At Long Last! – A Thebaid Book Update

Greetings for the Dormition Season!

The Platina Pilgrimage
The hand operated printing press at St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina CA, where Fr Seraphim Rose and Abbot Herman produced The Orthodox Word and numerous important books.

First of all, my sincere apologies for not posting any news on the Thebaid book for quite some time. We simply haven’t had any news to share, but have been in somewhat of a holding pattern. But all that is changing rapidly, thanks be to God!

Some of you have reached out to ask about the book’s progress, and I am very grateful for your contact, and happy to have some solid news to report.

Met-Leonty-Cover-500x738
St Tikhon’s Press had asked me last December to be patient, as they had new books which had been scheduled for publication in 2019 well ahead of mine. The first of these was published in conjunction with St Tikhon’s annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage Weekend (a beautiful new book on Metropolitan Leonty of blessed memory), and the other titles have been proceeding apace, meaning the Thebaid Book is next up.

This is most invigorating for me, I can assure you, and I am looking forward to making an extended working visit to St Tikhon’s in mid-September, which will enable us to make much progress. But even in advance of that, we have been fleshing out the specifics of the book sections, and image use and sequencing remotely through correspondence. Continue reading “At Long Last! – A Thebaid Book Update”

Jordanville Conference features speakers from the only two American Orthodox seminaries joined to monasteries

Titled Chastity, Purity, Integrity: – Orthodox Anthropology and Secular Culture in the 21st Century, this visionary conference, perhaps the first of its kind in North America, features speakers and a planning committee who hail primarily from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (ROCOR, Jordanville NY) and St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (OCA, South Canaan PA), both of which are unique in North America among Orthodox seminaries for being linked to and deriving their traditional Orthodox ethos from the monasteries out of which they grew.

Confronting in a firm and direct manner the raging cultural heresies of the day, yet with love and compassion befitting a truly Christian endeavor, the conference features presentations with such traditional Orthodox titles and teachings as these:

  • Orthodox Anthropology: Encountering the “new gnosticism” of transgenderism, pansexuality, and post-humanism
  • Nurturing Christian Purity and Chastity among Young People Today
  • The Mystery of Male and Female
  • The Relevance and Application of Orthodox teachings of Purity and Chastity to 21st-Century America: Culture, Families, Parishes
  • Leavening American Society with the Moral Teachings of the Church

This conference clearly is intended to present in a living and engaging manner the divine-human Orthodox phronema, the Mind of Christ and His Church on the nature, calling, and destiny of mankind.

Unlike certain academic platforms, cut off as they are from the living Orthodox tradition, and which therefore spread heresy and error and seek to overthrow the divine teachings and commandments of Christ and the Scriptures regarding man and woman, marriage and sexuality, and to reimagine and subvert the living tradition of the Orthodox Church, this Jordanville Conference, deriving as it does from two of the oldest and most stalwart Orthodox Christian monasteries in the entire Western Hemisphere, offers not just Orthodox teaching on the nature of Mankind, but presents the Way of Life, as distinguished from the way which leads to death (see the Didache, esp. ch. 1 & 2).

Rather than reproduce the lovely aerial photo of Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary featured with the conference announcement, I think it more appropriate to use one of my favorite images from The North American Thebaid, my photograph of the entrance to Jordanville, its domes faithfully shining beneath dark and threatening skies, a metaphor for the Orthodox Christian presence shining in the midst of the dark age we have entered into here in America.

More info and links on the Jordanville Conference are below the photograph:

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Chastity, Purity, Integrity:

Orthodox Anthropology and Secular Culture in the 21st Century

Holy Trinity Seminary Jordanville, New York

March 7 – 9, 2019 | Conference announcement and info

This three-day conference focuses on the application of Orthodox teachings on anthropology and morality to contemporary challenges posed by secular American culture (even within the Church).

It will include both scholarly and pastoral perspectives, with the goal of articulating the application of Orthodox Tradition and apologetics to current needs, in the face of current social trends regarding sex, body, and human nature.

It seeks to do so in a prayerful and traditional framework, out of compassion for both struggling Orthodox Christians and families, and those of our neighbors facing spiritual shipwreck in our culture today.

