Advice for New Deacons

One of the many blessings I enjoy in my present assignment (St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI)  is that I have three deacons serving with me.  It's the sign of the health of our parish that we have grown three diaconal vocations within our parish over the last few years (note that one moved and serves elsewhere while one of our serving deacons moved here from elsewhere).  Our deacons are more than 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…


40 Days of Blogging: Rules and Vocational Discernment

From OrthoAnalytika, by Fr. Anthony Perkins (15 November 2014) With thanks to Fr. John Peck (Preacher's Institute) for setting up the 40 day challenge. I have been the Director of Vocations for the UOC-USA for about a year and a half now. It has been a real blessing to help men and women understand, discern, and live their calling to serve God and His children. There are challenges, though. One of them is that in order to Read more…


10 Reasons Bivocational Ministry Matters

By Chuck Lawless “I didn’t come to seminary to be a bivocational minister, to have to get another kind of job,” my student told me. I may not have agreed with my student, but I did understand his thinking. Back then (almost 15 years ago), we weren’t talking much about bivocational ministries. Now, that conversation has shifted. Pastors are beginning to embrace as their primary calling the role of bivocational minister. Some Read more…


On the Priesthood, Book 2 – On the Qualities of a Good Pastor (St. John Chrysostom)

Treatise on the Priesthood, by St. John Chrysostom(source: Book II.  On the Qualities of a Good Pastor. 1. Chrysostom:  That it is possible then to make use of deceit for a good purpose, or rather that in such a case it ought not to be called deceit, but a kind of good management worthy of all admiration, might be proved at greater length; but since what has already been said suffices for demonstration, it would Read more…


Don’t let the “modern project” motivate your calling to the priesthood (or anything else)

This article is part of Fr. Stephen Freeman's series on "The Modern Project."  While I recommend all of the articles in the series, this one has special relevance for those who feel called to the priesthood.  Why?  Because I have met men who want to become priests so badly that they cannot imagine their lives being complete without it.  Some believe this nonsense so much that they are willing to "shop for a bishop" (even outside Read more…


On the Need to Approach Ordination with Humility

How to Avoid the Priesthood Priest Sergei  (16 December 2013) Whoever has been to an ordination knows how grace fills the church at the moment of the imposition of hands…. Joy fills the hearts of those praying, even if they do not personally know the person being consecrated to the priestly rank. With what stateliness and joy do they sing the troparia “Holy Martyrs,” “Glory to Thee, O Christ God,” and “Dance, Read more…