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115. Feb. 7/20,1973. Sts. Parthenius and Luke

Dear Brother in Christ, Igor [Kapral],

Greetings in our lord Jesus Christ. We are well and thanking God for His mercies to us, and trust you are also well.

We were very glad to have even a brief letter from you, for somehow we feel even more kin to you now with the repose of Vladika Savva. We were most moved when we found out that Vladika Savva had willed us his books and papers, and had even left money for Father Herman to come as soon as possible and take care of them. (It would be best not to go into some of the reasons for that!) Thanks be to God, Fr. Herman did so last week, distributing some of the books also to Elizabeth Mandick and another lady in Edmonton in accordance with Vladika Savva’s last wishes. When, God willing, we have our Skete library built, it will be in Vladika Savva’s memory.

Among Vladika’s papers, of course, were the materials for his book on Archbishop John. As we already suspected from our correspondence with him, there is not too much of this material that has not already been printed in Prav. Rus. (He complained to us that people in San Francisco and elsewhere just didn’t send material when asked.) We will certainly try to get more of it printed in Russian, although it is too early for us to think specifically about a book yet. Vladika Savva himself has now become a part of the whole story of Archbp. John: his concern for his memory and his unashamed acknowledgement of his sanctity are an encouragement for the rest of us who sometimes become dejected over the blindly negative attitude towards him in some places. We plan to tell about Vladika Savva in the new Orthodox Word and to begin translating some of his material on Vladika John, together with his own valuable comments. We feel ourselves to be spiritual heirs and debtors of Vladika Savva, and we will certainly do all we can, with God’s help, to collect all his material on Archbishop John into one book.

How true that in Vladika Savva we have lost a spiritual and righteous bishop, and I fear to say, one of the last of them. In the last two weeks both Fr. Herman and I were in Seattle and spoke both with Frs. Panteleimon and Neketas and with Vladika Nektary. No one is optimistic about the future! In Vladika Savva’s righteous and patient enduring of the injustice which fell to him in his last months on earth, there seems to be an example and pattern for the rest of us who wish to remain honest and upright Orthodox Christians. Let us make a covenant among ourselves, that wherever we may happen to be in Christ’s Church, that we will not be anything but honest and upright, whatever Church politics may say or what we might have to sacrifice for it!

I hope you understand! With Vladika John’s repose we were orphaned; but now with the passing of Vladikas Leonty and Savva, and with Vladikas Averky and Nektary in such a frail condition, who will we have left to whom we can speak our hearts?

We are very concerned about Jordanville, hearing the widespread rumors about great demoralization there. Are things really as bad as they are reported to be, or as hopeless?

Let us hear from you. Please pray for us, and especially for Vladika Nektary.

With love in Christ our Saviour,
Seraphim, monk

P.s., the cliches for Blessed Xenia are going out in today’s mail.

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