September 9, 2018

On this Sunday Before the Exaltation of the Cross, our temple in Richmond will receive our sixth person this year into our Eastern Catholic church. The first was the baptism of a Japanese Canadian guy who was getting married to someone who was already Eastern Catholic. The next two came in June; those were a Cantonese couple whose way into our church had been similar to mine insofar as they were moved by our support of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement… Read more

September 8, 2018

What do I say about Mary Godbearer on this Feast of her Nativity, the first of the Twelve Great Feasts of our church? Every year, a friend of mine from the temple reminds me that my wife shares her birthday with the Theotokos. He’s gotten better. He used to say that she is my Virgin Mary. Please, I replied, that is a little gross. My friend is Protestant. If he keeps coming to the temple, maybe he will eventually become Eastern Catholic…. Read more

September 7, 2018

This is the third in a series reflecting on what I’ve been doing on the blog. The first and second are here. No account of the intellectual crisis I have had will be complete without the story of a course I taught in Spring 2017 when I had a meltdown mid-lecture. The topic was Chinese American studies, and I was exegeting a passage from what still remains one of my favourite books ever written, Louis Chu’s Eat a Bowl of Tea…. Read more

September 6, 2018

This is the second in a series reflecting on what I’ve been doing on the blog. The first is here. I began narrating myself, as my editor on the blog Sam Rocha said I would, after I finally figured out that the point of blogging is to tell the truth. Naïvely, I had previously thought that the point of any publication was a kind of self-promotion of one’s own cleverness, a dick-measuring contest of how many intellectual balls I could… Read more

September 5, 2018

This is the first in a series reflecting on what I’ve been doing on the blog. It will be hard for most of my readers to understand what I mean when I say that I’ve been in a dry spell for the better part of five years in my writing, but it is true. Shortly after I became Eastern Catholic in the summer of 2016, Sam Rocha invited me onto Patheos Catholic to blog, precisely because I was in the… Read more

September 4, 2018

The thing I remember about the beginning of this dream was that it was a rehearsal, but not for a service in an Eastern Catholic setting. I was back at the Anglican parish where I was first discerning a call to ordained ministry (it didn’t work out). I was being given instructions on what I should do in this service. I understood from the instructions that it was for the ordination of a bishop, which made no sense because the… Read more

September 3, 2018

Years ago, my friend Sam Rocha wrote a piece on the then-newly elected Pope Francis titled ‘Francis’s Radical Realism: Performance v Ideology.’ Given what we knew of the Bishop of Rome at the time, it was a remarkable piece. In conversation with philosophers like William James, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Slavoj Žižek and with clear continuity with Francis’s predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI, it celebrated what Rocha argued was Francis’s true radicalism. Contrasting the habits of normatively white Catholics,… Read more

September 1, 2018

On October 16, 2017, I shared some words on my Facebook regarding the #MeToo ‘movement,’ if it could be called that, with the requisite problems eloquently stated by Yasmin Nair about it. The only folks who took offence to it, surprisingly, were not Byzantines who might have disdained by quoting from a Latin father, but evangelical feminists who found my reading of De Civitas Dei insufficiently feminist. However, one of them did say that it was a consolation prize that I’d be… Read more

September 1, 2018

My patron saint is Holy Justin the Philosopher and Martyr. Every morning I ask him to pray to G-d for me, fervently fleeing unto him, the speedy helper and intercessor for my soul. I need it these days. Here across the Dnipro, it looks like our sister church over there on the Tiber is having a full scale meltdown. I too have weighed in on the scandal, arguing that the problem seems to me that her ecclesiology in practice is… Read more

August 25, 2018

These are the only words that I will share about John McCain, from my brother Julian Hayda, shared with his permission. Without asking him to write them, I waited for him to come through, as we have had many conversations about this topic, and he did so, masterfully: It’s really interesting to see how many people are calling John McCain a “true friend of Ukraine.” I was there when he showed up on the Maidan unannounced. From the moment he showed… Read more

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