April 15, 2019

A few weeks ago, those of us who compose our mission group in Chicago, St Mary of Egypt Social Justice Fellowship, were talking about sainthood. I’m not perfect enough to be a saint, one of us said, and our leader, the inimitable Julian Hayda, replied, Well, that’s why we are named after St Mary of Egypt. The point of sainthood, he reminded us, is that we are not perfect. Anyone who ever became holy has come out of a life of sin,… Read more

April 12, 2019

It goes without saying that Benedict XVI’s recently published letter on sex abuse is terrible. I will also leave an obligatory note here about how I have liked Ratzinger’s writings (even as a Protestant), have tweeted my amazement at them, and have read enough people couching their critique of the former pontiff as loving fanboys disappointed in their master that I will do nothing of the sort here. The letter stands or falls on its merits alone, and there are… Read more

April 4, 2019

Over at The Anxious Bench on one of our sister channels on Patheos, my friend and colleague Melissa Borja, a historian of race and religion in America at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has an interview with four of us, her colleagues in this field, about the impact of ethnic studies on religious studies. She asked us about it in the context of the fiftieth anniversary of the Third World Liberation Front strikes in the Bay Area in 1969, which were… Read more

April 1, 2019

When I was in my catechumenate, folks at the temple I was at were all abuzz about Melinda Selmys’s book Sexual Authenticity. At the time, a number of the people attending could have been described as evangeliCatholic, sisters and brothers from the Latin Church who took their faith as seriously and pietistically as evangelicals and often hung out with their Protestant counterparts to boot. As it was, Theology of the Body was making another round, and was described as amazing, although everybody there… Read more

March 29, 2019

I first got the idea that I should receive spiritual direction around the time I was fifteen. I don’t think I really have ever publicly revealed this until last week, but I had read about it in Susan Howatch’s Church of England series, which had been recommended to my father in a conservative Baptist seminary’s Doctor of Ministry course on pastoral spirituality. Curious about what was advertised as a trashy exploration of the sex lives of Anglican clergy, I dove into the… Read more

March 27, 2019

I write these thoughts on the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation on the New Calendar, in which kairotic time zone I am currently present. During my flirtation with the Latin Church, I would pray the Angelus every noon. Or almost every noon. Maybe it was two or three days a week. Maybe less. The point is that it was regular, at a time before I had encountered the Kyivan Church. I had learned about it like every Protestant… Read more

March 18, 2019

I have been at a loss for words about the deaths of so many in the last week. Earlier in the week, on Sunday, February 10, a Boeing 737 Max 8 flown by Ethiopian Airlines was the second of such planes to crash in five months. I know people who knew people among the 157 people killed: an African academic champion of young scholars and writers, environmental activists, theologians, among a number of other people. Then on Friday, February 15,… Read more

March 17, 2019

This post, written on the Sunday of Orthodoxy on the Old Calendar and of Gregory Palamas on the New, is occasioned by the death of Fr Myron Panchuk and his burial beneath a stone with the same inscription that sat above the doorway of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s home: Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit. I have no idea what I think about Carl Jung. Please do not ask me about him. It’s like asking me about what I think… Read more

March 16, 2019

Last year at Pascha, I went with my sister and brother Summer and Julian, along with Julian’s family, to St Nicholas’s Cemetery in Chicago. As is the custom in this Kyivan Church of ours, we sang Christos voskres — Christ is risen — to those who have departed from us. We were there for Julian’s father, Fr Pavlo Hayda, who had been killed in a bicycle accident far too soon when Julian was a teenager. He is buried with Fr Tom… Read more

March 11, 2019

I was just sitting down at an intentional Christian community’s arts sharing night when I got the message that my friend Fr Myron Panchuk had died. It was coated in euphemism at first. Fr Myron is in the hospital, my friend said. It doesn’t look good. I understood immediately. I am a pastor’s kid, and that is code for me to give my messenger my whereabouts and how soon I can be picked up to go immediately to the bedside of our… Read more

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