Diocesan News

STS. SEBASTIAN & MARDARIJE ORTHODOX INSTITUTE III - DAY TWO

Day: One | Two | Three


feature image
The second full day of the Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Orthodox Institute began early in the morning Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the feast day of the Meeting of the Lord, with the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy officiated by His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America and His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America, the host hierarch and the concelebration of a number of diocesan and visiting clergy. In his homily following the liturgy Bishop Irinej spoke of the gift of the encounter with Christ that we are given in the Holy Liturgy, mirroring the encounter of St. Symeon with Christ celebrated in the Feast. It is because of this encounter which we have now in the liturgy that we have the hope –even a foretaste – of that great and final encounter with Christ at His second and glorious coming.

After breakfast, the second plenery session of the Institute began with a focus on the phychosomatic health of the clergy and their families in North America and Europe. Supporting his lecture with information gathered among clergy of the Church of Greece and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Fr. Vasilios delineated three primary areas of stress on modern clergy. The focus areas included external pressures arising the the particular nature of the priesthood, internal issues arising from the personality and psychological makeup of the priest and his family members as well as the interelational issues of the priest with parishioners, fellow clergy members and his family.

According to the reference studies utilized by Fr. Vasilios, clergy represent a high risk group for psychosomatic illnesses and can be compared to physicians, nurses and teachers in terms of higher probablities of burnout and mental of physical breakdowns. He further elaborated on specific stress areas which can range from internal conflict arising from an inability of the clergy to cope with the great extremes of information and emotions he can be privy to within the course of single day, to personality issues resulting from subtle forms of narcicism, to breakdown of essential relationships within family or parish.

Following the session, a lengthy Q & A session dealt with a wide range of questions. Many of the questions focused on the diffuculties arising in the field of interparish relationships. Having served as a parish priest for 30 years, Fr. Vasileios indicated that the importance of finding a balance between extreme reactions was crucial in alleviating many of the more common stress reactions in clergy. The issue of what makes for a healthy priest and clergy family was also a key theme. Fr. Vasilios reminded that participants that this question is directly related to the overall health of the local Church. If there are healthy young men and women within the Church the likelihood of healthy clergy is much higher. His Grace Bishop Irinej spoke about the practice within the Serbian Church of –by neccessity –placing newly ordained priests within parishes and having them play the role of confessor immediately. Fr. Vasilios then spoke at length about the potential downfalls of such a situation. Being forced to deal so explicitely and so early with parishioners issues can lead to an underdeveloped personality within the priest –a sort of false or public „person“ can develop which hinders the actuall spiritual and human development within the priest.

 

 

 

STS. SEBASTIAN AND MARDARIJE ORTHODOX INSTITUTE III - DAY ONE

Day: One | Two | Three

orth institute 052

Clergy and faithful filled the St. George Serbian Church in San Diego, the host church of the 3rd Annual Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Orthodox Institute, for the morning Orthos service on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, the feast day of the Holy Martyr Tryhon of Phrygia. Orthros was served by Hieromonk Fr. Platon (Jovic), a visiting monk from the Diocese of Banja Luka.


His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese welcomed all clergy and laity, many of whom were attending from other dioceses. He welcomed His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Eastern American Diocese who also greeted everyone at the beginning of this multi-day event. V. Rev. Dobrivoje Milunovic, president of the Clergy Brotherhood of the Serbian Orthodox Church, greeted the Instittue on behalf of the Brotherhood. Finally, Fr. Damascene introduced this year's speaker Rev. Fr. Vasileios Thermos, MD, PhD.

Before Fr. Vasileios began his first plenary session he spent a few moments reflecting on his personal connection with Serbia and the Serbian people which began while he was a young student of medicine. He had the opportunity and blessing of meeting Fr. Justin Popovic, of blessed memory, a year before his repose. It was on that occasion that Fr. Justin gifted to him a small Divine Liturgy service book in which he inscribed a small note, a gift which he treasures to this day.

