Monk Peresvet pictured here in the 2005 painting 'Peresvet's victory' by Pavel Ryzhenko had the support of St Sergius of Radonezh. Will you support your priest when he rides into battle for your soul?
A teenager comes to her priest because her friend just came out as transgender. The priest knows that this is tricky territory. If he says the wrong thing - she might think the Orthodox Church is behind the times, irrelevant or bigoted, and may leave the faith. But he doesn't know how to respond. What is he to do?
As an Orthodox Christian you and I rely on our priest for helping us on our way in our spiritual battles. I know I have sometimes even told my young family members: “Go and ask Father So-and-So!” Because when it comes to spiritual life, he knows best.
But I was talking to some clergy recently and they shared something that scared me.
In our fast-changing world, priests often find themselves under-prepared.
So I am writing to you in hopes that you will join me in this new exciting project.
Our Church is facing new challenges as the world changes at a swift pace. Seminary education from 30 years ago is still the foundation of pastoral work, but more is needed now. Priests feel ill-equipped to bring the salvific power of the Church to those who have little or no Christian foundation, who are lost in a sea of confusion.
They need intellectual and practical training to help their parishioners and their children confront subjects like same-sex marriage, sex change, suicide, immigration, economic justice, racism and “reverse”-racism, etc. while staying true to the teaching of our Church. Traditional Orthodox Christianity remains the only true path to healing, but priests need more education to understand modern problems and find ways of reaching out.
If you are as worried as I am about what is going to happen to our Church in an age when black is called white, and white – black, I have good news. And I am writing to you today to say that there’s a way you can help.
Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY is starting a Masters of Divinity program this coming fall. It is designed specifically to prepare ROCOR clergy for the spiritual fight for the souls of his parishioners meeting XXI century problems.
And the Fund for Assistance to ROCOR is joining the Seminary in this worthy project by instituting the Prince Vladimir Galitzine Scholarship – in honor of our organization’s long-term president who passed away in March of this year.
This scholarship will safeguard your parish against an uncertain future by sponsoring a highly motivated priest who can competently tackle the challenges of today. One well-formed and highly educated priest can strengthen a diocese, and even the entire Church, when he is able to cut to the core of an issue and bring the Truth to light.
Let me introduce one of the 14 ROCOR warriors priests that are applying for this program.
Fr Richard has much education and life experience already. He has a master’s degree and retired after a career as a US Navy officer. He was assigned as a parish priest in the United States. He doesn’t have an Orthodox theological education.
Why would he apply for the Masters of Divinity Program in Jordanville?
He doesn’t seek any career advancement, having already prospered in his career. However, he knows that he lacks the necessary professional pastoral and theological training to be a truly effective pastor, teacher, and evangelist of the Holy Orthodoxy.
Already serving as a priest, he is keenly aware of that need and is willing to uproot himself to study full-time for three years in Jordanville. The problem is that he doesn’t have enough financial resources to cover the Seminary’s competitive graduate tuition and other costs.
This is where you can help by giving a donation today!
Your gift will train a priest to explain Holy Scripture and the rest of Orthodox Tradition in a way that is accessible and understandable to parishioners, especially to young people, will provide a foundation for life and give thirsty seekers living water.
Otherwise our Church is in danger of seeming irrelevant or at least hiding the Light of Christ beneath a bushel.
Parishioners whose priests cannot appreciate and respond to their pastoral needs may lose connection with the Church and can be led astray by sophisticated false ideas. Orthodox Christianity is the only true antidote to empty modernism and nihilistic despair.
Donate today and you will give already-ordained priests and future clergymen the necessary preparation to do real battle for the Church as spiritual warriors and for their parishioners’ souls.
Please hurry, as those without means need financial support confirmed well before the start of the school year!
Your donation will help cover the tuition, books, room and board for a priest or other graduate student at Holy Trinity Seminary for one year. I am hoping to raise $20,000 by August 25th.
Your donation will strengthen our Church. An educated, spiritually-formed priest means a congregation that is vibrant and growing each day in Holy Orthodoxy.
By helping our priests receive the education they need, you will help many on their road to the Kingdom of Heaven. You will demonstrate real Christian love for your fellow Orthodox Christians. Your gift can multiply over the lifetime of a priest’s service to the Church.
Many thanks for your kind generosity.
Yours in Christ,
P.S. Please rush your gift today! My deadline for telling Fr Richard if he can go to school to win the fight for our Church is August 25th.