able to read my mind he will lift his fork right now. The elder lifted his fork. Then the young man thought, tbat could have just have been happenstance. now if he would just lift his knife. The elder lifted his knife. Again the young man thought, another happenstance; now he should lift his spoon. The elder lifted his spoon, looked at the young man  and wiggled it at him. The young man is now a believer.

                  • Jackson, God bless you!
                    You know I thought something like that, all along.
                    Let’s hope and pray that Elpidoforos learns and understands that our Faith and Church is the true one and he better be VERY RESPECTFUL AND CAREFUL and a true Bishop and no Deputy EP and wannabe Pope.
                    If that happens, it is the best present from papa Ephraim to us.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Ioannis, it is good to be both respectful and careful of what we say about Patriarch Bartholomew, even if we have some disagreement with him.  It is even a commandment of God to honor our father and mother.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Unless, of course, one’s father is the father of lies. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                    • Absolutely right, Ioannis.
                      A few weeks back, I went to a Divine Liturgy at the Monastery church. The weekend had been a youth weekend at the nearby St Nicholas Retreat and Conference Center which Metropolitan Gerasimos always participates in; he is very involved in our youth and their proper participation in the church.
                      I historically tend to be critical (slightly judgmental) about the various hierarchs of the church including our Metropolitan. In  this particular incident, when I arrived at church towards the end of Orthros, the nave was packed with young people and all of the stadisia (seats) were occupied. I went up to our Gerondissa to receive the blessing to take communion (she was seated in the nuns stadisia two seats to the right of the bishop’s throne). She blessed me and moved over to the next seat and had me sit/stand in her normal stadisia which placed me two seats away from the throne. Thus, I was able to observe the bishop (non-hierarchical liturgy) during the service. 
                      I was able to watch the bishop and I was awed that he quietly sang the chants with nuns and mouthed all of the readings; I decided that he was lot holier than I thought.
                      As I mused over this revelation a thought came to me, I believe from the Holy Spirit thus: “It is My job to deal with the bishops, it is your job to pray for them.” End of judgment for me, I WILL NOT judge anyone or be critical again expecially the clergy.
                      I mentioned the event to one of the older nuns who comes over to my property in the mornings to feed their goats that I house. She told me, “I was a St Anthony’s monastery a few months ago and there was an ordination of one of the monks to the diaconate by our bishop. The bishop absolutely dripped with grace.” I WILL NOT judge or criticize anyone again. Glory to God.

                    • Joseph Lipper,
                      “Ioannis, it is good to be both respectful and careful of what we say about Patriarch Bartholomew, even if we have some disagreement with him.  It is even a commandment of God to honor our father and mother.”

                      I beg your pardon, Joseph:
                      (1)  What word etc did I say about Bartholomew which is not respectful?
                      (2) Why is Bartholomew MY father?

                      It is very easy to write vague generic things, but more difficult to be precise and justify them. It is now your turn:
                      Will you please EXACTLY justify these to things
                      not by your theories but
                      by the Bible and the Pedalion (Rudder)?

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Ioannis, it’s not an accusation.  As you mention, the overseers of our Church have a great responsibility to be respectful and careful of our faith, our Holy Tradition.  Likewise, we all should be respectful and careful about what we say regarding our bishops who bear this great responsibility of fatherhood in the Church, and especially regarding the bishop who bears the enormous burden of conciliar primacy in our Orthodox Church:  His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch. 
                      Whether or not our bishops act in what we consider a proper manner, our responsibility is still to treat them like bishops, prayerfully and with great care and respect.  If a bishop should be deposed, then this is the responsibility of the other bishops. 

                      I also believe Elder Ephraim was an excellent example of a monk and priest who treated both Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Elpidophorus in a prayerful manner and with great care and respect.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Joseph, I actually had the honor and privilege of speaking privately with Elder Ephraim about 5 years ago. We discussed many issues of importance. Rather than betray a personal conversation, as well as the fact that he is not around to defend himself, let me state this as delicately as possible: The Venerable Elder was not a yes-man or toady.

                      ‘Nuff said.

    • Elpidophoros has every personal interest to be there.

  6. Joseph Lipper says

    Geronda Ephraim reposed on the O.C. Leavetaking of the Entrance of the Mother of God in the Temple, and he lived to see his own spiritual father, St. Joseph the Hesychast, glorified as a saint.  His life was an example of simple obedience, always attributing everything out of obedience to his elder.
    May his memory be eternal!

  7. Gail Sheppard says
  8. Memory Eternal!
    He worked miracles while alive in this world…let us pray for his intercession in the next.

    • DisastisfiedCustomer says


      But he was a member of an Archdiocese in communion with schismatics and the wicked EP…which, according to your endless refrain, made him a schismatic…

      Sorry. I guess his entire life is destined for the dustbin of heretics.


      • Very weak ecclesiology there buddy. Your snark is out of place here. 

        • DissatisfiedCustomer says

          I think you are complaining to the wrong person.
          Speak to the Russo-propaganda machine that peddles it.

          • No, DC
            you are mixing up persons.
            Speak to Pyatt who is visiting all Hierarchs in Greece, plus Athos, one by one. Are they diplomats or is he overnight a devout Orthodox.
            And…the next morning the change their previous decisions.
            Please tell me why?
            You are very wise.
            And another thing:
            Are you prepared for a Christian comparison (according to the Bible) between Kyrill and Bartholomew?

            DC, there is more than Russo-propaganda and Americano-propaganda.
            There is fear of the Lord.
            It so happens that the Russians NOW are better Christians than the Greeks and the Americans. But, you do not like this and you call it Russo-propaganda?
            Very easy, very clever!

          • I take it the Customer is a Fox ‘News’ addict who thinks ad hominem attacks and sheer mindless repetition of smears amounts to an argument. 

  9. Christopher W McAvoy says

    These holy monastics are the hope of the Church, the new martyrs of our age who give example for us to die to our passions, constantly seeking assistance through God’s holy church, through her holy sacraments and prayers. To meditate on the example of these atheletes of charity, obedience and love brings peace to my heart. It reminds me that Christ never abandons us, even despite times of waywardness. Whether we are pastors, parents, popes, seamstresses, patriarchs, butchers, bakers, candle-stick makers. All who are constantly striving to be faithful to Christ and to repent, have a hope of Salvation 🙂

    • These Monasteries, through the prayers of their holy geronta, are the last remaining hope to rehabilitate Cpole.

  10. Pray for us, Elder Ephraim. The elder was briefly in ROCOR sometimes in the early 1990’s. Does anyone know of a written account his brief time in ROCOR and reasons for his leaving?

    • I read in one of his interviews or a comment by someone close to him a while back that the fact that he was with a schismatic group (ROCOR at the time) caused quite a stir in Greece, so he came under the GOA so as not to further scandalize people . It was said that he was happier under ROCOR, whose hierarchy uniformly sees monasticism as an integral part of the Church and supports it.

      • There are 2 theories that I have come across as to why he joined then left ROCOR.  First theory was he knew that he wanted to come to America and start a monastery but would not be allowed under GOA, so he used it as leverage. The GOA relented not wanting a ROCOR monastery under the Elder. The second is that the fanatical new calendarists turned on him as ROCOR were considered old calendarists in Greece. So he returned to the EP not to scandalize the Greek faithful.  Here is a letter he wrote defending the ROCOR,:

      • The devotion of the Fathers at Holy Cross Hermitage (ROCOR-West Virginia) to St. Joseph the Hesychast will continue to bear fruit in the US and may, if God wills it, bring to fruition the full vision that Elder Ephraim had for building monasteries in this country.  
        One of Geronda Ephraim’s senior monks (who came with him from Philotheou) told me that if Geronda Ephraim had stayed in the ROCOR, he would’ve built twice as many monasteries than he did while he was here on Earth.  Well, as they say in this country: “You can’t keep a good man down.”
         It’s not to late to keep building  these strongholds.
        Pray for us, Geronda Ephraim!

        • Thank you Ioan for the your comments. My spiritual father told me that the West Virginia monastery is a good one. The Geronda Ephrem monasteries have greatly deflectrd the tendency for GOA churches to move towards the worldly mode of church life.  

