The blizzard today in New England gave our own family the chance to read one of our favorite picture books by John Rocco. Blizzard tells the story from the author’s childhood in 1978 Rhode Island when snow was so high that his family could not leave their front door or even shop for food at the local store. Little Johnny, according to the book, had been reading a survival book that informed him how to strap on tennis rackets to his feet and wax down his wooden sled runners to command 4 feet worth of snow without sinking through it. Continue reading
Our family flew to Moscow, Russia recently in 2015. We journeyed there in order to meet our aunts, uncles, friends and family. For a month, we rode the subway, peered at old monuments, and celebrated the 70th anniversary of Victory Day, the day when the Allies won World War II. Our family’s visit to Russia will always be memorable. Continue reading
A good and godly spiritual father of mine passed this morning. The thoughts and good wishes of so many of his spiritual children have been flooding the internet already, and I wish to add my remembrances to the growing chorus.
My parents and I met Pastor James M. Riccitelli at a moment of deep spiritual crisis, when the church that we had been attending gave my parents an ultimatum that drove them out of the fellowship. It was unfortunately not a new experience for us. I was in college at the time, and by then, my family and I had been a part of not less than 10 different churches. But this loss felt different than the others. I remember that I had a key to this church because I had become a member of her, not merely adhering to my parent’s wishes. When it was clear that we were not going to be able to go back, I looked with weariness toward the next fellowship of believers in Christ. What would they be like? Would we be welcome with all our brokenness and failed dreams?
I have a friend and fellow graduate of a one-time missionary school held in an Orthodox Monastery in California. This friend reminded me of an old movie list that he has recently decided to resurrect for the salvation of his own soul and those of his immediate circle in memory of the former Abbot who authored the list, Fr. Herman Podmoshensky. I offer the list here in memory of the same Abbot, whose love and selfless devotion birthed in so many of us the need to feed our own souls along with our spirits.
May this list of old time favorites help spark your memory of a time when Hollywood was less besotted with entertainment that merely titillated but never transformed, a time when Tinseltown had a moral backbone and a heart of gold.
Saint Paisius Missionary School Must See Movie List
Les Miserables Continue reading
Drum roll please… The results are in for the 2016 Best of the Best in all the respective media categories. Please see below and also the archives for previous years. Happy viewing and reading everyone, and as always, we would love to know what you think in the comment section below. Continue reading
Homily for Christmas, 2016 Isaiah 9:2-7 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14(15-20) Psalm 96 For my homily this evening I will refer to the photos printed in the order of service on the front and back covers, and on page 11. The photos were cover photos for the New York Times in the fall of 2015. These photos […]
“I’m a Christian, so I don’t go to parties,” said a person to me recently. There was a time in my life I would have accepted such a judgment about parties without qualification. The theology behind the idea of canceling Christmas is partly to blame for this tepid approach to life. Indeed the Lord does give his peace to us not as the world gives with the implication that all worldly parties without Him will always fall short of the mark. But where does this trepidation towards partying in general and towards specific Christian feasts/parties mean for the life in Christ? How do we answer Scrooge’s argument to his jubilant nephew in our musical adaptation of Dicken’s classic Carol:
“The 25th of December from what I remember is no special day, just a date.” Continue reading