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312. August 18/31, 1981 Martyrs Florus and Laurus

Your Grace, dear Vladika Laurus,


First of all, Father Herman and all the brethren send you heartfelt congratulations on your namesday. Spasi, Christe Bozhe! Thank you very much also for your recent visit to us, which was very much appreciated by our pilgrims. Our pilgrimage seems to have been a great success, with much interest aroused in gaining a deeper knowledge of Orthodoxy.

This past Saturday and Sunday we were visited by Basil Voytan and his parents and had a long discussion with them over his future. He does not want to do anything else but prepare himself for service in the Church, but he is also very much afraid of the depression which came over, him last year in Jordanville (and lasted for months), based upon idleness, inability to apply what he reads in spiritual books to the reality of his life, etc. He is presently in a “bored” state, and without close supervision he is afraid (and we agree) that he will lose all interest in serving the Church.

Therefore, we informed him of what you had told us about the correspondence courses that will soon be set up, and of the possibility of receiving a Jordanville degree without being present at the seminary for all five years of courses. We proposed (in the presence of his parents) that he spend the next school year here with us doing all the Jordanville course work he can do, under our guidance. After praying and receiving Holy communion the next day, he accepted this proposal and is preparing to come here in a few weeks.

With your blessing, we would like to give him as much of the second and third year course materials as he can handle (this will depend on his facility in Russian, which we haven’t tested yet). We have the list of books for the third-year course; is there a similar list for the second year? If you approve of this plan, what would be required to do for him to be enrolled in the seminary?—write papers, take examinations, etc.?

From what we know of him over the past several years, Basil seems to be a highly gifted and motivated boy who could easily perform the necessary work; and under close supervision we believe his emotional problem (which seems to be bound up with immaturity) can also be handled.

Please let us know your opinion of all this, so that we will know what to give him when he comes. We plan to give him a strict regime, with certain hours every day for study, and personal help as needed.

Asking your holy prayers,

With love and respect in Christ,
Unworthy Hieromonk Seraphim

P.s. We hear that our Greeks have risen up in protest against our article on Elder Tavrion, and that the Synod is going to discuss it. I hope the bishops will have in mind that those who are protesting are doing so because they think, as Father Michael Azkoul wrote in the Orthodox Christian Witness of August 10/23, that “heresy has negated these ancient Sees. There is no ‘church,’ hence no Mysteries” in the Churches of Moscow and Constantinople. I think our Greeks must be about to leave us because of our “apostasy”!

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