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…


Evangelizing Men without Chests – can it be done?

Professor Anthony Esolen has a real gift for juxtaposing the depravities and weaknesses of modern culture with the strength of traditional Christianity.  While his critiques are strong, one of the things I appreciate about him is that he is criticizing western civilization from the inside.  As such, I think of him as a sort of Roman Catholic David Bentley Hart or C.S. Lewis. In this article, Professor Esolen makes the case that we Read more…


People Want Loving, Active, Joyful, and Evangelical Leadership

A couple of months ago, Pew Research announced a finding that surprised me: 49% of Americans want preachers to speak about "political issues."  This was roughly the same percentage that do NOT want them to do so.  I have not looked closely at the data, but I am willing to bet that people who go to church are more heavily represented in the first group.  All this is to say that the majority of people in our parishes *want* their priests Read more…


Don’t preach “the devil’s homily”!

In every parish (even the dream ones), there are going to be people whom it is hard to love.  Like flies that get into the car when you take your garbage to the dump, their words and actions will continue annoying you long after you've left their physical presence.  Sometimes it can get so bad that your mind will actually create imaginary conversations so that these alleged "scribes and pharisees" can anger and tempt you with Read more…


On the Priesthood, Book 4 – On the Danger of Unworthy Ordination (St. John Chrysostom)

Treatise on the Priesthood.Saint John Chrysostom(source: www.ccel.org/fathers) Book IV.  On the Dangers of Unworthy Ordination Basil heard this, and after a little pause thus replied: If you were ambitious of obtaining this office on your own, then your fear would have been reasonable; for in being ambitious of undertaking it, a man confesses himself to be qualified for its administration, and if he fail therein, after it has been Read more…


On The Day Of His Ordination To The Priesthood

HOMILY GIVEN BY ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM ON THE DAY HE WAS ORDAINED PRIEST St. John Chrysostom was called to the priesthood and ordained by Flavian, bishop of Antioch, early in the year 386.  This is the date of his first sermon: he had not yet descended into the lists, as he himself puts it.  What will you preach at your ordination? Think about it! St. John Chrysostom speaks of himself, the bishop and the people. 1.  Is what has happened Read more…


St. Vlad’s Offers D.Min. With Advanced Preaching Focus

Well, here it is. After discussions about the dormant D.Min. program at SVS and the need for more homiletics offerings, we now have something serious and available to us. This is on a cohort basis - it won't be available every year. Brothers, don't let this opportunity slide by. Tell Fr. Sergius you saw it here. Priests, chaplains, and other professionals in ministry may now earn an accredited Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree Read more…