What’s Going on in ROCOR?

[Editor’s note: As we were going to press last night with this article, things started heating up in Turkey big-time. Last night the situation was fluid but it seems that Pres Erdogan has regained control this morning. It seems that the instigator of this coup is Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish globalist who lives in the US and was mentioned in a previous essay “Crete and the Globalist Agenda.” More will follow as time allows. (Also, I’m leaving for Russia tomorrow so my situation is certainly fluid as well.)]

Monomakhos has recently heard from concerned sources at St John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR) in House Springs, Missouri who claim Archbishop Peter dissolved the parish by executive decree and turned it into a monastery.

Needless to say this has thrown the parish into turmoil. Much of the turmoil centers around a newly arrived nun who has been granted administrative oversight of the parish and other enterprises including an apartment building where some parishioners were staying. Reports are they have been evicted.

Again, the reports are sketchy and like all conflicts of this nature the emotions run high. Still, one wonders how a single nun ends up as the executive administrator of a stable parish and why so soon after her arrival the parish is thrown into turmoil.

The nun has some peculiar ideas evidenced by screen shots from her Facebook page. Do Metropolitan Hilarion or Archbishop Peter know about this? One wonders too if a person with these views and the aggressive and strident tone in which they are delivered is fit to lead other Orthodox Christians.

Hopefully, this is all a misunderstanding and things will be resolved in a peaceful manner.






As is known, your’s truly has been a big supporter of ROCOR and so I am perplexed by this turn of events. Perhaps a call to New York is in order (212-534-1601)?


  1. In Scripture Jesus tells Peter if He doesn’t pray for him the devil can sift him like wheat. Just sounds like lots of sift’n here really lately with all these horrific events on the news. So 666 has to show up is how the end time narrative might have it, quell all the dissensions. This scenario actually looking plausible. When son of perdition comes he will be meek and humble not like Trump. This could still be another 10 years.

    • Reader Nektarios says

      I wonder how many of you are in the inner circle of the bishops involved in the creation of this new Monastery?

      How many people actually know this nun?

      Do any of you work in the diocese?

      Have any of you spoken to this nun?

      What’s the source of knowledge for the supposed money scandle?

      I’ve never seen so many awful comments fron a group of so-called “Orthodox Christians.” Is this what Christ did? Did he slander, and gossip? You should all be ashamed of yourselves for such horrible conduct to another Orthodox Christian. God is in control of this situation and is working through the Church to sort out any issues that it may have. Are we so great as to know better than two Orthodox bishops!? Anathem! All this gossip and church politics is from the damned devil and his demons!

      How are all you slanderers so great? Have you dedicated your life through monastic tonsure? Have you picked up your life and moved across the country out of obedience to a Metropolitan to start the task of a monastery? Is your opinion and will greater than the Church!? Anathem!

      We should all be so blessed to have another monastic house in our Church. Shame on all of you.

      • Estonian Slovak says

        It’s “Anathema” , Ace. May I suggest posting BEFORE you hit the vodka or other beverage of choice.

        • Reader Nektarios says

          I like Coca-Cola and I’m a non-drinker myself. But thanks for the correction. My samsung doesn’t really pick up words like that. Anymore low-level insults you’d like to throw at me?

          • Estonian Slovak says

            Yes, in proper English, it’s “any more” not “anymore”. But if you plan on advancing to higher orders, especially the priesthood, I suggest you get used to insults. Unless you are a papist, you should know that the bishops are neither popes nor tsars. Are you then one of Archbishop Peter’s clerics since you know so much about the House Springs situation?

            • Better Advice says

              ” But if you plan on advancing to higher orders, especially the priesthood, I suggest you get used to insults.”

              Or maybe you should offer constructive help and not insult the clergy and your brothers and sisters in Christ? Just a thought…..

              • Estonian Slovak says

                Just a thought. The Reader defends a nun who blasphemes speaking in the name of God with a new “commandment”.
                I’ve seen priests insulted here for far less serious words than those of the reader.
                Btw, the nun insults God by presuming to speak in HIS Name. The Reader hurls curses (anathemas) at his brothers sisters in Christ. How come you have nothing to say about that?

                • Better Advice says

                  Because it seems we agree on the blasphemy issue, and I haven’t got anything nice or constructive to say.

      • Claire Carroll says

        Are you? Are you part of this parish that was closed suddenly and with no warning? Did you speak to this nun? Were you or your children at the service in the church itself where she screamed at the monastic priest, ” This is MY church?” Is it your father or priest that is being slandered, and now sustenance taken away when he is disabled? Do you know the 20 or so people, all Orthodox Christians, some Russian and some Georgian poverty-level immigrants, who are being evicted out of seven apartments? Did you see the monastic priest that was assigned to the new monastery resign in protest? Is your parish now deprived of any formal voice? Are your relatives buried at the cemetery? Do you believe Orthodox bishops can never be mistaken, or are infallible? Were you advised by high-level clergy in Russia and the US to make this known to as many people as possible, besides to the Synod of bishops? We have.

        • I had heard that many of the people expressing anger over the current events had previously left the parish because they disliked the priest. Is it so much different now to still be going to another church for services? It does not sound like anyone is being deprived of that.

          • Cecily Thompson says

            Please Pickles, I assume you are a Christian. Please try to find in your heart compassion on people who are deeply grieving. Unless you are on the diocesan council, you are hearing everything secondhand at best. We are living this. Even if you are on the council, you aren’t daily living the aftermath of our home being gone overnight, after being assured by the dean and bishop that they had every interest in keeping our parish alive. Five people in a group were told this.
            Try to understand the shock of such behavior from spiritual directors. You refer to a lack of respect and cooperation. It’s very hard to have respect in view of the above. As for cooperation, what saints even, ever cooperated in destroying their spiritual home?
            Please stop and think. I know you know what home means. To see it being destroyed is so hard. Think what you would feel if your parish were destroyed and you saw families whom you love and benefit spiritually from, being forced out of their homes, by clergy. Would you be able to immediately transfer to another parish happily? You also can’t know everyone’s circumstances that would make that impossible. Think what your own children would feel, especially if they are old enough to understand and think what kind of example is being given to the children of our parish, 30+, by representatives of Christ’s holy Church. Think what you would feel to see your disabled father’s income being taken away, while your mother is unable to work as she has to care for him full time. I know these things would affect you. Think how they are affecting us and pray for us, instead of downplaying our very real grief and difficulty in accepting that these things are being done to us by those entrusted with our souls.

            • Mrs. Thompson,
              Understandably, you interpreted my words as flippant, but that is not how they were written. Of course I understand that this is a difficult and sad situation. But, my point still stands….by boycotting the parish in an attempt to push out the previous rector, the parishioners themselves contributed to this result. Easy to say in hindsight, but there is an opportunity to learn and grow from this. God gives us trials and tribulations for a reason.

          • A Concerned Former Parishioner says


            This sort of remark — tone-deaf, diversionary, and grossly ignorant of the facts on the ground — has become quite familiar to the (now former) parishioners of St. John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church. They are simply not fooled by it (nor, I suspect, is the disinterested readership of this blog).

            “The people expressing anger over the current events” include virtually the entire parish. Those who for whatever reason may have left (whether temporarily or permanently) are but a small fraction of this number. The diocesan administration has made scandalously little effort to get to know the people and the life of the parish; consequently, being reliant for information on persons who possess more ill-will than knowledge, they are almost totally ignorant of the facts on the ground.

        • Reader Nektarios says

          I might be but that’s none of your business. The ruling bishop decides what happens in his diocese. He is the overseer of the diocese after all. Whether or not I know the nun you talk about is irrelevant, and again none of your business. I know about the monastic priest (former Roman Catholic Jesuit) who resigned in borderline schism for refusing to commemorate the bishop during the divine liturgy.
          The parish is not a business; the parish is not a democracy. If the diocesan bishop decides that it is in the best interest of the Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia to turn this parish into a monastery that is his choice to do so. Historically, bishops have been wrong of course. However, unless the bishop is doing something that is against the Orthodox faith he has the right to administer the diocese and its business as he see’s fit. I know for a fact you have not been advised by any “high-level clergy” against turning that into a monastery. I do know for a fact that this monastery is being established with the blessing of two bishops. Also, it doesn’t make a difference what one bishop in Russia says. This is America, and this is ROCOR. A bishop that is not the diocesan bishop has no say in what a local bishop decides to do in his diocese.

          • If you are not a member of this parish and are not experiencing what they are going through then we should listen and pray for them instead of telling them they are wrong and that they do not know what they are talking about. Rdr Nectarios if you had been a member of this parish for years you would understand more clearly the posts/comments and the history of events that has led up to this point. What is happening at St. John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church in House Springs has been an absolutely horrible event/blow to the community and the changes made have been done with no love as the foundation. You would understand if you knew everything that is going on.

          • Cecily Thompson says

            Rdr, how do you you know the monastic priest resigned in near schism? Who told you this? I was at the services he served and he did commemorate Archbishop Peter. I and the hundred other people at Liturgy heard him. He did stumble over the ruling hierarchs’ name once, dropping Archbishop Peter’s name, while fumbling for the right order, because since Archbishop Alypy retired the order changed. But he absolutely commemorated him throughout Liturgy. Who are you hearing this from? What does being a former Catholic have to do with anything? Tsaritsa Martyr Alexandra and Grand Duchess Elizabeth were Lutheran, before converting. That’s why they converted, because they rejected what they were before. Have you heard why he resigned in protest, what specifically he was angry about?
            And.. you have no way of knowing whom anyone has talked to or not. Obviously bishops have the power to do as they like. It doesn’t make everything they do, unquestionable.

            • Thank you for providing a firsthand account. As to your question ‘what does being a former Catholic have to do with anything?’ Of course, the answer is absolutely nothing. But I will also point out that the former rector has been treated in the same manor, with ‘young’, ‘OCA-educated’, and ‘heretic’. These stones are coming from all directions.

          • Nektarios it is medieval mindsets like yours that have kept the Orthodox Church at less than 1% of the US population despite Orthodoxy having been here for nearly 150 years. You are not going to spread the Gospel in the Americas when you think appropriate Church governance structures are how the higher clergy treated the serfs of Europe for a millennium. This whole situation stinks to high heaven and I for one am glad that honorable people are shining disinfecting sunshine on what could otherwise fester in the dark for a very long time. And I have never heard of this Fr. Christopher Stade before but he sounds like a great and humble man who has served Orthodoxy in our land well, and I hope those who so freely slander him are repaid in spades.

          • Dear Reader Nectarios,
            Respectfully, I have to correct you. In America, depending on the ownership of the parish, the courts have already decided in several different court cases that ROCOR cannot take away or change the usage if the parish church, if the church is owned by the parishioners. Now, if ROCOR owns or was given the church then legally they can make any changes they desire. With the exception as to the people living in the parish quarters. Legally ROCOR would have to follow the local and state tenant/landlord act.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Careful, Reader Nektarios, or you’ll fall into the same trap by leveling accusations against people you don’t really know, either. There are monastics, certainly priests, bishops and perhaps a metropolitan or two who post on this site. For all you know, your words may be read by some of the bishops who ARE in the “inner circle!” I’d be careful about calling anyone on this blog a “slanderer” in an attempt to protect a woman you don’t know. You don’t know her history. You don’t know that she spends her life in prayer and repentance or that she struggles like you do. These are assumptions, not facts. – If she is who you hope she is, the truth will come out.

        • Reader Nektarios says

          If the ruling bishop of the diocese said that this is now a monastery then it will become a monastery. That is his pastoral decision to make.

          • Pharaoh has spoken! So let it be written, so let it be done!

            Nektarios you really should have been born 500 years ago. We are not serfs and the governance structure you suggest will quickly kill any chance of growth our faith has in this land. Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ is much more important that treating “ruling” bishops like little Caesars. Byzantium has fallen, in case you weren’t told.

  2. I have visited this Parish several times. I understand that it was demoted from a regular Parish to a mission parish. What is going on? From what I have seen, it is a vital, active parish, not huge, but a viable size, and certainly not in any trouble. I’m very disturbed by the disgusting posts on the Nun’s website (which were taken down when she realized that people were “looking.”) How can a single nun whose moral outlook is questionable, run this property which has considerable land to be managed? I also understand that the apartments there were rented by low income parishioners, so now eviction is a serious moral question for the nun and the Church. I’m actually horrified. I hope and pray that Church officials will reconsider this action.

    • Reader Nektarios says

      What I find disgusting us your lack of love and charity toward another Orthodox Christian. Who are you to condemn anyone? I hate her politics as a conservative but is she not an Orthodox monastic living a life of repentance and prayer? Are we not supposed to love your brother’s and sister’s in the faith? Or did Christ say love is partisan based? How many of us can say we have picked up our cross and followed Christ to such a degree. I know I can’t and I’m a memeber of the clergy!

      • Is she an Orthodox monastic living a life of repentance and prayer? Seems like she might not have time to repent and pray since she appears to have been on her computer supporting political candidates and supporting issues that should be repugnant to Orthodox Christians–abortion, gay marriage, for example.

  3. Michael Bauman says

    This sounds crazy.

  4. show her some “Black Lives Matter” justice ????
    my advise is to take away all of her toys .. (all electronic devices)
    or send her to a REAL monastery ….
    i bet she gets a kick out of walking in public dressed in her nun’s garb

    • Thomas Barker says

      “dressed in her nun’s garb”

      Pop always told me, “It’s not a sin to kiss a nun you are really fond of, but never, ever let yourself get into the habit.”

    • Reader Nektarios says

      So you’re an expert on her life history and know which monasteries she’s lived in? Where were you tonsured a monastic? Even monks of Athos have iPhones!

  5. I have no idea but I will see what I can find out. Russians normally land hard on this type of garbage. The webpage now has them as Holy Archangels Monastery. They were part of Hieromonk Kallistos’ project, part of which became the ROCOR monastery in Wayne, WV which I have visited. The parish remained in MO.

    Ok, here’s her twitter: https://twitter.com/sr_eisodia

    ROCOR stepped in it big time with her. She’s a liberal democrat who is a “feminist for life”. I.e., she is deeply conflicted and has no idea where she belongs. I dare say that a convent is not a bad place for her but most certainly not in charge of anyone at all, not even herself.

    That is something I have never understood: The toleration within Orthodoxy of moral progressivism, specifically, feminism. Nothing could be farther away from the teaching of the Fathers. I am neither a conservative Liberal nor a progressive Liberal. I absolutely reject Western Enlightenment Liberalism in all of its manifestations, from Marx, to Ayn Rand, to platforms of both political parties in the US at the present time. I can sympathize considerably with economic “progressivism” aka socialism or quasi-socialism. I see the Christianity in that. I see the Christianity in basic human rights, of a sort. But I see the anti-Christ in feminism and the normalization of homosexuality.

    I overheard a conversation between two homeless men this morning which puts it all in perspective. They were talking about child support. It is a little known fact that a considerable percentage of the population in homeless shelters is there because of the child support regime in this country. At the wages they make, some men cannot pay child support and have any life at all unless they have room and board taken care of at a shelter. The courts take out present support and a large chunk for arearage as well. Don’t pay for long enough and you are incarcerated for some period.

    So you have the odd situation where the government is paying assistance to unwed or divorced mothers, pursuing the men they will no longer live with for child support and then subsidizing the homelessness of the men created by the destruction of the family. What is the key to understand this enormous cluster f*ck?


    If the man were in charge in the home, the woman subservient, divorce harder to procure (especially for the woman) there would be less of this foolishness. Women wouldn’t have to find childcare for working outside the home. They could do so in occupations traditionally taken by women but wherein they did not mix continually with men. And unwed pregnancy was seen as a major no-no.

    Yet the cycles of poverty and the social chaos and crime that results from this noxious ideology should be apparent to everyone. It is a government plantation imposing a matriarchy. As such, it is utterly anti-Christian. It produces Sister Eisodia’s who perpetuate the insanity.

    That is the post-Christian West that the modernists want us to “meet half way.”

    Good luck with that little project. I was prepared to back up some regarding my convictions but it seems that reality keeps reinforcing these stark truths that have come my way. Even ROCOR does not seem to be on the ball regarding this outlandishness. The Church better clean up its act, purge the neo-Patristic, Uniate, “modernist Orthodox” element out of its midst before it is too late. No purge is perfect. No purge should be violent. No purge need be particularly emotionally traumatic. It is simply the case that dueling phronemas cannot coexist within the Church indefinitely.

    Orthodoxy ought to be a clear witness to the Truth. As it stands, in this country, it certainly is not.

    • At least she’s anti-infanticide…I’ll give her that much credit, I guess.

      However, actions speak louder than words. A vote for Hillary is a vote for dead babies (both in our country and in the Middle East! Surely Russia too, if she got her way!)

    • well said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Confession: I loved Ayn Rand. . . in college. I wanted a *Howard Roark as a husband (didn’t get it) and it is no secret that I felt, justifiably so at times, that if I “shrugged,” a great many people would be left scrambling. To me, that screamed conservatism. I need to re-read her books to see if I feel the same way. I am told she is to the left, but that’s not the way I read her at the time.

      * I liked the part of the character where it said that when one looked at his work, you would say “yes” to it.

      • Fr. Hans Jacobse says

        The best critique of Ayn Rand was written by Whittaker Chambers:

        Big Sister is Watching You

        Also do some research on her personal life. Not pretty. Alan Greenspan was in her inner circle.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Father, I read her books in the late 60s/early 70s. I was in my teens. Most of what she wrote probably went over my head. I remember thinking the Fountain Head was very romantic and later thinking that if those who worked hard, stopped (shrugged), life would go into the can for everybody. This, coming from a girl who was obsessed with Tiger Lily and Annie Oakley just a decade earlier; not exactly a woman with a well-formed mind! That being said, I still have romantic ideals and get mad that much of what I earn is given to those with a sense of entitlement. (I’m big on hand ups, but not hand outs.) These two elements continue to speak to me, but I’m guessing they may have played a minor role in her novels. – Thank you for the link!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Misha, if men consistently behaved honorably, feminism would disappear. Feminism is what you get when men abdicate their role.

      I had an interesting experience this week. I am back in my hometown of Tucson and getting reacquainted with all my old friends. I am also confronting old memories that I thought I had long since forgotten. One had to do with a teacher. He was a football coach, 20+ years my senior, who became obsessed with me when I was just 16. He refused to let me attend school dances (no prom, of course) and threatened any boy who who showed any interest in me with violence. He told our varsity team that if any of them dated me, they would be kicked off the team. One day he followed me to the mall after school and tried to get me into his car. I got away. I was lucky. I told my parents and they said just to avoid him My mother worked for the school district and she didn’t want me embarrassing her by reporting it.

      This week, I learned that this coach kissed another young girl, which prompted me to ask on Facebook (for our high school site) just how many OTHER girls grew up fearing this man. 3 women, in as many days, have reported their own hellish stories. He hit one kid so hard, he flew 15 feet, which is what he did to my boyfriends. Apparently, it was NOT a well-kept secret, either. It’s just no one stopped him. I did a background search on him and there were no crimes reported or charges filed.

      Of course he is a war hero and and a pillar of his church. He had daughters, unfortunately, and I suspect they are feminists, too. He got away with everything he did.



      With regard to what happened to me, how do you imagine this sort of experience affects a young woman? Do you think we grow up believing that men are good and dependable and are worthy of respect? Or do we grow up in fear and with disdain?

      Conservatively, 1 in 4 women are raped. Can you imagine what that does to the soul of a woman? 25% of the female population have become infected with an innate suspicion and fear of men, for which there is no cure. How many men in our society are “baby daddies?” That we even have a name for that is very telling with respect to just how bad it’s gotten. And why are the men you mentioned homeless? Did they have kids they couldn’t afford? Are they adverse to working more than one job to make mends meet? Many women do BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO.

      I went back to work at age 58, just when we were exiting the recession. I had been out of the workforce for 15 years so I could be a mother to our children. But my daughter needed a good education and was willing to give it to her. This job required me to drive 30 minutes to a train station by 6:00 am. Then had to take a 45 minute train ride and catch a subway ride to the worst place in downtown LA and walk cities blocks to get to the building. I was was gone from my home 12 hours a day, while my husband worked 10 hours week, out of our garage, for his sister, as she was CEO of a major company. I once counted how many steps I had to climb every day; 275.

      I’m not saying this to get attention, I’m telling you that men are sloughing off. For the first time in history, more women are graduating from college. Men have abdicated their role and it’s created a vacuum, that women have filled (I believe) reluctantly. We want a prince charming and a hero; no girl grows up thinking I want to depend on the undependable.

      Someone’s got to step up. Unless you men start shunning other men who treat woman like crap and take the time to raise your sons to work hard and treat woman well, it’s just going to get worse.

      As little girls, we hope and pray we will be pretty enough for one of you to want us and care for us, but as long as society is fine with a young man only serving 3 months in jail for raping an unconscious woman, this “feminist” thing is only going to get stronger, because we woman, are going to tell our daughters what we know to be true: men can be dangerous and will hurt you and be prepared to defend and take care of yourself financially, for statistics show you will probably have to.

      • “Misha, if men consistently behaved honorably, feminism would disappear. Feminism is what you get when men abdicate their role. ”

        Feminism is what has been imposed on us. Real men never chose it. It was a product of politics. But you are correct in a way. Men did it to themselves in a way. Women didn’t have power until we gave it to them.

        The bottom line is that you can blame all men for Adam’s sin and invoke self defense to destroy the natural God ordained male-female relationship if you want to. No one is going to stop you. Not in this society where scared women vote their fear. But that is really what is going on. Exploitation of fear. The powers that be have a financial stake in encouraging women not to risk being hurt like the rest of us do every day. Risk averse. He might beat me. He might rape me. Etc.

        Yes, he might. And she might lie and say the baby’s mine, or that I hit her, or that I’m abusing her in some way. Emotions. Gotta love ’em. But when they cross the line they become passions, sin. Yet that is the fallen world we live in. God makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on male and female alike.

        A fallen world cannot be perfect. But God created us in such a way that if women completely protect themselves from males, they have nothing. No family, no children, no church, just an idol of safety and maybe a few cats. Not that cats are bad company. I love the little fuzzballs. But seriously, if women refuse to act like women until men become perfect, we’re not going to get anywhere until the Second Coming.

        But, of course, I believe that is not too far away. Then, men will be filled with the energy to do all manly things and women will act like women. We will no longer be under the curses that resulted from the Fall.

        And so I leave you with Saint Tom the Petty, Equal to the Apostles:

        “Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some
        Tell me why you want to lay there and revel in your abandon
        Honey, it don’t make no difference to me, baby
        Everybody has to fight to be free
        You see, you don’t have to live like a refugee”

        It may sound trite. But I dare say that most of these people in Missouri have never been to the Balkans where they have real problems. I get FB messages from people over there from 17 years ago (I don’t encourage it, mind you). Having men take care of you and not beat you is nice, a luxury even. But all this piddly stuff fades to black in places infested with snipers.


