Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Parks and Ordination

The period after Thanksgiving seems to go by very quickly. Two weeks of classes are sandwiched in between the Thanksgiving vacation and exams, which actually are a bit of a vacation in themselves. Papers get turned in, loose ends get tied up, and all the while our minds are already checked in and boarding the plane. It’s a busy time.

Last weekend, we had two big events happen. On Saturday (December 3) a contingent of officials, higher-ups, bureaucrats and activists descended upon our monastery for a ceremony celebrating the inclusion of Holy Trinity Orthodox Monastery into the National Register of Historic Places. The whole impetus for getting the monastery recognized was the proposed building, not too long ago, of a number of wind turbines (“Each as tall as the Statue of Liberty,” according to Fr Luke) about a mile east of the Monastery. The monastery joined forces with local interests groups opposed to this development, and applied and received historical landmark status at the state level. Federal recognition allows the monastery to potentially receive grant money or tax credits for the upkeep of its buildings. Usually religious buildings don’t receive this kind of recognition, but according to the powers-that-be, not only does the monastery represent the local community, it is a landmark for the entirety of the Russian Diaspora.

So, a number of people spoke about their individual and group efforts to preserve the monastery and fight the wind turbine people (who were forced out of business, apparently because of shady dealings that they did). Fred Miller, one of the members of the New York State Preservation League, spoke about how he had help understanding our Russian Orthodox ways with the help of one of the nuns in the nearby skete: “Whenever I got something wrong with protocol and what-not…Mother Barbara would grab me by the throat!”

After the talk, we partook of a big spread of refreshments and the visitors got a tour of the monastery grounds.

The next day, one of our seminarians got ordained. It was the Feast of the Entrance of the Holy Mother of God into the Temple. Igor, the seminarian in question, got tonsured a reader before the beginning of liturgy, and then ordained a deacon by Archbishop Gabriel of Canada. Fr Igor will serve for the next forty days in church and will be ordained a priest on Christmas Day.

But otherwise, everything is все нормально, business as usual, here in Jordanville. At least until uborka.

No comments:

Post a Comment