The Search for Orthodoxy – Fr. Seraphim Rose, USA


The Search for Orthodoxy

Fr. Seraphim Rose, USA

A talk given at the 1981 St. Herman Summer Pilgrimage, at the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California. The text has been taken from Fr. Seraphim’s handwritten notes. The section titles have been added by the editors, based on Fr. Seraphim’s section divisions.

The number of people here today is a proof that there is a search for Orthodoxy today—those who don’t have it are looking for it, and those who do have it want to go deeper into it.

Our times, the second half of the twentieth century, are times of spiritual searching. Many are dissatisfied, whether with various forms of Christianity, with non-Christian religions, or with unbelief and atheism. Many hope against hope that there is more to life, more to spiritual reality, than they have found so far. More and more of these searchers are finding what they are looking for in the Orthodox Church:

1. African peoples of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zaire, and other mission fields are finding Orthodoxy to be the “true old religion” as against the various sects and cults of modern Africa.

2. Young Orthodox Christians of Soviet Russia and other Communist lands are finding in Orthodoxy both fresh air and recontact with their historical past after sixty years of atheist tyranny and suffocation.

3. Young Orthodox idealists of Greece are rediscovering the monastic ideal in the midst of the dead worldliness of contemporary Greece and are flocking to the monasteries of Mount Athos.

4. Americans, both young and old, weary of the rootless and arbitrary teachings of contemporary Protestantism, are discovering the true and Continue reading “The Search for Orthodoxy – Fr. Seraphim Rose, USA”


Link: Atheists met Orthodoxy ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* When atheists met Orthodoxy Heaven flowered

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Atheists met Orthodoxy


When atheists met Orthodoxy Heaven flowered

Fr. Josiah Trenham in Riverside, California, USA


Fr. Josiah Trenham in Riverside, California, USA



Father Josiah Trenham is a native Southern Californian. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 1993, and was awarded the Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Durham, England, in 2004. He has served as pastor of St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, Ca. since 1998.

Father is the founder and director of Patristic Nectar Publications, a company dedicated to “nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers” in quality audio recordings. PNP produces both recordings of patristic works as well as recordings of lectures and homilies available in direct download formats ( Father Josiah’s weekly homilies and additional theological reflections are published weekly and listened to by thousands all over the globe on The Arena podcast on Ancient Faith Radio:

Father serves as an instructor in and on the Board of Advisors of the Ss. Cyril and Athanasius Orthodox Institute in San Francisco: He is an adjunct professor of theology at St. Katherine College in Encinitas, Ca. (2010-present), and was an Adjunct Professor of History at California Baptist University (2003-2010). He is a member of the Orthodox Theological Society of America, and participates in yearly academic forums and symposia. Since 2004 he has served on the Mayoral Environmental Committee (GAP) of the City of Riverside. Father Josiah has also served as a member of the Secretariat of the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in the United States since its inception in May, 2010. Father Josiah was married in 1988, and has ten children.

Father Josiah’s books and articles have been published by St. Herman Press, New Rome Press, Zoe Press, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Journal, Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, The Journal of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, CIVA: The Journal of Christians in the Visual Arts, Divine Ascent, The Word Magazine,, American Orthodox Institute, Sourozh, (Vatopaidi Monastery), Eastern Churches Review, and more.

Father Josiah has been interviewed by Fox News, Voice of Russia Radio (VR), Russian Television (RT), Ancient Faith Radio, Culture Shocks: The Radio Show of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and numerous local news outlets: ABC, NBC, KTLA, 590 AM talk radio, and more.

Father Josiah has conducted interviews for his own podcast with numerous religious leaders of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant traditions including Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Oxford, England, Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church, San Diego, and Prof. Wesley Hill of Trinity Seminary, PA.

Father Josiah has conducted numerous diocesan, parish, and clergy retreats and seminars for every Orthodox Christian jurisdiction in America and in Canada. He has also spoken at numerous colleges and universities including Westmont College, St. Katherine College, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, St. Paul University, California Baptist University, San Jacinto Community College, and more.

Phone: 951-369-0309


Αμερικανίδα καλλιτέχνις ερημίτισσα των δασών – Από τη Βαρβάρα Μακ Κάρθυ στη Μητέρα Μπριγκίτα


Αμερικανίδα καλλιτέχνις ερημίτισσα των δασών

Από τη Βαρβάρα Μακ Κάρθυ στη Μητέρα Μπριγκίτα

Το 1969, δυο φίλοι άφησαν πίσω τους το Σαν Φρανσίσκο και έχτισαν ένα ερημητήριο στην Πλατίνα της Καλιφόρνιας, μια περιοχή στο βουνό Νόμπλ Ριτζ, με την επιθυμία να ακολουθήσουν τη ζωή των αρχαίων πατέρων της ερήμου, αλλά και να μεταδώσουν την πολύτιμη πνευματική κληρονομιά της Ορθοδοξίας στην Αμερική. Ήταν ο Αμερικάνος Ευγένιος Ρόουζ και ο Ρώσος Γκλεμπ Ποντμοσένσκυ και το ερημητήριό τους το αφιέρωσαν στον άγιο Γερμανό της Αλάσκας, ένα Ρώσο μοναχό του 19ου αιώνα, που με την απλότητά του και τα αγιοπνευματικά του χαρίσματα υπερασπίστηκε τους Αλεούτους απέναντι στους αποικιοκράτες, αλλά και τους βοήθησε να πλησιάσουν το Χριστό.
Έτσι ιδρύθηκε η Αδελφότητα του Αγίου Γερμανού της Αλάσκας, με την ευλογία του αγίου Ιωάννη Μαξίμοβιτς του Θαυματουργού, πνευματικού πατέρα των δύο φίλων, και του αγίου Γέροντα Σωφρόνιου Σαχάρωφ, την ευλογία του οποίου ζήτησαν και έλαβαν με επιστολή. Εκεί έγραφαν και τύπωναν το περιοδικό Ορθόδοξος Λόγος (The Orthodox Word), επιλέγοντας συνειδητά χειροκίνητα μηχανήματα παλαιάς τεχνολογίας, σε μια προσπάθεια αντίστασης στον πειρασμό του καταναλωτισμού. Το περιοδικό εκδίδεται ακόμη αλλά και η δράση της Αδελφότητας είναι σημαντική και σήμερα.

Αργότερα, μετά από πιέσεις επισκόπων της Ρωσικής Εκκλησίας της Διασποράς, όπου υπάγονταν, οι δυο φίλοι έγιναν μοναχοί με τα ονόματα Σεραφείμ και Γερμανός και πιο μετά χειροτονήθηκαν ιερείς (ιερομόναχοι).
Παρακάτω θα δούμε κάποια στιγμιότυπα από τη ζωή της Βαρβάρας Μακ Κάρθυ, αλλά και άλλων κοριτσιών, που συνδέθηκαν με την Αδελφότητα, επειδή αγάπησαν την ερημιτική ζωή, όπως πολλές παλιές αγίες. Παλιές, είπα; Όχι μόνο παλιές, γιατί και σήμερα υπάρχουν πολλές αγίες ορθόδοξες ερημίτισσες, αθέατες ή ακατανόητες για τους πολλούς…

Α. Μια φωνή που ψάλλει τις νύχτες στα δάση

π. Δαμασκηνού, π. Σεραφείμ Ρόουζ, Η ζωή και τα έργα του, τόμ. Β΄, Μυριόβιβλος 2007, σελ. 329-334. Κεφ. «Η Έρημος για τις γυναίκες της Αμερικής».

Ήταν Φεβρουάριος του 1975 όταν η Νίνα ήρθε στο ερημητήριο της Πλατίνα και είπε στους πατέρες ότι σκεφτόταν όλο και περισσότερο να ζήσει μία ήρεμη ζωή στην επαρχία. Είχε βρει άλλη μια νέα γυναίκα με το ίδιο ενδιαφέρον, μια σπουδάστρια κλασικού τραγουδιού ονόματι Βαρβάρα Μακ Κάρθυ.
«Τόσο η Νίνα όσο και η Βαρβάρα» σημείωσε ο π. Σεραφείμ «ονειρεύονται μια ζωή ησυχαστική», «μετριοπαθή». «Πόση όμως ταπείνωση και εμπιστοσύνη και Continue reading “Αμερικανίδα καλλιτέχνις ερημίτισσα των δασών – Από τη Βαρβάρα Μακ Κάρθυ στη Μητέρα Μπριγκίτα”