        Also, just for the heck of it and nostalgia I threw this in:


        All the guitar players I knew back then wanted to learn how to play that first little India/Gypsy lick he starts off with about 9 seconds in.

        But in the end, I have to agree with you. Men are losing it. I see it every day. Sergeant Pepper, getting very near. I have my iskra back but I don’t know how many will get theirs before it all shuts down.

  6. Michael Kinsey says

    Well, looks like the city of Toledo, Ohio isn’t the only despiser of low rent Christians. She might intend to fill the building up with pro-homosexual agenda nuns. The OCA still has a problem in Manton. I sought a tonsure there, but told him not to accept me, if they still have gay monks there. No answer to that, but he did not accept me. There was one priest there I wouldn’t follow to a dog fight if it was between my toes. The Trump wife picture is quite visually enticing to any normal male, I am hard wired natural male, but I control the wiring. Her posts are off the chart in falling away from monastic sobriety.

    • So, let me get this straight: homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to marry, AND they shouldn’t be allowed to take monastic vows? What, then, is their place? How are we to encourage them to live chastely if we take BOTH paths of salvation the Church has blessed off the table?

      I’m not arguing for homosexual marriage, but everyone – straight or gay – needs a way to live within the Church.

      If you’re waiting to be tonsured at a monastery that doesn’t have any sinners in it, good luck. You’re going to be waiting an awful long time.

      (I don’t know you, and I can’t judge your decisions, but I will say this: It sounds perfectly reasonable to me that an abbot would refuse to accept someone who wants to set the requirements of his own tonsure, since a monk – like all of us – should be working toward giving up his or her own will.)

      • Monk James says

        God bless ‘Kurt’ for his insightful comments here.

        The Church has often been described as ‘the hospital for sinners’, in which we — had we the will — are all cured of our spiritual infirmities.

        But in that hospital which is The Church, I have to say that the monastery is the intensive care ward.

        We monastics (myself included, and even most especially) don’t enter the monastery and stay there except that we realize how weak we are and how much support we need from the structures and strictures of monastic practice.

        Although I’ve been a monk for forty years, the monastery for which I was tonsured no longer exists, so I’ve spent most of that time as a solitary, doing my best (I hope) even alone to live the life to which the Lord called me. Left to my own designs, I’d have been just another little cog in the gears of a larger community, but that’s not what God gave me.

        So I remain alone yet interact in faith and love with other people in person and even through the Internet. May the Lord bless me and them in my endeavors and have mercy on us all.

        • Beautiful message, Monk James, especially the faith and love part missing from many of the posts on this thread.

          May God give you yet another blessing for your understanding

  7. This is ALL about money. The parish’s bank accounts have been seized– ($22,000), it’s 16 acres with four families and more than a dozen children. It’s not even about the monastery. The nun has told parishioners that they were trying to sell the land to make money for the diocese but it turns out there was an encumbrance on the property– the parishioners had smartly recorded the parish by-laws of ROCOR requiring a 2/3rds vote of the parish at an annual meeting before parish property could be alienated. They did this after Fr Christopher was muscled into a back room in Chicago and forced to sign a quitclaim deed for the whole property over to the diocese.

    Gone is a community of more than 80 families, half Americans and half Russians. Gone is their investment of about $20,000 in Russian bells. All of that, it turns out, was the bishop’s. The community itself is huge– by one priest’s estimation, the third largest parish in the diocese. Check out the parish website for the ukazes and the explanatory letter. Most of the parish is done with ROCOR. It’s too small and they’re not important to the bishops, apparently: a bunch of American converts and post-Soviet Russian émigrés. None of the Shangaisky ruling families.

    • I wonder if the priest had the legal authority to sign ownership of the parish over to the diocese. I’m not a lawyer, but I bet there would be grounds to bring a lawsuit if this can’t be solved within the Church.

      • He was simply following Diocese regulations. All properties belong to the Diocese according to the bylaws.

  8. David Bradshaw says

    I too have heard of these events from reliable sources. I never would have thought ROCOR was capable of such actions. Shame, shame, shame.

    • David,

      This doesn’t sound like ROCOR to me either. I emailed Vladyka Peter and got a response back from his diocesan chairman with a note it will be forwarded to him. They are aware of the situation and are trying to work it out with the “sisters”. But I can’t say more and suggest that when the dust settles, some attempt at rectifying what has been done here will be attempted. The “Shanghaisky clique” stuff sounds like hot air to me. I’ve never gotten that feeling from them. ROCOR has rather been more concerned with serving immigrants and converts than protecting any unique American Orthodoxy or British Orthodoxy, at least in my experience.

  9. George,

    As to Turkey, I have just started looking into this but one should look at this in the larger context of Erdogan’s aspiration to be a demi-god and lead a new Ottoman Empire. I see it at this point as conflict going on in the bowels of the evil one. Islamists would naturally initially be hostile to someone who thinks himself equal to Allah and who directs his inner circle to worship him. You can google stories on this phenomenon if you doubt it. Erdogan is into Sufism and believes he has attained al-Fanah – their version of theosis. But he takes it as making him into an Authority/God.


    PS: Is there a way to contact you by email? I think you have mine.

  10. “A simple “dress code” reflects our desire to show respect for the holiness of God in an Orthodox church. Dress conservatively: e.g. for men and women, no shorts or sleeveless shirts or blouses; for women, a dress or skirt knee length or longer.”

    Something strange is going on there. ROCOR monastery. No headcovering required for women. Even the Greeks require that at monasteries. No separation of the genders.

    “The Orthodox Church was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ and is the living manifestation of His presence in the history of the mankind. The most conspicuous characteristics of Orthodoxy are its rich liturgical life and its faithfulness to the apostolic tradition. It is believed by Orthodox Christians that their Church has preserved the tradition and continuity of the ancient Church in its fullness compared to other Christian denominations which have departed from the common tradition of the Church of the first 10 centuries. Today the Orthodox Church numbers approximately 300 million Christians who follow the faith and practices that were defined by the first seven ecumenical councils. The word orthodox (“right belief and right glory”) has traditionally been used, in the Greek-speaking Christian world, to designate communities, or individuals, who preserved the true faith (as defined by those councils), as opposed to those who were declared heretical. The official designation of the church in its liturgical and canonical texts is ‘the Orthodox Catholic Church’ (gr. catholicos = universal).”

    Why is this narrated in the third person? More from their website:

    “Theological differences could have probably been settled if there were not two different concepts of church authority. The growth of Roman primacy, based on the concept of the apostolic origin of the Church of Rome which claimed not only titular but also jurisdictional authority above other churches, was incompatible with the traditional Orthodox ecclesiology. The Eastern Christians considered all churches as sister churches and understood the primacy of the Roman bishop only as primus inter pares among his brother bishops. For the East, the highest authority in settling doctrinal disputes could by no means be the authority of a single Church or a single bishop but an Ecumenical Council of all sister churches. In the course of time the Church of Rome adopted various wrong teachings which were not based in the Tradition and finally proclaimed the teaching of the Pope’s infallibility when teaching ex cathedra. This widened the gap even more between the Christian East and West. The Protestant communities which split from Rome in the course of centuries diverged even more from the teaching of the Holy Fathers and the Holy Ecumenical Councils.”

    “Wrong teaching”? How about “heresy”?

    “Due to these serious dogmatic differences the Orthodox Church is not in communion with the Roman Catholic and Protestant communities. Some Orthodox theologians do not recognize the ecclesial and salvific character of these Western churches at all, while others accept that the Holy Spirit acts to a certain degree within these communities although they do not possess the fullness of grace and spiritual gifts like the Orthodox Church. Many Orthodox theologians are of the opinion that between Orthodoxy and heterodox confessions, especially in the sphere of spiritual experience, the understanding of God and salvation, there exists an ontological difference which cannot be simply ascribed to cultural and intellectual estrangement of the East and West but is a direct consequence of a gradual abandonment of the sacred tradition by heterodox Christians.”

    “Some Orthodox”, “many Orthodox” . . . why all of this distancing from the teaching of the Orthodox Church? What does this nun actually believe?

    • Monk James says

      There’s more than enough craziness here, and most of it is pretty well self-evident.

      But, being the language guy, my alarm bells went off when I read this line: ‘The official designation of the church in its liturgical and canonical texts is ‘the Orthodox Catholic Church’ (gr. catholicos = universal).”’

      That’s a roman catholic and therefore obviously uniat POV. Maybe Mother Eisodia is a uniat mole? Has she come among us to weaken or even destroy us Orthodox in America? Her obvious(illegal?) financial abuses of the House Springs parish are another matter. Somebody better get in there PDQ and stop her.

      For the unmemorableteenth time here and elsewhere, I’m saying that we have to understand that the word catholic is based on a combination of two greek words, kata (‘in accordance with’) and holos (‘the whole. the entirety’).

      So the greek adjective katholikos describes something which is ‘in accordance with the whole’.

      The whole WHAT?

      In the Symbol of the Faith, we profess that we believe eis mian, hagian, katholikEn kai apostolikEn ekklesian (‘in one, holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH’).

      As we know from earliest christian times, THE CHURCH, the Body and Bride of Christ, transcends all boundaries of culture and language and of time itself. But each local church with its bishop — in communion with all the other local churches with their own bishops — is as complete (‘catholic’) as it’s possible to be, including within itself everything necessary for us to work out our salvation.

      In each and every local church we are baptized, we receive the Holy Communion of our Lord Jesus Christ’s own precious Body and Blood. We receive the forgiveness of our sins. We are married, ordained, become monastics, and buried — usually all within a few miles of where we were born.

      Each and all of these christian Mysteries are available to us on a microlevel within our own local churches and parishes. That the other orthodox churches do the same is not a sign of our orthodox faith’s universality, but of their connectedness as members of the Body of Christ. The orthodox churches are larger members of His Body, and we individual Christians are smaller members

      ‘Lord, save Your people and bless Your inheritance. Grant victory to orthodox Christians over their adversaries, and, with Your cross, protect the place where You dwell.’.

      • This stuff was put on their website by an OCA-educated priest who was ordained entirely too early, was entrusted with the leadership of the parish in the wake of Fr Christopher’s declining health, and who tried to change everything in the parish to what he’d observed in OCA modernism. He was also vicious toward the ailing Fr Christopher, and toward his flock. He told them they had spiritual cancer and that he was sent by the diocese to cure it, and some other clap-trap. He’d been Orthodox not very long when he was ordained, and he was an utter disaster. The things he said in his sermons would have been considered heresy if they hadn’t been uttered in such completely pathetic ignorance of the Tradition. In his short tenure he developed a personality cult and divided Fr Christopher’s own family, trying to turn some of them against him. Fr Christopher is the kindest, warmest, most humble and prayerful priest I have ever or probably will ever meet. The people that have attacked him need lots and lots of prayers.

        • Publicly accusing a priest of preaching heresy in the church is a serious step to take. Have you considered how this reflects on you if it is untrue?

        • A Concerned Current Parishioner says

          THIS is slander. How dare you spread blatant lies about this good priest!
          People on this thread get all hot and bothered when they think Fr. Christopher is being slandered, but what gives you the right to pick and choose who gets to be slandered and who is above reproach? There is much hate here, but no grace. How sad.

          This stuff was put on their website by an OCA-educated priest who was ordained entirely too early, was entrusted with the leadership of the parish in the wake of Fr Christopher’s declining health, and who tried to change everything in the parish to what he’d observed in OCA modernism. He was also vicious toward the ailing Fr Christopher, and toward his flock. He told them they had spiritual cancer and that he was sent by the diocese to cure it, and some other clap-trap. He’d been Orthodox not very long when he was ordained, and he was an utter disaster. The things he said in his sermons would have been considered heresy if they hadn’t been uttered in such completely pathetic ignorance of the Tradition. In his short tenure he developed a personality cult and divided Fr Christopher’s own family, trying to turn some of them against him. Fr Christopher is the kindest, warmest, most humble and prayerful priest I have ever or probably will ever meet. The people that have attacked him need lots and lots of prayers.

          • Concerned,
            Well said! I too disagree with the attitude ‘I can do what I condemn others for doing because it fits my agenda. And my anger is more righteous.’

            • A Concerned Former Parishioner says


              I will believe that you are standing on principle and not simply using pious platitudes to run damage control on behalf of the diocesan administration when 1) you direct these platitudes to all “violators” equally without respect to which side they have taken in this dispute and 2) when you abandon your moniker, which is transparently calculated to dismiss the legitimate concerns of the great majority of the parishioners.

              When you wag a disapproving finger at a daughter defending the reputation of her ailing father, but write “you make some interesting points” in response to what is arguably the most malevolent post in this thread, no one paying attention can help but suspect that your purpose here is neither to edify nor to inform, but to “spin.”

              • [Overly]-Concerned,
                Your outburst actually made me laugh out loud! ‘Arguably the most malevolent post in this thread’! Really? How so?

              • Ah, I see what you are talking about. My post was in reference to then conversation as a whole, not particularly the post it’s tagged to. I do not condone the use of combative language. I am in agreement with you that the post in question definitely went over the line.

          • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO says

            Hi “Concerned Current Parishioner,” this is Mark Emmett Atkins (see details above), who is actually an identifiable and verifiable concerned current parishioner. Assuming you are a current parishioner, then we are neighbors, both figuratively and literally. In fact, I think we both live on the parish property and may perhaps even share the same first name! ^.^

            Well, if you are who I think you are, then your username is yet another sterling example of irony in all this. So tell me, how can one be a “concerned current parishioner” of a parish that is not currently in existence, at least according to the communications that have been sent out to the rest of the current non-parishioners of the non-parish of Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church?

            Furthermore, what is the actual name of the institution that has supplanted Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church? There’s a bit of confusion and discrepancy with that. Is it now Holy Archangels Monastery, as indicated in the diocesan decree, as well as the seized and converted website of the former parish? Or is it Saint Catherine’s Monastery, as indicated in the unauthorized non-profit paperwork that was secretly and surreptitiously filed with the state of Missouri? It really cannot be both, and yet it seems that we are supposed to accept that it is.

            Can a certain “Concerned Current Parishioner” shed some light on these questions?

          • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO says

            Hi “Concerned Current Parishioner,” this is Mark Emmett Atkins (see above for details), who is actually an identifiable and verifiable concerned current parishioner. Assuming you are a current parishioner, then we are neighbors, both figuratively and literally. In fact, I do believe that we both live on the parish property, and it may even be that we share the same first name! ^.^

            Well, if you are who I think you are, then your username is yet another sterling example of irony in all this. So tell me, how exactly can one be a “concerned current parishioner” of a parish that is not currently in existence, at least according to the communications that have been sent out to the rest of the current non-parishioners of the non-parish of Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church?

            Furthermore, what exactly is the actual name of the organization that has now supplanted Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church? There’s a bit of confusion and discrepancy on this point. Is it now “Holy Archangels Monastery,” as it was declared in the diocesan decree, and plastered onto the seized and converted website of the former parish? Or is it actually “Saint Katherine’s Russian Orthodox Monastery,” as it is clearly written on the unauthorized non-profit paperwork that was secretly and surreptitiously filed with the state of Missouri not so long ago? It cannot be both, and yet it seems that we are all supposed to accept that it is.

            I do, however, find it most interesting that these dishonest people cannot even seem to get their own lies in order.

            Could a certain “Concerned Current Parishioner” shed some light on these questions? Or perhaps some other person involved in these acts could explain them? I’m having a hard time understanding how it could have been possible to legally change the name and constitution of the non-profit corporation of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church when, to my knowledge, there was no parish meeting to announce it, no vote to approve it, and no parish council to actually ratify or execute it.

            Anyone out there care to explain or defend these actions?

            • A Concerned Current Parishioner says


              #takeachillpill #timeforxanax #noconspiracy #youhavealltheanswers #justreadtheukaz #takeadeepbreath #getoverit #sameolestory #timetomoveon #stopfighting #tryobedienceforachange #whohastimeforthisshit #realhousewivesofhousepsrings #thisisgettingboring #haveanicelife #hastalavista

              • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO says

                Hi there, Concerned Current Parishioner. So, judging from your awesome twit-tastic explosion there, I guess what you’re really saying is that you are neither concerned nor a current parishioner. Cool. I’m so glad we had this great conversation. #irony #irrelevance #hashtagsaredumb #hashtaghashtag

                Gee, that was as fun as it was productive! So would anybody care to address the actual issues that I raised?

                • Remind me what the actual issues are here. Both Vladika Peter and the new Abbess of the Holy Archangels Monastery have publicly stated that all people who were accustomed to attending the St. John Chrysostom church were very welcome to continue to do so. A priest was even assigned to the monastery to ensure that services would be available for the flock to attend. The underlying motivation is not anger at being deprived of a church and the Divine Services (which never happened). This is a crisis of control, and it will never be resolved until people understand that their self-assigned authority lacks legitimacy and does not exceed the bishop’s authority.

      • Fr. Harry Linsinbigler says

        lol meister language person. First of all, most of what you criticize comes from Met. Kallistos Ware–The Orthodox Church. That you did not recognize this makes you highly suspect. Also, that you don’t understand that “the Orthodox Catholic Church” IS its name in numerous official texts is scary. Second, you are on the internet too much for a monk. Third, what is your monastery again?

        • Fr ‘Harry’? and what jurisdiction and parish do you purport to be from?

          • Thomas Barker says

            Fr. Linsinbigler is a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarchate), serving at Holy Protection Orthodox Church in Dover, Florida. Interestingly, he is a graduate of the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary in Florida, an interdenominational school.

            • For the record Fr. Linsinbigler is also a graduate of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, and a graduate of U of Balamand St. John of Damascus School of Theology, and a graduate of University of Pittsburgh

        • Monk James says

          I was objecting to ‘universal’ as a translation of katholikos. I hope that I was sufficiently clear.

          Whence this animus, I can’t imagine, but I forgive Father Harry Linsinbigler for his outburst.

          • That is not all you were objecting to. Fr. Linsinbigler was obviously referring to this comment that you made:

            “But, being the language guy, my alarm bells went off when I read this line: ‘The official designation of the church in its liturgical and canonical texts is ‘the Orthodox Catholic Church’ (gr. catholicos = universal).”’
            That’s a roman catholic and therefore obviously uniat POV. Maybe Mother Eisodia is a uniat mole? Has she come among us to weaken or even destroy us Orthodox in America?”

            That whole comment that your criticize as “roman catholic” and “uniat” is from Met. Kallistos Ware’s book “The Orthodox Church.” Then you engage in unfounded gossipy speculation as to whether this nun is a “uniat mole” or has “come among us to weaken or even destroy us Orthodox in America.” Fr. Linsinbigler has nothing to apologize for, but you do, and especially (and publically) to Met. Kallistos for calling his writing “roman catholic” and “uniat”.

            • Monk James says

              Given the usual parameters, I’m in a better position to identify my objections than is ‘Carrie’, amn’t I?

              Searching through Timothy (Met. Kallistos) Ware’s The Orthodox Church, I haven’t found anything to suggest that he would define ‘catholic’ as ‘universal’. That was my objection to what Mother Eisodia was quoted as writing. I don’t know where she got that, but it’s wrong.

              in ecclesial Greek, the word pankosmios is generally used to mean ‘universal’ or ‘world-wide’. We find just such a usage in the menaion for 14 September.

              In any event, if Met. Kallistos Ware were to translate katholikos as ‘universal’. he would be wrong. I doubt that he would commit such an error.

              So, ‘Carrie’ is making exactly what point?

            • I think people have gotten a little squirrely about “Orthodox-Catholic”, i.e., the two terms together. Properly speaking, there is no reason for this. However, there is an entity that calls itself the Orthodox Catholic Church of America (OCCA) that is “progressive” sexually, etc. “Catholic” rightly forms part of the names of some of the Orthodox local churches and correctly describes the Orthodox Church. Ex:


              The problem is when one hyphenates or confuses this accurate description of Orthodoxy as Catholic by making the “Catholic” in some way refer to the faith of the Roman Catholic Church. That is not what is intended by the Orthodox when we use the term “Catholic”. Or, at least not by faithful Orthodox.

              What we mean is that the faith of the One Church is that faith that has been believed always, by everyone, everywhere. I.e., we trace the same teaching back among the Orthodox fathers across the Christian world in geography and time to the 12 who received it from Him.

              That is the Holy Catholic Faith. That is the Orthodox Faith.

              The “Roman Catholic” faith is something entirely different. We, out of courtesy, informally, use the term “Roman Catholic” to describe them since they self identify with that nomenclature. They are, in fact, a heretical sect. They broke away from the Church starting in the 9th century and decisively so in the early 11th century, around the year 1009. At that time, a Pope named Sergius sent a Patriarch of Constantinople named Sergius a letter which included the word “filioque” in the Nicene Creed in the place describing the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father. This horrified Constantinople and they struck Rome from the dyptichs at that time. Later, in 1054, a reconciliation was attempted but a certain Cardinal Humberto royally screwed the pooch and laid an excommunication on the throne of Patriarch Michael Cerularios of Constantinople.

              Thus, The Great Schism.

              The “filioque” (which means in Latin “and from the Son”, “que” being an ending that has a similar meaning to the normal word for “and” in Latin “et”) was in and of itself sufficient ground to break communion. It is clear that the Creed is describing the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit in the place where the word was inserted. It is introductory and establishes the eternal identity of the Spirit. There is no reason or justification for placing this phrase in the Creed in the place where it was written. If they had put it in concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in humanity (ex: “conceived by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary”) to make it clear that we are talking about a temporal procession, there might have been some weak justification, at least arguably. If the Latins were having problems with Arianism in Spain or wherever, they could have found a better way to combat it than amend the Creed with respect to the procession of the Holy Spirit. That added nothing to Christ’s deity, but could be construed to diminish the deity of the Holy Spirit if it was construed as proceeding from eternity also from the Son. That would make two ultimate sources/founts in the Godhead, instead of one. It is not exactly ditheism, but it is very unsettling to noetic sensibilities.

              Like “shaking” unsettling.

              One immediately knows something is amiss.

              Thus Rome departed the Church. Later, she invented more spectacular doctrines to rationalize her errors: purgatory, indulgences, Immaculate Conception, Papal Infallibility, and the divergences regarding the divine energies.

              But there seems to be no rational basis for the “filioque” thing. It came out of left field and was simply rationalized in various ways. The sole significance of it seems to have been that Rome insisted on it and thus it was a token of Roman imperial primacy. In eternal terms, it is heresy. The Father has no hypostasis. The Son became Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit works in us, along with the Son, toward theosis. God, the Father, is the sole source/fount in Eternity:

              He is One.

              There stands an inscription in Rome, to this day, of the original Creed without the filioque.

              PS: This was not without consequence. Remember above where we were talking about noetic sensibilities. These are formed by hesychasm. But theosis must be theologically accurate to be effective. The arrogance of Charlemagne and the West for a resurrection of Rome as an imperial spiritual center resulted in the cutting off of an entire member (local church) of the Church from access to theosis.

