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033. Mar. 31/Apr. 13, 1970. St. Mary of Egypt

Dear Fr. Panteleimon and Fathers and Brothers in Christ,
Bless us, Father!

I pray that this finds you all well and in the grace of our Saviour, and finishing the Fast in good shape. Thanks to God we are both fine and have just about finished the new OW- — we hope to mail it by Wednesday or Thursday. It is 56 pages including cover but still seems so small to us. But it takes a full four weeks to print, and as old age approaches we find our Gutenberg- style printing more and more difficult. On our Pascha visit to San Francisco we will look into the linotype situation, in particular one that a priest-friend of ours may sell us cheaply. Of course, we then have to build a room for it and get a new generator, so it would be two months before we could begin using it; but we shall see.

For a month we have been in the midst of spring, cool but sunny, and it is a wonder to see life reemerge. The pink-raspberry oak leaves with yellow clusters are beautiful. We discover also that we have wild gooseberries all over, and we hope to have jam before long. Two ground squirrels have taken up residence around our cabin and behave like something out of Walt Disney. They come rapping on our windows for nuts, eat out of our hand and then try to take a finger along with them, try every trick to get inside the house where the mound of nuts must be (one of them succeeded in getting in by hiding on the porch and then darting in when one of us went out); I’ve had to rescue them from inside stovepipes on the porch, and they even try to climb into our chimney. But they are good company.

This morning we have been visited by 6 inches of snow, and I fear for our poor little peas, which are just peeking through the soil. I’m taking the mail out on snowshoes for the second time — they are surprisingly fast. With snow everywhere we feel quite remote, as also when the wind blows greatly, as it has been for a month now. We’ve struck up an acquaintance with a small colony of Seventh-Day Adventists nearby, and they will sell us fresh vegetables when we don’t have any; they’ve also printed a newspaper in the past, and we exchanged ours for theirs. They don’t belong to the sect itself, as they regard it as being in apostasy, and they’ve read some of our articles with interest. They seem like down-to-earth people.

What’s the state of the autocephaly? We don’t hear anything but vague rumors. Have you seen Meyendorff’s attack on the Synod in the last Orthodox Church? That should be answered, at least for the sake of the three hierarchs who are slandered most cheaply there. Are you planning a reply? If no one else does, we’ll write him an Open Letter. The full text, by the way, of Shahovskoy’s super-political hymn of praise of the German Army in 1941 was recently printed in Orthodox Russia (the supplement for March) — and such a man dares to talk of “politics in the Church”?!

We have only Fr. Alypy’s icon of St. Seraphim; please do send the other two. Also, could you send us a few candles? Also the account of Paissy Velichkovsky and the “rags”?

We wrote an appeal to Bp. Theodosius of Alaska to come to the Synod, and are now in correspondence with Fr. David Black — good people, but lacking a certain awareness of things. I still think we have not seen the last of Fr. Herman’s deeds this year.

Pray for us.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Eugene

P.s. We are planning an all-Synod issue later in the year, with Vladiko Ioann’s long article (16 pages). We would also like something from the Greek and/or missionary standpoint, and thought of Kalomiros — perhaps a simple article on the Old Calendarists and their ties with the Synod. Any suggestions?

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