Spørsmål og Svar av Fader Serafim Rose, California, USA (+1982) ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Norwegian


Spørsmål og Svar 

av Fader Serafim Rose, California, USA (+1982)

Spørsmål: Kunne du ha sagt litt om Helligånden i den ortodokse lære og, i den sammenheng, synet på ikke-ortodokse sakramenter – om Helligånden er til stede i dem?

Svar: Vår Herre Jesus Kristus sendte ned Helligånden på pinsedagen, 50 dager etter Hans oppstandelse, 10 dager etter Han selv fór opp til himmelen, for å bli hos Kirken helt til tidens ende. Historisk sett, var det én Kirke Han grunnla.

Det har hendt i disse tider at folk har henvendt seg til historie for å finne denne Kirken. Ta, for eksempel, historien om Kirken i Uganda. På 1920 tallet, studerte to unge seminarister fra Uganda ved en anglikansk presteskole og begynte å se at den lære de ble gitt der ikke var den samme lære de fant i kirkefedrene. De begynte derfor å tenke at romersk-katolisismen måtte være svaret – at dette måtte være den oldtidlige Kirke. I ”jakten på den sanne, oldtidskirken” (som de kalte den), dro de for å studere ved en romersk-katolsk presteskole og igjen så at den lære de mottok der var noe annet en de gamle kirkefedrenes. De begynte å si, ”Hvis sannheten kan endres slik, hvor er da Kristi sannhet?” Og da hørte de om den ortodokse tro og gikk gjennom all slags strev for å finne ut hvor den var. Først fant de noen som kalte seg selv ortodoks men som var en sjarlatan, og delte ut det han kalte sakramenter. Når en gresk lekmann fortalte dem at det var noe ”rart” ved ham, så de dette, omvendte seg, og startet søket på nytt. Den første ortodokse biskopen de traff var ikke en spesielt god biskop, og sa, ”Å, det er ikke noe å bry seg om. Alle religioner er like, dra tilbake til anglikanerne.” Men de lot ikke dette fraråde dem. Til slutt fant de en ortodoks biskop som lærte det han skulle, og de ble ortodokse. I dag sprer Kirken seg gjennom Afrika: gjennom Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, osv. Vi har til og med opptak av gudstjenestene deres, som er veldig imponerende. De har tatt bysantinsk, gresk, sang og, uten å prøve å endre den (de synger bare på deres egen måte, på deres eget språk), høres den veldig ærverdig ut, med en lokal afrikansk variant. De gjorde med bysantinsk sang det samme grekerne gjorde når de fikk den hebraiske.

Så disse afrikanerne søkte historien og fant ut at det er én Kirke som kommer ned til oss direkte fra Kristus og lærer det som ble holdt i oldtiden: den ortodokse Kirke. Fra et historisk perspektiv, kan du også se at de andre kirkene har gått bort fra dette: romersk-katolisismen først i det 11. århundre, når spørsmålet om pavens plass i Kirken endelig kom opp for alvor, og paven ikke godtok det ortodokse svaret, og tok hele vestkirken med seg.

Til denne dag, handler Helligånden i den ortodokse Kirke. I de fleste vestlige, protestantiske grupper, kalles det de har sjeldent for sakramenter, så du hadde kanskje ikke sett etter Helligåndens nåde i noe de heller ikke selv anser som sakramenter. Romersk-katolikker, så klart, og noen få andre grupper ser på seg selv som å ha sakramenter. Selv hadde jeg sagt at de sanne sakramenter, i den forstand at Kristus innstiftet dem, finnes kun i den ortodokse kirke: og de som bruker navnet på sakramenter, prøver å gjøre det beste de kan med dem – det er noe mellom sjelen og Gud, og det Gud ønsker å gjøre med den sjelen – det er Hans affære. Kanskje det er mer enn noe psykologisk; jeg vet ikke – det må Gud bestemme. Men hjelpemidlene Han innstiftet i Kirken har kommet ned til oss i dag i den ortodokse Kirke. Man kan faktisk se ved historisk undersøkelse at vi gjør det som ble gjort i oldtidskirken. Filip, for eksempel, tok den etiopiske hoffmannen ned til elven og døpte ham på akkurat samme måte som det vi gjør: tre neddykkelser i Treenighetens navn, Fader, Sønn og Hellig Ånd. Det er derfor ortodoksien er kjent for å være så ”gammeldags”: vi beholder de gammeldagse måtene som kom ned til oss fra Kristus, apostlene og Kirkens tidlige fedre.