              That is the tragedy we seek to avoid. That is the tragedy we seek not to repeat.

              • Tim R. Mortiss says

                Pope Leo III, who crowned Charlemagne emperor, was also the one who commissioned that inscription insisting on the Creed without the filioque which, as you say, still stands in Rome.

      • The Orthodox Catholic Church was mentioned here a few days ago. I found its website, where it self-describes as a “church of three Councils” (the first three Ecumenical Councils) and has male and female clergy (see http://www.orthodoxcatholicchurch.org/). Is it possible that Sister E is OCCA and not Orthodox (seven Ecumenical Councils, plus all the rest)?

        • The "OCCA" is not Orthodox nor Catholic says

          The “clergy” of most of the “OCCA” are gay. This organization is hardly anything resembling an Orthodox Church. It’s tantamount to a group of people hanging a shingle out on their front lawn and calling themselves Orthodox. This organization must be ignored. I don’t think that this nun in question has anything to do with the “OCCA.”

      • St. Raphael of Brooklyn

        The official name of our Church is “The Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church”. The Church of the East has never from the first been known by any other name than Catholic, nor has she set aside this title in any official document. (Letter to D.M. Canright, 1914, published in The Lord’s Day)

      • M. Stankovich says

        Again Herodius rages, and the despondent Prince is questioned, “What reads my Lord?” “Words, words, words.” Is there not a difference between καθ᾽ ὅλου (meaning simply, “on the whole,” or “in general”) and κατὰ ὅλου (meaning a “universal” statement or proof)? Aristotle used the former in his Politics, but reserved the latter for his Metaphysics. In any case, it serves as yet another “proves nothing,” pointless distraction.

        The greater question, however, is why this situation is being prosecuted on this site to begin with. Is it just sordid and despicable enough – pitting hierarchs against laity, against ordained clergy, all shooting at each other in a circle? Seriously, who needs Crete, bishops, councils, deaneries, or deans when you have real power? Go ahead and knock your damn self out.

  11. I am very confused. This very modern, POLITICAL nun says she opposes abortion, hates Donald Trump, LOVES Hillary Clinton who supports abortion. I simply cannot believe that ROCOR, the conservative Orthodox Church, could ever allow her to be in a leadership position. What in heaven’s name is going on? Why is ROCOR ruining this very vital Church in House Springs and installing this person to be in charge? Read her tweets. It’s really bizarre.

  12. Gail Sheppard says

    No head coverings are required because she’s Antiochian! She’s the nun Metropolitan Philip brought into the Antiochian Archdiocese. Now she’s ROCOR? What happened?


    Mother Eisodia
    His Eminence Metropolitan Philip has announced the following three appointments for the Convent of St. Thekla in Glenville, PA. The Convent of St. Thekla is a monastic community of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

    Effective immediately, Mother Eisodia is appointed the Acting Abbess of the convent, and Sister Kathrina will join the community. Effective September 1, 2014, Very Rev. Mark Sahady is appointed the Chaplain of the Convent following his retirement from the Air Force.

    Mother Eisodia is a native of Los Angeles, California, and she attended college in Portland, Oregon. She has worked in the secular world as an engineer, and was raised in the Presbyterian faith. Her journey to Orthodoxy was fulfilled with her reception into the Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. She received her monastic formation in Greece, and later moved to the U.S. She has travelled to Orthodox monasteries in Romania, Greece, Great Britain, France, and Mexico.

    Sister Kathrina is a native of Homs, Syria, and received her education in Syria. She received her monastic formation at the Convent of St. Thekla in Maaloula, Syria, where she was in residence for more than 10 years. We welcome her to the U.S. as she comes here for the first time.

    Father Mark Sahady is currently a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and holds the rank of Lt. Col. He is a native of Waynesburg, PA, and is a graduate of St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary in Crestwood, NY in the class of 1989. He has served as the pastor of St. Mary Church in Wilkes Barre, PA, and initially was a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. He became a full-time active duty chaplain in the Air Force in 1994. In addition to his service at various bases in the U.S., Fr. Mark has served in Ramstein, Germany and Tokyo, Japan. He will assume his duties as chaplain to the convent in September 2014, after his retirement from the Air Force.

    We rejoice in these appointments, and thank God for the blessings that he has bestowed upon our newly formed monastic community in Glenville, PA. May the work of this community be always blessed.


    • If she’s spewing this kind of political bile in public, I wouldn’t be surprised if Met. Philip or Met. Joseph threw her out. That’s total speculation on my part, but her views on various subjects (sodomic marriage, for one) do not align with the views of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I don’t recall her saying anything. You’re right about Met. Philip and Met. Joseph, though. They would not have liked it so she may have been quiet back then. She was the acting Abbess and they now have another one. Perhaps she felt freer to express herself once her primary assignment concluded.

        I wish monastics would refrain from posting anything on the Internet unless it is edifying. I don’t WANT to see them behave like every one else. I want to look up to them. When they talk too much about worldly things I lose respect for them. This happens with priests, too. There was one priest who posted a joke about how inept women are in combat. He showed a woman throwing a grenade “like a girl,” nearly blowing up the men beside her. I saw another post (different priest) showing a small animal impaled on a poll through his gonads. Why would a priest think these things are funny? It’s hard to call someone who behaves like an adolescent, “Father.” I have nothing to learn from these people. This goes for nuns, too.

        Her last tweet was 6/16. The timing is curious. The EP is on his way to Crete, Antioch and ROCOR pull out, and then an Antiochian nun is moved into a ROCOR parish which has somehow become a monastery.

        I am upset about the parish and the laity, but there is something else going on here, as well.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          Gail, it sounds to me like God has been calling you to be a nun.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Naw, I’m: “A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!” – Definitely not nun material. I’m guessing you probably already knew that. 😉

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Naw, I’m a: “A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!” – Definitely not nun material. I’m guessing you probably already knew that. 😉

        • The problem here is that about 50 young Orthodox children are involved in this with their parents. How do you teach the kids that it is right to suffer and yield to the nuns who come and take away their church and for some their homes, forbid authorized priests to hear confessions, fight with them and send them away. They can learn that it’s ok to be persecuted without any explanation by your bishop and suffer quietly, but will they ever want to become monastic who are suppose to blindly yield to any will like that? Or maybe they will decide that the whole church “business” is a lie and manipulation? And these are kids and parents who love church and seriously involved in its life. WHY? The parents are the ones who are in real trouble here facing their children everyday and not knowing how to explain or what to do about what happened. “The revolutions are made by single people”.

    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

      Thanks, Gail!

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Father Mark Sahady is ALSO a common denominator. What in the world is going on between Antioch and ROCOR? Do jurisdictions normally send people back and forth in the monastic world or is this “unity” thing finally happening OUTSIDE the EP’s sphere of influence?

    • It is interesting that the Antiochians have scrubbed all references to this nun from their website. That piece that you’ve posted there originally came from Antiochian.org if you look at the Wayback machine. Now it’s not there. Seems like she lasted less than six months as the head of the Convent of St. Thekla.

  13. Re: this nun’s social media activity

    She reminds me of some of the groups of radical, pseudo-Roman Catholic nuns who have been causing trouble in recent years. God knows we don’t need their ilk in our Church.

  14. Unacceptable!

  15. http://www.russianorthodox-stl.org/

    Various documents about the transition are available in the sidebar, under the “Community Information” heading.

    • Mat Mary says

      This is the letter that I personally sent to the Metropolitan. I offer it here as a rebuttal to the Community Information documents

      .Master, bless.

      I am writing to protest the dissolution of our parish, which the Synod, under false information, agreed to do. Our beautiful community, which has prayed together for more than thirty years; our parish church, in which we have worshipped, received the Sacraments, been married, baptized and raised our children, buried our dead, and supported and consoled one another; our twenty acre property, which included the only completely Orthodox cemetery in the area, seven apartments housing 23 people, among them 14 children; our bank account, containing at least $22,000.00; all the personal property was in the church hall; and a good home school library, have been “renamed” as a monastic community – which consists of one hostile nun. We were given no warning of this at all. The ukases concerning this were sent only by email, and not to all the parishioners, on the evening of June 30th, effective July 1st. Our choir director came home from serving reader’s vigil ( we have been without a permanent priest for four months) for St. John Maximovitch, to find that in a matter of hours, her parish would be gone, with no provision made for parish life. She alerted the rest of the parish, which had been relaxing for the long holiday weekend. Archbishop Peter, having issued these ukases, went to Moscow, and the Chancellor told us that he could not be reached.

      We cannot understand why this was done. Our parish is very much alive. On Sunday, July 10th, 35 people received Holy Communion, and 100 people kissed the cross. We have been loyal members of the Synod, and paid our dues to the diocese. Our children attended Synodal camps and youth conventions, learning Russian folk songs and dances. Our choir directors are trained at the Synodal choir-directing school, in addition to secular training. We have, until we briefly had an OCA-trained priest, maintained as full a cycle of services as possible – full Vigils and Liturgies, not only on Sundays and the great feasts, but also for as many of the greatly-feasted saints as we could, using both English and Slavonic. Our parish is known as the place for Russians in our area, although we also have many Ukrainian, American, and Georgian parishioners. Molebens, pannychidas, baptisms, weddings, funerals – all were served on a regular basis. Why have we been dissolved?

      The ukase accomplishing this states that our community was founded as a monastic community. This is not true. My family came here in 1986, to join a small parish. True, its priest, Fr. Kallistos Pazalos, had recently been tonsured, and he had a riasaphore monk, and two riasaphore nuns with him, but the parish was separate. There were three different organizations – the parish of St. John Chrysostom, the one-and-a-half monk Hermitage of the Holy Cross, and the Convent of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, with two riasaphore nuns. We came to join the PARISH. It was NOT a monastic community! The monastics were attached to the parish, which existed before any of them donned monastic black.The parish grew over the years, but the monastic communities did not. At one point, two laymen considered joining the Hermitage, but had a falling out with Fr. Kallistos, and left to go to Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston. Fr. Kallistos died in 2002, and after some while, the two men returned, having been tonsured, and, with Fr. Nikodeme who had been on his own in the meantime, formed the basis for the present Hermitage of the Holy Cross, now based in West Virginia.In time, one nun left, and only one was left, who stayed at the parish while maintaining her monastic life, and was later tonsured. The parish was separate. It paid the monastics’ utility bills, and helped them financially, but there was a clear distinction made. How do I know all this? Because my husband, Archpriest Christopher Stade, was ordained to replace Fr. Kallistos when he became ill, and served this parish for 24 years, until he had to resign due to illness. I have lived through this history! The land titles are made in the name of St. John Chrysostom Orthodox Church. No mention is made of a monastery.

      In time, various parcels of land were added to the parish. One of them, the last parcel, had an old, solid house on it. Since the Hermitage was growing, it was decided to build onto that house, and form a monastery building, which was done. That building ALONE was consecrated as a monastery. In 2000, Archbishop Alypy and Metropolitan Laurus realized that one twenty-acre property could not sustain both a growing monastery and a thriving parish, and moved the Hermitage to West Virginia. The same man who had paid for the monastery building then paid for its renovation into apartments for parishioners. That building has been a refuge for many people over the years, and has sheltered many in distress. At present, it houses three families, with eleven children between them. They are solid, faithful members of our community, and because they live on the property, are at most of the services. The children can run up to church in complete safety. There are choir singers in every family, and also bell ringers and adult and child altar servers. They, and we, cannot understand why they are being driven from their homes of many years.

      Why are we as a parish discarded? What solace is offered to our children, thrown out of their homes and deprived of their Orthodox friends, with whom they played and went to church? How many of them will stay in the church, when their hierarchs treat them so cruelly? If this were the government, or religious persecution, one could explain, but from the hands of the bishops?

      There are two other houses on the property, so that there are 23 people living here. All are being forced to move in eight weeks. This will leave 7 apartments for one nun.

      The ukase also cites a difficulty in finding priests. This parish has had, for the past thirty years, only three priests. One died, the second served for 24 years, and the third was a priest fresh out of seminary, who left after 20 months because the parish objected to, among other things, his drastic shortening of the services, a refusal to set up a Sunday School, and some financial irregularities. I mention this to show that we have a stable parish. We have been without a priest for only four months. During that time, many priests have come to serve for us, among them a priest of your own diocese, three priests from the local clergy, and one from Michigan. A ROCOR priest from California wanted to come for two or three weeks, but his request was denied. Of that number, two were interested in becoming our permanent priest. When our young priest left, we were told that we could look for a priest not only from ROCOR, but, and here I quote the Dean, Fr. Martin Swanson, to “spread as wide a net as you can.” However, as the months went on, priests were discouraged from coming to serve. One experienced, well-respected priest from the Greek Archdiocese, in excellent standing, who was willing to serve frequent weekday Liturgies for us, and indeed served at least once, was denied permission to serve the feast of Mid-Pentecost, due to “problems with canonicity”, despite the fact that he had been cleared before. Another priest was told that the parish had been as good as promised to another priest – news indeed to the latter, who was anxious to come. Nothing came of it. The first priest was also told that he was not eligible because he had no seminary degree. The priest who came to serve the monastery (he resigned after five days) has no seminary degree either. In June, Fr. Martin declared that only priests from the Midwest Diocese would be allowed to come to serve at our parish. This means that no one from your own diocese would have been permitted, let alone one from any other jurisdiction with which the Synod is in communion. Why? We are given no answers.

      We are told that we are “welcome” in the very buildings we have tended for years, in our own parish church! How can this be? As it is, because this whole thing happened so quickly and stealthily, parishioners have had no time to reclaim their belongings. One woman wanted to retrieve a jar of pickles left in the refrigerator, and another wanted a plant left on the kitchen window sill, and they were both told, quite sharply, “That’s mine!” It is easy to dismiss one not-very-monastic person, but why, why, was this “renaming” done at all? The whole parish heartily sympathizes with the lady who wanted her pickle jar back, and sees her as a symbol.

      In January, our young priest hand-picked a new parish council that was not representative of the parish, and offered only that slate for election. It was elected reluctantly. The next week, he announced that he was leaving in three weeks. After he left, two council members resigned.. Two weeks later, Archbishop Peter changed our parish status to that of mission, because of problems with the parish council. Is every priestless parish automatically assigned mission status? This was not a mission – a well-established parish of thirty years, with 80 attendees on most Sundays is not a mission! This change in status appears to have removed our voice, though, as we were given no chance to protest the actions in the ukase, and indeed were not even told that this was imminent. As far as the parish knew, the diocesan authorities were still saying that they were looking for a parish priest. Now, when we were given mission status, the only channel we were supposed to use to communicate with the dean or the chancellor or the bishop was the warden.

      In the ukase, there is no mention of parish life. Weddings? Sunday School? Yolkas? Catechumen instruction? Community Outreach? Children’s Choir? Until a few days ago, we had a rich Christian parish life. That has been swept away with no explanation, except that the bishop has the power to do as he likes. We had naively assumed that care for our souls was in there somewhere.

      Despite the fact that we had no priest, parishioners continued to tithe, and our parish account was believed to have at least $22,000. The warden and, we assumed, the Dean had access to the exact amounts, but the warden refused to give that information. There was a time when parish accounts were transparent. Although we no longer exist as a parish, does the non-profit corporation that was the parish still exist? What happened to its funds? Does a parish’s non-profit status extend to the diocese, or is it restricted to the parish? In the meantime, Fr. Christopher has been deprived of his essential monthly pension. Perhaps you are not aware that he has familial Alzheimer’s disease, and had to resign from his service as parish priest because of it. Our income consists of his disability income, a very small stipend from his translation work for Chrysostom Press, and until 11 days ago, a pension from the church for his 24 years of service. Since the parish no longer exists, he cannot accept any money from St. John Chrysostom Church, that account being in legal limbo, despite the fact that money was given specifically for him.

      This wretched affair has not improved his condition. He has had much to bear over the years, but to destroy his parish when he is fully aware of what has been done but is helpless to defend it, is very hard to endure.

      With our whole aching hearts, we beg your help. Since this was a Synodal decision, could you help us to restore our parish? We feel that you were given false information and acted on it, not knowing the true state of the matter. We feel like orphans, street children, castaways given empty words instead of spiritual care. Please help us.

      Kissing your right hand,

      Matushka Mary Stade

      • Gail Sheppard says

        I am so sorry, Matushka. This is so very painful.

      • My prayers are with you all. I thought ROCOR could be trusted, I guess I’ll have to think again.

        • Diakrisis Logismōn says

          ROCOR stepped away from being the ROCOR in 2007. No?

          • Estonian Slovak says

            Some would say that, yes. But I’m not sure any ROCOR breakaway groups would be a viable alternative.

          • No, ROCOR is still the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Under the Act of Reunion, I believe it is article 6, the ROC does not have the authority to interfere with the diocesan structure of the Church Abroad.

            I have faith that Vladyka Peter will be doing the right thing. That is why we have bishops and synods, to hear cases and sort out the lies from facts and steer the ship. They have been doing this and will continue to do this. Sob stories, not withstanding. Anyone can tell a heartwrenching tale. When both sides do, someone must be entrusted with the Wisdom of Solomon. In Orthodoxy, that is the episcopacy.

            That’s the best and only answer any of you are going to get and you don’t have to like it for it to be the God’s honest Truth. Rave on, stay, leave, нам то что? Who else has the words of Life?

            If a bishop has misbehaved, it is up to his synod or the other bishops of the Church to correct him. That is what I have been saying about Patriarch Bartholomew for some time now. But that’s the bottom line.

      • God bless you all. This is heartbreaking to read.

      • Thank you for your narrative, Matushka Mary, for you renew your suffering recounting it.

        May the Lord find a way to give ease to your and your husband’s lives in this troubling time. May the parish survive and may Sister Eisodeia find a good and stable monastic home. Everyone seems to have lost in this recent series of tragedies.

    • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

      Thank you, Ages, for linking the official documents. A summary for those who may not follow the link themselves — four documents are there posted: 1) Bishop Peter’s ukase declaring “St. John Chrysostom parish community is renamed Holy Archangels monastic community”; 2) a letter by Fr. Gregory Joyce, secretary of the diocesan council, explaining this change (of which Matushka Mary’s post above is a sound refutation); 3) Bishop Peter’s ukase appointing Fr. Gregory Joyce and Fr. Martin Swanson to be chair and vice-chair, respectively, of an informational meeting to explain the change to the former parishioners, and 4) Bishop Peter’s ukase appointing the former parish warden as sacristan of the monastery.

      As I understand it, ROCOR’s Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America has been attempting to close St. John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church for years (indeed, I and my family were residents in 2011 when on old-calendar Christmas eve I came home from work to find survey markers all over the parish grounds). The diocese’s initial plan, as I understand it, was simply to sell the property (or at least most of it) outright to fund a building project in Chicago (this is corroborated by Grace Shining IV’s comment at 1:35 p.m.).

      Bishop Peter signed off on this, and Fr. Gregory Joyce has been its spokesman, but, as I understand it, the real sponsor of this effort has been Fr. Martin Swanson, rector of St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church (ROCOR) in St. Louis and dean of the western region of the diocese.

  16. Claire Carroll says

    Please be aware that the priest who has now been deprived of both his parish and his pension in his disabled condition, is the Fr. Christopher Stade who translated the Explanations of the Gospel by Blessed Theophylact, that are used by most English speakers, seminaries and clergy.

  17. ChristineFevronia says

    Please, I beg of you, to be cautious before you speak on this matter without knowing what you are talking about, but are merely letting your passions flare up in response to gossip. Don’t we have enough shouts of “Crucify him!” resounding through society right now by mobs stirred to anger by half-truths? Please give her the benefit of the doubt and wait for more info before you string her up.

    • I agree that the tragedy is not this nun. May God help her and bless her! The tragedy is that she was handed the keys of a thriving community that was abandoned by their Hierarch. The tragedy is those families that were until recently a kind of “Orthodox village” around the parish who contributed to the life of the parish. The tragedy is how they have treated this righteous man– Fr Christopher– and his community.

      • Whoa!,

        The nun is a serious piece of work. I would not be surprised if the controversy did not surround her.

      • You are obviously confused and ill informed. Have you not looked at anything this nun has posted? The hierarchy in ROCOR has destroyed a living parish. Maybe the appointing of this nun is only to later come to seize the property, sighting heresy, and seizing all property and funds.

        • I saw what she posted, know what ROCOR teaches, and therefore assume that the problem is probably the nun running some sort of game. Until I hear differently, that is my working theory. It is not that I cannot think ill of Vladyka Peter or ROCOR. It is that given what the nun is on record as supporting and given that she seems to be the instrument, it makes more sense to assume that it is her, not the diocesan authorities, who are out of line and screwing things up.

          • Anonymous says

            Sort of hilarious. Hey, I know, let’s sell off the assets of this place and we’ll bring in a priest no one likes, then a nun no one likes in order to detract attention from the real story.

            And then George M takes the bait, hook, line, and there he has it, the sinker, too.

            How about a rewrite George.

            Start with $$$$.

            • Anonymous,
              Thank you! This thread was in desperate need of some humor to lighten the mood.

    • The closing of the parish is the real issue here. Of course there are rogue nuns, and people do slip through the screening net. But why is an active dues-paying parish being dissolved when there are plenty of other properties without active parishes on them?

    • I doubt very much that Matushka Mary Stade is “letting [her] passions flare up in response to gossip.” Indeed, she seems to be in possession of facts regarding the situation which may not have been provided to the hierarchy, or which may have been presented partially or incorrectly.
      The screen shots and Twitterfeed of Sister E, however, speak for themselves and, to my mind, are *not* edifying.

      • ChristineFevronia says

        I was not referring to Matushka Mary, whose letter moved me nearly to tears. I’m referring to posters who are ripping apart a nun because the snapshots of her Facebook page provided show that she doesn’t like Trump and calling down shame on ROCOR without knowing both sides of the story.

        • Ronda Wintheiser says

          Christine, I was friends with this nun on Facebook for some time.

          I had numerous interactions with her all over Facebook, including via private message. She is no longer on Facebook.

          I was about to post her Twitter feed, but someone else already has upthread.

          If you peruse it, you will see that what John Pappas said is true. This is not the first time people have faced a strident woman who does not have the character or temperament to wield authority

          If anyone lets their passions flare up, it is this nun.

          • Anonymous says

            She is a Schauspiel, meant only to detract from the truth. And you spent most of your words on her.

    • John Pappas says

      Mobs stirred to anger? Seriously? She is who she is ChristineFevronia and anyone who been around the block a few times knows how to read the Facebook postings. Do you think this is the first time people have faced a strident woman who does not have the character or temperament to wield authority?

      And the documents on the web page are a travesty. Abp. Peter unilaterally rips a parish from its people and history and the only justification given is that the canons allow him to do it. Really? It’s a clear abuse of authority. Sister Eisodia is the wrecking ball.

      Are you listening Met. Hilarion? You have lit a fire that will come back to burn you if you don’t put it out now.

