The Authority of the Priest

by Fr. Sergei Shveshnikov All too often, a priest acts as if he were a secular leader, a board president, a CEO of a non-profit, a manager of an organization. To be sure, priests do hold a position of authority in the Church. But what kind of authority is it? What kind of headship? I really like the Roman Bishop’s official title: “the servant of the servant of God.” Regardless of how it is realized in the life of any particular Read more…


The Power of the Priestly Cassock

by Fr. Moses Samaan One of the most disturbing ideas I’ve heard in the recent push to “modernize” the Coptic Orthodox Church and make it more “attractive” to people in today’s society is the idea of priests putting aside their priestly cassocks in favor of pants, shirts, and collars, like other western clergy. The general arguments in favor of abandoning the priestly cassock essentially argue that it is too traditional to the Read more…


Royal Inadequacies of the Royal Priesthood

by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov One of my favorite writers, Fr. Sergei is the author of Imagine That: Mental Imagery in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Private Devotion, and I recommend it to everyone, especially those discerning a priestly vocation. You can get it on Amazon HERE. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”–Psalm 133:1 While there are many wonderful and holy pastors who labor in Christ’s Read more…


Christian Priesthood and Ecclesial Unity

Some Theological and Canonical Considerations by Professor Contantine Scouteris School of Theology of the University of Athens 1. The records of the early Christian tradition leave no doubt that Christian priesthood is not a "function" necessary for the institutional being of the Church. Nor is it an autonomous, isolated and self sufficient office belonging to the ordained individual. It is rather a ministry related and belonging Read more…


Five Reasons I Love Serving with Deacons

Hierodeacon Vasyl and Deacon Paul lead Subdeacon Michael into the altar for ordination.One of many blessings that come with serving at St. Michael's in Woonsocket is that we have three good deacons.  Our senior deacon is Hierodeacon Vasyl.  He was assigned here in 2014 after retiring from his secular job and moving to Woonsocket.  Our second deacon, Dn. Paul Cherkas, grew up in the parish and was ordained in 2013.  He is also retired Read more…


The Diaconate in the Orthodox Church

From a talk by Fr. Deacon Photios Touloumes Preface My Lord Bishops, Honoured Hieropriests, Archpriests, Presbyters, Fellow Deacons, and Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I greet you with the words of our Saviour: If any one serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my servant be; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. (Jn. 12: 26) I would like to begin my talk on The Diaconate in the Church by Read more…


Survey Results: Observations and Advice for New Priests

We are coming up on graduation day for our seminaries, so I fielded a survey to gather the collective wisdom of priests to share with our new graduates and ordinands. These sets of “five things” are offered with thanks to the priests who answered the survey and prayers for all our clergy.  It's a beautiful and blessed - but often incredibly difficult - life. Five Things that Surprised Us in Parish Ministry Worldly Behavior. Read more…