Spørsmål: Kan du si noe om det ortodokse synet på ikke-kristne religioner?

Svar: Kristus kom for å opplyse menneskeligheten. Det er mange religioner utenfor Hans åpenbaring der tilhengerne er alvorlige – ikke bare djeveldyrkere – og der sjelen virkelig prøver å finne Gud. Jeg vil si at, før disse menneskene hører om Kristus, er disse religionene greie så langt de rekker, men de kan aldri føre deg til målet. Målet er det evige liv og himmelens rike, og Gud kom i kjødet for å åpne dette for oss. Derfor er kristendommen sann; du kan peke på de forskjellige sammenlignbare deler av sannheten i andre religioner, og de er ofte veldig dype, men de åpner ikke himmelen. Bare når Kristus kom til jorden og sa til røveren, ”Du vil være med Meg i Paradis,” ble himmelen åpnet for mennesker.

Spørsmål: Så har de som ikke har hørt om Kristus ingen tilgang til sannheten?

Svar: De som aldri har hørt om Kristus? – det må Gud bestemme. I det Gamle Testament hadde ingen hørt om Kristus heller, og så kom Kristus, og forkynte for dem i dødsriket. Også Hl. Johannes Døperen, som vi tror kom til dødsriket først, før Kristus, og forkynte at Kristus skulle komme dit for å frigjøre alle som ønsket å bli frigjort, som ønsket å tro på Ham. Så Gud kan åpne sannheten for dem som ikke hadde en sjanse til å høre: dvs. som ikke fornektet Evangeliet men ikke hørte det. Men så snart du mottar åpenbaringen, da har du mye større ansvar enn alle andre. Noen som mottar åpenbaringen om at Gud har kommet i kjød og deretter ikke lever i samsvar med den – det er mye verre for ham enn for noen hedensk prest eller slikt.

Oversatt fra Fr. Seraphim Rose, God’s Revelation to the Human Heart, Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1997, s.39-42



Fr. Nathaniel Johnson, USA: The Church That Has It ALL – Video



The Church That Has It ALL

Fr. Nathaniel Johnson



I had the great pleasure of concelebrating liturgy with Fr. Nathaniel, and his fellow clergy at St. Lawrence Orthodox Church in Felton, CA, this past weekend. What a glorious encounter!

Hear his story in his own words.

Fr. Deacon Nathaniel Johnson

Fr. Nathaniel Johnson served the Orthodox Church as a deacon in the San Lorenzo Valley for 28 years before his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. He and his wife Presbytera Susan have 3 children; two daughters and a son. The oldest daughter is an Orthodox nun at St. John the Forerunner Monastery in Goldendale, Washington. Their son and youngest daughter and her husband live locally. Father Nathaniel was Ordained to the Priesthood in 2015. He was raised in a Black Baptist church from birth and converted to Orthodoxy in 1980’s. Father Nathaniel is an accomplished musician, playing professionally for over 55 years; has designed and built a wooden boat and enjoys wood carving as well.


Video: Pilgrimage to St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, USA


Pilgrimage to St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, USA

In September of 2009 my family, along with a very close friend of ours made a pilgrimage to Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California. This was not our first trip up the mountain, but it was different then the past trips as Father John (Hieromonk) invited us to visit the Old Russian cathedral where Saint John Maximovitch first called home in San Francisco, Ca. We couldn’t find a place to stay the night that was within our budget so Father John put us up in the choir loft of the old cathedral. We were blessed more than we could really put into words on this trip. Glory to God for all things +++

Facebook: St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, USA