Shepherds Tending Other Shepherds

32597329347_8f227c14d2_kClergy Govenie, April 4-6, 2019
St. Sophia’s Cathedral, Chicago, IL

On the 4th week of Great Lent leading up to the Sunday of Saint John of the Ladder, over 20 priests and 2 deacons from across the diocese gathered in Des Plaines, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, for the annual Lenten Govenie with our father and chief Shepherd, Metropolitan Joseph. A govenie is a special kind of retreat that includes divine services, spiritual talks, and leads up to confession with a celebration the Holy Eucharist. At the conclusion of this year’s govenie, His Eminence pronounced, “This is so far my favorite govenie.” Continue reading

Spring Cleaning for the Soul

198065.pForgiveness Sunday

It always comes as a bit of a shock that morphs quickly into mild panic when we hear,  Let us set out with joy upon the season of the fast and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat. Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh; as we fast from food let us abstain also from every passion. (From Lord I Have Cried verses, Sunday of Forgiveness)

I think to myself, “Great Lent is already here? I barely just finished my Christmas ham, and my taxes aren’t done.” Lent seems at first like the last and most recent thing on a very long to-do list, another obligation in a never-ending stream of necessary tasks. Continue reading

Prince Martin Wins a Sword

51vv5ixn54lby Brandon Hale

There was a prince that wanted a sword. Every time he would ask his father, the king he would say, “You will win your sword when you show that you are brave.”

The prince was walking in the woods. Suddenly, he saw a deer being cornered by wild hogs. The prince fought the hogs alongside of a dog named Sir Ray. With the help of Sir Ray, he saved the deer and won his sword.

Today is the Day

Sunday of the Last Judgment (Meatfare)
I Corinthians 8:8-9:2
Matthew 25:31-46

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In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Glory be to Jesus Christ. Glory forever. Dear beloved in the Lord, we stand this morning knocking on the doors of Great and Holy Lent. For many of us, this is not only an auspicious time, but one we anticipate a great deal: the solemn, quiet darkness of Pre-sanctified Liturgies, the engaging, spiritual community of multiple retreats, and the bold, loving consolation of a heavenly father who, like the earthly father in last Sunday’s parable, waits for our return home from wandering in the wilderness of sin. So many things to look forward to— they all should help us to understand the terrifying image shown to us in this morning’s Gospel. For the Lord of glory will indeed come again to judge the living and the dead and this knowledge should bring us to repentance. Continue reading

Don’t Help Herod

Holy_Innocents__99381.1420682146.1280.1280December 27/January 11
14,000 Holy Innocent Infants slain by Herod at Bethlehem

In the New Testament, Herod sought out Jesus. Instead of directly looking for him, he decided to kill all males under the age of 2. In doing this he killed 14,000 infants, without being stopped by anyone. The poor babies’ mothers could not do anything to help them.

Nowadays, the highest rate of killing young helpless babies is abortion. Approximately 125,000 babies are killed by abortion every day, and 56,993,299 abortions have been made since Roe vs. Wade in America. These mother’s had a choice of whether or not to kill their own children, unlike the babies’ mothers in 1 AD. Continue reading

Best of the Best 2018

survey-resultsDrum roll please… The results are in for the 2018: 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.  Separate reviews are linked on the underlined titles. Enjoy! Continue reading

A Good Family Book

penderwicks-gardam_fotor_collageThe Penderwicks is a series of books that is about a family. There are 5 books in the series that are about different parts of their life.

The first book in the series is about 4 girls named Rosalind, age 12, Sky, age 11, Jane, age 10, and Baty, age 4. They are on vacation with their dad and Hound, the Penderwicks’ dog. The girls’ mother died from cancer right after the youngest Baty was born. The family is on vacation to a place called Arundel, a breathtaking mansion in the Berkshire mountains. This book is about their adventures in the mountains Continue reading