      • ChristineFevronia says

        There are multiple sides to every story. That’s all I’m trying to say.

    • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

      I personally believe that Sister Eisodia is herself a victim in this, that she is being used by one or more persons in the diocesan administration to accomplish a goal — the closing of St. John Chrysostom Russian Orthodox Church — that the encumbrance on the property prevented him or them from accomplishing by simpler means. I expect that her support will be withdrawn when her utility expires. This whole scheme is utterly unfair both to her and to the parishioners. Our indignation should be directed not at her but at the diocesan administration that brought this situation to pass.

      • That is highly unlikely. I doubt they would bring her in knowing her unorthodox views. I also doubt they would bring a nun in for these purposes. Even if they wanted the parish closed, this seems very bizarre. One renegade who has a tenuous grasp of property law can to a lot of damage very quickly through fraud. Especially if she thought that title might be hers somehow before the dusk cleared. It’s sort of law education by watching old westerns. Just speculating, she could have forged the ukaz, gotten signatures on deeds to some shell corporation she asserted was held by the diocese, but actually held by her, and then hoped that the law would protect her once the dust settled and that the diocese would not want a big to do in the press and would negotiate with her.

        Or some such scheme. I’ve seen things like this happen before, but not in the Russian Church. I read about some Greek intrigues that ran along these lines. It’s all speculation, but speculation from a lawyer that knows about property law.

        If that is the case, then the transactions would all be fraudulent and she could go to prison for quite some time. I’m just trying to wrap my mind around this and it doesn’t sound at all like Vladyka Peter. They do not need this kind of grief and never would have used a loose canon like this lady in any case.

        • Yes, I agree, this does not sound like Vladyka Peter at all. He is a good man and a good bishop as far as I can tell. I simply can’t imagine him wanting to hurt his flock by deliberately closing a parish that is doing well.

          It sounds like this nun shouldn’t be running an ant farm, let alone a monastery of one. She needs someone to be in charge of her, now.

        • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

          Dear Misha,
          Fr. Martin Swanson and the donor mentioned in Mr. Drezhlo’s account (linked below by Fishy Smell) were seen with the nun touring the church grounds some weeks before the ukases were issued (I personally was informed of this fact well before the announcement was made that the parish was being renamed a monastery). Furthermore, Fr. Gregory Joyce and Fr. Martin Swanson presided over a meeting on July 5th to which the former parishioners were invited. How can your hypothesis account for these two facts? If it cannot, it is most unfair to Sister Eisodia, who, so I am inclined to believe, has merely accepted a position about which she was provided incomplete and misleading information during the interview process. Please understand that I am certainly not attributing any malice to you — you (like all of us) are simply trying to make sense of truly bizarre situation.

          • Metropolitan Jonah was there as well touring the property within the past 2 months.

            • Anonymous says

              Oh, now that is just too much.

              • I would suggest the following:

                If things have gotten so out of control there that there has been some serious heterodox influence of the priest or the nun in question, or anyone else including parishioners, Vladyka Peter might well have decided that the parish needs to dissolve and that anyone left there needs to be in monastic obedience under him. I could see that. If you can’t tell the goats from the sheep; or if you are dealing with a big bucket of goats, that is what I would do.

                Like it. Love it. Hate it. Gnash teeth. Weep. File suits. Pray to God. Etc.

                God’s will is going to be done. He has placed the episcopacy in charge of the Church.


      • Dear Concerned,

        I think you are probably right about Sister Eisodia since I know her. I cannot imagine her engineering something like what happened to your parish. And, since she is very accessible, why does everyone not email her? Why don’t I, in fact?

        I, too, am among those appreciative of your former priest’s translation of the Blessed Theophylact of Ohrid and understand how your parish would want to continue to honor him in his latter years.

        • bated breath says

          She is very accessible, but not very forthcoming, it seems. I don’t doubt that she is *NOT* orchestrating this, but I don’t believe she will give any information at all.

    • Hmmm. I guess have heard the other side of things. . . .
      I also have had discussions with priests who are very firm in their belief that a parish and a monastery do not go together. You have one or the other, which is what I think is going on here. There was a decision made to make this a monastery so . . ..
      There is a long history here too which I have only heard bits of and will not go into here, but there is a reason they are making it a monastery. . . .

      As for Sr.Eisodia. . . yes she needs to get off all media. Perhaps now she will.
      She has had a tough life- good and a lot of bad and has some rough edges. But, she is Orthodox and a good person, who likes Hilary Clinton-(I know, how can that be?) We don’t agree on things, but she has particular abilities and setting things up is one of them. God is still working on her.. . . Let those who understand the whole picture deal with it. Change is never easy.

  18. Thomas Carroll says

    Thank you, Mr. Pappas! The priest you mention is Fr. Christopher Stade, whose name will be familiar to anyone who has benefited from the New Testament commentaries of Blessed Theophylact that Fr. Christopher has translated into English.

    • Thomas, good to meet you and I’m glad you’re adding your voice. But it’s even worse than that, actually. This is but the latest Ina series of attacks upon this good priest. Fr Christopher had been given a grant by a wealthy man several years ago to reprint some of the books for Chrysostom Press. This same man after vowing to close the parish then tells Fr Christopher this was a LOAN ($17,000) and then he “gives” the loan to the Diocese. Clergy from the diocese then harass Fr Christopher into paying it– although they assured him they wouldn’t charge interest, since that was against the canons. All this, and there was NO ACTUAL DEBT! Fr Christopher actually without a complaint, just as the Gospel says, paid them back even though there was no legitimate debt. Diocesan debt collectors. Can you even imagine???

      • You do not know what you are talking about and have been told only one side of the story. This matter was carefully decided upon by the Diocesan Council, and the “wealthy man” you are slandering was the only faithful member of the church board in 2000, who stood by Fr. Christopher when he(Fr. Christopher) told monks they must leave House Springs. (All the other church board members resigned in sadness and disgust.) It was this man whose unwavering support prevented a spiritual court from considering defrocking Fr. Christopher. He also initiated setting up a pension for Fr. Christopher, personally donating over $50,000 for his pension (since ROCOR, compared to other jurisdictions did not provide a clergy pension plan). It is this person that year after year, donated enough so that Fr. Christopher could be paid more than most ROCOR priests in the diocese, so that he could be a full time priest and not need to work a secular job.

        It is a shame that this Pandora’s box has been opened. The monks, following the example of the Holy Royal New Martyrs, did not raise a letter writing war or spread internet gossip. Rather, they “meekly endured the loss of an earthly kingdom…”, and suffered much deprivation moving to uncertain and initially deficient quarters.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      HE translated that? He has no idea how his work changed my life and the lives of literally hundreds of women in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship; 1,000 classes in 39 countries) that I went to for 15 years. We had 3 hours of homework each week and when I first became Orthodox, I used the answers from the Blessed Theophylact to answer the questions, which were later discussed in small groups. It was so much fun to see those women’s mouths fall to the floor! They would say, “How did you come up with that?!” I said, “I didn’t. It is the teaching of the Orthodox Church.” 🙂

  19. Fishy Smell says

    Something smells fishy! Bishops don’t close healthy, financially stable parishes. Not to mention that the whole SYNOD of bishops approved of it according to the Ukaze listed on the Monastery website. Seems there must be another side to this saga.

    • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

      Fishy Smell, perhaps you can find this approval in the minutes of the Holy Synod’s sessions and share it with us? Or perhaps you can find a member of the Holy Synod who will vouch publicly for such a decision? I have it on good authority that such an approval is not recorded in the Synod’s minutes and that what was presented to the Holy Synod was a trivial request that did not entail dissolving the parish and evicting indigent families. So, if you have better knowledge of the situation, let’s see it.

    • You are correct. Bishops don’t close stable healthy parishes – so why not find out the truth before making accusations. This above article is full of many untruths and half-truths. This parish has been in open opposition to it’s bishop for years. First they kicked out the monks who are now in West Virginia. All the former monastic buildings belong to the diocese according to Synod bylaws. And it’s also a diocesan rule that all parish properties should be titled to the diocese – nothing nefarious here. It’s a shame that what was to be a holy endeavor by the Synod of Bishops is now being trashed. (and I am NOT defending this particular nun and her unedifying activities) By the way, this nun came to ROCOR upon the sterling recommendation of Metr. Jonah.

      • Ronda Wintheiser says

        Dima, as far as I can tell, there aren’t any accusations leveled in George’s piece. As I read it, it is a simple news story that raises a couple of valid questions.

        How is telling a story and raising questions “trashing” what the Synod of Bishops is endeavoring to do?

        And… How do you know that what he wrote is full of “many untruths and half-truths”?

      • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

        “This parish has been in open opposition to it’s [sic] bishop for years.”

        If by this you mean, “The parishioners have for years objected to the closure of their parish,” you are right.

        “First they kicked out the monks who are now in West Virginia.”

        If by “they” you mean Archbishop Alypy and Metropolitan Laurus, you are right (though “kicked out” is hardly the right verb).

        “All the former monastic buildings belong to the diocese according to Synod bylaws.”

        Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that everything is exactly as simple as you have written. What justification do you then propose for the alienation of the PARISH buildings?

        “And it’s also a diocesan rule that all parish properties should be titled to the diocese – nothing nefarious here.”

        Nothing nefarious at all, except that shortly after the quitclaim was signed, the diocesan administration began efforts to alienate the property. Or do you think that parish properties are mere holdings in the diocese’s real estate portfolio, to be bought a sold for the enrichment of the diocese?

        “It’s a shame that what was to be a holy endeavor by the Synod of Bishops is now being trashed.”

        As I wrote previously, show us the minutes where the Synod’s endorsement of closing the parish and evicting tenants on short notice is recorded. Alternatively, introduce us to a bishop, other than Archbishop Peter, who will affirm that this is indeed the work of the Synod.

        • First of all, “kicked out” is the correct term. Vladika Alypi gave his blessing for them to leave, after he had been given false information (slander, lies, fabrications, stretching the truth – chose your word) about the monks – yes of course, he blessed them to leave!

          The fact is, during the period when the monastics were in House Springs, they had separate house-hold accounts and credit cards, everything related to the properties was run under one tax number. That is common in many churches.
          Therefore, when one of them cashed her pension to pay for a building, it went under St. John Chrysostom. The same with a monk who received a large inheritance. However, if you really want to do an accounting and divide between the lay parish and the monastics, then the lay parish should pay back for the former monastic house on Byrnes Mill Rd. Using your logic, you could say that this property, which is today worth $150,000 was unfairly alienated from the monastics, having been donated to them, because when it was sold, the payments went to St. John Chrysostom Parish. Everyone was trusting of this situation, at the time, because it was never imagined that the parish priest would kick out the monastics.
          There is no intention to use this property to enrich the diocese. Whatever has value, if it must be sold will honor the intent of all the donors to the monastics, and a monastery can be established elsewhere, perhaps in an environment not so openly hostile to monastics.

      • If “open opposition” means actively pleading to remain where it is and to pray and worship together, then I suppose that community was in open opposition. If “open opposition” means that it was in the TOP FIVE parishes in both diocesan assessments and Sunday attendance, then I suppose that community was in open opposition.

        So many wicked lies have been spread about this parish by folks- I later discovered– with agendas to build their own parishes (you no doubt understand the reference). But don’t worry about them. This is just like what the blessed Golden-Mouth himself had to endure: slander from jealous clergy and persecution of bishops. But I suspect he is watching over that community.

        Already this stuff has reached the HIGHEST ears in the Russian Church, and, as Shakespeare says, “the truth will out.”

    • Is it possible that the “good sister” forged an ukaz? If there is no record of a synod meeting and the ukaz refers to synodal approval, and if Vladyka Peter left for Moscow just prior to this little drama unfolding, it could all be the work of one “quirky” nun. Or not. Hard to say. I’m willing to give Vladyka Peter the benefit of the doubt until he is heard from personally and directly.

      • Anonymous says

        Sideshow Bob’s, aka Sister E got your girdle all twisted Misha.

        Follow the money pal.

        • A.M.S.,

          I’m not deeply concerned about the money, pal. Tradition and the Law of God is my chief preoccupation. Bishops rule in their dioceses and synods may overrule them. That is our way. The rest is he said-she said which it is the bishop’s role to sort out, not ours. That is the way it is meant to work out and that is how this will, in fact, work out. Have a little faith, AMS. God is in charge, not Mammon, not us.

          • Anonymous says

            The will of man Misha.

            It’s in God’s hands is a way to excuse man’s ill will.

            Even a bishop is a man with will.

            • There is no appeal beyond the bishop and synodal system. Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. We have faith in that and trust that God will correct any straying done.

              That’s the end of it though. That is the Law of God.

  20. This nun may have come to ROCOR with the “sterling recommendation” of Metr. Jonah, but he also may not have known about her public and scurrilous postings on Facebook and Twitter. Those alone should disqualify her from being the head of any religious assembly. It’s a disgrace.

    It is true that the Monastery at House Springs moved to West Virginia under protest, but ultimately that move contributed to their flourishing in a new location. Not sure that “they were kicked out” as the comment of Dima infers. God blessed that move. So don’t blame it on St. John’s.

    • The male monastics who used to be in House Springs left under protest after being told to leave by Fr. Christopher. He had accused them of immorality, a charge he later repented of privately with no attempt to “restore fourfold” as Zacheus did, what was taken from them (3 buildings that were donated as monastic buildings and also their damaged reputation).
      By the grace of God, the monks have flourished in their new location.

      • Dima, this is not the time or the place to rehash what happened there. Even assuming you are correct (you are not, and have been sold a bill of goods by the people who beneifitted from slandering this just man), what does it have to do with the bishop closing that parish by fiat some 16 years later?
        You mentioned that Fr Christopher “repented” privately. What business would it then be of yours to bring up this “sin” in this context? Is it because at your parish they can’t help revelling in what supposedly happened? Is it because you yourselves haven’t “forgiven”? I’ll leave you to the Gospel regarding forgiveness. You have now openly slandered a priest for something you’d don’t know is true, even though you acknowledge his repentance. How sad for you and your parish full of former HOOMies, Dima!

        • I have no idea what a HOOMie is. I don’t live in the St. Louis area anymore. Are they common there?

          • Diakrisis Logismōn says

            “HOOMies” = Holy Order of Mans (Google the Wikipedia article)

            • Fascinating. There’s an interview in the notes with a former member who got disenchanted and joined ROCOR. Sounds like a dangerous cult. Christianity is clearly distinguishable from Gnosticism in that gnosis in Christianity is merely a vehicle to theosis, the Law of God being normative for all Christians. There are other differences as well, depending on the sect of Gnostics under discussion.

              This group sounds like some radical little cult that has sought to infiltrate Holy Orthodoxy. Better to get rid of them as soon as possible if they can be identified. Or, they can accept the truth, formally renounce their former heresies and be chrismated anew. If I were a bishop, that would be my approach. But the episcopacy knows how to deal with this nonsense.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Misha, if you would like to know the full story on HOOM, I will be glad to talk to you directly. Way too off track here and too much interference as it is a topic that arouses passions. Gpgb at kans dot com.

                • Michael,

                  Couldn’t care less about little cults. Vet ’em firmly and absolutely insist that they abandon their former beliefs in toto and adopt, from scratch, Orthodoxy. Then you have no problems. Baptize them all. That’s one reason it is important.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Then why bring it up?

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Gee, Misha you might actually learn something about the roads people have to take to get to the Church in a land where she is quiescent, often hostile and a clear minority.

                    People come to the Church because of the love of Christ.

                    Yes there is damage and wrong understanding but breaking them up is not always the correct solution. The receiving bishop needs to be closely involved.

                    In this case your arrogance and ignorance are showing.

                    • I didn’t bring it up. Look above. Someone else did. I speak from experience and stand by every word.

          • “HOOMie” is a term of derision and approbation directed at Orthodox Christians who were properly and sacramentally received into the Orthodox Church by canonical means from a group that was once essentially a cult, long ago. I personally am not attracted to the “flavor” of parishes that largely have former HOOM clergy and parishioners, but it is just that — a preference of one parish atmosphere over another. I prefer an old school Russian atmosphere.

            What you saw above is just name-calling, plain and simple. It is like calling a convert to Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism a “former papist” for the rest of his life. If there is something to criticize in someone’s beliefs or behavior, fine. But name-calling based on one’s particular background and path to Orthodoxy demonstrates a mind that is, shall we say, unrefined. The vast majority of former members of the HOOM are today, in my experience, mainstream Orthodox Christians, and their children and grandchildren are Orthodox Christians attending whatever Orthodox parish they happen to live near.

            • I of course meant “disapprobation…”

            • I think it is a very, very bad idea to receive parishes of former anything collectively with their leadership. When the EOC came over, there were numerous problems. Protestants remain protestants until they absolutely abandon their “Christian” faith and adopt an Orthodox Christian faith. It’s that simple. I don’t care where they came from or what little cult they followed, how “close” it was to Orthodoxy, etc. It is a disservice to them not to make them push “clear screen” and start over and it is spiritually dangerous for everyone involved. That is why some parishes insist on a specific and detailed list of renunciation of heresies of the former cult be signed before reception proceeds. It can lead to situations like the one that seems to be unfolding on this thread or in Ben Lomond or wherever.

              That I stand by firmly.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Misha, members and parishes of the former “CSB” were not ever received en masse or collectivelyinto the OCA. Every member was received individually. Every Priest was received first as an unordained layman, through Confession of Faith, individual (life)Confession, and Chrismation, and individually tonsured a Reader,then Subdeacon, and ordained to the Diaconate, Then, ON ANOTHER DAY, he was ordained to the Priesthood, ALONE. That project took several days, since according to Orthodox Economy, i.e., the Canons, only one Priest may be ordained on one Altar in one day. (Several diocesan Priests travelled to Los Angeles to assist in these individual receptions and ordinations of clergy.) Once the converted clergy were all ordained, they and other clergy travelled to their parishes where crowds of parishioners were received INDIVIDUALLY, through Confession of Faith, Confession, and Chrismation (or Baptism in some cases). No corners were cut under CLAIMS of Economy or “Charity.”

                • My point, Vladyka, was that they should not have been received as parishes. There should have been a new priest put there. If some could go to nearby Orthodox churches already established, that’s fine. If not, found a new parish with a new priest. If the converting minister wants to be a priest, sent him to seminary and another parish.

                  Receiving them en masse is a very bad idea. They cling to their old thing. I first encountered such a parish about 14 years ago. They were still using their EOC catechumenal materials and had little if any grasp of the Real Presence. It was a disaster waiting to happen. Thankfully, they transferred the EOC priest to a mission position in Florida and sent them a convert who had been to SVS. Better if he had been from St. Tikhon’s or Jordanville, but still, at least arguably Orthodox.

                  • Misha, at that time Jordanville was not in communion with the Orthodox Church. Interesting that you would support a seminary not in communion with the universal church.

                    • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                      johnkal, “Jordanville,” i.e., ROCOR, was never out of Communion with the Church of Serbia or of Antioch. If they were not members of SCOBA, more power to them! In the 50s and 60s, even, in America it was not unheard-of that this or that person communed in a ROCOR parish while going to his or her spiritual father in the METROPOLIA/OCA and vice-versa! In Manhattan, in the 1950sm at the at-that-time huge parish of Christ the Saviour Metroplitans Leonty and Anastassy served alternately at bi-monthly hierarchical Liturgies! It’s totally asinine to say that Jordanville or ROCOR was “not in communion with the universal church!”

                    • ROCOR has always been in communion with the Church. You are showing your ignorance. ROCOR was always in communion with Serbia and Jerusalem. The not sharing in communion with some other churches, most notably New Calendar churches. was selective and sporadic. Met. Kallistos served with them in liturgies in the 1970’s, for instance.

                      Read a book. Preferably not one written by revisionist historians in OCA.

                      ROCOR was the only authoritative voice of the Church of Russia during most of the communist period.

                  • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                    Misha, you can’t COMPARE the reception of EOC parishes and clergy en masse with the conversion of CSB clergy and people! Apples and oranges! The wife of one Priest I received from the Antiochian Archdiocese which had previously received them from the E.O.C. told me when I met her, ” I still don’t know about all this Orthodox stuff! We were suddenly just told one Sunday to line up side by side and hold out our hands. Then somebody came down the row and anointed our outstretched hands with some oil and then we were told we were all real Orthodox now!” It was exacxtly that sort of thing we totally avoided by the individual NOT CORPORATE reception of the non-Orthodox clergy and people into the OCA. Your anecdotal argument does relate to the latter. It was my decision, as their ordaining Hierarch, to assign these NEW Priests where I determined was the best, most salvific assignment for them. Incidentally, the former CSB clergy had been trained how to serve rather well, not perfectly, but well, by their leader the deposed “Abbot” Herman (Podmoschensky) and were not like the self-taught Lutherans and Calvinists of the EOC in any way.

                    • I can and did and it was all a terrible mistake from the getgo. It has only recently been ironed out in its particulars and God knows if there is not stuff still lurking out there.


              • Michael Bauman says

                You stand firmly in the wrong.

                • Michael B,

                  Didn’t your son write something on misguided pacifism or Orthodox warriors? Maybe your argument is with him too. In any case, if you have some rational response, please share it. Otherwise, admit I’m right or just shut up.

                  As to receiving heterodox en masse in discreet communities which continue, you know the history. It’s chaos and an invitation to misbehavior.

                  Terrible misjudgment.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Yes, Misha my son did write on being an Orthodox Warrior. A project I was honored to assist in. My late wife and I assigned him the project as part of his senior year in high school since we homeschooled him. He was intent on going into the Coast Guard.

                    He did not make it through basic because he could not do push-ups.

                    One of his main conclusions was that there can be no such thing as a just war. With great effort, man sufficiently dedicated can conduct himself in an honorable, just and Christian manor even as he kills. But, such a man must be equally prepared to disobey orders if necessary.

                    He wrote the paper based off a series of conversations we had on the topic after much reading, contemplation and prayer on his part.

                    I will never forget one of our first conversations after he had developed his thesis. As we sat down I said to him that if he were to fulfill what he said, he had to be prepared to die not just on the battlefield but in resistance to unjust commands. He said , Yes, I know. So we began a journey that lasted almost two years, not finishing until he came home from the Coast Guard. That was twelve years ago. We contended, strongly at times, pressing each other to go more deeply. We still discuss it from time to time.

                    Garrison’s thesis and exploration is far more nuanced and thoughtful than yours. Another of his conclusions is that the issue of how or if one should participate militarily is not nor should it be a Dogmatic one. There is clearly a place for rejecting the use of arms as well.

                    I am not a pacifist. There is clearly a place for deadly force within the Church and it can even be necessary in establishing the foundation for real order. Nevertheless it is a last resort and a true warrior must strive for non-violent peacemaking first because picking up the sword is also risking his soul to keep others from harm. This is one thing I learned from my son.