The title of the first session was: Addiction and the person: A Psychological and Theological Approach. Addiction is most commonly associated with dependence on substances like drugs and alcohol, but more broadly it may refer to any behavior that is compulsive and brings adverse consequences to the person and/or to others. In the scientific literature it has been characterized as a disorder of the brain’s reward system. What would be the closest equivalent in Patristic literature to the modern concept of addiction? While this of course is open to discussion, it seems that what we call addiction might be what the Fathers call the last stage in the growth of a passion. In the Patristic schema of the development of a passion, first comes the provocation of the tempting thought, then the conjunction of the thought with the feelings, then the joining or agreement of the will. If one does not pull back at this point, the thought becomes a habit and the mind is constantly preoccupied with the object of the passionate urge. Finally, in the last stage, the person falls into the captivity of the urge. As St. Nilus of Sora wrote in the fourteenth century, this last stage, captivity, “is what the Fathers truly call ‘passion.’” St. Nilus says, “It is when after a long time a certain thought becomes nested within the soul, and, like a habit, becomes a part of a person’s own nature. He has freely allowed it to enter within himself, so now he is continually disturbed by [it]…. Repeatedly a phantasm is presented to the troubled soul, which is willy-nilly attracted to it more than to all other thoughts.”

This Patristic understanding of the final stage of a passion as captivity ties in with some of the key points made by Fr. Vasileios in his article, “If Addiction Is an Answer, Then What Was the Question?” Here, looking at the question of addiction from a theological framework, Fr. Vasileios discusses it within the context of human freedom. First, he points out the paradox of our own times, when we have struggled to achieve such freedom and independence, and at the same time have demonstrated such an amazing willingness to subjugate our internal human freedom to all kinds of addictions, many of them unknown in the past. Secondly, he argues that addictions are rooted in the urge to control, which becomes an obsession, resulting in the person paradoxically having an illusion of control but in reality being enslaved by the addictive behavior. Put another way, the person seeks control while engaging in rewarding stimuli, and has the illusion of being able to cease this engagement. Such an urge for and illusion of control are incompatible with real relationships. As Fr. Vasileios observes, “A real relationship is unpredictable and not subject to control, and this is exactly what the addict wishes to avoid…. A true relationship is synonymous with freedom.”

Framed in this way, the way out of the mire of addiction becomes clear. In Orthodox theology we know that man was created to be in relationship -- in communion -- with God and with other human beings. In Fr. Vasileios’ article on addiction, which I found very helpful, he expands this theme, discussing the problem and its solution, and providing advice for pastoral care. In this talk we look forward to hearing more insights on this topic.


 



St. Sebastian & Mardarije Orthodox Institute III
PSYCHOLOGY IN THE SERVICE OF GOD
Day One:  Addiction and the Person: A Psychological and Theological Approach

 

 

First Orthodox Liturgy on Yucatán Peninsula

IMG 9906Прва православна Литургија на полуострву Јукатану (Мексико)

Канкун, недеља, 12. фебруара 2017. године

GALLERY

Мисија Српске Цркве у Мексику постоји тек од почетка 21. века, али већ има две православне заједнице. Једна се налази у Мексико Ситију и постоји као мисионарска парохија Светог Николаја Жичког, која је основана 2013. године. Друга је сасвим новија, и налази се на полуострву Јукатану, где живи и ради значајан број православних Срба.

Прву и историјску Литургију нашим православним верницима на полуострву Јукатан у Карипском мору служио је у недељу 12. фебруара 2017. године Епископ Западноамерички Максим, уз саслужење протојереја Блашка Параклиса, администратора за Мексико, и протојереја-ставрофора Лазара Васиљевића. Благодарећи доброти и гостопримству великог добротвора г. Љубомира Крстајића Метохијца, а уз помоћ Александре Ненадић, те Саше Милојевића и Неде Кекић, служена је Света Литургија у 10 часова ујутру, у посебној сали хотела Azul Sensatori.