  11. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Elder Ephraim Falls Asleep in the Lord, Age 91
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    December 9, 2019

    • Douglas Moses says

      Age 92, fwiw.
      Elder Archimandrite Ephraim (Moraitis) (born Ioannis Moraitis)
      (June 24, 1927 – December 7th, 2019)

  12. Dino Tsortanidis says

    Memory Eternal
    The first Greek Orthodox Saint in America.
    Elder Ephraim pray for us,  especially our Church in America

  13. Fr Patrick B. O’Grady says

    Several years ago, while on pilgrimage at Saint Anthony’s monastery there in Arizona, I attended the nighttime vigil. That in itself is a wonderful experience. When Geronda Ephraim came in, as usual the monastic brotherhood took his blessing, one after the other. I also joined them at the end of the line, as a priest, to take a blessing. As I approached him, in the very dim light, he stood up and piously made a reference before me. I trembled as I saw this obvious pneumatikos filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit making such an act of profound humility in front of me, a sinful and unworthy priest. I approached him, in the very dim light; he stood up and piously made a reference before me. I said to him, Γέροντα, ευλόγησε. (He doesnt —didn’t—speak English). He presented a most beautiful and radiant smile and simply said, “Yeeeeessss!” And he blessed me quite simply. He kissed my hand as I tried to kiss his. I shall never forget that beaming face in the dim light which face did surely light up the whole area around his stasidion! Αιωνία μνήμη!

  14. Douglas Moses says

    Age 92, fwiw.
    Elder Archimandrite Ephraim (Moraitis) (born Ioannis Moraitis)
    (June 24, 1927 – December 7th, 2019)

  15. Pat Reardon says

    What most surprises me about the Elder’s passing, I suppose, is the sudden revelation of a network for learning about such a thing.
    On Sunday morning, at the beginning of Matins (8 AM Chicago time), one of our parishioners arrived with a loaf and wine and a note informing me of the Elder Ephraim’s passing. It couldn’t have been much past a few hours since the event.
    So, I sent word back to the music people, and we served the Trisagion right after the Divine Liturgy.
    I kept thinking to myself: Goodness, those ascetics sure seem to know their way around the internet!
    Memory Eternal!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Indeed.  I had written a short message informing our priest of the Elder’s passing (during the homily) which I gave to the sub-deacon.  Somehow he had already known and immediately after the homily he served a Trisagion service right before the Litany of the Catechumens.   The choir and cantors were already prepared as well.  It was beautiful

  16. Gail Sheppard says

    Elder Ephraim’s funeral service will be held tomorrow, Wednesday December 11th 2019 at 1 pm MST, at Saint Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, Arizona. The service will be aired live on the the Greek Ecclesiastical Channel 4E. 
    See links below: 


  17. I believe that the most important event in the spiritual life of the Greek Archdiocese was the founding of the Fr. Ephraim monasteries. Elder Ephraim pray for us and for the unity of the Orthodox Church in the USA.

    • You are absolutely right Peter, One of iur young nuns here gave me a short homily a few nights ago as she was milking the goats; she said, “America has just lost the greatest man who ever lived in this country, I had to agree with her; she has spent her entire life with Geronda Ephraim as her spiritual father. He is missed, but we are all aware the we now have a powertul intercessor on the other side of the curtain that we call death; he has only passed through that curtain. He was and is a saint; as someone else commented, the first Greek church saint here in this country. 

  18. Report from St Anthony’s: thousands of clergy, bishops and priests, monastics from around the world, and laity there; the nuns have taken over the cooking; the very large catholicon is for monastics and clergy only and the large front parking lot has become the narthex. The sisters from our monastery left a few nuns behind with the novices to take care of the monastery and the critters and the rest went to Arisona (+20). 

    • George Michalopulos says

      “By their fruits ye shall know them.”
      What a tribute!

      • Just watched the whole 3:40 
        anazing.  Everyone  spoke beautifully.
        the burial was interesting
        wondering if there is a secret way to leave the crypt!!!

        • There is definitely a way out other than through the top opening; otherwise the monks who were placing the tomb wil remain there until the second coming. lol

          • Reportedly, the workers at the ground level forgot that the monks were down in the grave and closed the top on them. It took about 30 minutes for someone to recognize the mistake. lol

        • Antiochene Son says

          I hope so, or else those monks are still down there!

