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083. May 6/19, 1971. Righteous Job

Dear Father in Christ Neketas,

Evlogeite! Please forgive our long silence. Somehow, since the Canonization last year our correspondence with you has slowed to a trickle, which is unfortunate, as our common mission of English-language Orthodox enlightenment would profit by more intercommunication, not to mention the mutual encouragement which is often so necessary. Anyway, please know that spiritually we are with you and think of you often and pray for the success and expansion of your endeavors for Christ’s Holy Church in these dark days.

As for us: we plod along and even begin to feel — thanks largely to the linotype, which is now operating fairly smoothly — that we can begin to catch up and even undertake a little more than The Orthodox Word. Our trials are many, which persuades us we’re on the right path — but they are almost all of a rather menial character, mostly mechanical failures and strange “accidents” and bureaucratic red tape. Most recently the Post Office discovered (after a year and a half!) that we have no right to mail with a 2nd Class permit in Redding, as we have no city address there; but fortunately our local Postmaster agreed to accept our mailings, and after the inspectors vainly searched for a rule that says a 4th Class post office can’t do this, they finally agreed.

Laurence Campbell tells us of your interest in his calendar. It will need additions and corrections, but it is a good and necessary beginning. His labors have crystallized our own calendar ideas, and God willing, we will print such a calendar this fall for 1972. Fr. Panteleimon is sending his own additions and corrections, and we’ve found some Romanian and Western saints to add. Our next OW will have the Synod’s Resolution in 1952 concerning Vladika John’s list of 20-some Western saints, which we will also add. Please send your own suggestions. We will of course add the Saints of Mytilene. As for St. Peter the Aleut: frankly, the Synod, or rather the Russian Church since long before the Revolution, has always been timid about doing anything without elaborate official confirmation; thus the feast of the Martyrs of the Boxer Rebellion was always observed in China as a requiem service, and they were considered apparently “uncanonized.” However, if God grants us to print the calendar, we will add all these saints, only probably keeping them somehow distinct so that no one will fly on our necks.

Which brings us to another important point: As you note in regard to the unfortunate article in the recent St. Seraphim Chronicle (which we haven’t seen), there are people in the Synod who just aren’t aware of what’s going on, who are living Orthodoxy unconsciously on the capital of the past, as it were. Such an attitude is actually probably quite widespread in the Synod, and one can even suspect that the fact that the Synod as a body can be said to preserve Orthodoxy as no one else has, is due more to the historical “accidents” (of course, this is first of all God’s Providence) of Revolution, exile, etc., than anything else. In San Francisco after Vladika John died we felt distinctly that he almost alone had been the spiritual power of San Francisco’s (or at least the Cathedrals) Orthodoxy, and if there was no counteracting force in the meantime, the services in the Cathedral in 20 years time would be perilously close to the Metropolia spirit. Among Russians there are very few sources of such a spiritual force that can counteract the drift of the times — anywhere! The conscious Orthodoxy of the Synod in future years, we believe will come from converts and Greeks, for the most part. And it may even be that this will cause friction and trouble. But of course we must just go forward trusting in God, speaking the truth and being vigilant.

We read the Newsletter with great interest. For improvement, we can only wish for a regular section of Greek news. (Mostly translations from Typos, I presume.) Perhaps Mrs. Vagin could help out on that — there’s an informed and aware Russian! Also, is it possible to issue the Newsletter in magazine format, i.e., like the beautifully done Supplicatory Canon; or does that involve too much extra labor in typing, stapling, etc.?

I somehow thought I had lots more to say to you, but it’s gotten lost somewhere — that’s what comes from letting our correspondence lapse. We’ll try to write a little more frequently. Anyway, don’t by any means thing you’re conducting a monologue with what you publish — every word of real Orthodox material in English is a seed whose future fruits are incalculable.

Pray for us, and let us hear a word occasionally. It would be nice to see you and have a good long talk, but God knows when that will come about. You’re always welcome here, if you ever venture that far out!

With love in Christ our Saviour,

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