Voices from Russia

Thursday, 3 January 2013

3 January 2013. A Tale of Two Enthronements…

01e Orthodox China Dome of the Mission Church Shanghai

God DOES see and judge…


Compare this and this. The first is the enthronement of Tikhon Mollard in the District; the second is the enthronement of Antony Scharba in Silver Spring MD, just three loud farts away. According to Google Maps, the road distance between St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in the District and St Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring is only 26 kilometres (16 miles). Those of us who know the shitty roads and the wretched traffic in that neck of the woods know that it takes forever to get anywhere; it takes about 50 real-world minutes to drive between the two churches (38 minutes? Get real… this is the District; with traffic arrangements (un)funded by the US Congress and designed by Satan himself).

Scharba’s being enthroned on Saturday 26 January… Mollard’s being enthroned on Sunday 27 January. Of course, neither website acknowledges the existence of the other enthronement, so, obviously, one can’t tell if it’s a snub or just plain ol’ hutsky-klutsky (my vote is for a combination of the two, with most of it being hutsky-klutsky). Since both enthronements are taking place in the same metro area, we can draw direct comparisons between them and declare a “winner” as far as po-nashemu pragmatism’s concerned.

In this, the Ukies win hands down. There’s no contest. Of course, the fact that Lyonyo, Jillions, and Tosi (with input from Potapov, no doubt) planned the OCA hootenanny guaranteed that it would end as a gigantic tits-up, overpriced and not good value for money. Firstly, the OCA dinner costs 100 bucks (3,000 Roubles. 77 Euros. 62 UK Pounds) a head, no exceptions. The Ukie feast costs 50 bucks (1,500 Roubles. 38.50 Euros. 31 UK Pounds) a hit, half as much, plus they have student discounts and it’s free for the kids. This means that Tony Scharba wants as many people about him as possible… and bring the kids, please! It means that Tikhon Mollard is a putz manoeuvred by his puppeteers… only the right people are coming to his dinner… Lyonyo, Behr, Jillions, and Tosi will see to that. The Ukies kept their meal at their Cathedral hall, which means that they kept control of the premises and costs… the OCA is holding theirs at an outside venue, which means that they have NO control over the event. What a buncha losers.

Then, when it comes to hotel discounts, the Ukies win again. The OCA “discount” is 139 smackers (4,200 Roubles. 107 Euros. 87 UK Pounds) a night… that’s no discount; it’s the usual price for a half-ass room in the District and its surrounding burbs. The Ukies got 79 bucks (2,400 Roubles. 61 Euros. 50 UK Pounds) a night per room at Holiday Inn, no Motel 6 that. That is, the Ukies are paying 57 percent of the rate that the OCA crowd’s paying. That’s some steep difference. Is Lyonyo et al getting skunked on the rate? Is Lyonyo et al getting a kickback? I’ll betcha any amount that it’s a combination of the two.

The OCA enthronement is going to end as High Comedy, whilst the Ukie enthronement is going to be a smoothly-functioning affair. Oh, one last thing… the choir at St Andrew Cathedral is a well-rehearsed lot, under the expert direction of a former OCA director from the District. The choir at the OCA Dixie Fry will consist of a poorly-prepared pickup choir under the direction of David Drillock (the old overrated and undertalented SVS music guru… he must be pushing 80… he’s bluffed his way through life as he was Ledkovsky’s flunky in his youth). Yowza…

BMD barbara-drezhloBarbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 3 January 2013

Albany NY


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Ukrainian Orthodox Leader Kept Close To Followers


Despite serious health problems that put Metropolitan Constantine Buggan in the hospital several weeks ago, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA didn’t want to disappoint the people planning to attend last weekend’s celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of his consecration. Archbishop Antony Scharba of South Bound Brook NJ, who heads the church’s Eastern Diocese, said, “We talked to him about postponing the events for a while, but he wanted to go through with it because so many people would be coming to Pittsburgh from around the US and several countries. He told me that we should go through with it because he didn’t know if he’d be around in a month or two. I believe he had a premonition of what was going to happen and saw it as an opportunity to say goodbye to all the people he knew”.

On Monday, Metropolitan Constantine Buggan of the South Side, whose secular name was Theodore Buggan, died from congestive heart failure. He was 75. A native of the South Side, he grew up across the street from St Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Parish on Sidney Street. Constantine graduated from the Ukrainian Orthodox seminary at the College of St Andrew, in Winnipeg MN (affiliated with the University of Manitoba) in Canada, from which he graduated in 1959. He also studied at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers NY and Duquesne University, receiving a doctorate in philosophy from the latter. He became a priest in 1967, serving parishes in Chicago IL and Troy NY. In 1972, he became the first American-born bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. Constantine served as Bishop of Chicago until 1993, when he became the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. According to church officials, they have nearly 10,000 parishioners in 14 Western PA and Ohio parishes.

Fr Timothy Tomson, who was ordained by the Metropolitan and played host to one of the anniversary celebrations at St Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks PA, where he is pastor, said, “Constantine had a certain local charm that easily won people over”. Tomson said he and his family are “still a little bit numb” from the news of Constantine’s death, saying, “Every life has an exit, and our job is to help people prepare for that exit. But it’s a little difficult to realise that last Saturday we were celebrating his life in ministry, and this Saturday we’ll be placing him in the ground. Life is truly but a shadow and a dream”.

Archbishop Antony, who was ordained by Constantine in 1972, said that whilst the Metropolitan had a variety of interests, his main focus was encouraging young people to carry on the traditions of the faith, saying, “He searched for every opportunity to motivate our youth to not only participate within the walls of the church, but to go out and get involved in their communities”, noting that Constantine played a critical role in establishing All Saints (youth) Camp in Emlenton PA in Venango County. Archbishop Antony further noted, “Reaching out to the young people was at the core of his soul, and I believe were truly the most joyous days of his life”. Funeral services will be on Friday and Saturday at St Vladimir parish, 1810 Sidney Street, on the South Side.

22 May 2012

Tony LaRussa

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


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