Friday, March 31, 2006
Who Was Constantine the Great?
ST NILUS ISLAND: Alaska (Pt 5)
After Monk's Lagoon, we seven pilgrims headed to St Nilus Island, home of St Nilus Skete -- a dependency of St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood -- to take provisions to the two nuns there: Mothers Nila & Nina.
Our skiff approaches the beautiful beach of St Nilus Island.
Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Dean of St Herman Seminary, was our tour guide. Here, he leads the way (after the photographer, of course).
Another shot of St Nilus beach.
Can you find the St. Nilus of Sora Chapel?
Well, lets walk around to the path ...
This picture is taken from the path leading down the hill, the opposite direction.
Priest & Monastic in Alaskan forest.
The return to the beach, awaiting the boat.
This pic is taken to show the clarity of the water. Can you see the ocean floor? This is probably 4 feet deep.
Nuns waving goodbye to pilgrims.
The water was very choppy on the return trip, clouds were moving in. After a long skiff ride on the sea, St Paul's Harbor is a welcome site.
Later, pics from St Herman Seminary & St Innocent Academy.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
MONK'S LAGOON - 2: Alaska (Pt 4)
Here's a pic of the forest leading to the Chapel of Saints Herman and Sergius of Valaam. As beautiful as it may seem, pictures just aren't able to do justice to this amazingly enchanting forest.
This is Ss Sergius & Herman of Valaam Chapel where the body of St Herman used to rest.
This is the place where the body, the relics, of the Saint used to lay.
There is now an image [epitaphios] of St Herman at the former resting place.
Prior to being moved upstairs into the chapel, St Herman's holy body had been buried under the chapel. In other words, the chapel was built over his grave (which, as mentioned in an earlier post, was the Saint's second interment). Today, you can crawl under the building into the small crawl space and reverence the holy spot and, obviously, take a picture. As also mentioned in a previous posting, St Herman's relics are currently enshrined at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Kodiak. Someday, when there's a sufficient monastic presence and a secure structure, his body will return to Spruce Island and the Ss Sergius & Herman of Valaam Chapel.
Pilgrims returning to the shore ...
... and waiting for the skiff. (Pardon the shadow of my gloved finger at left.)
This is Monk's Rock, out in the midst of the ocean, where St Herman would often go for "retreat."
A closer view of Monk's Rock. See the two eagles sitting up top?
Monk's Rock in the "rear view mirror."
This will be my last posting from Alaska. I return to the Lower 48 tomorrow. However, God willing, by week's end, I'll post pics of St Nilus Island and the women's monastic community there.
Soon to come: a photo report on St Herman Seminary.
Thank you for your prayers.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
MONK'S LAGOON: Alaska (Pt 3)
Here's Fr Chad Hatfield, the Dean of St Herman's Seminary, and Fr Innocent Dresdow, priest-in-charge of Holy Resurrection Cathedral ... along with the skipper of the skiff, Sasha.
This was the view, looking back toward Kodiak, as we left the harbor.
The view on one side of the boat.
Another view frow the skiff.
Headed toward Monk's Lagoon.
Approaching Monk's Lagoon. See the monastic building?
The bell tower from the front entry ...
And, looking back toward the sea.
Here's the beginning of the trail into the forest.
Pilgrims (there were seven of us) making our way into the forest.
This cross marks the spot where St Herman was originally buried by the orphans (as a priest could not get to the island for 40 days after his death).
Monday, March 27, 2006
ST HERMAN - Alaska (Pt 2)
This is the back side of the Cathedral looking toward the water.
This is the icon of St Herman which adorns the iconostasis just above his holy relics.
This is where the body of St Herman rests. You can read aobut St Herman of Alaska ... H E R E.
Standing before St Herman's relics, I'm holding the hand blessing Cross that the Saint used in his reader services.
The first evening I arrived in Kodiak, I was blessed to attend their weekly Akathist to St Herman ... complete with the Bishop of the Diocese of Alaska (OCA), NIKOLAI, presiding. His Grace even opened the reliquary so that we could reference the body of St Herman.
Here are the clergy, flanking Bishop NIKOLAI, during the Akathist to St Herman. (That's me to the Bishop's left across from the Dean of St Herman Seminary, Archpriest Chad Hatfield.)
Sunday, March 26, 2006
PICS: Alaska (Pt 1)
This is the first pic taken after landing at the Kodiak airport: Women's Bay. Scenes like this one are everywhere.
Looking back toward the direction of the airport, this is Barometer Mountain (if you can see the peak, flights are arriving).
This is St Paul's Harbor, the location of St Herman's Seminary and Holy Resurrection Cathedral (which houses St Herman's relics).
And here you see one of the main sources of industry, fishing, in St Paul's Harbor.
I went on a long walk on Friday to this island park. Yet, even though I was told there were no bears in this park, it was so dense, mysterious, and awesome ... I decided that being a fraidy cat won't half bad.
More pics, especially of the seminary and Cathedral, to come. God willing, water and wind cooperating, we're to take a boat to Spruce Island tomorrow.
Friday, March 24, 2006
It's a Southern Thang
I'm in Alaska -- hoping to blog pics, but my software is acting up at the moment. In the meantime, here's a FWD from blog reg, Keith.
Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.
Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."
Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."
Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is - as in: "Going to town, be back directly."
Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.
All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.
Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble, is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!
Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece. They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.
Only a Southerner, both knows and understands, the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.
Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines.
Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.
In the South, 'y'all' is singular....'all y'all" is plural.
Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them. Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.
And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say,"Bless her heart" and go your own way.
And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!
And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."
Bless your hearts, y'all have a nice day ...
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
North to Alaska
This will be my first visit to Alaska and I have no expectations (unless you count awe and wonder).
It is my hope to do a little photo blogging while there, but I'm not sure of Net -- or time -- availability. Otherwise, see y'all next week.
Click HERE for the seminary webpage.
Remember, dear readers, Envy is one of the Passions. :)
I would appreciate your prayers.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
"God is NOT Mother!"
By David W. Virtue
DETROIT, MI (3/20/2006)-- A billboard erected by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan which read; "My God is Mother" and "I am an Episcopalian" with a picture of a woman reading a bible, and the diocesan website address, so incensed a group of orthodox clergy that the diocese was forced to bring it down.
The billboard, by its appearance and content so outraged Fr. Steven J. Kelly, SSC, rector of St. John's that he contacted diocesan headquarters and complained bitterly to the bishop. "God is NOT mother!" he told Bishop Wendell N. Gibbs Jr.
A number of other priests also objected to the billboard, and so the bishop and his staff decided, on reflection to tear it down. Wrote Fr. Kelly, "The billboard is coming down ASAP as per Bishop Gibbs request to his communications director" ...
Heh heh. I went to seminary with Fr Kelly -- just heard from him recently. May God give him strength.
Peace (and more) Which Passes All Understanding
Christian Faces Death for Converting to Christianity
But, of course ...
LONDON, England -- The Anglican Church in Wales has apologized to Muslims after a cartoon satirizing the Prophet Mohammed was printed in its Welsh-language magazine.
HT News Forum