Speakers include::

  • Bishop Irenei (Steenberg)
  • Bishop/Abbot Luke Murianka
  • Dr. Alfred Kentigern Siewers
  • Dr. David Ford
  • Dr. Mary Ford
  • Dr. Edith Humphrey
  • Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green
  • Fr. Chad Hatfield
  • Fr. Peter Heers
  • Dr. David Bradshaw
  • Fr. Hans Jacobse
  • Fr. John Parker
  • Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon
  • Fr. Alexander Webster
  • Dr. John Mark Reynolds

Full information is available on the Holy Trinity Monastery website.

January 2019 Thebaid Update

On to publication of the Thebaid Book in Spring 2019!

This update serves as a special ‘Thank you’ to our dozens of dear supporters, for propelling the North American Thebaid Project to the threshold of its goal, the publication of the large-format, photographic coffee table book, due in Spring 2019 from St Tikhon’s Monastery Press, South Canaan PA.

In the coming weeks and months I’ll be deeply engaged in photo editing and book design, sending files back and forth with the design team at St. Tikhon’s Press, and working closely with our pre-press partners at Four Colour Print Group in Louisville and FCI Digital in Dayton, as we work to fulfill our goal of creating an inspiring, museum-quality photo book. We can’t wait to get it into your hands!

St Tikhon’s Press announces the Thebaid Book to over 20,000 readers

St Tikhon’s 2019 Liturgical Calendar, featuring photographs from the North American Thebaid.

St Tikhon’s Monastery Press chose to announce their role as publisher of the Thebaid book through a statement in their 2019 Liturgical Calendar, which features fourteen full-color images from the Thebaid Project.

Covering over a dozen Orthodox monasteries across America, from several of the canonical Orthodox jurisdictions and archdioceses here, this beautiful calendar has now been distributed to hundreds of parish churches, reaching an audience of over 20,000, who began using this unique liturgical calendar on January 1 of the New Year.

We are deeply grateful for St. Tikhon’s Press and their public endorsement of the Thebaid Project. You can order the St Tikhon’s 2019 Liturgical Calendar direct from STM Press…

Continue reading “January 2019 Thebaid Update”

Thebaid Images featured on covers of STM Press 2019 Liturgical Rubrics Book, Pocket Planner

The close relationship between the North American Thebaid Project and St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press continues to bear fruit, with the publication of the STM Press 2019 Liturgical Rubrics & Calendar, and their 2019 Pocket Planner, each of which feature a stunning photograph from The North American Thebaid on the cover.

These are in addition to the publication of the 2019 St Tikhon’s Monastery Press Liturgical Calendar, which features fourteen photographs from the Thebaid Project. More info, with images from this large-format wall-calendar and links to order from STM Press are provided here.

I continue to feel deeply thankful and honored that St. Tikhon’s Monastery Press has so embraced the North American Thebaid Project, and is using more of the images for their outstanding line of liturgical calendars, books and resources, which will go out to many hundreds of Orthodox parishes and thousands of believers across the United States and Canada.

Specifications for the STM Press 2019 Liturgical Rubrics & Calendar, and 2019 Pocket Planner follow:

Continue reading “Thebaid Images featured on covers of STM Press 2019 Liturgical Rubrics Book, Pocket Planner”

First Photo Gallery: St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery

The first gallery of photographs from the North American Thebaid Project is online, featuring some four dozen images taken at St Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan PA.

img_0095Captions to follow, but you can get nearly a virtual tour of the monastery, and a real inside look at monastic life, including the divine services, veneration of icons and relics of saints, the monks living quarters and dining room (trapeza) and more.

Also featured are links to learn more about St Tikhon’s Monastery, including videos and helpful instructions for visitors.

Proceed to the St Tikhon’s Gallery, and watch for posting soon of my photographs from Holy Transfiguration in Ellwood City PA, as well as upcoming itinerary…

Preparing for Pilgrimage: St Tikhon’s Monastery, Part 1

With real joy and thanksgiving, but also with not a little fear and trembling, I realized today that I leave for the first leg of the North American Thebaid Pilgrimage in less than a week and a half…

This is a powerful awareness. I feel as if my life may change forever through this venture. I certainly hope it does, that as a pilgrim first, I may grow closer to the Lord, repent more, pray well, and, God willing, make some good photographs for the Thebaid Project.

The first monastery I am visiting is St Tikhon’s, in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, from September 6-8. Below is a look at America’s oldest monastery, featuring an interview done with Fr. Abbot Sergius in 2009.

I ask your prayers and support as I prepare to begin my pilgrimage…