The Sunday of the Blind Man, May 24, 2020

“Jesus said unto him, dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, thou hast both seen him and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” (John 10:35-38)

Dear Members and Friends of St. Theodore Orthodox Mission, Toronto!

St. John Chrysostom says that the opening of the eyes of one born blind is different from the opening of the eyes of one who has become blind. This is not a restoration of sight! St. John says Our Lord answers the questionas to whether we are punished for our own sins or the sins of our forbears.

Did God cause the blind man to suffer in being born blind? Not at all, St. John says. God could have willed that he not be born at all! He profited in being born blind; because he gained spiritual sight along with physical sight.

Were the Jews profited by their eyes? Blindness is not an evil. Sin alone is an evil. This most important episode is recorded by all four Evangelist.

You ask about St. Dunstan. He has a prominent place in our icon corner..and so he should! I bore his name for 8 years a a Benedictine! I stopped short of my final vows. He is my special patron!

Now I will relate a miracle to you. Shortly after we moved here 15 years ago, I received a call “out of the blue” from the Rev’d. David Burrows, rector of St. Olave’s Anglican Church, Bloor at Windermere. He wanted to meet a former Anglican priest now Orthodox. He said: “Where in the 416 (area, covering 1,000 square miles!!) do you live?” I told him I was at Windermere and Dundas…the other end (about a mile) of the same street as St. Olave’s!! He invited me in my “retirement” to open a mission using St. Olave’s so that there might be “an Orthodox presence in the west end of Toronto.” We did so with the then Bishop’s blessing, and were there from ’07 – ’12, a full five years. When I asked Fr. Burrows as host to name a patron for us, he said without hesitating: “St. Dunstan.” I couldn’t have been happier! During that five years, we baptized the rector’s son, Jeremy, now Fr. Deacon Jeremy serving at St. Joseph of Arimathea! Then we proceeded to baptize his mother and father! Naturally, Rev’d. Burrows retired from the parish and now attends our own every Sunday with his wife.

In 2012, Fr, Panagiotes invited us to return to St. Nectarios. We did so, occupying the same space we had started the mission in 1985. This time, to please the Greeks!! we named it “St. Theodore of Canterbury”, the Greek archbishop of Canterbury (6th century). We have now been back for nine years and have about 30 – 35 on a Sunday. We could use a larger space, but I’m too old to move again! “Been there, done that!”

We are so happy to be back where we started out!

In 2012, the former “Synod in Resistance”, the G.O.C., (our own), and ROCOR (Abp. Agathangel); overcame their differences which had nothing to do with the Faith. Each maintain their separate administrations but are in full communion.

St. Nectarios G.O.C
Mother of God of Prousa G.O.C.
St. Theodore, G.O.C.
St. Joseph of Arimathea G.O.C.
St. Michael, Archangel (formerly Synod in Resistance)
Sts. Raphael, Nicholas and Irene (formerly Synod in Resistance) (I serve here part-time while they have no priest)
Except for matters of Faith, there is no reason why we should not be together!

Please continue to pray for us as we do for you daily.

Love in Christ,

Fr. David, Presbytera Justine
p.s. Please let me know if you receive these mailings by Yahoo Group as posted by Fr. Panagiotes. If so, a separate email will not be sent.
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