To follow up, the Ochlophobist published the following letter from Father Oliver Herbel yesterday:
"Dear Readers of the Ochlophobist,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
I have been reading the exchanges concerning "pop Orthodoxy," whether it exists, when it exists, should it exist, etc. I would like to take this opportunity to call us all to prayer. No, not because there is anything worthy of my status to do so. Not at all. I am asking for your prayers for a dear friend of ours, Resa Ellison. Resa and her sister Rachel attended SVS at the same time I did. Fr. James and Linda (their parents, as well as the parents of Sallie, Suzy, and Mary), allowed me to be a personal guest when researching early issues of /Svit/, in order to write my dissertation chapter on St. Alexis Toth. Fr. James gave me a hug after a course-changing event during my tenure within the Antiochian Archdiocese. They are that kind of family--loving, supportive, and prayerful. Resa has been hospitalized since November 9th; a serious bout with the H1N1 flu, led to a pneumonia. Her situation is now grave. Her family was already given the "she might not make it the next 24 hours" talk. It is hard for Lorie and I to imagine and I cannot even fathom what the family is going through. Resa is currently the choir director at St. Mary's Cathedral in Minneapolis; and it seems as though it were just a few days ago that we were emailing Resa about choir music because we were seeking her guidance and advice for our mission choir in Fargo. Please, please pray for her if you are not already. I know many of you are. To be blunt, we love her and I know she has family and friends that love her all the more. Her personality is as beautiful as her musical talent.
Please also pray for Sallie (Resa's sister) and her husband, Jim, concerning the recent loss of their newborn daughter, now the newly departed, Celia. The funeral was Monday. This unexpected loss has created a need for assistance in covering the costs of the unexpected funeral. You may help their family by contacting Fr. Gregory Owen at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Hobart, Indiana. Many of you have helped us in Fargo and I cannot thank you enough. Indeed, I have more thank-you letters to send. Now, we must turn our hearts to the LaRocca family (Celia's family) and the Ellison family. Please send money to cover the cost of the funeral.
Lest all of this sound too dour, I must share this with you, from Fr. Andrew Morbey, describing some moments during the bedside vigil for Resa today:
". . . In came Sara Ann, Deacon Benjamin, Reader Alex all masked and nervous. Wonderful voices. We started off with the Angel Cried and then selected favourites from Pascha, the Canon of St Andrew, Presanctified, Beneath Thy Compassion, some other of Resa's favourites. As much as could be remembered! And lo - up, up, up went the blood oxygen . . . down dropped the temperature . . ."
That is music we can all agree upon. If we cannot sing "The Angel Cried" with voices that can shake the earth, then we are most to be pitied.
Most Holy Theotokos, save us!