Thursday, July 19, 2007

The List Gets Shorter

Took baby round for his Well Baby this evening. (Some lovely commenter asked if Baby is a he or she-he's very much a he, a shouting vigourous he.) Have a very interesting pediatrician. He's Russian Orthodox with a long Orthodox beard and a lot of Orthodox children (6, plus one on the way-due at the same time I am). And very pious. Its a pleasure to take the children to see him, because he glances at them, pokes and prods them, and then talks about the church (especially when Matt goes). Tonight, after looking in Rowan's ears and mouth etc. he took me through a maze back to his own computer to show me pictures of the chapel/church he's built in his yard. Its all done on the outside and they're working on doing frescos on the inside. His church/congregation is worshiping there now, so on Sunday's (and every other day-the orthodox are so much more pious than we indolent lax Anglicans) he has only to walk out of his front door and across the lawn to go to church. Noted that Good Shepherd, lovely and beautiful though it is in its own way, looks like a liturgical homeless shelter in comparison.

Anyway, so that's one more thing off my Giant List of Things to Do Before We're Allowed To Go on Vacation. Still remaining are the wretched bulletins I put off doing today, a wedding, sorting out Sunday School, Arguing with Matt about how much stuff we each get to take, and HOPEfully making bread and somosas, if I have time. I probably won't, but wouldn't it be nice to have fresh bread and fresh cold somosas in the car while driving all those many miles? Isn't that what ever Road Trip calls for? Am aiming high.


The young fogey said...

NTS glad your son is doing well. The pædiatrician sounds like a lovely man. I wonder which brand of Russian Orthodox he is... there are the old Russian dioceses in America that are now the OCA; then the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the tsarist and WWII exile church that has just rejoined the church in the mother country; the little exarchate (like a diocese, under a bishop but not claiming territory canonically) of parishes directly under the Church of Russia; and finally Old Believer and other splinter groups of Russians.

I know that Binghamton has St Michael's which is under the patriarch of Constantinople - they're Ruthenians, Slavs related to but not Russians, who until the 1930s were under Rome (hence the name 'St Michael's Greek Catholic Church').

A yard chapel with regular services sounds like something ROCOR or one of the smaller conservative Russian groups would do. (The OCA are very American - most of them are Ruthenian too, descended from immigrants 100 years ago.)

Of course as you and I know Anglicanism in America is extremely ethnic: it's English!

Robert Carlson said...

Je suis enchanté de voir qu’en France tous les instructions pour ton blog sont en francais. Donc je veux bien "enregistrer un commentaire": je présume que "bébé" est en bonne santé, et j’en suis très content. J’aimerais bien que "bébé" soit avec moi à Brest, ainsi que sa mère et toute sa famille.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Kennedy:

The charming story of your Russian Orthodox pediatrician and his chapel reminds me of a Russian Orthodox priest (Moscow Patriarchate) who is one of the finest priests I have ever known. I met him years ago when he was still a skinny kid, just out of seminary and assigned to his first parish here in Florida. He moved on to other assignments out of state and we lost touch with each other.

I recently stumbled across his current parish website and we've renewed our acquaintance, if only by e-mail. Quite a few pierogi and cabbage rolls later, he's just about caught up to me in terms of girth. But that's OK, I like my priests well fed and happy. It's a nice human touch that makes them easier to deal with in confession! (insert missing winkie here)

Always delighted to hear about those dear children of yours. As one who has had to learn a bit about countercultural lifestyle choices undertaken for the sake of the gospel, I happen to think that yours are simply phenomenal! The true spirit of the Holy Family of Nazareth is clearly alive and well in your home. My admiration for you knows no bounds.

And Father Kennedy doesn't have to grow a beard--but do keep feeding him! (second winkie here)


eulogos said...

The doctor's church, St. Nicholas, (not the one in his yard) was ROCOR. However, the people in it, Russian emigres who left fleeing religious persecution, were not at all happy about being back in communion with the Moscow patriarchate. I heard that they might split from ROCOR when ROCOR reunited with Moscow. I was sorry to hear that as there is too much schism in the world already, and I think that forgiveness is needed when some make compromises under totalitarian regiemes. (Thus the Pope is asking the underground church in china to accept the Patriotic Catholics as Catholics, for instance). Anyway, I was most recently told that there are now two parishes, St. Nicholas, and the one in the church which was built as a family chapel by the good doctor, now called St. Maximos (the Confessor?). The person who told me this was not up enough on Orthodox affairs to clarify with whom each of them is in communion.

I have been watching the building of that chapel and liked to visit it occasionally; it is a replica of an 8th century church in Mozarabic Spain. I liked to think of it as a visit to the undivided church, before Rome and Constantinoble parted company. Sort of ironic and sad if it is now part of a further schism, in my opinion.

But it is a beautiful little church, and the worship at St. Nicholas which I attended once, was beautiful, if intense and exhausting for an outsider trying to follow it and participate. Having attended a Byzantine Catholic church for close to 2 years now, I knew that "Hospodi pomiluj" was "Lord have mercy" and could sing it and a few other phrases in Slavonic, and I knew to wear a headscarf, so I didn't appear a total outsider, but that made me struggle even harder to follow and participate. The service was 2 hours and 15 minutes long. I was hungry even though I had at least had coffee with cream in it before I went...the people there would have been fasting if they were going to commune, and I got tired of standing even though I had worn what I thought were comfortable enough shoes. And at the end the priest told them he expected them all back that afternoon ...I think for Vespers of a Feast which fell the next day. Worship-wise I am a total wuss compared with these folks.

Oh, and, alienated, their priest was not fat. He was extremely hairy and bearded, and I couldn't help thinking of the word "guru" when I looked at him. But his explication of the scripture, which occurred after the liturgy...and for which it was acceptable to sit down....was very solid and ...well, Orthodox, big and small o.

Susan Peterson

The young fogey said...

Thanks for the information. I'd forgotten to mention the factions that didn't go along with the ROCOR-Moscow reunion. I'm slightly acquainted with somebody on that side, an octogenarian Russian woman who fled the Communists during World War II. Given personal and family histories like that, this splintering is understandable... but still objectively wrong.

The young fogey said...

P.S. I was thinking of those factions when I wrote 'other splinter groups of Russians'.