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119. March 4/17,1973. St. Gerasimus of the Jordan

Dear Sister in Christ, Nina,

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ. This will be mainly replies to your questions.

We have no immediate plans to reprint the “charismatic” article, so Fr. Neketas is certainly welcome to do so. If no one does reprint it, later we might collect that series of articles on non-Christian religions and have it reprinted by offset, but now we’re too overwhelmed with other things. We get the Logos and have noted with decreasing interest its progress from worse to worser.

Yes, the repose of Vladika Savva was a loss for all of us, and as usual, it is only now that we begin really to value him. We have an article on him in the new (Νον-Dec) OW and will be printing regularly some of his material on Vladika John. Unfortunately, there is not too much beyond what he already published in Orthodox Russia, but some of it is very valuable (for example, a letter from Vladika Johns younger brother describing his childhood). We haven’t started going through Vlad. Savva’s norebooks yet, but they seem at first glance to be full of nothing but Holy Fathers (handwritten!). Certainly you are welcome to have the icon of the Forerunner as a remembrance of him.

Concerning the Panagia and Cross of Vladika John, I wrote a hasty scribbled note to Fr. Panteleimon when Fr. Herman returned from Edmonton, but probably it was too unclear or cryptic. In a word: after hearing about them from Fr. Panteleimon in Seattle, Fr. Herman asked about them in Edmonton: the Panagia, with inscription on the back from Archbishop Gabriel, he got and we have here. However, no one knew about a Cross with particles of the True Cross; there was only a Cross with many relics inside, of which we have a list. This we also have. Is it the same one, or is it absolutely certain that it has particles of the True Cross and not relics? By the way, don’t spread it (beyond Fr. Panteleimon) that we have these, as we have them “unofficially” and would never have asked for them if Fr. Panteleimon hadn’t spoken. Vladika Nektary knows, but his ruling Vlad, doesn’t, and we have yet to hear his response to all this. Unfortunately, he is not well disposed to the glorification of Vladika Johns memory, and besides he seems to stand in mortal fear of Vlad. Vit. We belong to the “other” tradition: do as your conscience says and speak out, and if they persecute you or “retire” you for it, well and good. (Did you ever hear of a “retired” monk? Maybe you will!)

We have no copies left of the original St. Herman Life. One day we’ll print a better one!

The Skete at Inverness Park has long since folded. It was never more than Fr. Dimitry and one or two hopefuls, but there was no attempt to introduce a rule of life, so the candidates soon moved on. There were picnics there in the summer. Now it is a “retreat center” for the SF parish with its “young, intellectual” (Schmemannized) priest, and a convert (Daniel Everiss) stays there as caretaker. Fr. Dimitry now lives in Santa Rosa where he is parish priest. We are told that Daniel bought a set of bells for the “Skete” from Sears Roebuck, I guess to tickle the ears of the “retreatants.”

We’ll be interested in the Hilandar checklist. The 1794 Paisius Life is probably the original version of the Life we are now printing — very beautiful, and we hope it will move our readers as much as it has moved us. It will take 4 issues to complete, and then God willing we’ll print it as a book. Between this and our other projects we are kept quite busy. This spring we must also finish the outside of the chapel and demolish several cabins in Platina (we’ve been offered the lumber). There’s also our “Vladika Savva Memorial Library” to start building, not to mention other construction projects! And the Post Office has given us until July 1 to be caught up on OW “or else.” Pray for us.! It looks as though we might have several more hands shortly, but that might be a trail too!

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

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