Our Journey to Orthodoxy – Part 2
Presbytera and our two children were received into Orthodoxy in 1977 in the little church of the Holy Resurrection in Berlin, N.H., where I was, at the time, rector of St. Barnabas’ Episcopal Church. This beautiful Orthodox church had been built by Russians who had come to work as woodsmen for the Brown Paper Company in Northern New Hampshire in the early 19th century. The blueprints for the church had been sent by Czar St. Nicholas. The money, which was to follow, was intercepted by the Russian revolution, consequently it took much longer to build the church. In the meantime, the Russians used St. Barnabas’ and there grew up a family like relationship between the two parishes, Orthodox and Anglican! Fr. Michael and I were the only two married priests in town, and became close friends. Little did we know then, that almost 50 years later, our house chapel in Toronto would be named after the “Russian Royal Martyrs”! Holy Resurrection, still a working church, is now a New Hampshire State Monument and receives funding from the State of New Hampshire.
Missing Canada, we came back to Montreal in 1978. Presbytera and the children (now three of them) attended Sts. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox (O.C.A.) cathedral on Champlain street. I was third priest at St. John the Evangelist Church, a large Anglo Catholic parish, St. Urbain and President Kennedy, across from Place des Arts. We lived in a twelve room apartment, a former Anglican convent. My family, now Orthodox for three years, finally prayed me into the Church! I went to see Bishop Hollis and signed a document entitled: “Renunciation of Ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada.” Presbytera went to work for Bell Canada and I went off to St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York.
(to be continued)