Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

13 October 2015. REAL Monks are JOYFUL…

00 A Real Monk... Vladimir Davydenko. The Joy of Life. 2006

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If you hear of a “Monastic” putting on a long face and making a public show of their asceticism… they’re NOT real monastics. REAL monastics are EUCHARISTIC people… full of thanks for all the real things that God has given us. Even a babe can tell the difference… do note well that the konvertsy can’t do it… what does that tell you about them?

BMD

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Believers Flock to Grave of New Greek Orthodox Saint

00 st paisios grave. 18.01.15

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Thousands of believers made pilgrimage to the monastery of St John the Evangelist in a small town in northern Greece to visit the grave of the Orthodox Church’s latest saint, St Paisios. Elder Paisios, a monk who spent most of his life in the nearby Mount Athos monastic community, essentially became a saint by popular acclamation. Revered among the faithful as a wise man and a prophet, the Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate bishops in Istanbul canonised him last Tuesday, just over 40 years after his death on 12 July 1974, at the age of 70. On Sunday, believers from all over the Balkans flocked to the monastery in Souroti, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) east of Thessaloniki.

18 January 2015

Associated Press

http://news.yahoo.com/faithful-flock-grave-greek-orthodox-saint-182835728.html

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Magical Mountain

17-Alfons Maria Mucha. Mount Athos, The Holy Mountain. The Orthodox Vatican (from the Slavonic Epic, nr 17). 1926

Mount Athos, The Holy Mountain: The Orthodox Vatican

Alfons Maria Mucha

1926

from The Slavonic Epic, nr 17

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Mount Athos is truly a magical mountain, not in the Thomas Mann sense of the term, but rather as a blessed holy place that speaks volumes to Greeks. I don’t believe that I’ve ever felt the way I did in the early morning hours, listening to hymns, watching the elderly monks on the benches, observing the younger monks artfully and patiently lighting candles in the chandeliers, in an incense-scented scene of absolute and disciplined beauty. Leaving aside the natural beauty and the few unique interlocutors who leave an indelible mark on visitors, the Mountain is a source of inspiration offering an opportunity for recollection.

Mount Athos is various worlds in one. One part, rightly or wrongly, is identified with all the backward elements of modern Greek thinking, ranging from conspiracy theories to the most primitive perceptions of the modern world. However, whilst backward-looking people look and listen to all that matches their bias and theories, those in search of their own balance vis-à-vis a complicated world will find solace in the landscape, the early dawn services, and the discussions. Athos also demonstrates the art of survival. The Church is the oldest political organisation in the country and Mount Athos is living proof of how it’s managed to overcome historical adversity and catastrophes, as well as more ephemeral situations, such as government and régime changes. A friend visited one of the barest, most primitive, monasteries and saw a photograph of dictator Ioannis Metaxas there. He asked the abbot, “How come you still have a portrait of Metaxas hanging on the wall?” The monk replied, “He was a benefactor to our monastery. Sometimes, we take longer to hang portraits of rulers, but, more importantly, we take even longer to bring them down”.

Stories of survival and the tactics of those in charge are passed on by word of mouth, from one generation of monks to the next as they continue to support and maintain their traditions. I remember an elderly monk explaining that his monastery had been able to expand thanks to the good-will of the Byzantine (sic) emperor’s high-ranking secretary, “What today’s young politicians fail to understand is that they’ll disappear in a few years, but the monastery will still be here long after they’ve gone”. The self-assurance rendered by tradition and survival in the face of adversity is invincible and, clearly, Mount Athos teaches this unique art. Athos is a unique heritage that we must protect and safeguard for centuries to come. In the meantime, its current representatives are walking a tightrope as they are called on to distinguish between what’s necessary for survival from business and traditions of obscurantism.

17 August 2014

Alexis Papachelas

Kathimerini

http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite3_1_17/08/2014_542177

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Abbot Theodor Micka, Abbot of Holy Cross Monastery in California, Dies… Will be Buried at His Monastery Per His Last Request… Вечная ему память!

00 Archimandrite Theodor Micka. 18.06.14

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Editor:

As usual, oca.org did a shitty job on this story. I found the following after a quick Google search. Lil’ Mizz Ginny’s living down to her lazy reputation.

Do remember to light a candle for Abbot Theodor and do ask your priest to mention his name at Proskomidi and have Pannikhida said for him. We’re Christians, that’s what we do.

Вечная ему память!

BMD

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For nearly 35 years, Abbot Theodor Micka tended to the grounds of his 9-acre (3.65-hectare) monastery in Castro Valley CA. Now, the 75-year-old is asking state lawmakers for a rare exemption to California law that would allow him to remain at the monastery he co-founded after he dies. State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), whose district includes the monastery, said, “From the moment the request was made, we got on this immediately. We looked at the best way to address the request with all due haste so he knows his final request will be granted”. SB124 would allow Alameda County to issue a burial permit for Micka on the Holy Cross Monastery grounds. Existing state law requires a burial at a cemetery, unless a person is cremated. Because the monastery isn’t a designated cemetery, burying the abbot on the property would be considered a misdemeanour without the special law. With the legislative deadline to introduce bills having passed, Corbett employed a routine process known as a gut-and-amend, where new language replaces the contents of a bill. In this case, a bill to create incentives for the state to hire clean-energy contractors who use California products had stalled and was going nowhere.

Assembly Hearing

Now, the bill is scheduled to be heard Thursday in the Assembly, where it’s expected to pass and head to the Senate on Monday. Corbett said, “We’re hoping to have this on the governor’s desk by next week. This is something we should do so the abbot can rest in peace”. Ordained in 1964, Micka knew he wanted to build a monastery with the inheritance his mother left him. Micka and Fr Stephen Scott made a pact in 1970 to open the monastery, spending nearly a decade raising the additional money needed. The pair expanded the monastery over the years by buying properties next to their rural lot, surrounded by regional parks, wineries, and a few homes. Scott said Holy Cross is the only Orthodox monastery in the Bay Area. The monks provide weekly religious services, along with baptisms, weddings, and memorials for Orthodox Christians.

In April, Micka was diagnosed with advanced cancer at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach. Scott said Micka continued to deliver services up until recent months, when his condition worsened. Scott, who’s now Micka’s caregiver, said, “He’s restricted to his bed. He gets a lot of visitors. He’s very much loved”. Scott said he envisions the abbot’s final resting place to be somewhere near their chapel. After working with the Religious Liberty Clinic at Stanford University, Scott said they decided to pursue a narrowly crafted state law that allows Micka to be buried at the monastery.

Not Unprecedented

The state Legislature passed a similar exemption in 2005 that allowed Metropolitan Anthony Gerigiannakis, a spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, to be buried on the grounds of St Nicholas Monastery, which he founded in Fresno County. Gerigiannakis died a month before then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill. Scott said that he hopes to be able to tell Micka that his final request has been granted, saying, “We’re trying to get this done, while Fr Theodor is still alive, so he has the peace of knowing where he’ll be”.

20 March 2014

Melody Gutierrez

San Francisco (CA) Chronicle

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Abbot-s-last-wish-burial-at-his-Castro-Valley-5332773.php

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On Tuesday morning, his fellow priests awakened Abbot Archimandrite Theodor Micka with some good news. Governor Jerry Brown had signed legislation allowing the ailing 76-year-old abbot, who has terminal cancer, to be buried on the grounds of his Alameda County monastery. Micka said in a phone interview, “I’m in really high spirits now”. Despite continuing chemotherapy, he said, “I have strength that’s almost superhuman this morning”.

Micka spent decades developing an Orthodox monastery in Castro Valley, buying the first plot of land in 1979. In addition to daily prayer and study, Micka and other monks planted trees, tended gardens, and stacked stones for walls. Micka said, “I want to be part of the earth again. That’s why it’s important to be buried here at the monastery. It’s a place that I’ve laboured in, both spiritually as well as physically”.

Because the law requires the deceased to be buried in cemeteries, Micka needed an exemption to be laid to rest at the monastery. A legal clinic at the Stanford Law School and State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), whose district includes the monastery, pushed for legislation granting that exemption. It wasn’t lost on Fr Stephen Scott, who helped create the monastery with Micka, that the governor who signed the legislation considered becoming a priest himself before entering politics. Brown spent four years studying at a Jesuit seminary before attending UC Berkeley and Yale Law School. Scott said, “He probably understands what a sacrifice the abbot must have made in his life”.

25 March 2014

Chris Megerian

Los Angeles (CA) Times

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/25/local/la-me-pc-jerry-brown-religion-abbot-20140325

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Abbot Theodor Micka, whose dying wish to be buried at his Castro Valley monastery was granted by California lawmakers, died Tuesday in the arms of a long-time friend. Fr Stephen Scott said in a message to friends of the monastery, “I was with him feeding him breakfast just five minutes after the hospice nurse left. Suddenly, his eyes rolled back and he sighed. Then, he breathed no more. It was a peaceful, painless, and blessed passing”.

Abbot Micka and Scott opened the Holy Cross Monastery in 1979, the fulfilment of what Abbot Micka called a lifelong dream. Monks provide weekly religious services for Orthodox Christians, along with baptisms, weddings, and memorials. Abbot Micka, 75, was diagnosed last year with advanced cancer at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach. When his condition worsened, the monastery sought the help of the Religious Liberty Clinic at Stanford to help Abbot Micka and Scott pursue an exemption to state law so the abbot could be buried on the 9-acre monastery property. State law requires burial at a cemetery, unless a person is cremated. Failure to do so is a misdemeanour. Because the monastery isn’t a cemetery, the abbot needed an exemption. State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), whose district includes the monastery, said it was important to get a bill through the Legislature and onto Governor Jerry Brown’s desk as soon as possible. When Brown signed the bill in March, Abbot Micka said he was “filled with enthusiasm”. Abbot Micka’s funeral will be Saturday at the monastery.

18 June 2014

Melody Gutierrez

San Francisco (CA) Chronicle

http://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Monk-who-asked-lawmakers-for-special-burial-dies-5561582.php

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Schedule of Events:

Archimandrite Theodor will lie in state at the monastery through Friday, 20 June, when the Trisagion will be celebrated at 19.00 PDT (16.00 EDT. 21.00 BST. 00.00 Saturday 21 June MSK. 06.00 AEST). The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Saturday, 21 June, at 10.00 PDT (07.00 EDT. 12.00 BST. 15.00 MSK. 21.00 AEST), followed by the Funeral Service and interment. A memorial meal will follow.

The time in various zones is given so that priests and believers can coördinate their prayers with the service times in California, if they desire

BMD

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