Posted by: Fr Chris | April 16, 2010

April Updates

Christ is risen! Indeed He is risen!

Christos voskrese! Voistinnu voskrese!

The first time I ever went to a Byzantine-rite church service was the Easter Matins at SS Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in East Lovejoy, Buffalo. After two years of reading prayers by St John Chrysostom,  St Basil, and everything I could find on Eastern Churches (which was not much in the 1969-70 period for a high school student!) I was able to worship in the traditional style. And there is nothing, nothing like  the Byzantine-Slav celebration of Easter. The parish held the outdoor procession at 11:30 pm around the church, the tower bells boomed at midnight as the priest started the Matins and sang “Christ is risen”, and then, then we were inside to see a church flooded with light, incense, icons, frescoes, and alive with the Resurrection. What a night!

That was it – I had to go East. But only in 1975 did I find the Byzantine Catholic parish in Olean, New York State, where I was attending St Bonaventure University. And then, that day, at that oh-so-humble wooden church built in 1915, when I stepped in the doorway, a Voice spoke so clearly to me as I pushed open the interior frosted glass doorway and saw a simple white wall with very old icon lithographs forming a screen around the red-curtained doorway of the Royal Doors, that Voice said:

You are home.

And I have never left. I hope that your Easter journey is one of great joy every year, and that each who reads takes the time to listen for that Voice of the Divine Spouse.

Now, for some updates.

His Holiness and the current media crisis of sexual abuse in Europe and the hierarchy’s failures: I recommend John Allen’s columns often, and this is no exception.  Using this as your invite, I suggest you  read the whole article:

what the pope actually said or did seems far more reasonable when one drills down to the details — and in virtually every instance, those details were presented by the Vatican ineptly and far too late to make any real difference in public perceptions.

Byzantine Catholic:

A new monastic community is under way at the shrine of Our Lady of Maripocs, in our Eparchy of Parma. Sisters Celeste and Julie are the founders. The blog is here:

and the first promises are listed there, as made to Bishop John (Kudrick).

If you do not know the work of Aid to the Church in Need, you most definitely should.  This media site has some great videos, and breaking news from around the world wherever the Church is at risk: – the title comes from a book written by the Founder, a Flemish priest who began this charity to serve the German Catholic refugees expelled from former eastern Germany under terrible conditions in 1945-47 when no one else really cared. He expanded his work to a global scale.

I urge you to forward this information around, especially that from Africa and the Near East.

This is the international website:

click on your country’s flag to read in your language what your national office works on. The Australia office has many news releases. As I well know, the money goes right to projects, and the workers live very modestly on humble salaries, even those in high-cost New York City.  They sacrifice a lot in order to get God’s work done.

CRTN is a site Catholics should know, use and support.  High quality videos on a broad range of topics covering help to poor and persecuted, social issues, religious figures of East and West, and videos that you can purchase, in many languages.

There are two “Orientale Lumen” Conferences in the USA this summer, New Jersey and DC. Please go to for more information. Both filled with dynamic Catholic and Orthodox speakers, one of the very few places where you can have Eastern Catholics, Orthodox, and Roman Catholics all in one room, all speaking well, all getting along despite the historical differences. A major event will be held in Istanbul, at the Ecumenical Patriarchate. I can’t go there at all – someone go in my place and support this!  Click on “future conferences”.

Ignatius Productions is the website of Fr Mitch Pacwa, SJ, and if you go to his “favorite books” you will find both of mine recommended!

Isn’t THAT nice? What a blessing. My publisher is trying to get “Hidden Church” on to Amazon.  We have 400 copies looking for good homes.

“Rome Reports” is the final add-on for today. This company provides both online videos, and films for purchase.

They have good ones on the Holy Shroud of Turin, now exposed in Italy, religion in Communist China, Saint Paul, and the Pius XII controversy.  Also highly recommended.  Weekly broadcast provided as well.

Let us continue on our paschal journey with the Risen Lord together. He has deigned that I be silenced in my voice, due to a bad infection and cough that has dragged on for several days now and left me weary. But I can communicate via the internet, and learn and pray, which all of us must do regardless in the company of the Spouse of our souls: learn and pray under His guidance.

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