                    What I have never been able to get him to fully consider is, as you ought to know, such a person can only exist under a Christian monarch. Even though he experienced first hand today’s military wanting to strip him of all virtue, humanity and faith.

                    He does acknowledge the possibility of not serving a corrupt leader or state.

                    IMO, Modern warfare given the reasons for war and the weapons of war make such an endeavor nearly impossible.

                    Garrison does not at anytime glorify warfare or think of it as holy. He rather dislikes that approach because he thinks it trivializes the dedication and sacrifice of those who have a vocation as a warrior.

                    A great deal to consider in what he wrote at age 18 as well as what he did not write. Search for “The Christian Warrior” if you wish to read it.

                    If you have read it Misha, you misunderstood what he was saying.

                    One thing I know is that what he wrote made nearly everyone uncomfortable but he has been able to defend his thesis with both priests and lay who have challenged him.

                    After a long conversation with our priest who challenged him on many things, the priest save Garrison’s paper to share with those considering the military.

                    Interestingly enough he developed a deep bond with a man who had served in Vietnam and was totally anti-military as a result. Doug challenge the whole idea, but had enough respect to listen to my son. I was not privy to those conversations either but they grew to love each other.

                    • That’s all very charming Michael, but none of it goes to the merits of what we are discussing. I did not ask you to tell me about all of that. What I asked you to do was to take reasonable issue point by point with what I have said if, in fact, you disagree with it. Otherwise, you’re just blowing hot air. I’m not interested in that at all.

                      I do not take issue with the fact that at times it may be necessary to disobey orders. But you’re handing me epistemological considerations. Yes, who can we trust is a valid concern. But who could the Israelites trust, really? Moses might have been inspired by a demon, no? And who saw God tell a prophet or Saul or David that Amalek was to be wiped out? Hmmmm?

                      Trust is always an issue. But the conversation was on herem, which is allowed to Christians in similar contexts. If it is not, God is the author of evil. Disprove it.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Edward, great point.

        • Usage of derogatory slang here does not help your case. What would be your response if someone were to say ‘well, your words mean nothing because YOUR church is full of [insert inappropriate derogatory slang here]?
          Going down that road in the first place is what’s sad.

        • So you think that what happened in 2000, is simply old news? It is the foundation for what is happening now. You see, your understanding of the parish is built on a shaky foundation. Wrongs were done in the year 2000, which have never been righted.
          This is not about retribution, but rather restoration.
          Not only were the monks slandered and driven out, but to justify it, Fr. Christopher spread around to lay members private scandalous information that was from confessions. He “outed” several past and present members of the parish as homosexuals, including the good man who helped him set up Chrysostom Press, and who had generously funded a small salary so he could begin translating “The Explanation of the Gospels”. He also revealed confidential medical information (medical professionals are you listening???) which besmirched the reputation of a reposed clergyman and today is against privacy laws. If you doubt any of this, there are at least 20 former members in the St. Louis area who will verify. I realize this is all very ugly, but nothing would need to have been revealed but for all the untruths said in this blog.

      • Cecily Thompson says

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Fr. Christopher heard some things things said about them by non Orthodox people, and knew their backgrounds. Based on this, he went to Archbishop Alypy and Metropolitan Laurus to ask what should be done. THEY made the decisions that they did. They told him what to do. He asked forgiveness of the monks because they were angry with him, he did what Christians should do. He has never “repented” of doing what Archbishop Alypy and the then archbishop Laurus told him to do. Furthermore, he NEVER accused them of “immorality”. What he was worried about, was the above info which he gave to the two hierarchs, who then acted as they saw fit. If people had issues with their decisions, they should have taken it up with the hierachs instead of slandering and going after my father as they have for all these years. I am his daughter and I am sick and tired of lies being spread about my beloved father. You may not know that he was told not to defend himself so as not to cause scandal. Well, I will defend him, and I will always defend him, and this is at the heart of why our parish is being destroyed. Because we refuse to turn on him.
        What I want to know, is this. Who is telling you these lies against my father?

        • Honestly, I sat in a meeting where I heard the chancellor of the diocese call Fr Christopher “legendary.” I believe that this word is one of the best to describe Fr Christopher Stade. He truly is legendary in the classical sense of this word: his life reads like it comes from the “legendum”: the appointed reading from the lives of the saints. The last of the beatitudes is about the persecution that accompanies all who will live godly in Christ Jesus. Woe to those who have done this to this man and his wife, children, and parishioners, though! May God forgive them!!

          • Legendary is a good word for someone who in his career, slandered monks, revealed confessions of parishoners to multiple people, had his daughter listen in and translate confessions, and has left wreckage all over St. Louis of former parishoners who were slandered and shunned after they dared to leave the parish including their former deacon and his family. It’s not a parish – it’s a CULT!
            Then you have the lawyer living in one of the houses at the parish at below market rate rent who harrassed the recent young priest and his family, even threatening to sue them over trumped up charges. Maybe the Missouri Bar should hear this. This is a normal good parish?

            • Pickle Jar says

              If that’s a cult, how did the diocese let it continue for 30 years? You’re right about that lawyer tho– you should totally call the bar. They’ll be OUTRAGED that a lawyer, of all people, threatened to sue someone!

              • I've Heard At Least Three Sides of This Story says

                Absolutely! I am sure the Bar Association would be absolutely horrified and appalled that a lawyer was doing his/her job.

                Also, as you noted below, they’ll probably be equally mortified that the family got a fantastic deal on housing, especially if it is the case that they had some sort of medical challenge in early infancy (which usually comes with many tens – if not hundreds – of thousands of dollars of hospital and doctor bills). And to get a good price on housing in a community of close friends and neighbors in an involved and active parish life? The absolute and sheer scandal of the thing…..

                Look, any way you slice it – no matter which side of the story is the most true, the whole thing is just TRAGIC for these families.

                I am operating under the assumption that this nun doesn’t have all the information from both of the other sides (because I really hope she doesn’t), and that she is being obedient to her superiors as a nun is supposed to do. But she could try to have a bit more sympathy for these hurting people and, for example, let them get their pickles.

            • Dima,
              You make some interesting points. But, I think we should get back to an important issue. Were those pickles store-bought? I could chip in to get them replaced.

              • I've Heard At Least Three Sides of This Story says

                I might offer to send a few jars of homemade pickles myself.

              • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

                Yours is precisely the sort of tone deafness that has for years characterized the diocesan administration’s response to the legitimate and urgent concerns of the parishioners. The lack of pastoral care exhibited by the diocesan administration has been nothing short of appalling and scandalous. It is, indeed, the primary reason that things have come to this point and why parishioners believe this problem can no longer be resolved at the diocesan level.

                • From all of the opinions posted on this blog, it does not sound like the fault lies solely with the diocesan administration.

                • Based on the opinions expressed on this blog, it does not sound like the fault is only on the part of the diocese. It sounds like there is a history of conflict that has come to a head. Perhaps the real reason for this situation is a lack of respect and cooperation.

                  • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

                    “Perhaps the real reason for this situation is a lack of respect and cooperation.”

                    A lack of respect from whom for whom? A lack of cooperation by whom with whom in what endeavor or endeavors? Please flesh this out for us.

                    • I have heard that you live right next to the church there and have been closely involved in the sad saga….you might be too close to the problem to understand the bigger picture. I empathize with you…it must be difficult.

            • Pickle Jar says

              If this were a cult, why did the diocese allow it to remain such for so long.

              What, exactly, does this lawyer, have to do with the property closure? Did he (she?) close the parish? Did he or she become a monastic and start a Facebook page with Hillary stuff? If not, how is that remotely relevant?

              Great idea to call the Bar. They’ll be appalled to know that a lawyer threatened to sue someone, or that he’s getting such a great deal on his/her house.

              • Deducing the timeline says

                On why the Diocese takes action now, just putting 2 and 2 together, it was only a few weeks ago that the ROCOR Holy Synod met and granted Archbishop Alypy retirement and Bishop Peter was advanced to Archbishop and no longer only administrator of the Diocese. Perhaps things happened now because of the “change of command.” Don’t know, but it is curious that all this goes down right after the change in leadership at the head.

                Additionally, given the turmoil this is causing among the ROCOR faithful and among Orthodox faithful in general, Archbishop Peter and his diocese should get some clear communication out to the public detailing what happened and why.

                • “Additionally, given the turmoil this is causing among the ROCOR faithful and among Orthodox faithful in general, Archbishop Peter and his diocese should get some clear communication out to the public detailing what happened and why.”

                  Clear communication ? This is ROCOR you’re talking about. Sweep it under the rug , say nothing until people forget about it. and the few who still bring it up are labeled as “malcontents and troublemakers”. (to be fair, not only ROCOR hierarchy does this , of course. This is standard operating procedure in the OCA hierarchy , too. Many of them are shepherds who do not care for the sheep. Thanks be to God, we have a Good Shepherd who does watch over us.)

            • If you are talking about who I think you are talking about, it’s pretty low to attack someone who has a child with a chronic medical condition that made it questionable that the child would even survive being born. From what I understand, the child is doing much better, but there was quite a prayer circle going on for this family back in the day. Just because the father is now a lawyer… Certainly not all lawyers are ‘rolling in the dough’!

          • Dima is the only one in this thread that knows what he is talking about.

            • I highly doubt that, George. It seems like Dima just wants to stir even more trouble. There appear to be several people in this thread who know what they are talking about without wanting to stir up needless trouble.

              It strikes me, in particular, that the family members who are right in the midst of all of this themselves and have spoken in this thread did not seem to be doing so with any sort of such intentions.

              • Wait….publicly posting a letter to Synod that berates our hierarchs and slanders a priest does not come across as ‘stirring up trouble’? Think about that for a few minutes.

                • Fr. Christopher is undoubtably a good and kind priest, and a gentle soul. But, the things that are being done in his name do a great disservice to him and his years of ministry.

                • Claire Carroll says

                  Where does she “berate” hierarchs in this letter? And slander what priest? I don’t see it.
                  And what do you mean, “things being done in his name”? What things? Defending him is doing a great disservice to him?

                • A Concerned Former Parishioner says


                  I see no way in which Matushka Mary’s public posting of her letter to Metropolitan Hilarion constitutes “stirring up trouble” except to persons whose self-interest lies in this injustice being swept under the rug. If, say, the secretary of the diocesan council feels put upon because he will now have to compose yet another defense of the indefensible, that should be of no concern to the former parishioners who are trying to preserve their community. Bringing this injustice to the attention of the Orthodox public generally is one course of action (among others being pursued concurrently) that has been recommended to parishioners by high-ranking and highly-respected clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church, both in America and in Russia.

                  • In general, I agree that injustice should be exposed and opposed. However, the manner in which that is accomplished matters a great deal.

            • When a few monks left Boston and came to House Springs, they were interested in participating in a regular, formal monastery life. What they found when they arrived, however, was — how shall we say — televisions, stereos, and an irregular cycle of services. The monk(s) that were there at the time eventually left after the new arrivals from Boston voiced complaints and insisted on a regular monastery life and full cycle of services. Shortly thereafter, more monks from Boston arrived, forming what would become a group of monastics that laid the foundation for what eventually moved to West Virginia.

              As the monastery began to grow, tensions arose between it and the parish when people started going to services at the monastery. When one of the monks was made a priest, tension boiled over and the monks were essentially told to stay at the monastery and not involve themselves with events at the parish. Around this time, information came to light regarding sensitive matters surrounding the repose of one of the early members of the monastery. It upset the parish priest. Information shared during confessions of the monks before this involved things that happened before they were even Orthodox, let alone monastics. Unfortunately, this information was shared and this is what upset some of the monks. What happened in this regard was undoubtedly unfair to these men and caused some of them great distress. When the Archbishop of Chicago was informed, an impression was created that “encouraged” the monks to leave to another diocese and land donated to them in West Virginia. To say that the monks were forced to leave is not quite right but it isn’t altogether wrong. It is worth noting that around this time, the monastery in Texas, Wisconsin, and Minnesota had had their issues as well. Perhaps Vl. Alypy was exhausted over these things and had grown particularly cautious; or, perhaps, things were misconstrued. In any event, the monastery moved and it appears the decision to do so was a wise one.

              • Stephen, you are about 80% correct. The monks were forced to leave. They did not leave because they were upset; they were upset because they were told they had to leave, and because they were slandered. Metr. Laurus welcomed them into the Eastern American Diocese. He felt that they would be better off in our diocese.

              • Cecily Thompson says

                Of course everyone has their own opinions, and online posts won’t change them. You heavily imply however that false impressions were created by my father, due to nefarious reasons. Well, that is the view given to you by someone. Just know however, that you are speaking about a man who wasn’t allowed to defend himself , and now cannot due to Alzheimer’s. Personally, I cling to what St. Paisios of Mt Athos said. “If I didn’t know that God has the last word, I would go crazy.” But God does know the truth and will reveal it, if not in this life, then in the next.

                Furthermore, I don’t see what all these slanders being repeated about my father who has been retired for 2 years now, has to do with the abrupt closing of our dear parish. Unless malice against my father is at the heart of this.

                • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

                  “Furthermore, I don’t see what all these slanders being repeated about my father who has been retired for 2 years now, has to do with the abrupt closing of our dear parish. Unless malice against my father is at the heart of this.”


                • I've Heard At Least Three Sides of This Story says

                  Oh, Cecily! I just want to say that there are some people reading and hearing all of this who hear all the slander against your father and don’t believe it, but just pray for him and for your family. My heart is absolutely breaking for you.

            • Hear, hear!

      • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

        Dear brother in Christ Dima,

        I recognize that you believe that the monks of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross were wronged and that you wish to be their champion, but, so far as I know, they are not a party to the current events, and you do them no favors by dragging their name into this.

        I happen to be in a position to know that what you have written above concerning Fr. Christopher is almost entirely false, but I believe that what you have written you have written in good faith, trusting what has been told to you by others. Fr. Christopher has been slandered viciously for many years, and many naive souls, trusting his slanderers, have been led astray greatly. Fr. Christopher has borne these slanders humbly and without defending himself. I remember, in particular, Fr. Christopher’s dismay when he had first learned of this story you mentioned — that he had “asked forgiveness for slandering the monks.” This was just another example of his humility being used against him. There are a number of us who can fully refute the accusations you make against Fr. Christopher, but not without causing harm to innocent parties.

        Look, Dima, I recognize that to you I am just some anonymous guy on the internet, and that there is no reason you should believe my word over that of whoever told you this story. But you can at least look at your own story critically. Are you really prepared to believe that a parish priest told some monks to leave their monastery, and, although they objected, they obeyed him and left? By what authority could he order them to leave, especially when we are being asked simultaneously to believe that this took place on property that was always monastic and that must always remain monastic? Or that this priest just seized monastic property and, although the parish has been continually under the oversight either of Archbishop Alypy or (now) Archbishop Peter, it is only sixteen years later that the seizure has been noticed and rectified? The account you have brought to us is simply incoherent.

        It was Archbishop Alypy and Metropolitan Laurus who issued the ukase causing the sacred monastery to be transferred from Missouri to West Virginia. Surely a copy of the ukase was archived in Chicago and/or New York and can be retrieved.

    • I have no idea about the facts of this case, although I think a hierarch should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise in the course of asking respectful questions.

      But I will say that it is irresponsible, in the age of the internet, to give anyone a recommendation, sterling or otherwise, without a quiet but thorough investigation that includes social media activity. Wise bishops mandate full disclosure of social media and Internet activity by their clergy and monastics. There have always been men and women in black with idiosyncratic personal views and odd personalities, but “internet monasticism” (as we see regularly on this site) and “internet Orthodoxy” allows certain oddities to reflect poorly (and very publicly and permanently) on the Church.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Edward, I tend to agree with you on this matter. My own experiences with Sr Eisodia in the past is that she’s a straight-shooter. Certainly there are two sides to every story and I invite Sr Eisodia to present hers.

        • ChristineFevronia says

          George, did you think to ask for her side of the story BEFORE you wrote this piece? I am horrified by this thread, by how you started this piece by casting stones against a sister of our faith, and by your allowance of nasty comments about a priest of God who is mentally incapacitated and cannot defend himself. There seem to be many issues at play here, with a complicated history of this piece of property, with personnel factions, and now a decision by the Synod. Surely you can call for some decorum from your posters on this topic?

          • Gregory Manning says

            Sorry Christine. You’re in the Orthodox version of “Fight Club”. Bare knuckles are the rule not the exception. If you want charity it’s best to enter the ring during the first week of Lent where everybody has to do their best to restrain themselves–if only for a time. The rest of the year it’s pretty much open season.

        • Joseph Lipper says

          George, you set up a “strawman” argument against a nun, and then you invite her to defend herself? That’s pathetic. You might do better stealing candy from little kids.

  21. Michael Kinsey says

    Follow the money.

  22. M. Stankovich says

    It seems the world has caught up with even us in dramatic fashion. My brother forwarded me a picture this morning from the renowned street artist Banksy’s new exhibit that just opened in Amsterdam, where he has taken something of an “orthodox-form icon” of the Theotokos enthroned, infant son in her lap, his arms open to the world, dressed in nothing but a suicide vest. The caption reads, “Even suicide bombers need love.” (I forwarded it to you, Mr. Michalopulos, but your site kicked it back – probably for the better). Banksy (who also also chose to offend Mother Theresa of Calcutta) undoubtedly would never have the courage to depict “the prophet” in his sarcasm, yet, undoubtedly, would defend his blasphemy of the Eternal Son of God and the “Mother of the Light” as “art” and freedom of expression. And we are “far removed from the time of Grace.”

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      Yes, looking at the madness the world has fallen into we are definitely far removed from the time of grace. May the Lord have mercy on us all.


  23. Dima is the only one in this thread that knows what he is talking about.

  24. Fishy Smell says
    • Wow. There is a lot of emotion swirling around this. I hope we can all respect each other’s opinion even if we strongly disagree.

      • Claire Carroll says

        You know, I don’t really understand the statement that “we can all respect each other’s opinion”. It bothers me, because while we can disagree with someone’s opinion, why should we respect their opinion if we think it is wrong? Isn’t that completely different from respecting the person? We should absolutely respect each person since they are made in the image of God, and treat all with kindness – thinking of others more than ourselves – but why should we respect an idea we disagree with? In that case, how do we believe in God as Truth?
        Anyway, I agree with you that no-one is infallible and that God is the only Judge.

        • We should respect other’s opinions because we wish to have our own opinions respected.

        • Where is the line between respecting a person and respecting that person’s opinion? It sounds like you are saying ‘I should not physically assault a person because they are made in God’s image, but if they say something I don’t like I am free to verbally assault them because I tell myself I’m just attacking an idea.’ Dehumanizing is a bad idea. We are not at war with one another. We are all at war with the evil one.

          • Claire Carroll says

            Pickles, I’m sorry that from my comment you thought I meant not respecting someone’s opinion means to verbally assault or dehumanize them. I don’t.

            If one believes in Absolute Truth (God), why should I respect (hold in high esteem, regard, deference) something that I believe is not true? I know I may be in error (no-one is infallible), but while I regard something as being wrong, I will never respect it. It is entirely possible to not respect what someone is saying, but to say so calmly, looking at the person who is saying it and remembering that that person is made in God’s image, and thinking of them kindly. Just because you don’t respect someone’s opinion doesn’t mean you are angry with them.
            And yes, I agree, we are all at war with the evil one. This is a horrible situation, and I am sad that any of this ever took place.

            • Perhaps this inability to respect others is at the heart of the issue for many.

              • A person is not an opinion. She was saying there is no reason to respect an erroneous opinion.

                • And really, there is no such thing as a verbal assault, unless you mean an ad hominem attack; i.e., not attacking the person’s philosophy or opinion or stance but instead attributing to them an ulterior motive that they may not actually have, or accusing them of bad faith or personally disgraceful behavior. That would be a verbal assault of a sort. But even that is sometimes justified, honestly. Sometimes people do have ulterior motives that are plain from the construction of their arguments, but which they do not wish to state openly. But, of course, one can be mistaken about such things.

                  Regardless, words are not bullets or punches. Anyone who has fired or been hit by these can tell the difference.

    • Cecily Thompson says

      You people just will never leave him alone, will you? It’s not enough for you to have gone after him throughout his entire priesthood, but you still continue to vilify him, even when he’s incapacitated. Not content with that, you destroy his parish as well, after he can’t protect it anymore. Just know, that God is not mocked forever. You will have to answer at some point, without evasion why you have done this.

      • Fishy Smell says

        “His parish”? With all due respect, I do believe it is the Bishop’s parish and any priest, let alone a retired priest, serves only at his appointment.

        • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

          Fishy Smell,

          You know perfectly well that by “his parish” she meant the parish and flock that were entrusted to his care during the years of his rectorship and for which he must give an account on the Day of Judgment.

          But your comment is illustrative of a fundamental divide between those who wish to preserve the parish and those who wish to close it — those who think of the parish primarily in terms of worship, fellowship, and pastoral care versus those who think of it primarily as a financial asset. To these latter, the bishop is a parish’s owner, who may dispose of it howsoever he pleases (or, perhaps more to the point, howsoever those who have his ear may please). The former, however rightly recognize that the bishop is not a parish’s owner, but its steward par excellence; for, in the final analysis, the parish is not the bishop’s, but Christ’s.

      • God is mocked when people point fingers and declare WHO God will hold to account. We will ALL be held to account.

        • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

          If we follow your statement to its logical conclusion, Pickles, God was mocked by, among others, the Old Testament Prophets, the Holy Apostle Paul, and even the Lord Himself Incarnate. Surely, then, you will retract your statement?

          Of course we will all be held to account by the Lord, but individuals will be held to account for individual sins, and there are times, as Holy Tradition amply attests, when it is fitting — even necessary — to point out an individual’s egregious sin and the danger that sin poses to his salvation. Mrs. Thompson is right to warn those who persist in slandering her father, a man who can no longer defend his own reputation and who, when he was able to do so, chose not to in order to protect the reputations of others.

        • Cecily Thompson says

          Yes, God is mocked when clergy go after an entire parish because of their malice towards another priest. How do you think all the children are doing spiritually when their parish is destroyed and their friends dispersed, let alone the 13 children who are being cast out of their homes? And all the rest of the parishoners who are suffering as their spiritual home is destroyed? Are their souls worth nothing to God? And when this is done by clergy who are supposed to be shepherds, not wolves? This is a mockery of Christ’s holy Church and priesthood, in Whose footsteps the clergy are called to be following.
          And Fishy smell, obviously, we aren’t Bishop Peter’s parish. He has cast us out and destroyed our parish. So yes, we are Fr. Christopher’s parish as we similarly belong to St John Chrysostom. My father has followed St John Chrysostom’s example in loving us and teaching us to follow Christ. We belong to them in the sense that they are our true fathers and shepherds, unlike others.
          It really saddens me, especially as the daughter of a priest to see other clergy act this way, because it is so harmful to everyone who sees it. I know that it is hard enough for us to obtain our own salvation. I pray extra for my father because of the added weight he carries before God of all the souls he is responsible for. And what can be said for these poor souls who now have the added weight of the spiritual harm they are causing to so many people. I do become angry, but it’s also so painfully sad to see as well.