  19. Please forgive my typos above, I closed the car door on my right index finger a few nights ago, am losing the whole fingernail and am trying to type with a wrapped up finger. lol 

  20. There is a blog by the name of “Authentic Transparency and Accountability.” They have written an article filled with insults calling the spiritual children and monasteries of Elder Ephraim a cult…..and elder Ephraim as a cult leader.  The comments published are even more horrific than the article. I tried to submit an opinion regarding how disappointed I am by their calumny, but it seems that they have refused to post it.  I am embarrassed that I have ever read anything from this blog, and I am going to delete it from my bookmarks.
    Lord have mercy!

    • I agree. I didn’t expect that. Sickening..

      • Just goes to show how you can have a good critique of something and a poor one of something else. Contributors to that blog have become very bitter about all things GOARCH and see every instance of opacity as corruption. 
        Many clergy and laymen have long expressed suspicion of Elder Ephraim and his work, frequently citing cultism.  Granted, Philotheou-style monasticism is clearly not everyone’s cup of tea but the crude insults of unsophisticated contributors to that blog are nasty and vile. 
        I hope that the new post-Ephraim era of monastic culture includes forming strong bridges with monks all around the country and not ethnocentric retreat, and that typically American policies of transparency and openness prevail, to quell any suspicions of money-laundering etc. Obviously GOARCH is no example to follow. 
        I hope the new era sees broader use of the common tongue and more openness to the rest of us.  

    • The people running that transparency blog are a bunch of secular minded university educated fools. They are part of the problem not the solution. Their comments are ignorant as are most of their articles. (For example the new HC president is bad because he has no formal theological training nor a college degree in education; in other words he is bad soley because he is not an academic). Now onto their silly criticisms of Elder Ephraim. First off Its allowable to paint an icon of a potential saint as long as you dont add a halo. That halo gets painted on only after glorification. Secondly they didnt even know the monastery has a long time abbot who runs all the affairs and was never Elder Ephraim. They also seem to think monasteries have a short shelf life. That they go out of business or some nonsense if one elder passes away.  

      • Gus, the Transparency people write like businessmen who don’t bother with diction and don’t know American idia. Maybe they speak English as a second language. 
        One thing I do notice about them is they’d rather become atheist than walk across the street to the OCA. 

      • Yes. They are ignorant beyond comprehension.

      • George Tournas says

        By definition, Ephraim started a cult!
        Just because you do not like the truth does not mean you should be so judgmental.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Your Eminence, be mindful of the fact that when you trash someone like Elder Ephraim, you’re going to get a LOT of pushback and all that support you might have had with your website will evaporate. I would go back and delete all those negative comments about Elder Ephraim and his monasteries. Not trying to be harsh, but you’ve definitely lost my support and it is my hope that George will refuse to publish anything like what you just said in the future.

        • Dear George Tournas,
          He started a Monastery. Why must you write things that are deranged?

        • Is this really Metropolitan Methodios? If so, shame on him for speaking such a way about a recently-reposed monastic clergyman.

          • Please say it isn’t so! Scandalous! Is this the mindset of all the Metropolitans in America? Is this the mindset of the Archbishop? 

          • What do you expect from the schismatic GOA bishops. Liberals of Massachusetts running a Mickey mouse seminary like HC [Editor Note: Deleted]. At least the Elder died before the heretical jurisdiction he is under is fully exposed. My hope is St. Anthony’s transfers to another jurisdiction. It would be a shame if the GOARCH rides the Elder’s coattails to show that they too have saints in the diaspora, of course, the liberals may never allow glorification. The same way they refuse to glorify Elder Philotheos Zervakos. The fact that the GOARCH cannot produce saints is a sign not only of its leadership but its laity as well.

        • Christianity is called a cult by some; are you one of them? Geronda Ephraim’ life exemplified all that our Lord and Savior commanded, And, the Lord said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” I will be praying for you, that you be enlightened.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Ashley Nevins is that you?  By definition, Orthodox Christianity is a cult.  Just depends on the definition used, the criteria chosen and the assumptions used to evaluate.
          Vereration of The Theotokos and the saints, use of icons each has been called evidence of a cult.  Don’t forget monastic obedience.  That screams “cult” does it not. 
          The mindless sycophantic posturing around the EP smacks of a cult too.
          Truly  an ignorant comment.

          If this is really Met Methodius please, please call my Bishop Basil in Wichita and complain.

          • Michael who is this Ashley Nevins? I’ve seen her name on blog articles critical of monasticm and everything Orthodox. It seems she suffers from certain psycological problems? 

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Gus, Ashley is a man who tragically lost his son to suicide.

              His son, Scott, had spent 6 years at St. Anthony’s and was relatively stable from what people who lived there at the time reported to me. Toward the end of his tenure, however, he seemed to be in a state of decline. I say this because he started writing deleterious things about the monastery on-line. Up until this point he had defended them. He subsequently left the monastery and went home to be with his parents. His parents, primarily his father, Ashley, felt the Church, the GOA and especially the monastery was a cult and later it appeared as if Scott agreed with him. One can understand how a parent might feel this way, especially when outside sources reinforce this idea. It was big news at the time throughout the time Scott spent there. Ashley wrote to the local newspapers that his son had been abducted. He and his wife, Diane, were on TV a couple of times to talk about it and he was seen at the monastery making disturbances outside the gates.

              I spoke to Scott’s mother after the tragedy and she said Scott had not been doing well. He had purchased a gun, which concerned her. He called her one night and told her he had to go back to the monastery one last time to retrieve his baptismal certificate and his retainer, which she thought was odd. He drove to the gates of the monastery in the middle of the night. There was a monk assigned to watch the property. The monk became concerned. He tried to catch up to Scott but it was too late. Scott had taken his life. Ashley, of course, connected his son’s death with the monastery. Having lost a son myself I know how much a parent needs to make sense out of it. It is a devastating loss. George and I pray for Scott daily.

              Ashley has come onto the blog several times throughout the years. He believes the Church in general and the GOA, in particular, will implode. I’ve got to admit, some of what he said is seemingly coming true. I do not share his opinions of the monastery, however, as I believe those 6 years that Scott had there were 6 years he might not have had in a less structured environment. He truly started deteriorating after he left. This, of course, is not the fault of his parents. It was just a tragedy all the way around.

              I hope I answered your question. I think this is as much as needs to be said about it. I’ve discussed this with George and he has decided to prevent further discussion about the Nevins on his blog as he does not want to cause the Nevins more pain.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Gus, my allusion to Mr. Nevins is unfortunate. He at least had a reason founded in deep pain and devotion to his son to attack Elder Ephraim, although his reasoning from that pain was deeply flawed.

              Whomever George Tournas, I am rather sure he has absolutely no reason worthy of consideration for his attack especially one that is so lacking in detail and specificity.

              Mr. Nevins was far more honest in every respect.

          • Johann Sebastian says

            By definition, Christianity is a cult. Best damn thing that ever happened to mankind. Case closed.

        • Monk James Silver says

          George Tournas (December 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm) says:

          By definition, Ephraim started a cult!
          Just because you do not like the truth does not mean you should be so judgmental.


          Well, there are a couple of absurd statements.

          How can it honestly be said that ‘by definition, Ephraim started a cult!’ Who is doing the defining here? What standards are being applied to arrive at such a definition?

          Then you write — with no support in fact — ‘Just because you do not like the truth does not mean you should be so judgmental.’

          What ‘truth’ are you writing about? Let me tell you something, holy Master — if that’s really you writing and not someone who co-opted your birth name. In spite of your many good qualities, you are writing here about things you don’t understand or appreciate, and you’ve embarrassed yourself and cheapened the dignity of your high and holy office as a bishop.

          While I will leave it to others to attest Fr Ephraim’s personal holiness, which many of them have experienced in different ways, and although I have some reservations about his leaving his own monastery in Athos, the fact remains that he single-handedly established houses of Athonite monastic practice in America, monasteries which have become spiritual havens for many Orthodox Christians here, and not only those of Greek ancestry. He filled a need which had been left unsatisfied by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (and its earlier constructions) for a century. May the Lord haste the day when all the American monasteries sing their services in English.

          But the GOARCH hasn’t ever initiated monastic practice in America, nor has it recognized any saints here. What does the GOARCH actually do as a ‘church’, other than serve as an ethnic exclave? Or as a financial supporter of the Phanar?

          So let’s admit that the GOARCH is at least uninterested in missionary work or in establishing monastic communities.

          That failure at being a church doesn’t allow you to condemn Fr Ephraim for establishing monasteries here. His efforts here and their many blessed fruits cannot be considered a ‘cult’ except by people who are anti-monastic to begin with.

          Far from being a cult, the monasteries established here by Fr Ephraim continue to provide the spiritual nourishment which many American Orthodox Christians have found lacking in parish life, most especially the people coming from Greek Orthodox parishes, where confession is rare and catechesis almost unknown.

          Those people are motivated more by superstation than by Christian teaching, yet consider themselves Orthodox because they are of Greek heritage. But they are finally beginning to wake up to the serious deficits of their situation, cause — almost intentionally — by their very Greek bishops. Where the heck do we find Boston in Greece?!

          In contrast to all the holy work done in America by Fr Ephraim and the monasteries which he founded here, we now have to deal with the ecclesial disarray created in Russia by Constantinople.

          By creating a parasynagogue in Ukraine where a church used to be, Patriarch Bartholomew has done far more damage to The Church than Fr Ephraim ever dreamed of. The schisms which PatB fomented are now a sad fact of Orthodox Christian history, and are a shameful reaction o all the good which Fr Ephraim accomplished in America.

          If you really want to blame someone for trouble in The Church, blame PatB, not Fr Ephraim.

          You should think about the relative effects on the life of The Church which the work of these two men have had. Reflect on them. Understand them. Repent and weep.

          And — given the devices which people use to conceal their identities on the Internet –if I am addressing someone other than Metropolitan Methodios Tournas of Boston, my words here would be the same.

        • Benny Konrikas says

          Tournas is the surname of Methodius of Boston, originally from Fort Lee

        • Michael Bauman says

          Just to add some specificity:
          cult (n.)
          1610s, “worship, homage” (a sense now obsolete); 1670s, “a particular form or system of worship;” from French culte (17c.), from Latin cultus “care, labor; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence,” originally “tended, cultivated,” past participle of colere “to till” (see colony).

          The word was rare after 17c., but it was revived mid-19c. (sometimes in French form culte) with reference to ancient or primitive systems of religious belief and worship, especially the rites and ceremonies employed in such worship. Extended meaning “devoted attention to a particular person or thing” is from 1829.

          Cult. An organized group of people, religious or not, with whom you disagree. [Hugh Rawson, “Wicked Words,” 1993]

          Cult is a term which, as we value exactness, we can ill do without, seeing how completely religion has lost its original signification. Fitzedward Hall, “Modern English,” 1873]

          From The On-line Etymological Dictionary.

  21. AnonSaysWhat says

    @George Michalopulos and all visitors here, please watch this video for those that understand Greek.

    • Can you give an overview for those of us that don’t speak Greek? 

      • AnonSaysWhat says

        To summarize, speaking about the Ukrainian schism: Metr. Neofytos states as so far Cyprus hasn’t chosen a side on the matter, but to wait – not to rush. States that in 1972-73 Cyprus had a history and experience with schism with certain hierarchs going against Makarios – leading hierarchs not knowing who to memorialize. The result was the the Grace of God leaving Cyprus and the Turkish invasion conquering half of Cyprus, which remains as a problem today.

        He goes on: We can state there is one and only one canonical Metropolitan of Ukraine, being Onuphrios. Can’t take a neutral stance on this. He is to be memorialized.

        He then states that certain priests are stopping the memorializing of the Archbishop of Greece, and The Patriarch Bartholomew, and his current stance is the following, regarding a recent event regarding Elder Ephraim – when he was alive.

        One faithful family in Greece, the husband decided to stop his family from going to Church with clerics memorializing Epifanios the schismatic bishop.  In fact, to only go to churches belonging to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The wife being worried stated, why don’t we do prayer and fasting 3 days to recieve an answer before doing so. They did.
        Elder Ephraim living still, appeared to them – miraculously from the US to Greece. This family knew of Elder Ephraim, having lived in the US. Elder Ephraim stated to this family, go to the churches you still go to. Don’t leave. The family asked the Elder, what is to happen though with the Ukrainian situation. Elder Ephraim answered, the global events – the war to come – much change will occur and the leaders of the Church will unite. When peace has returned there will be a Grand Synod, and many other problems in the Church will be solved as well.

        The family saw this appearance, and questioned it just in case if it was an appearance of the evil one… went to their own holy father confessor – and before they even begun to explain the appearance of Elder Ephraim, their father confessor told them, “Do as you were told by Father Ephraim!”

        Therefore Metropolitan Neofytos states: The Lord has his own plans for His Body. The only Church – The Orthodox Church, and He won’t leave His own. More wounds will not be allowed to be inflicted upon the Church.

        Discretion, Patience, and much much Prayer is needed.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          This sounds exactly right:
          “Elder Ephraim stated to this family, go to the churches you still go to. Don’t leave. The family asked the Elder, what is to happen though with the Ukrainian situation. Elder Ephraim answered, the global events – the war to come – much change will occur and the leaders of the Church will unite. When peace has returned there will be a Grand Synod, and many other problems in the Church will be solved as well.”

        • Joseph Lipper says

          The website adds this:

          “various problems would arise that would cause the hierarchs to realize the severity of their error in recognizing the anti-canonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople”

          Is that an actual translation from the Greek, or is it just editorial insertion?

          • It’s not a quote. If it were, it would be in quotation marks. The context is that this couple is worried about the Ukrainian situation, and Elder Ephraim tells them eventually a council will be held where this error will be fixed.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I read that, too, Jesse. That could happen, too.

            • Joseph Lipper says

              Jesse, it’s a very slanted accusation to say “the anti-canonical actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”.  If this isn’t expressly mentioned this way in the original Greek story, then it’s quite wrong to add it in.  If the reference is only to the “error of the Ukrainian situation”, then we should at least be open to other interpretations. 
              Regardless, it appears that Elder Ephraim does not advocate breaking communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate over the Ukraine situation.  So in this way, the Elder does seem to indicate the Moscow Patriarchate is in error.  The Archbishop of Cyprus also concurs:

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Joseph, you fault Jesse for something he said that wasn’t “expressly mentioned” the right way and then suggest that Elder Ephraim did not advocate breaking communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate!

                This is based on an experience a couple said they had where Elder Ephraim appeared to them in some kind of vision and said, “. . . and told them to continue communing in the Church of Greece, but comforted them by adding that various problems would arise that would cause the hierarchs to realize the severity of their error in recognizing the anti-canonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and that a council would be called to deal with the Ukrainian crisis and other problems.” Even if it was Elder Ephraim who appeared to them, he said nothing about the Moscow Patriarchate being in error. The error mentioned was the anti-canonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

                You then make a point of saying one archbishop condemns Russia’s actions as if that is somehow meaningful when you know 90% (or more) do not.

                You suggested in another post that one must honor their father. Who is your father, Joseph?

                • Joseph Lipper says

                  Gail, perhaps someone who understands Greek can help us out here. The story as related by “AnonSaysWhat” didn’t mention “anti-canonical actions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate”. Yet the same story as told by specifically makes this point.

                  Was that stance really specified in the original story as told by the Cypriot Metropolitan Neofytos? If not, then is guilty of a complete misrepresentation and a wicked lie.

                  The Church of Cyprus has not officially accused Patriarch Bartholomew of any “anti-canonical actions”, yet it has and does criticize Moscow for breaking communion with the EP, the Church of Greece, and Alexandria.


    • Thank you Anon for the link. Here is another link for the entire funeral service:
      I missed the first 15 minutes or so of the service which was in progress when I found your link. With this additional link, I was able to go back and look at the beginning of the service. Also, because of the 3.5 hours or so for the service, I must have dozed and I missed our priest venerating the Elder; watching this later link at saw quite a bit that I missed when viewing it live.

  22. Thank you George. It is very difficult to type with a large bandage on the right forefinger. We (my wife and I) got a lot of informations from our Godmother who had been at the monastery for about two weeks when the Elder reposed, and was able to observe all of the events. Her husband, our Godfather reposed at the monastery some years ago and is buried there. 

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Jacksson, did she tell you if the Elder had been ill? I hope he just passed in his sleep.

      • Hello Gail, blessings to you. She (our Matushka godmother) and our Gerondissa, who was there two days before his repose, both reported that he was frail, but seemingly mobile and showing no signs of medical problems. Gerondissa Markella had to go right back to Arizona with about 20 of the sisters for the funeral. I believe that your “hope” was exactly that, he passed in his sleep. I am sure that much more information will be in the offing. Just today, I found a wonderful bit of information about the Elder ( and I will follow the advice that he gave to a Greek family in one of his many miraculous visits around the world.

        In the future, the books will be written and we all need to go back to his writings and review them; I expect a plethora of writings in the days to come (if the Lord tarries) about the Elder; I personally having lived almost 18 years next door to one of his monasteries, and being an inveterate story teller, can vouch for the many events that have occurred during that period of time. One of his spiritual sons, Father Dimitri Carrellas, was at the funeral and then came here for a scheduled conference. He served this morning in the 4:30 AM Liturgy and will serve more this weekend. He knows lots of stories concerning the Elder and I suspect that he will tell us much about the Elder which will more or less go along with the subject of the conference, The Journey to Heaven. There is a shortage of enrollees for the conference, so the talks will be given at the monastery itself rather than at Saint Nicholas Ranch and Conference Center. I will try to get back later with a report.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Thank you for this, Jacksson. All of it.

          You know, I have always prayed that I would be in Elder Ephraim’s presence one day. But as years passed, it was becoming less and less likely. Two years ago, almost to the day, I was sitting in the confessional in front of Fr. Paisio’s office hoping to speak with him. There were many people waiting for him. Most of them were monastics and priests. Some of them had come from out of town and needed to catch flights home. The confessional was packed. Because I was living in Tucson at the time, I asked his secretary if I could come back when he was not so busy. Actually, it was kind of funny. It was late. I told his secretary I wanted to reschedule because I didn’t want to “stress out Fr. Paisios, because it was getting so close to Vespers.” His secretary laughed and said, “Gailina, Fr. Paisios doesn’t get stressed out. He will have time to see you.” I replied, “Well, that may be, but I’m stressed out and it’s not the worst thing in the world for me to have to come back to a monastery, now is it, Father?!” He laughed and rescheduled my appointment.

          Father Paisios’ secretary must have told him I had rescheduled because when I came back to see him, Father Paisios apologized. This is a rough transcript of our conversation:

          “Oh, Father, please don’t apologize. It was such a blessing for me to be here. I was sitting in your confessional when the doors on the opposite wall opened up letting in all this light. In walked Elder Ephraim with two men following him. I couldn’t figure out who the men were. Neither of them was wearing a cassock. (I didn’t tell Father Paisios this, but one was wearing a red-flowered, Hawaiian shirt!) Everyone stood up to ask Elder Ephraim for his blessing. But because there were so many people and I was in the back I could only bow my head as he turned the corner to go into your office. He saw me as he rounded the corner and acknowledged my presence! It was amazing! I have prayed I would get to see him one day! What’s funny is that they went into your office but they didn’t come out.” Father Paisios was smiling at this point. I looked around his small office expecting to see a door where they could have exited. I said to him, “Father, where did they go? You don’t have a door!” He said, “Gailina, Elder Ephraim hasn’t been here for 3 months.” “Well then, who did I see?” I exclaimed. Still smiling, he said, “I don’t know.”

          • Is this Father Paisios Geronda Paisios of St Anthony’s Monastery? Did you know Father Demitrios of the Greek Church in Tuscon; he is another spiritual son of the Elder?

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Yes, it is Father Paisios Geronda of St. Anthony’s monastery. I was in Tucson only a short time and did not meet Father Demetrios. It might have been 3 years to the date.

              • Father Demitrios ‘Earl” left Tuscon and was back east working for the arch-diocese (I believe) and now at Flagstaff,

        • “...the conference, The Journey to Heaven. There is a shortage of enrollees for the conference
          Forgive me.  I couldn’t help but find this humorous.   But then I find humor in most everything.

  23. Gail, here is a rough translation of the homilies given at the funeral service for Geronda Ephraim:!1346&ithint=file%2cdocx&authkey=!AGGxnx1xsrym7OM

  24. Monk James Silver,
    Very well said indeed, bravo!

  25. Gail Sheppard says

    The 4 eulogies given at  Blessed Geronta Ephraim’s funeral provided by some good soul:!1346&ithint=file%2cdocx&authkey=!AGGxnx1xsrym7OM

  26. Gail said: He (Bartholomew) hasn’t been deposed yet.  
    The operative word being “yet”.

  27. George Michalopulos says

    Picking up on Gail’s latest response to Joseph:  You are both right. 
    Unfortunately Joseph, in your very fine assessment of Met Tikhon’s paradigm, you make the case that the EP is most decidedly not acting in a synodal fashion.  In any way, shape, manner or form.