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030. March 16/29, 1970. 3rd Sunday of Lent

Dear in Christ Father Photios,
Rejoice in the Lord! We send greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ.

We were very happy to hear from you and are only too happy to exchange ideas with you. It is good to hear about your varityper. We had one demonstrated for us several years ago, but the cost was too prohibitive, and without offset press and camera we couldn’t do it either. Our problem is a little different from yours: your problem is money, ours is time. Of course, if we had the money, the time would take care of itself, but right now we have all our own primitive equipment, and it just takes too long to print. Beginning with the new issue we’ve expanded to 50-60 pages, and it will take four weeks to print, assemble, and despatch each issue. Of course, there are just two of us to do everything, but more people won’t solve the problem either; the process of setting type by hand just requires too much concentration and painstaking labor, and with more people efficiency is actually reduced, at least in our poor experience. Our answer is linotype and, God willing, after Pascha we may have one-which of course will add mechanical complications to our problems, since the machine will have to be an old one.

Yes, we are “struggling” in the mountains-much more pleasant than struggling in the city, I assure you! We don’t notice the lack of conveniences at all. If we do spend a lot of time chopping wood, that gives us valuable exercise-printing is definitely indoor, sedentary work (or rather “stationary”). The lack of water affects primarily the garden, but we’re trying “organic gardening” with mulch and hope to get some crops with a minimum of water-there’s enough in the soil for 45 inches of winter rains and snows to grow quite a bit, I think. Judging from the state of the world and America, our home-grown crops may turn out to be quite valuable in a few years. Frankly, we are pessimistic about the future and hope to print as much as possible in these few years that are given us, anticipating a drought of the printed word in perhaps a very short time. Nikolai probably described our poverty to you: right now we have two cabins, one a hunting cabin which we live in (which Nikolai helped finish), and the second a printshop which Gleb and I built. We have now an outdoor chapel with a cross and an altar table on a tree stump where Archbishop Anthony served Liturgy last fall and Father Panteleimon blessed water on November 1st; we hope to start building a real chapel this year and other buildings as possible. Whether anyone will join us we don’t know, but we are going one step at a time, trusting in God and doing our best with what we have.

You are of course welcome to use whatever materials and illustrations you wish from The Orthodox Word. We wish no payment from any Orthodox reprinters, all the more so from those few who are printing the real Orthodoxy; our copyright is to scare off Catholics, who shamelessly take Jordanville material and pass it off as their own. If you take a whole article or translation, we would like the OW credited, for the sake of identification of sources. We would love to translate some other of St. Mark’s writings from Russian, but there’s no chance now for that, and they are mostly rather long and more difficult than what we’ve translated so far (on purgatory, filioque, etc.).

May God prosper your printing plans. Lives of Saints are one thing desperately needed in America to give a dose of real Orthodoxy for those withering away from the two-dimensional academic Orthodoxy of Schmemann and the new “autocephalous” monstrosity. A word of advice: one of the best hopes for success is regularity, especially of a periodical. If you could put the Vineyard out regularly, even once every two months, you would have a good basis, both for financial support and for building a regular readership. It would help, too, if the Lives of Saints were put out in a series with some stimulus for readers to “subscribe” or somehow be inspired to get the whole series. The American Orthodox public is so undernourished with printed food that it has to be educated to know what it should read. The “official” press-Young Life, Upbeat, Concern, the learned quarterlies-is actually poisoning the Orthodox public and stunting their appetites; and now with the “autocephaly,” they will make a big point of trying to persuade everyone that this is what they should be reading. We are a minority and will have a hard time persuading many that they should be eating real food and not TV dinners.

But the “autocephaly” is perhaps really a blessing-now the sides will be clearly drawn and the choice perhaps a little clearer. Especially now at the beginning of the great divide we should try to do as much as possible to reach those who might still have doubts about the great all-American Church.

Our Orthodox Word covers are very easily done-by letterpress. We print twice-once with a halftone or line engraving in whatever color desired, once in black for the text. Total cost this way is about 2 1/2 cents per cover for 2000. In the beginning, when we had only a small hand press that couldn’t print big pictures well, we had the color picture printed outside by offset (at a cost of about 5 cents per cover including paper) and then printed the text ourselves.

We ask your prayers for our humble work, and hope to keep in contact with you. We will certainly cooperate with you however possible.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Eugene Rose

P.s. Please pray for Bishop Theodosius and the Alaskan Church. As slim as the hopes might be for them to secede from the “official” Church and join us, with Father Herman’s prayers anything is possible. One nun from Novo-Diveyevo wrote us that the whole Autocephaly scandal is owing to the fact that Father Herman apparently does not want to be canonized by the Metropolia-and perhaps she is right! If Alaska does not come to us, Father Herman will do something, I’m convinced!

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