    • A tree is known by its fruit. Your letter which contains some inappropriate words and a harsh tone is bad fruit my friend. Do not speak ill of the Stades or Fr. Christopher. Do you really know them. I don’t think so by what you are saying. I do and so do many others. They have been persecuted for so long and spoken of in such negative ways and this has been propagated in other Orthodox circles. Who did you vet your information with? It wasn’t with any existing parishioners. It sounds rather one sided. You would have chosen your words more carefully if we were to meet face to face instead of hiding behind an alias. You refer to St. John leaving a mess for Bishop Anthony to clean up. Do you imply then that Archbishop Alypy and Fr. Christopher are saints since they have left messes for Archbishop Peter to clean up. You should apologize for attacking this family and the parish. Try to empathize a little with the parish in terms of what they are going through. Anything done in secret is usually not good unless it is a surprise for someone’s birthday. But to not communicate regarding the future of the parish in terms of converting it into a convent and using the existing funds to do so with no input from the parish is akin to me coming to your home and telling you that you are simply a visitor now in your own home. Shame on you for such a response.

      • And by the way those “freeloaders” you referred to are an integral part of the spiritual fabric of the parish with many of their children being in the church choir and helping over the years with various parish activities. Just pointing out another false statement in your response.

    • I’ve read the linked story/”history” and am astonished that anyone would give credence to a story told in the kind of language used therein. I’ll try to quote here the words used there, but any decent editing filter will refuse them. I’ll also redact the names of persons whose names appear “over there” out of common consideration.
      –“Opponents of [redacted] started a shitstorm with [redacted]”
      –“In short, Monomakhos fucks up again… spectacularly, in public, and shamelessly. I’d like to see the bishops sit on that bunch of asshats.”
      –“…much as [redacted] vilified [redacted] for mucking out the shit-spattered byre there.”
      The writer also uses insults and other terms to convey his/her opinion, but the out-and-out profanity I’ve quoted doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) advance the argument, or the belief that the argument is valid.
      Do others find this writer generally well informed???

    • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

      Thanks for sharing, Fishy Smell. Do you happen to know whether there is a reason that the spokesman for “the other side of the saga” is a well-known transsexual and apologist for Vladimir Lenin?

    • S/he says: “I got my information from sources”

      Name them or you’re full of it, “Babs”.

    • Despite what you think of “Varvara”, even a broken clock is correct twice a day. Her account is about 95% correct.

      • Out of curiosity, what constitutes the 5% that is incorrect? Given the language used, it’s hard to tell how seriously to take each statement.

    • Wow, Stan no longer the man Drezhlo is no longer dissing the ROCOR. But we all believe in miracles, don’t we?

  25. Pickle Jar says

    Fr Christopher remarked years ago that he was undergoing all of this slander because he was translating the Gospel.

    • I agree. There is definitely a connection. The Evil One does much to trouble those doing good works.

    • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

      I have never heard Fr. Christopher himself say that, but many who know him well have said it, and I believe that they are right — the evil one does not like the holy work Fr. Christopher is doing. If anyone has wondered why the translation of Blessed Theophylact has proceeded at such a slow pace, reading over this thread will give him some sense of the obstacles that have been thrown in Fr. Christopher’s way.

  26. The Stade family has suffered enough, and half truths and innuendos do nothing to resolve this conflict. However, it’s important to think of this thriving Parish and the people who have lost their Church. It’s a catastrophe. Who is benefitting from this decision?
    Meanwhile, back to the worldly nun. Her public actions on her Facebook page and Twitter accounts should automatically disqualify her from leadership of a monastic community. It is hard to imagine her leading women in a monastery. I just want to ask those who have chosen her for this position? What were you thinking?

    • There are always at least two sides to every story. Sounds like there’s been plenty of abuse to go around.
      I am interested to see what developments will tell us about what’s really going on here.

  27. Sounds like Vladyka Peter has his hands full. Well, the Church is governed by bishops in synod. “He said, she said.” seems like what’s in the water at the moment. Let the bishop sort it out and everyone move on from there. If not the bishop, then the synod. That’s the Law of God.

  28. Joseph Lipper says

    So we find in George’s headline post that:

    1) Nun Esodia doesn’t like Donald Trump,
    2) she doesn’t like Bernie,
    3) she doesn’t like hatred against homosexual people, immigrant people, and poor people.

    And from the thread, we also find out that she is pro-life, and that she is also supportive of feminists…and that she believes that yes, you can be a feminist and still be pro-life. It seems that she wishes Hilary Clinton was pro-life. She likes Hilary Clinton, and she posted some things to this effect on her Facebook for her trusted friends who probably mostly share her same viewpoints.

    And why is this scandalous?

    It does seem ironic that this scandalizes the people on this blog who constantly express overt political and highly controversial opinions themselves.

    • There’s a difference with disagreeing with somebody politically and literally turning them into Hitler. Even after her pathetic attempt at “scrubbing” her timeline, this tweet is still public. She wants to talk about “loving all” – this certainly doesn’t show it.

      What’s that old Internet adage? If you have to resort to calling someone Hitler, you lose the argument? Pretty apt here, I’d say.

    • Well, I have NEVER known any Orthodox nuns who have gotten involved in political “twitters,” or overt support for political candidates. The nuns I have known are in constant prayer, they help the poor, serve others in many ways and especially pray for the world. They work too hard to be writing on blogs on the internet. They stay above the political fray. God forbid that the Orthodox Church is now supporting this kind of garbage, voiced in a public space for the world to see And, yes, remember, when one posts on Facebook or twitter, her comments go out to the world, not just to trusted friends. Yes, it IS scandalous.

      And her treatment of people on the premises at St. John’s is not exactly “Christian.” Pickle jars and plants. More than scandalous, it is outrageous.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Oh aghast, it sounds to me that God has been calling you to be a nun!

      • Joseph Lipper says

        Anyone read the book “Rebel Nun” about the life of St. Maria Skobtsova of Paris?

  29. Phaedrus says

    In connecting the dots of this thread it seems that Archbishop Peter (using the Synod of bishops as a cover), the Diocesan Chancellor, the local Dean, a mercenary Priest, the Monk of Holy Cross Hermitage, another local parish, and a rogue Nun have all conspired to take down the legacy of a priest, his family, and an apparent blameless parish (“Orthodox village”). Now call me skeptical but this seems to be just too much to believe.

    “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” ― Phaedrus

  30. David Bradshaw says

    I would like to say to Claire Carroll and Cecily Thompson that your defense of your father is a blessing to my soul. I can only hope that if someday I am traduced as he has been here, someone would rise to my defense as you have done. May God bless you and protect you.

  31. Gail Sheppard says

    September 2013, Mother Eisodia is appointed the Acting Abbess of the Antiochian Convent, St. Thekla in Glenville, PA.

    September 2014, Very Rev. Mark Sahady is appointed the Chaplain of the Antiochian Convent following his retirement from the Air Force.

    Within a few months of Mother Eisodia’s appointment, the convent is turned over to Mother Justina, who is in a fiery car crash in February 2014. – A very bizarre looking accident. (See below.) Thankfully, she recovered, although I don’t see how.


    Mother Eisodia becomes Sister Eisodia and both she and Father Mark Sahady move from the Antiochian jurisdiction to ROCOR, which is a pretty big leap. (I contacted Father Mark through his Facebook page and he invited me to call him to answer some of my questions, but I was unable to reach him. Perhaps he can shed some light on this.)

    With all the colorful (not in a good way) posts going back and forth, no one answered my question about whether or not it is normal for a monastic community (of 2) to be transferred from one jurisdiction to another. Is this sort of thing typical? Also, when did we start calling female communities, “convents?” I thought they were also referred to as monasteries, but all the articles are saying St. Thekla is a “convent.”

  32. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Btw while all of you are bitching up a storm about things that should be taken care of privately with your bishop and not on a public blog, this is where the REAL fight should be and why we THE CHURCH (that we are so concerned about being and properly defining) are losing:

    Muslims speak out on Transgenderism and Christians hide.

    • A Concerned Former Parishioner says

      Dear brother in Christ Peter,

      I understand that to many this thread must appear utterly scandalous, and I beg your forgiveness if my own contributions to it have scandalized you. Please understand, however, that the parishioners have for years attempted to take care of these things privately with the bishop, but, alas, to no avail. Bringing these problems to the attention of the wider Orthodox public, then, has become a necessity, and it is indeed one of the measures that parishioners have been urged to take by eminent Russian churchmen, both in America and in Russia. What the other measures are you will learn if you follow this story over the months and, perhaps, years to come. I expect that, if you do follow the development of this story, your opinion toward those who have brought it out into the open will soften considerably.

      With these words, I retire from this thread.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I think you misunderstand me. If there is some great moral and/or theological issue at stake by all means voice your concerns and opinions.

        However, I do not view this situation as such. Yes, the nun in question is definitely off the Orthodox reservation, but that is beside the point. The point is does a bishop have the right to do what he wants with a church in his diocese? Short answer yes. Long answer, yes, but…

        I grew up hearing and being part of things like this and quite frankly they should remain private affairs between the church community and the bishop. This is by no means minimizing the pain and hurt you feel. I read Matushka’s letter and I feel for her and sympathiz greatly. However what is the end game here?

        Just what exactly do you think the Bishop is going to do now that this has been aired in public? Change his mind? When situations like these arise whether among the Greeks, Serbs, Albanians or Carpatho-Russians nothing ever changes. Not that they shouldn’t, but never do.

        I can assure you the Bishop and the other Bishops are aware of this situation. Letters and other communiques were sent to him, most probably, and others detailing both sides of the story and he acted accordingly.

        I see no great controversy here over faith and morality, but two separate visions for the future of a local church. I get it. I have been there here in Chicago and Florida. I have even been passionate about not losing this or that building or losing a whole church. However no matter what you do you will you change the Bishop’s mind unless there is a real need for him to change his mind. I don’t see one.

        Thus, obedience to one’s bishop is called for and to discuss these matters privately with your Bishop and the Synod.

        Trust me there are ALOT of things I don’t like that my Bishop here in Chicago did and has done, and even i, against my better judgment, have publicly criticized him for. However, I like to think I have learned from my mistakes, and I try to stay obedient to him EVEN WHEN I DISAGREE WITH HIM. And I disagree with him on a number of important moral and theological issues.

        In any event I am not scandalized, just want us to stay focused on the real fight and the real enemy. Because at the end of the day we may not be able to go to church, or be able to have a church building. When that happens, and unfortunately it will happen, you will wish to return to those good old days with your poor misguided nun and your
        parish building problem. Just saying.

        I love you all, I pray for your peace and unity and for a quick and amicable resolution to your current troubles. If I am mistaken or hurt anyone’s sincerely held feelings on this matter I ask for your forgiveness as I do not know all the facts and what all of you have gone through.

        I bid you peace

        Peter A. Papoutsis

      • Thank you, Reader Isaac Crabtree for your advice. Please also forgive those who do not wish to follow your advice. I think events will not transpire as you seem assured they will.

        • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church says

          Hi “Pickles,” my real and actual name is Mark Emmett Atkins (same as my username, same as my birth certificate, same as my baptismal certificate), and I am a parishioner of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church, a current resident of the parish apartments, and also happen to be Reader Isaac Crabtree’s best friend from childhood. I know for a fact, and can unequivocally say that “A Concerned Former Parishioner” is not Reader Isaac Crabtree. I also do not know who “A Concerned Former Parishioner” actually is, so I cannot assist you in your desperate manhunt.

          Tell me though, what kind of pickle are you? Sweet? Dill? Bread and butter? Pig’s feet?

          I must say, I do find it amusing that anonymous persons on this site (like yourself) are trying to “out” certain targeted individuals by ignorantly and indiscriminately throwing their names around, all the while basking in your own anonymity. Hypocrisy much?

      • Refuting the Irrational says

        Oh, interesting to learn that ‘A Concerned Former Parishioner’ is the lawyer Isaac Crabtree who falsified and misrepresented facts when he wrote up an indictment falsely accusing the former rector. (The plot also included a deliberate attempt to entrap the rector).
        Thankfully, Fr. Gregory Joyce came in person to put Isaac in his place, but it seems Rdr. Isaac has not learned from that experience.

        • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church says

          Hi “Refuting the Irrational,” my real and actual name is Mark Emmett Atkins (see above for details), and I find your blatant hypocrisy to be simultaneously both disgusting and comical. I also think your username is pure irony. For you see, nothing could be more ironic (or absurd) than “refuting the irrational” with lies and deceit.

          I have been a parishioner of St John Chrysostom’s since November 2013, and was definitely present during all the drama surrounding our former rector. You perhaps were present too, or are pretending that you were. Hard to say, really, since none of your accusations can be verified or tied to a real person making them.

          I, however, am willing to speak and be clearly identified, since I was actually there when these things were happening. Isaac Crabtree and Catherine Shawki were members of the parish council, auditor and treasurer, respectively. They discovered certain disturbing facts, including financial and administrative misconduct, and did their duty in reporting it. Grievances were aired, and church authorities were notified. For all this, they were removed from their offices, threatened, insulted, and silenced by Bishop Peter and his lieutenants: Priest Gregory Joyce (the chancellor) and Priest Martin Swanson (the dean). Nothing was done to remedy the problem, other than silencing and removing the whistleblowers. And eventually after a few months, the rector left, bringing that particular sad story to its unhappy conclusion. Now this parish faces yet another, even more sad story, brought to them (as always) by these same dishonorable men who run the Mid-American Diocese of ROCOR.

          But tell me, who are you? I know who I am, and you now know who I am, and I have some ideas about who you might be, but do you know who you are? Do you know who God is? Do you think that dishonesty and deceitfulness will be blessed by Him? I don’t.

      • Karen Mulroy says

        Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

        I do not participate in social media forums, but I feel compelled to write and underscore the comment of “Concerned Former Parishioner.” I am a member of what was St. John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO. Many events in the early years of the parish history predate my arrival. Nearly all of the events in the past 6 years have occurred during my time there. I, too, have lived through the undercurrent of fear and uncertainty about the future of our parish that has swirled around our church community for years. We have endured this internally, as a parish family. We have supported each other and our beloved Priest, Fr. Christopher Stade, throughout these trying times. We have watched Fr. Christopher serve his flock passionately, prayerfully, fervently and earnestly for years without regard for any personal toll his efforts may have caused him. We have, as a parish, watched Fr. Christopher’s family support the church and their priest with unflinching loyalty and courage.

        I am American born and of Russian and Ukranian heritage. I have been Orthodox since birth. I am not a new convert to the faith.

        It is no secret that there are those who have sought to extinguish the light of this parish for a long time. The reasons for this lie within the hearts and minds of those individuals. It is not for me to judge if their motives are pure.

        As people, if we are suffering or in a time of need, we can choose to keep our sufferings to ourselves. However, if the need or suffering affects others, I would submit that, as Christians, it is incumbent on all of us to reach outside of ourselves for the greater good of the whole.

        Some have wondered why this painful ordeal is being played out so publicly. It is not by choice. It is by necessity because there is virtually no other place to turn except to a more public forum to state our cause and ask for support.

        How this unfolds depends on the person who adds his or her voice to the chorus. Please do not judge those who are anguished and in pain during this emotional time.

        To those who do not understand the essence of what was St. John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO, I can only tell you that this church had a spiritual presence and a feeling that trascended the earthly realm. You need only to have entered its doors to see, hear and feel the essence of what we felt there as a parish community. We took our lead from the gentle and spiritual example set by Fr. Christopher Stade as our rector. This was a vibrant and healthy parish, full of people who loved each other even if they may have disagreed. It was a community who worked together to beautify the church and its surroundings. It was a community filled with children who were being raised in the best Orthodox Christian tradition to love the church and one another.

        Some have referred to this parish as a “cult.” They could not be more wrong. What we were as a parish — and what we long to be again — is a vibrant, living, growing Orthodox Christian parish family who worships together, supports each other, raises our children to be faithful Orthodox Christians, and welcomes all who, like me, walked through the doors of a church and found a spiritual home.

        • M. Stankovich says

          How this unfolds depends on the person who adds his or her voice to the chorus. Please do not judge those who are anguished and in pain during this emotional time.

          With all due respect to your heartfelt comments, let me, as a purely subject observer of this thread, offer several comments, beginning with the fact that our God is a God of Justice, and will not bear injustice against the righteous (“Pay attention to Me, O My people, and give ear to Me, O My nation; For a law will go forth from Me, and I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.” Isa. 51:4-5); that His justice is imminent (“He who vindicates Me is near; who will contend with Me? Let us stand up to each other; Who has a case against Me? Let him draw near to Me. Isa. 50:8); and, in fact, He encourages, if not demands, persistence in the pursuit of justice (“In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected men. And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to him, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused… Lk. 18:2ff). But the greatest error is the foolishness that would suggest to us that it our justice; that we are deserving, we are deserving in a timely manner, or “For Job has said, I am righteous: and God has taken away my judgment.” (Job 34:5)

          The next “logical” step, as Peter Papoutsis has aptly observed, is disobedience and loss of faith in one’s Bishops and spiritual fathers. It has become de rigueur in the age of the anonymous internet to critique, criticize, and scorn the Hierarchs personally; forgetting that the Church has never, ever drawn either its authority or its “holiness” from the personal piety or spiritual success or failings of its Hierarchs and ordained ministers. In this lost age, obedience is offensive, a humiliation, a weakness, and something to be loathed. But we need only turn to a spiritual “expert,” St. John Climacus for guidance: “The surest sign of our faith is when we obey our [superiors] without hesitation, even when we see the opposite happening to what we had hoped.” And even shockingly, “It is better to sin against God than against our [spiritual] father. If we make God angry, our [spiritual father] can reconcile Him to us. But if he [our spiritual father] is angry, then there is no one to speak up for us before God. And in any case,the two situations are really the same.” So, am I suggesting you never address conflict with Bishops or spiritual father? Hardly.

          Let us be vigilant and very carefully and prudently decide when we should gladly and silently endure accusations made against us to our pastor,and when we ought to speak up for ourselves to him. I think we should always be silent when some indignity is offered to us, since we can profit from that. But where another person is involved we should make a defense so as to keep unbroken the bond of love and peace.

          Obviously, the keywords of St. Climacus are carefully and prudently, but easily passed over is the phrase “gladly and silently endure.” If we truly believe our God is a Just God and a Just Judge, justice will, indeed, be done.

          Having said all this, do you find it unreasonable that, as a detached, subjective observer, the words “vibrant, living, growing Orthodox Christian parish family who worships together, supports each other, raises our children to be faithful Orthodox Christians” would strike me as impossibly incongruent with the despicable, anonymous accusations I read? Do you find it unreasonable that I would conclude that this is a dispute among disobedient, petulant, unruly “children” whose Bishop has rightfully sanctioned for their disobedience? And in the end, what would be your expectation of someone like me? Side-up with whomever seems to have the most potent, passionate, or articulate argument? You would wish me to join – ultimately – your particular dispute, not even being of your jurisdiction? Let me conclude by using any analogy of St. Climacus, discussing the similarity of preparing to speak with one’s superior as one would speak to the Lord:

          Those of us wishing to stand before our King and God and to speak to Him should not rush into this without some preparation, lest it should happen that – seeing us from afar without arms and without the dress appropriate to those who appear before the King – He should command His servants and His slaves to lay hold of us, and to drive us out of His sight, to tear up our petitions and to throw them in our faces

          Or as St. Climacus would say, “like someone trying at the same time to swim and to clap his hands.” All of you are in my prayers. Obedience is a gift.

          • Karen Mulroy says

            Dear M. Stankovich,
            Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my thoughts. I understand and respect the wisdom and guidance of the holy ones whom you quoted in your response. The most potent or persuasive position is often not the loudest or most articulately delivered one, though it may come in any of those forms. As a detached observer, you have noted that my description of our former parish as a “vibrant, living, growing Orthodox Christian parish family who worships together, supports each other and raises our children to be faithful Orthodox Christians” seems incongruent with the “despicable, anonymous accusations” you have read. I do not find it at all unreasonable that you would question. However, to reach a conclusion based on what you note were “despicable, anonymous accusations” that you have read is to do just what you cautioned against — concluding that justice has somehow been done in this situation by sanctioning the “disobedient, petulant and unruly ‘children.'” You are absolutely correct when you wrote : “If we truly believe our God is a Just God and a Just Judge, then justice will prevail.” Thank you for keeping all of us in your prayers. Obedience is truly a gift, given freely to all of us. Your quote from St. John Climacus is particularly appropriate to this discourse:

            “Let us be vigilant and very carefully and prudently decide when we should gladly and silently endure accusations made against us to protect our pastor, and when we ought to speak up for ourselves to him. I think we should always be silent when some indignity is offered to us, since we can profit from that. But where another person is involved we should make a defense so as to keep unbroken the bond of love and peace.”

          • Time to Move On says

            As a neutral observer, too, all I can conclude so far is that there is a parish– like mostly all other parishes in the Orthodox world–that is tight-knit and close to each other. Other parish priests are beloved. Other parish priests write books. Other parishes are thriving, too. However, the difference is that this parish is a commune of sorts, living with each other on this property, perhaps even harboring an illegal alien or two. There is a former priest also living there with his family, and he sadly has Alzheimer’s.

            The bishop overseeing this diocese has found it meet and right to give that land back to monastics. The folks living on the land have to move. And they are fighting it tooth and nail. Something apparently has happened in the past–the details of which are murky–and parishioners and family members of the retired priest are now taking to the internet to air their complaints. The pain is real. But honestly, folks, please realize that your bishop has instructed you to leave the property, and be obedient. He is not asking you to do anything immoral. He is not asking you to do anything out of the norm. He wants that land to be used for a monastery. The 30 of you living there can move, find a new parish, pay for your own housing, and hopefully be in obedience to your bishop without airing your laundry here, and end up sounding like spoiled children (which has greatly detracted from your cause).

            I’m sorry if I’m coming across as harsh, but living conditions change for many of us at the drop of a hat. If you are Orthodox, you should know better than to be caught in the lie of permanency and thinking that you have created a utopian village that will stand the test of time. Now, if your bishop was engaged in fraud, or caught in deceptions and deceit, or was engaged in sexual sin, etc., then it may be appropriate to voice your concerns here, after going through the appropriate channels within Church administration. But that has not happened.

            And it is time to pack your bags and go on to the next place that God is sending you. When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window. I truly wish you well in dealing with your sadness and your loss, and pray that the Lord will continue to shower you with His blessings.

            • Dear “Time”: While I have no knowledge of the situation being discussed on this thread, sometimes phrases jump out at me–phrases which are new to me or whose background I don’t fully comprehend.