Православни Срби који живе на полуострву Јукатан, били су благовремено обавештени о овој посети. На овој служби присуствовало је више од 40 душа, међу њима и деце, међу њима и неколицина православних и инославних Мексиканаца, а многи православни су се исповедили и причестили. После Свете Литургије уследило је дружење, разговор и међусобно упознавање, уз послужење које су припремили домаћини. Сви верници су добили на поклон иконице, крстиће, бројанице и књижице теолошке и духовне садржине, као и сликовнице за децу. Монографија Хришћанско наслеђе Косова и Метохије (Севастијан прес 2015) је посебно представљена и остављена на поклон домаћину-добротвору који је својевремено био и спонзор ове драгоцене публикације.

Епископ Максим и свештеници Блашко и Лазар су поучили вернике о вери и спасењу у Цркви, о српском светосављу, а посебно је било речи о томе да је Света Литургија средиште нашег хришћанског живота и сабирања те да се сабрању кроз причешће Телом Христовим сједињујемо са Богом, са нашим ближњима и са целокупним светом. Присутни су изразили жељу за скором новом посетом и редовнијим богослужбеним животом, а помињана је и потреба превођења православних богословских и духовних књига на шпански језик. У плану је следећа посета током текуће године.

Поједини верници који су имали времена сусрели су се на мексичким Карибима са Владиком Максимом и свештеником Блашком и пре недељног дана.Слободна и суверена држава, Јукатан је једна од 31 држава које скупа са Мексико Ситијем сачињавају 32 федерална ентитета Мексика.

Православна Црква и православни у Мексику имају благослове неколицине епископа, од којих тројица живе у Мексику: митрополит Атинагора (Васељенска патријаршија), митрополит Антоније (Антиохијска патријаршија) и архиепископ Алехо (Америчка православна црква), док руски владика Кирил из Сан Франциска и Епископ Максим из Лос Анђелеса долазе у годишње посете. Укупни број православних у овој земљи је непознат, али се верује да их има најмање педесет хиљада.

 

SerbFest in Arcadia, California

2017arcadiaserbfest 045SerbFest 2017 in Arcadia, California was a great success! Guests enjoyed live music, delicious food, dancing, and fellowship.  This was the parish's first Serbfest which was held on Saturday and Sunday, February 4-5, 2017. Many parishioners and guests from neighboring parishes and the local community came to enjoy the festivitives.  

 

Bishop Maxim Visits Eugene and Portland, Oregon!

20160114 eugene portland 09Епископ Максим посетио Јуџин и Портланд поводом Храмовне славе Св. Aрхиђакона и Првомученика Стефана.

Парохија Св. првомученика и Архиђакона Стефана у Портланду, Орегон прославила је свечано своју храмовну славу, дочекавши свог драгог Архијереја Владику Максима.

Цела метропол регија Портландска је под снежним покривачем и неубач ​a  ј ​e   ним хладнијим температурама него обично.

У суботу 14. јануара је Епископ Максим, поводом празника Обрезања Господњег и Св. Василија Великог служио Архијерејску Литургију у Јуџину. Саслуживали су протопрезвитер Давид Лублинер, презвитер и Архијерејски намесник Бјутски Видослав Вујасин из Портланда као и Ђакон Стивен Дајер из Јуџина. 

Christmas Open House

2017 christmas open house12On Tuesday, January 10th, 2017, His Grace Bishop Maxim & the Dioesan Kolo Srpskih Sestara hosted a special Christmas Open House at the Bishop's Residence. Clergy and many guests from throughout the Southern California came to join His Grace Bishop Maxim for this Christmas & New Year Celebration. The evening was enjoyed by all and provided a warm casual atmosphere for friends and families to visit and share memories from the past year and hopes and plans for the future. 

CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
МИР БОЖЈИ – ХРИСТОС СЕ РОДИ!

Episcopal Nativity Greeting

 

 

westsrbdio.org
Switch mode views: