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242. Nov. 16/29, 1976 Holy Apostle Matthew

Dear Alexey,

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ. Enclosed are the articles for Nikodemos. Both are very good and lively. I’ve made some comments in the text. We look forward to the next installments on Christianity in Britain—it looks to be a very interesting series.

Many thanks for the offer of the jeep—were expecting David today or tomorrow. Also for the printing job which you sent with Hudanish. How much did Susan write the check for?

We’ve had so many visitors this past week that we’re still dizzy. We had a good visit with John Hudanish, who is quite capable of understanding the finer points of today’s Orthodox “problems”; but he needs his feet a little more firmly on the earth if he is to withstand some of his temptations. Barbara McCarthy visited us for a week (her first visit for several months) and took an active part in helping with our visitors, especially the two young ladies, with whom she stayed up all night in the guest house talking! She had a long talk with Hudanish also, but wouldn’t tell him where she’s living now, and I think she even asked him not to mention that he had seen her here, so perhaps he didn’t mention her to you on his return. (By the way, because Barbara doesn’t seem to “have an address,” you may get some mail there addressed to her—if so, please just forward it to us in an envelope with our name on the outside.)

But the brightest part of the week was Mary Mansur and her friend Solomonia (a converted Jewess). We had more or less accepted Nina’s diagnosis that she was already virtually “lost to the Protestants,” and so we were totally unprepared for the reality. She’s wonderful! She’s very much in Barbara McCarthy’s spirit, brimming with life, not satisfied with “correctness,” wanting to give herself entirely to serving God—but not capable of fitting into the “ordinary” Orthodox situations of today. She became involved with a Protestant group partly out of youthful confusion, partly out of dissatisfaction with the luke-warm Orthodoxy she has seen. She visited Seattle (where she was told she would find a real and vital Orthodoxy community)—and she found Fr. Neketas just as dissatisfying with his “letter of the law.” Outwardly she has much to learn, but her heart is deeply Orthodox—it’s just a matter of her finding her place to bear fruit. She and her friend have been more and more troubled by their involvement with Protestants, and now after visiting Vladika Andrew they are preparing to leave for New Diveyevo, where they will live outside the convent under Vladika. That’s probably not the final answer for them, but hopefully they can get there a firmer grounding in Orthodoxy before their next step. (Salomonia had only two weeks’ exposure to Orthodoxy before being baptized at Jordanville, just two months ago I believe.)

They may be visiting you before they leave in the next few weeks—and by all means you should encourage them to do so if they contact you. To us they seem another proof that a “new generation” of Orthodox is springing up—the Sergei Kourdakov generation (she is much inspired by him). She is already one step beyond Kourdakov in that she has seemingly overcome the fascination with Protestant “activity” and is aware that there is something deeper in Orthodoxy if only she can get into it. Pray for them.

With love in Christ,
Seraphim, monk

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