              Your entry contains such a phrase. As a new Orthodox Christian (not a new Christian, but new to Orthodoxy), I am unfamiliar with “…you should know better than to be caught in the lie of permanency….”

              It may be obvious to everyone else, but can you give me somewhere to learn more about this topic?

              Thank you.

        • It’s nice that you have had a positive experience in the parish, but it is an undeniable fact that there are a great many people who have had very negative experiences. Rather than enjoying the ‘abundant fellowship and love’, it is more likely you had a positive experience simply because you did not become a target like many others unfortunately have.

          • Karen Mulroy says

            How does one define the word “target” as it applies to oneself? Is it subjective, objective, or a combination of both? By what criteria? Each views their “truth” from their own perspective. Light enters a prism on one side and emerges in a vast array of colors at the other end. There are many colors of “truth” in the spectrum.

          • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church says

            Hi Mr. Pickles! Are you staying salty in your little jar?

        • Anonymous says

          If the Bishop left the flock without a parish. Leave ROCOR.

          If he did not explain his actions. Leave.

          He doesn’t deserve a grace period. It is not how it works.

    • That’s a fascinating link, Peter. Though I believe that the evil one “hijacked” Islam to a certain extent, nonetheless, it is true that on certain matters of gender propriety, they put the West to shame. This conflict between the West and the Rest is not a battle of Good against Evil. Gog and Magog are functions of one another. “Ma” is the prefix in semitic languages which indicates agency or function. Magog is another form of Gog. The West and the Rest (most notably, Islam), share a type of quasi-Arian delusion. That is why they both miss the mark with regard to morality. Their Christology is defective.

      It is better to think of the world in several camps: 1) The Orthodox (i.e., we, the believers), 2) the West (the United States, Western Europe, Latin America, Australia, etc.), 3)Sunni Islam, 4)Shiite Islam (Persian Islam, in Iraq, Iran and Syria); 5)China, Japan and the Asian world; and 6) sub-Saharan Africa.

      You can count much of black America, spiritually, as being closer to groups 3 and 6.

      That is the chessboard presented to us.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        I too wish we could speak boldly with one voice on these moral issues. Unfortunately if we do the powers that be (i.e. Bishops) know the young people will bolt, just like the old timers who never gave a damn about the gospel and they, along with their money, would leave as well.

        The church cannot have that when we are trying to fund this or that project. This is the practical heresy we fin ourselves in.


      • Anonymous says

        It is the biggest red herring I’ve ever seen. And now it is still moving!

    • Gregory Manning says

      Well done, Peter. Thanks for the link!

    • Dear Mr. Papoutsis,
      It appears that Orthodox Christians did speak up and assist in this matter. Here’s a sentence from the linked piece:
      “A few faithful churches rose boldly to the challenge, especially minority churches like the Eastern European ones who knew firsthand the meaning of persecution and were readily willing to fight it here in the United States.”
      Perhaps there just weren’t enough Orthodox in Washington to carry the fight alone.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Eastern European is not necessarily Orthodox. Maybe, but not for sure, and if they were not enough to make the Orthodox news circuit let alone the mainstream media.


  33. Phaedrus says

    Take a few minutes to read or listen to this teaching, especially the last ten minutes.


    “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.” – Phaedrus

  34. I have been attendintg the parish off and on for alomst 30 years. I regularly attend a GOA parish. The synod church is closer to my former house. I live further away from the Synod church. There is a second Synod parish in ST. Louis St.Basil which was originally with the Old Calendar Greek Church.
    There were 2 nuns the the first few years that St.John Chrysostom was open and 1 or 2 monks who went to West Virginia. I don’t kn ow why the monks left.
    I sympathize with the remaining parishners. I hope and pray that things get better in that church.

  35. George,

    I think I am a little more upset at your desire to piss on the remains of Stalin than dear Sister Eisodia expressing her opinions as a schema monk. Didn’t know she has a website (Url requested to the material you posted, please) and not surprised she is starting a new monastery (she has recently had an apartment monastery in Washington, D.C.), and she definitely is unique, but she is a solid Orthodox Christian who loves her Church, and doesn’t deserve having a buncha people go off half cocked making phone calls to New York complaining about her. I and you and almost everyone here barely know about a situation that may have nothing to do with her. Meanwhile, enjoy her face to face:


    And y’all have a good vacation out there in Russia which, last I heard, is only potentially or historically holy, ain’t my and ain’t your mother anything, because we American Orthodox are not, for the most part, a Diaspora but a people waiting for our own single Patriarch, know what I mean, bro?

  36. Fishy Smell says

    Harboring illegal immigrants is quite the risk to the diocese and their non profit status. Is the attorney living on the property aware of this?https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1324

    • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO says

      Hi “Fishy Smell,” my name is Mark Emmett Atkins (see above for details) and I have a very important question to ask you. Do you take regular showers? I mean, like real showers with soap and water where you rinse your body? I ask because it may be that the “fishy smell” you are experiencing is actually coming from your own flesh. It would probably be a good idea to scrub down and maybe even pay some extra attention to certain areas where “fishy smells” tend to emanate. Just saying.

      Also, who are you? I’m thinking you might be John Surgant or one of his ridiculous stooges, judging from your tone and your fixation on the mostly irrelevant issue of immigration statuses in this discussion. Of course, it’s really impossible to ever know for sure in this kind of environment. You could just as easily be any other Orthodox jackwagon who has decided to skitter onto the interwebz and make hissing rodent sounds and oblique threats from the shadows.

      Regardless of who you are, you do not impress me. The rest of your anonymous packmates do not impress me either (like “Dima” and “Alithea”). Neither your legal expertise (which is less than dubious) nor your attempts at sounding concerned about the welfare of the diocese are in any way convincing. A diocese is composed of Christians, who are real people, e.g. to be genuinely concerned about a diocese is to be genuinely concerned about people. You and the rest of your malicious cabal do not seem genuinely concerned about us, the Christian people who make up St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO. That is why you, and others in your malicious cabal, have sought for several years now to bring an end to this place and to have some kind of revenge for whatever contrived wrong you feel must be paid for, in tears if necessary.

      Your rebuttal?

      • Thanks Mr. Mark Emmett Atkins for this insight. If this is an example of the “Christian virtues” that are lived at this parish, then I can see why your ArchBishop made the decision to shut it down. A friend of Mr. Crabtree did you say?

        • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO says

          Dima, you just got done vomiting up a wretched pile of lies and false accusations against Fr. Christopher, along with his family and the rest of our parish. Your tangled version of the last 20+ years of history at St John’s can best be described as propaganda. And now you want to talk to us about “Christian virtues,” as though you and your associates have somehow displayed any of them here?

          If you can do all of that with a straight face, then you really are a hypocrite and a fraud, whether you realize it or not. Your piety that you attempt to display here seems incredibly shallow and false, and whatever it is you think “Christian virtues” are, they obviously don’t include simple things like honesty. Listening to you critique the virtues of St John’s parishioners is a lot like listening to Hillary Clinton talk about ethical leadership.

          And yes Dima, a friend of Mr. Crabtree I did say, clearly and unequivocally I might add. And that was the point. The reason I got on here was to defend the people that I know and love from dishonest people like yourself. And unlike you and your anonymous packmates, I will continue to put my own real and very unmistakable name on every single word that I say, so that everyone can know exactly who it is that defies you.

    • Questioning it all says

      Questions for the lawyers of the parish:
      1. How do you reconcile pledging to uphold the laws of the US and your state as an officer of the court while also acting as an officer (or former church council member) of an organization which harbors illegal aliens in violation of the law?
      2. As a church council member were you acting in ignorance or did you willfully disobey the diocesan policy – Diocesan Council, November 13, 2008, which is clearly posted on the Diocese website which prohibits the harboring of illegal immigrants on church property except in the case of temporary emergency?
      3. If you are employed in a government agency, have you disclosed to your employer that you were a council member and/or resident and/or acted as legal counsel of an organization harboring illegal immigrants, explosive information which would impact your employer in a future election?

  37. So I guess sister no like Trump?

  38. All churches on earth have problems. Both at local and higher levels. It has been that way since apostolic times and will be so until the second coming of Christ. Study the epistles of Paul and the Book of Revelation. As mentioned I have attended that church in the past. I live in St.Louis and attend a GOA parishes I lived closer to the above mentioned parish. I have good memories of that church. I hope and pray that things get better there.

  39. Fr. George Washburn says

    Hello friends:

    Gotta say kudos to Mr. Atkins for using his real name, and to the others who do so too.

    The exchanges here about this parish’s woes demonstrate some painful truths that have been drummed into me over the years by both observation and sad experience.

    On the one hand, who is better situated than members of the parish to know actual facts? Yet who is more likely to be so enmeshed in the mix of family ties, personalities, perceptions, reactions and counter-reactions and….as to lack the objectivity and detachment of distance and reflection?

    On the other hand who is less likely to have knowledge of the facts than “outsiders” of miscellaneous distances, denominations or dispositions? Or is more likely (for lack of direct knowledge) to read into such versions of the facts as they’re given whatever predisposition they themselves bring to the exchange? Can their relative distance and detachment really be expected to lead to wise, insightful or healing discussion (let alone conclusion-drawing) about a situation that is SO fraught with intense feelings on all sides?

    God have mercy on all of them, the retired pastor and family, and their bishop. I will not be participating in any further discussion of the situation here.


    Fr. George

  40. concerning the Facebook page. This nun sounds like a radical feminist. The GOA has taken a stance not to endores political candidates in America or Greece. The leadership and clergy of the ROCOR needs to do the same. Hope and pray that things work out for the better.

    • Look, there’s no need for suspense. Whatever Vladyka Pjotr and the Synod decide is what’s going to happen, God willing. Apart from that, everyone might as well go fish.

  41. Here is a statement from the Diocese on the situation: http://www.chicagodiocese.org/news_160812_1.html

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’m glad to see there’s been a resolution.

    • Sounds about right, followed canon law, monastic community primarily, will be services for laity as well. Property issues addressed forthrightly.

      Perfect, as I said, the bishop and synod will handle it.

    • Michael Woerl says

      the information is incorrect; St John’s was NOT “founded as a monastery,” but as a parish. Fr Michael Azkoul was the original priest. Fr Constantine Pazalos was appointed rector of the parish when he joined ROCOR, and was later tonsured as “Kallistos.” I lived in House Springs and was a member of the parish from ’87 to ’90. The parish and later founded monastery were always seen as separate entities. The clergy of the “close-by monastery” served the Parish; “parishioners” DID NOT “attend services at a (or ‘the’) monastery.

  42. George,
    I wish that were true. It looks like the dissenters never had any intention to respect Vladika Peter or the Diocesan Council. Word has it they are now preparing a lawsuit against the diocese. This sad saga will continue.

    • Mark Emmett Atkins, current parishioner and resident of St John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in House Springs, MO says

      The flock seeks to protect itself against wolves, and has no trust in false shepherds who are actually hirelings. Let the reader understand.

      • Mr. Atkins,
        Please remind us what you are protecting yourself from, as the message seems garbled. What should the reader of this blog have an understanding of? What is it all of you hope to gain through a(n) [un]civil lawsuit?

  43. Michael Warren says

    Liberal political agitation in Missouri on the part of a ROCOR convent seems at first alarming even for a body which was/is home to emigre White Movement Russian liberals and Vlasovites with their spoiled, assimilate, heir, Me Generation, closeted, liberal spawn. Generally, the liberal wing of ROCOR tends to confine itself to California and the West Coast with a goodly representation in New York state, but they don’t tend to be so bold in their agitprop anywhere (unless it can profit them). Everyone seems to have their Alfeev and New Skete these days evidently.

    Now, no one should be surprised about this really. ROCOR has for over a decade allowed its Sister Vassa to betray Orthodoxy in heretical ecumenist excess. Its people have participated in the openly liberal Pravmir sites, organs which at times have flirted with the gay agenda, hierofeminism, ecumenist apologetics, russophobia. Even in the “glory days of ole ROCOR,” periodicals such as Orthodox America glorified any and every dissident as a “confessor of Orthodoxy” for “defying Sergianist compromise,” people like Fr. Aleksandr Men (at least at first) with his problematic ecclesiological and dogmatic views and many a “Catacomb Confessor” who may have been legitimately defrocked or had links to an extremist Old Calendarist sect or “autocephalous church.” Why, Boston even developed a khlyst “sexuality of obedience” between novice and “elder.” (Yes, I know HTM is long gone, but it was a pivotal center of Confessing ROCOR replacement church ideology along with Fr. Lebedefff’s Los Angeles).

    Let us recall what +Peter’s last days were all about in Jordanville: he had sparked a scandal by inserting the name of the heresiarch in Istanbul into the diptyches there which met with resistance from senior, more sober monks. He then lent his imprimatur to one of Clark Carlton’s catechetical works, The Faith, where Carlton rubber stamps Yannaras’ exaggerated “eroticism of the HOLY TRINITY,” teaching that the HOLY TRINITY operates in erotic love as an archetypical prefiguration of the erotic love of the marriage bed, thereby acting as a prototype of sexuality which deifies man and wife, i.e. “deifying sex.” +Peter at first defended this dogmatic error to be greeted with denunciations from the senior monks in Jordanville, words of St. Maximos the Confessor in hand explaining how sexuality has become corrupted by the fall and Eros is to be transformed in the uncreated energies of the GODHEAD as an appetitive love for fellowship, enhypostasis in CHRIST, losing its carnal character, how the marriage bed has as its intent that deifying transformation from carnality to divine eros, the pure, insatiable love for GOD in CHRIST. Sober voices from Serbia, Greece, Mt. Athos, Russia chimed in. The liberals in diaspora with +Peter closed the discussion by ignoring the Orthodox corrective (As they seem always wont to do when exposed and educated). While +Laurus defended +Peter, his long time protege and best friend, and forced the ROCOR Synod to consecrate him vicar to +Alipy since +Vitaly and his partisans had become “too holy for ROCOR.” (I won’t go into the reasons why +Vitaly’s Synod viewed +Peter as unsavory and unworthy of the episcopacy as old scandals are not anyone’s but ROCOR’s business to consider).

    Of course, this type of stuff is going to happen when the climate cultivates the fruits: the soil is fertile. When the margins and their denizens take control of the center, the center speaks from the margins. ROCOR has perenially been run by yes men, bootlicks, and hangers on to personae or myth makers.

    I hate to say, “Nothing to see here; next subject.” But, honestly, I long ago buried the ROCOR mythology for myself and don’t see it as a “paragon of Orthodoxy.” It is not and never was the successor of the Paissian Renewal. I don’t buy in to the theatrics and monarchist Potemkin villages. But that doesn’t matter: ROCOR, despite its failings, represents a necessary wing of the Russian mission in diaspora and does indeed provide an edifying witness once the grime of Karlovtsy claptrap is wiped away.

    In the Russian Mother Church, also in my OCA, we have liberals and a big tent, tolerating them to the point that they don’t essentially betray Orthodoxy. Acting to answer them when they do. Why should ROCOR be different? They have a liberal, gay agenda, agitating nun speaking from one of their “hermitages.” We have New Skete, Crestwood, Syosset, our New England diocese (and others). Let me also be clear that people like Yannaras, Zizioulas, Evdokimov, the monks of New Skete, SVS Press, Olivier Clement are still published and read because there is wheat amongst the tares to be gleaned (and not everything is a patch of weeds). The point is sifting the wheat from the tares with an Orthodox formation and not allowing Eastern Rite Protestantism to be a counterfeit to Orthodox formation as so often occurs these days in diaspora.

    So ROCOR has a sectarian, liberal element acting out: I would encourage ROCOR to correct the doctrinal and moral errors, reset the table with Orthodox formation and Neo-Patristic in the place of meta-patristic, Renovationist parameters and then leave the liberals be. With the expressed purpose of setting boundaries for liberals (hopefully, for the conservatives as well) in the Orthodox Church to combat Renovationism. That will help us all in escorting the Eastern Rite Protestants out the door to the worlds of Anglicanism and Old Catholicism where they really belong.

    • All of the above about ROCOR is ignorant garbage. MW is indeed a mixed bag. He has however bought into too many OCA lies. OCA, by and large, outside of the Diocese of the South, is beneath contempt. There is an OCA parish nearby and I would no sooner take communion there, despite it being the DOS, than I would at a Phanar parish. I’m sure it is that bad in the OCA leadership. ROCOR is an entirely different animal.

      • Michael Warren says

        Yeah, first hand knowledge must be wrong if it questions ROCOR. That is precisely why I am right. I don’t think you even realize that I actually offered a hand with constructive criticism.

        For the record, what I wrote is not the “common knowledge about the Synod in the OCA,” but it is at Jordanville.

        • MW,

          Look, I’m not concerned in the least with the lies the OCA has or does tell about the Church Abroad. They have been vociferous liars from the start and I would not put any stock in anything they say regarding ROCOR ever for any reason.

          New Calendar Orthodoxy proved to me and to the world that it is an oxymoron at the council of Crete. It’s over. New Calendar Orthodoxy, lock, stock and barrel has been so thoroughly discredited so as not to pass the laugh test anymore. Even some of the traditional Greek fathers under Athens are saying as much in the open now.

          It’s over. The fat lady sang at the “council”. It just has to play itself out.

          ROCOR is starting to toy around with the idea of Byzantine Rite ROCOR parishes since there may well be a lot of defections from the GOARCH if Athens doesn’t break with the Phanar and return to the Old Calendar. I know of one that is being considered out West as we speak.

          Don’t believe me about all the stuff I’ve said here. Just watch it unfold before your eyes if you wish.

          • Michael Warren says

            I guess you didn’t get that is first hand, ROCOR information? When you insulate yourself from the truth by denying it, massaging a comfortable lie, you are drinking too much koolaid and allowing yourself to be a pawn of deceit. That is not of CHRIST. That is Jesuit casuistry.

            We once had in our OCA a Greek Old Calendarist diocese. Cy is one of the legacies of how that wasn’t the best idea. In other words, without moderation and proper Orthodox guidance and formation, those types of things become extremist and schismatic in the end. Because they become vehicles not of continuing Orthodoxy, but of rebellion and zeal not according to knowledge. That being said, the GOA uncanonically established itself, creating a schism, on our canonical, missionary territory to promote ethnophyletism and Renovationism, colluding with freemasons in its ranks to evade Orthodox oversight.

            You have some fanciful ideas about a New Calendar conspiracy to undermine the purity of ROCOR. Cy writes the same types of things. The Church of Bulgaria and the Church of Antioch refused to attend the Cretan Robber Council and consider it illegitimate. The State Church of Greece seems to be leading the charge in condemning it. Those are all New Calendar churches.

            While in the OCA we have an entire Old Calendar diocese in Alaska, sizeable amounts of Old Calendar parishes in the Diocese of the West and in Canada, even some Old Calendar parishes in the Diocese of New England and in New York. While a good number of Russians and Ruthenians in the OCA celebrate Nativity on 7, January (We even have Nativity services at our primatial cathedral in DC on 7, January). Many privately observe the Old Calendar and view the New Calendar as a missionary use of economy, not ideal.

            But I would go as far as to say there are a few New Calendar parishes that put the average or even better ROCOR parish to shame, and many observant New Calendarists are examples to all Orthodox Christians. I would suggest you visit the OCA Romanian convent in Rives Junction, MI and attend all the services on Saturday and Sunday. Confess and commune. Meet Fr. John. Talk to him; you might just find the Truth preferable to some Grabbe-esque, Karlovtsy distortion of reality.

            FWIW, if the entire Church canonically adopted the New Calendar, I would without hesitation as I have seen many pious and edifying New Calendarists, even in my OCA. But generally I unapologetically support use of the Old Calendar. I am a Russian Orthodox member of the OCA who sees our immediate future in strengthening our relationship with the Mother Church.

            • FWIW, OCA is simply an errant part of the Church of Russia which received its “autocephaly” from the Soviet Church. It is now run by liberals who defenestrated Met. Jonah and put a quasi-Uniate in charge in the DOS.

              ROCOR, Serbia, Jerusalem, Athens, moderate Old Calendarists like Abp Chrysostomos of Etna – that is real Orthodoxy. The rest may be technically Orthodox but mostly do not engage in orthopraxis.

              And that’s just the way it is. I can live with it. There are good people in all the jurisdictions, I assume. George M., our illustrious host, is in OCA. I certainly respect him. I just am done with any New Calendar entity after Crete. I’m sure that is wise. Let them live, die on the vine, whatever. Not my concern. I’d rather them return to orthopraxis but I’m fairly dispassionate about it.

              OCA/Metropolia has had a long history of aggressive, pathological lying regarding the ROCOR going back to the late 1920’s-1930’s. I don’t even bother to vet their bile anymore.

              • Michael Warren says

                Seems to me you have the same demons accosting Cy to vet and from which to recover. Until you admit that you will remain in this loop of ROCOR mythology and sectarian programming. But since ROCOR itself is gradually rejecting its past you may still have a chance at recovery.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                So, Misha is a Calendarist!

              • Misha, your true colors have been revealed. You are really a Protestant–protestor. You put yourself above the church , viewing yourself as the true arbiter of Orthodoxy. Remember, “the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.” The Etna group is non-canonical. As you stated before, you would not commune in certain canonical Orthodox Churches but would commune with the Etna group. You “assume” that you can identify who is good in whatever jurisdiction you choose, yet promote the concept that there is no grace outside the Church. What Church?

              • Carl Kraeff says

                And you, dear Misha, are writing as if you are under the influence of either chemicals or of a demon. May be both.

                • Michael Warren says

                  Let’s be clear that the ham handedness, schismatic worldview, of the New Calendar commandos, the Protestant attempts at Reformation by the pew and organ, papal pedophile lounge suit wearing Renovationists and the betrayal of Orthodoxy by the ecumenist heretics alienates Orthodox believers and creates attitudes like Mr. Misha’s.

                  Insisting that group X is uncanonical while celebrating the reasons why group X came into being with betrayals of Orthodoxy and advocacy for error, schism, heresy is a very incestuous circumlocution aimed at rationalizing Eastern Rite Protestant lack of Orthodox fidelity. And these people then go on to be mouthpieces for ecumenism and issue apologies for its excesses and prayer with outright heretics… If it weren’t so pathetic, it would be parody.

                • To all of the peanut gallery above who are one and all in way above their heads:

                  I have not denied that there is grace even in the Phanar, at least until, at minimum, a local council excommunicates them.

                  I have always maintained that the moderate Old Calendarists who do not deny grace is present in the “canonical Church” are, in fact, part of the Church in the same way that the MP was part of the Church during the Bolshevik years, for example, or in the same way that Antioch and Jerusalem are both part of the Church, their schism notwithstanding.

                  My rejection of the idea of me personally taking communion in a New Calendar church stems from the fact that I know that a) New Calendarism and neo-Patristicism are pseudo-Orthodoxy, heteropraxis, and lead to heterodoxy; and b) moreover, in the particular case of the Phanar, knowing to a mathematical certainty that Bartholomew is in heresy, it might be dangerous for me and anyone else who shares my conviction to partake in that church since we would be knowingly taking communion from a heresiarch. I have it on good authority from authorities I respect that that is a no-no and consuming unworthily. I could receive at any other New Calendar church not in heresy, but I choose not to because I do not know what Babylon has to do with Jerusalem.

