Reflections of an Orthodox Pilgrim

by Fr. Brendan Pelphrey Converts to Orthodoxy are frequently asked why we became Orthodox.  Since my wife and I were chrismated in 1995 we have answered this question hundreds of times, but often it is difficult to know exactly what to say.  It is not that our story changes each time, but that the reason for asking can be different for different people.  But first a word about how we became Orthodox. In our particular case, the process took many years—more than a quarter of a century, altogether. The process began in graduate school, when we first heard of the Orthodox Church (we didn’t know anything about it before); or actually … [Read more...]

A Journalist’s Journey

by Alfred Kentigern Pavlos Siewers When I was covering airplane crashes and other tragedies major or minor for the Chicago Sun-Times, at the scene of such events or crimes or other suffering I would often pray and ask myself “How can I be of service, Lord?” I was very unworthy in my efforts. Despite a successful career as a journalist I felt spiritually unfulfilled. At the time I was a devout Christian Scientist, and basically had gone without relying on medicine (except dentistry) and only on prayer for health for about 12 years from my late teens into my 30s. Although I had not been raised a Christian Scientist, my mother … [Read more...]

Strange, Yet Familiar: My Journey: Part 3

Part Three Look Not At The Things That Are Seen by Bishop Kallistos (Ware), Bishop of Diokleia There remained, however, one powerful dissuasive. If Orthodoxy is really the one true Church of Christ on earth, how could it be (I asked myself) that the Orthodox Church in the West is so ethnic and nationalist in its outlook, so little interested in any form of missionary witness, so fragmented into parallel and often conflicting "jurisdictions"? In principle, of course, Orthodoxy is indeed altogether clear about its claim to be the true Church. As I read in the message of the Orthodox delegates at the Assembly of the World … [Read more...]

Strange, Yet Familiar: My Journey: Part 2

Part Two Tradition, Martyrdom, Stillness by Bishop Kallistos (Ware), Bishop of Diokleia As I deepened my knowledge of Orthodoxy, three things in particular attracted me and held me fast. First, I perceived in the contemporary Orthodox Church — despite its internal tensions and its human failings — a living and unbroken continuity with the Church of the Apostles and Martyrs, of the Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils. This living continuity was summed up for me in the words fullness and wholeness, but most of all it was expressed by the term Tradition. Orthodoxy possesses, not through human merit but by God's grace, a fullness … [Read more...]