Inspirations, Part 1

As I prepare for another round of monastery travel and photography, I thought it might be inspiring for you (as well as for me!) to revisit some of my early posts on this website, which try to sketch out the contours of “Why” I am undertaking this two-year pilgrimage, “What” it means to me, and “Where” I hope it will lead.

With some minor editing, this is the section I wrote in Autumn 2015 on the Inspiration for the North American Thebaid.

Inspiration

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Eugene Rose (the future Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina) at about the time he saw a slide show on Orthodox monasticism which would change his life.

The inspiration for The North American Thebaid Project springs primarily from the example of seminarian Gleb Podmoshensky, whose 1961 pilgrimage to monastic sketes and settlements across the United States, Canada and Alaska, and his photographic slide show from these visits, had an inspiring and pivotal impact on a certain young man: Eugene Rose.

Gleb titled his presentation, “Holy Places in America,” and described his encounter with Eugene as follows:

Before Eugene’s amazed expression, Gleb recalls, “a new world of Apostolic Orthodoxy revealed itself. Color icons and portraits of saints and righteous ones of America; scenes of Blessed Fr. Herman’s Spruce Island in Alaska; renewed miracle-working icons that had been brought to America from Shanghai; abbesses and schemamonks in America; Canadian sketes; Holy Trinity Monastery and New Diveyevo Convent in New York, which brought the tradition of the Optina Elders to America, and so on. I gave a brief explanation of the slides, and of the phenomenon of the martyrdom of Holy Russia. Finally I told of the martyric fate of my father and its consequences, which had brought about my conversion to Christ and had eventually brought me here…

“The lecture was finished. My host, Eugene Rose, the future Fr. Seraphim, drawing in his breath, said, ‘What a revelation!’”

Continue reading “Inspirations, Part 1”

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Parish Presentation in Lima kicks off Winter travel & photography

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Fr Mark Hodges, the Great Entrance

My sincere thanks to Fr Mark Hodges and the parish of St Stephen the First Martyr in Lima OH, who hosted me for a brief presentation on the Thebaid Project following the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Feb. 19, and took up a very generous collection. I am truly humbled and grateful for your support…

img_1619This was a good example of how churches can help support the Thebaid Project, and earn valuable rewards for the entire parish, including my photographic services! I call it ‘Creative Tent-making’, and it seems to be catching on, with six parishes already signed on.

Watch for parish photo galleries coming soon, and learn more about the Creative Tent-making Option here…

Phase II of the North American Thebaid has Officially Launched!

After our successful first season of travel and photography to several monasteries, and presentations at Orthodox parishes across five states, we’re officially announcing Phase II of the North American Thebaid Photographic Pilgrimage

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Support the North American Thebaid at our GoFundMe page…

Phase I fundraising was a solid success. Raising 92% of our initial goal, it enabled travel and photography to begin in Summer 2016, with photographs made at five monasteries across three states, and a return visit to Ellwood City for some strong images (such as above) at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration.

Having tested and proven our plans, we are moving into the main stretch of the Thebaid Pilgrimage: 2017 will see the bulk of the travel and the longest legs of the journey, literally to the four corners of North America.

Continue reading “Phase II of the North American Thebaid has Officially Launched!”