                  As to chemicals or demons, I have said nothing the least unorthodox nor am I consuming any chemicals (my blood pressure medicine, for example) that my medical professionals are unaware of nor of which they disapprove in any way (just FYI).

                  The Light is the best disinfectant.

                  To the best of my knowledge, ROCOR has not reputed one iota of its heritage as it has always understood it throughout the Soviet period. That understanding was, in fact, the basis for the language in the Act of Canonical Unity which restored communion between ROCOR and the MP. It recognized that there were two parts to the Church of Russia which were being restored to communion and that ROCOR had always been an integral part of the Church of Russia. This was agreed on very explicitly by both sides as was the provision that the MP had no authority to interfere with the diocesan boundaries of the ROCOR (Article 6 of the Act).

                  What this amounts to is a recognition of the fact that ROCOR always had a right to exist for the reasons it always asserted, that it was the sole competent authority in the ROC during the period due to the Soviet oppression. There is really no other logical way of interpreting that.

                  It is not ROCOR which is recallibrating but the MP which is reconsidering its ecumenist statements uttered through past and present hierarchs.

                  As to the OCA, I have no idea what will happen to it. It is a radical anomaly at this point, but I assume that grace abides in it, nonetheless. Yet Syosset and SVS are part of the Progressive Borg.

                  May God have mercy on the OCA but I really don’t want anything to do with it. I know there are good people within it and I encourage them to fight on if they so choose . . . or leave – six of one, half dozen of the other.

                  I just see no future in New Calendar Orthodoxy. I think it is a dead end.

                  • Michael Warren says

                    I don’t commune in Renovationist parishes which use organs not because they don’t have grace but because their heterodox practices scandalize a sinner like myself and make it impossible for me to partake of the Eucharist in contrition with my heart fully receptive of the Mystery. So I avoid GOA and Antiochian churches which use musical instrumentation.

                    • Would you worship in a church that used cymbals, harp, lyre, pipe and had dancing? I assume not. You would not have worshipped with our Lord.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      I worship in our LORD’s Body and am one with it in HIS Church, the Orthodox Church, which forbids the use of musical instruments in our worship, forbidden by successors to the Holy Apostles speaking in the HOLY SPIRIT who exercised the power the LORD gave them to “bind and loose.”

                      I understand Eastern Rite Protestants like you have poor formations, never fully converted to Orthodoxy, and hence are at home rebelling against orthopraxis. You don’t want Orthodoxy: you want an Eastern Rite First Methodist Church to reflect your Renovationist worldview. You don’t want CHRIST. You don’t want the Holy Fathers. You want your Protestant worship and rebellion augmented with Eastern Rite props where you affirm your pride and shout your rebellion against the Church is correct and the Church is wrong. You worship your own self-satisfied ideas, your image, rather than being transfigured in CHRIST in HIS CHURCH by obedience and a kenotic renunciation of the old man. CHRIST’s sacrifice to you is relative to your level of comfort and how it reconciles itself with your personal convictions. You have no Church. CHRIST is incidental to the altar you have made of your mirror.

                      I also don’t worship in places which conduct animal sacrifices, where laymen cover their heads in worship and where sinners are stoned in the courtyard, because my worship is in CHRIST’s Church and not the Old Covenant Temple. CHRIST HAS FULFILLED ALL THINGS AND MADE THEM NEW.

                      So you are tasked to either become Orthodox or cease accosting faithful and obedient Orthodox Christians with your Eastern Rite Protestant apologies for rebellion against the Church, your Protestant Restorationist rationalizations for Reformation. Be Orthodox AND OBEY THE CHURCH or be honest enough to admit you are a Protestant who likes an Eastern Rite setting.

                    • Johnkal,

                      So the synagogue and Temple had cymbals, harp, lyre, pipe and dancing in Christ’s time? Interesting. I have heard it said that the Temple had instruments before its second destruction but that it was toned down after its first destruction. Yet there is little archeological evidence on these matters. In any case, post-Temple moved toward chanting. Unless the Holy Ghost took a hiatus, that seems to have been the will of God. And the Holy Ghost doesn’t abandon the Church.

                      Christ gave his Apostles and their successors the power to bind and loose. Protestantism is a tool of the evil one.

                      Ultimately, I think it all had to do with the trajectories of Temple and synagogue worship and how that affected the early Church. The Temple had become very worldly and its caretakers doubters of the resurrection. The synagogue became the more solid residence of the Hebrew faith with a firm conviction on the world to come. Thus the materiality was played down. Perhaps there was a conscious contrast of the human voice, understood as spirit, with mechanical devices, understood as materiality.

                      That is not to say that materiality is evil. Orthodoxy rejects that. However, God is a Spirit and He must be worshiped in Spirit and Truth.

                    • Michael Warren says

                      BTW, most worship in synagogues until the mid twentieth century was accompanied with acapella singing where accomplished cantors had to master daunting training to sing the Psalms in Hebrew. The acapella tradition of Jewish cantors is really quite impressive, quite melodious, beautiful.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      I can attest to that having attended a Conservative Jewish funeral several years ago where the cantor sang the Kiddush (I believe). It was phenomenal.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      When I was first introduced to the Orthodox Church about 36 years ago it was at my local Greek Orthodox parish. There was an organ there; one of those small electric organs I believe were called harmoniums. I knew nothing at the time about the issue of instrumental music in the Orthodox church, but I do remember thinking it was a poor excuse for an organ from my Protestant perspective, and the music clearly did not seem to be organ music. Especially I remember its use in accompanying the Good Friday Lamentations back then.

                      Anyway, it was removed at least 25 years ago. Do some other GOA churches still have these? I must admit, I’ve only ever been to a Greek Orthodox church besides my own once, at Hagia Sophia in Washington DC a few years back. There was no organ there!

                    • Michael Warren says

                      Organs are forbidden for use in Orthodox worship and are only seen in less than 1% of all Orthodox parishes across the globe.

                      So your first encounter was not with Orthodoxy, but with Eastern Rite Protestant Renovationism in Greek.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Gosh, Mike, do they get any credit for pulling it out of there a quarter-century ago?

                    • Michael Warren says

                      About as much as GOCs who once said that the GOA did not have grace to today say they aren’t sure.

                      The point is not the organ but the Renovationist orientation that makes it possible.

              • Bishop Tikhon (Fitzgerald) says

                Misha, no liberals “defenestrated” Metropolitan Jonah: when the going got too rough for mother’s little boy he hurriedly resigned and took refuge in the change purse of’ one of Bishop Basil Rodzianko’s well-to-do benefactresses .
                You wrote this: “To the best of my knowledge, ROCOR has not reputed one iota of its heritage ” “REPUTED?” WHAT’S THAT?
                There is an organ in the St AlexanderNevsky Cathedral in Paris, France. It was installed in order that Gretchaninoff’s Augmented Liturgy could be served there (Gretchaninoff wrote it for Bass, Choir, and Organ.) You may hear it on a recording of the great bass, Chaliapin, and that Cathedral’s choir. They had no idea that IN THE XXI CENTURY an American Carpatho-Russian Rumpelstiltzkin, trying desperately to be included in his own dream of “Great” Russia, would label them “Eastern-Rite Protestants!” (ETC!!!!!)
                I love our a capella music, but Greek apologists for the organ point out that it was invented by the Byzantines, used in the Imperial court, and that if the Church’s clergy could adopt the IMPERIAL SACCOS, and the IMPERIAL EPIGONATION AND MITER, WHY NOT ADOPT THE IMPERIAL ORGAN USED FOR COURT CEREMONIES?
                That is a fallacious but reasonable argument that has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY UNIA OR RC “EASTERN RITE, ” Rumpelstiltzkin’s pseudo-scholarship notwithstanding!

                I should point out that the Ethiopians use drums, cymbals and tambourines–relative to Jewish Temple practice in Christ’s time on earth.

                • Michael Warren says

                  +Metropolitan Jonah was railroaded and uncanonically removed by the Renovationists of Syosset-Crestwood who staged an ecclesiastical coup d’etat against their canonical primate. No charges were brought. No spiritual court was called to remove +Metropolitan Jonah. Only innuendo months later oozed through unofficial channels. +Metropolitan Jonah still has not been allowed to answer the denunciations brought against him before the faithful of the OCA. None of us really know what they are.

                  Musical instrumentation is forbidden in Orthodox worship. Blessed Augustine, amongst others, denounces it. Canonist Zonaras states it is forbidden in the Pedalion. Even Thomas Aquinas says it is inappropriate for Christian worship. Yet this Eastern Rite Protestant has the audacity to state in his typically crazy convert sociopathy that because some émigré parish in France may have installed it to perform Russian composer pieces (maybe, because we know this fellow is constantly challenged in telling the truth) that that Renovationist act of a fringe minority is somehow normative?! Musical instruments are forbidden in Orthodox woship. Non Chalcedonians are not Orthodox.

                  He accompanies this agitprop with a non sequitur, russophobic screed no less. Not Renovationism?! Leave Russian Orthodoxy to the Russians. Leave Orthodox canonicity to people who aren’t fired meta-bishops, who clearly don’t live the Orthodox Faith in the Tradition. You are a disgrace.

                  Carpatho Russians are the people who sacrificed so you could have a church to pray in: you certainly didn’t build it. Carpatho Russians are my Russian brothers. You aren’t. Their generosity took you in off the street. This is how you thank your benefactors? I hail from Cossack and Great Russian stock: you are non Russian and don’t know what you are talking about. So I suggest you get back on your meds and perhaps return officially to the Lutheran church you never left and rant and rave your Renovationist, Banderofascist, Uniate, Russophobic drivvle there to your heart’s content. But your nonsense is not welcome in Orthodox company.

                • Reality Checker says

                  Vladyko, you of all people should know that Gretchaninov was nothing but a sinister minion of Eastern Rite Protestant Renovationism! It is a shame even to speak of the things these imposters do in musical darkness, lacking an Orthodox formation. ” . . . So you are tasked to either become Orthodox or cease accosting faithful and obedient Orthodox Christians with your Eastern Rite Protestant apologies for rebellion against the Church, your Protestant Restorationist rationalizations for Reformation. Be Orthodox AND OBEY THE CHURCH or be honest enough to admit you are a Protestant who likes an Eastern Rite setting.”

                  • Michael Warren says

                    Now brush up on your Hooked on Phonics so you can understand what is written there in Uniate, Banderofascist land.

                • He who capitalizes large portions of his post has already lost the argument.

  44. I am here not to speak from my mind, but rather to just inform you about the latest happenings that took place. It is strange to me how this poor tormented person (not by people, but rather her own spiritual controversies) sister Eisodia thinks that she can tell different stories to different people and nobody will notice. Our church is happily being of one loving mind, wishing no harm neither to her nor anybody else, still waiting to hear a plausible explanation and resolution to this conflict from authorities. Do not make a mistake, IT IS highly emotional and can’t be all smooth. First, is that despite nun Eisodia’s habit of signing documents as “Eisodia and sisters with me” there are no other nuns presently there, the one other Russian nun who has moved in earlier ESCAPED WITHOUT A TRACE. Second, nun Eisodia is SELLING CHURCH’S ICONS FROM THE ALTAR AND OTHER ITEMS. Two former parishioners came on Sat. Aug. 13 for the announced Liturgy with Mt.Jonah (which was cancelled, but they either didn’t check their email or didn’t receive it for some reason). They were allowed to enter the church and attend something like a 10 min prayer, after which they chanced to step into the dining hall, where they saw two shelves with “For Sale” sign on them. A woman recognised a beautiful icon of Mother of God she herself brought from Jerusalem and gave to the church 5 years earlier. She was so attached to it that Father Christopher noticed and told her that he will keep it in the altar, but if she ever wants it back he will give it back to her. His love and understanding always preceded other motives. Now the woman claimed that it was her icon, but the nun said that the only way to get it was to buy it. $100. So, needless to say she paid and thought it a miracle, that she came at the right time. There were many other items there, among them a golden cross with a tag $500. When asked about it nun seemed to hesitate:”It is a very good gold, I might rather give it to someone as a gift”. Our fear is that it might be the very cross our parish collected money for to give Fr. Christopher when he was awarded the right to wear it. The nun stated that all these things were given to her by Fr. Christopher with permission to sell, so she would have money for food. (How does that sound to you?) Which appears to be just one of many lies. NO. He did not give her any such permissions. Peace. God will not be mocked.

    • Anonymous,
      I have to call you out on something that is entirely inconsistent with other statements made on this blog. You state ‘Our church is happily being of one loving mind, wishing no harm…still waiting to hear…from authorities.’
      You have a twisted take on what ‘being of one loving mind’ should look like. ‘Wishing no harm’ is inconsistent with the past and present propensity to attack and vilify any and all people who dare to disagree with your group. Having, over a number of years, brought together a select group of people who will follow the direction of certain specific individuals who falsely believe they have spiritual authority lends no credence to your claim of ‘peaceful love and oneness of mind’.
      You’re still waiting for a peaceful resolution from your spiritual directors? Is that why you fail to mention that you are preparing a lawsuit against the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America?
      For shame, for shame.

    • I’m confused. What part of, “The Orthodox Church is hierarchical and governed by bishops and synods.” do these apostates not understand? Can’t they just go and start their own little heterodox cult and leave the Orthodox alone? I suppose not. But the bleating is pointless. You should be writing letters to Vladyka Peter, not posting on Monomakhos. If neither he nor the Synod is interested in your opinion, I’m sure there is a reason. By your own account the woman said she gave the icon to the church 5 years ago. Then she claims it is hers. Do you see a pattern? True, God will not be mocked. So quit mocking Him.

      But rave on if you must.

      • I agree with you that there is no much sense in presenting any of this factual information before you and your likes here, Misha. ” If neither he nor the Synod is interested in your opinion, I’m sure there is a reason.” I am sure there is a REASON on another hand why nobody here wants to acknowledge that the nun in question here is one from well known to you group of DC nuns, faithful and loyal only to their elder Dionysios. And you have a nerve to call people whose parish she occupied apostates? ” If neither he nor the Synod is interested in your opinion, I’m sure there is a reason.” being your only claim so far. I am sure there are lots of reasons, most of them purely political. Children of this church don’t have any political reasons, they are crying over their lost church, there are no liturgies served, they are looked down upon as thieves, not allowed to come near. You call it pointless bleating. May I humbly remind you and others Matthew 18:6: But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

        • When two opposing sides collide, at least one side is not going to be happy. Even admitting merits on both sides, someone has to decide. In Orthodoxy, that someone is the bishop and the synod.

          And that’s the end of it. Everyone has a right to be offended, to be unsatisfied, to lament about “the poor children”, etc. ad nauseam. And they will.

          I suggest everyone improvise, adapt and move on. Or not. All the same to me.

          • I think the bishop left the people without a priest. No?

            Leave ROCOR.


            • Also Anonymous says

              Such drastic measures are unreasonable. You do realize that there is another, very spacious ROCOR church 20 minutes from House Springs.

              • It’s pretty clear reason doesn’t factor in this situation from the perspective of ‘Anonymous’ and those with them. I predict they will never be satisfied, since they need to always be fighting something (because they are being victimized, right?).
                That said, it is certainly sad, and I pray that the former parishioners find peace and learn peaceful coexistence with others outside of their small group.

                • Did the bishop tell the flock to go to the other church? Or is this you now suggesting that as a course of action? A bishop should not leave a group of people(the church) without a priest. It is a simple yes or no answer. If the answer is no, he did not offer a priest for the people, then they should consider leaving his flock. Consider strongly.

                  His primary charge is not one of buildings, but people. People are a church – not wood or brick structures. If I am wrong, please offer a citation showing where the bishop told the people to go to the other church and I’ll be joyous.

                  That was my only point.

                  You cannot suggest that the bishop dismantled the church, and just expected the people to make their own decisions about how to proceed based on their geographical locations, etc. It is not what a bishop is supposed to do.

                  Now, I am no bishop, but I would expect far more from a bishop than removing a priest and shuttering a parish.

                  Your anonymity is vital because you cannot honestly suggest the bishop is right here and I think you know that.

                  But I enjoy your attempt at painting my simple, graceful message as one of victimization, and the inability to get along with others. I think most people will see through your fog.

                  • LOL, ‘Anonymous’. Thank for continuing to amuse.
                    Actually, Vladika Peter came in person to the House Springs parish several years ago to suggest a merger with the other ROCOR parish, and let it be known publicly that he wished to have a monastic community in House Springs.
                    Your charges are invalid.

                    Your charges are refuted by the ukase from Vladika Peter which stated that he wanted the laity to stay if they wished and work in concert with the monastic community. Are you not aware this is public knowledge?

                    As to the ‘fog’, I do believe most people are seeing through the misinformation spread by you and others from the House Springs sect.

                    If you truly believe that the Church pertains to people without regard to buildings, why in the world are you fighting so hard to get back the keys to that little church? Apparently, what is most important to your sect is ownership of the keys, and the power to run the sect as you see fit without regard to the authority or prerogatives of your archpastor.

                    • Actually brah, there are no charges and I spread no misinformation. Reread my posts. They are simple if constructs. I said if this, then that. If constructs are commonly used in computer programming; they are not complex concepts.

                      What I find interesting is staying with the monastic community sounds like without a priest. And you made no effort to refute that.

                      I have no dog in the fight at all Pickles. I’m just an outsider observer stating an if construct. People voiced some serious concerns and they all named themselves. You, on the other hand, have not.

                      The fact you are working so hard to defend an if construct gives me some pause that things have not been done very well.

                      I’d like to add that more than one post here has been done by “anonymous” and they are all not mine. So, rather than attacking anonymous, stick with the objective friend…

        • George Kohen says

          Anonymous, your information concerning the nun in question is incorrect. The nun in question hasn’t been associated with the DC nuns for quite a while. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, her loyalties lie with Metropolitan Jonah. When he resigned she went with him and followed him into ROCOR (which had unceremoniously dropped the DC nuns, remember?). Try again pal.

  45. Misha, you would refuse to partake of the eucharist in canonical Orthodox Churches? Do you question the validity of the sacraments in canonical Orthodox churches You are in spirit a Protestant–a protestor. You put yourself above the Church and view yourself as the sole arbiter of Orthodoxy. As you well know, for many years the monks at Holy Transfiguration in Boston were the spokesmen for the ROCOR. How could such a holy group–ROCOR–make such an egregious mistake?

    • johnkal,

      First of all, what does a protestant going by johnkal have to do with anything? Secondly, you are a liar in that you state that the monks of Transfiguration were spokesmen for ROCOR. That is a lie and you must know it…They were prominent in their views but their views did not always reflect the consensus of the synod of ROCOR, specifically with respect to grace being present in the MP. Third, I did not say that grace was not present in the New Calendar churches. Your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired. But, since you are obviously not Orthodox, I can cut you some slack on not being particularly familiar with Orthodox theology and ecclesiology.

      Fourth, when a patriarch falls into heresy, until at least a local synod condemns him his mysteries are presumed to be valid – EXCEPT, that even those under the heresiarch who know that he has fallen into heresy, if they partake of the eucharist under him, do so unworthily and risk their own spiritual and physical health. However, while I know that that applies to Bartholomew (the heresiarch in question) himself, I am not sure if that goes all the way down the line throughout his patriarchate or just applies to the eucharist served by his consecration.

      Now, protestant John Calvin wannabe, do you have any more questions? Any fool knows that a clergy’s personal sins do not affect the grace of his sacraments. Open heresy, however, is a particularly sticky wicket.

      • Reality Checker says

        johnkal, the Arrogant Duo of Misha and Michael Warren remind me of another pair, two famed cinema villainesses. Suited to his insipid and quite unoriginal contributions, we’ll cast Misha in the passive cameo role: the Wicked Witch of East Kentucky. MW we’ll cast as the Wicked Witch of West Eurasia and All Russia.


        Dorothy: I thought you said she was dead.

        Glinda, the Good Witch of the North: That was her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East. This is the Wicked Witch of the West. She’s worse than the other one was.

        Wicked Witch of the West: Who killed my sister? Who killed the Witch of the East?! Was it you?!

        Dorothy: No, no it was an accident. I didn’t mean to kill anybody!

        Wicked Witch: Well, my little pretty, I can cause accidents too.

        Glinda: Aren’t you forgetting the ruby slippers?

        Wicked Witch: The slippers. Yes! The slippers… [She reaches for them, but they disappear and the feet curl up under the house] They’re gone! The ruby slippers. What have you done with them? Give them back to me or I’ll…

        Glinda: [after the slippers appear on Dorothy’s feet] It’s too late. There they are and there they’ll stay.

        Wicked Witch: Give me back my slippers. I’m the only one that knows how to use them. They’re no use to you. Give them back to me. Give them back!

        Glinda: Keep tight inside of them. Their magic must be very powerful, or she wouldn’t want them so badly.

        Wicked Witch: [to Glinda, pointing] You stay out of this Glinda, or I’ll fix you as well!

        Glinda: [laughs] Oh, rubbish! You have no power here. Now begone, before somebody drops a house on you too!

        Wicked Witch: [looks up at the sky, afraid] Very well. I’ll bide my time. [to Dorothy] And as for you, my fine young lady, it’s true, I can’t attend to you here and now as I’d like, but just try to stay out of my way. Just try! I’ll get you, my pretty – and your little dog, too! Ah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah! Ah-hah-hah-hah-hah-hah!!!

        • Eastern Rite Protestantism argued by invective and children’s literature… And one wonders why no one takes you clowns seriously but rather sees you ridiculous Renovationists as an unread, sectarian, fringe group. Read a book. Think. Deprogram. Your nonsense shouts you have nothing to contribute to Orthodox dialogue, Stinkovitch.

        • Halloween has come early. I suppose there’s a reason it is not an Orthodox holiday.

  46. Michael Woerl says

    I knew nothing about this and it makes me sick to see it. I was in this parish from ’87 to ’90. When we arrived, there was one building: the church. With a trailer behind (not a building) that the nuns lived in. The “monastery” was a rented trailer a few miles down the road. There was ALWAYS a differentiation betwen parish and monastery. My condolences to the Stade family … unbelievable!

  47. Michael Woerl says

    Holy Transgiguration Monastery was “spokesman” for … Holy Transfiguration Monastery. And you know what, johnkal? You can keep all your oh, so “Canonical Orthodox Churches” that make trampling the canons in filth their greatest joy. Let the EP have its Greatest Wish, and join the Pope. Be Vatican Annex, Istsnbul. The “Canonical” bit just DIED. In Crete.

  48. Also Anonymous says

    Such drastic measures are unreasonable. You do realize that there is another, very spacious ROCOR church 20 minutes from House Springs.