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Author Topic: I can not convert now?  (Read 5180 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dismus
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« on: June 30, 2006, 01:22:01 PM »

Hello-

Long story (yawn) for another day, but I am getting the idea that I can not convert to the OC from the RCC since my husband will not allow it and I need his agreement and willingness to have our marriage blessed?
Can this be done without his involvement? I don't want to suffer for his lack of interest in my spiritual welfare..
Do I just suffer and ask God to forgive me?
I was thinking of joining the Carpathio Russian Orthodox Church close to me.
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« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2006, 01:30:34 PM »

You are already married? If so, you are certainly able to convert. While it would be nice if your husband were supportive, it is not "necessary" that he approve of your decision, nor is it necessary for you to get your marriage blessed in the Orthodox Church IF (a) you have already been married and (b) you are just now entering the Orthodox Church. Your already-existing marriage is confirmed and sanctified by your conversion (and it is thus accepted by the Church as is, without any further Orthodox marriage ceremony). This is true for any mainstream Orthodox jurisdiction in America, including the Carpatho-Russian churches (I assume your local parish is under the Ecumenical Patriarchate?). You should talk to your local priest about this.

God bless you!
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 01:36:49 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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Dismus
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006, 01:37:42 PM »

Umm, i think It is part of the "Offical" body.., I'ts listed in the Official site on-line ...
It is in Niles, IL and called St. Michael's....
Father Sam
He is so nice! Smiley
But, I'm getting some mixed answers from the Greek Orthodox church down the street from there.
I'm confused now.
Are you sure?
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2006, 01:38:35 PM »

There are no impediments to conversion, especially in relation to Marriage. If BOTH spouses convert then it is customary to have the Marriage blessed by the Church (though it's a not canonically necessary and somewhat inappropriate custom, but that's a discussion for another day). However, one can not be prevented from converting by their spouse, or by anyone for that matter. Of particular relevance to this matter is Canon 72 of Trullo, especially the italicized part:

Quote
An orthodox man is not permitted to marry an heretical woman, nor an orthodox woman to be joined to an heretical man. But if anything of this kind appear to have been done by any [we require them] to consider the marriage null, and that the marriage be dissolved. For it is not fitting to mingle together what should not be mingled, nor is it right that the sheep be joined with the wolf, nor the lot of sinners with the portion of Christ. But if any one shall transgress the things which we have decreed let him be cut off. But if any who up to this time are unbelievers and are not yet numbered in the flock of the orthodox have contracted lawful marriage between themselves, and if then, one choosing the right and coming to the light of truth and the other remaining still detained by tile bond of error and not willing to behold with steady eye the divine rays, the unbelieving woman is pleased to cohabit with the believing man, or the unbelieving man with the believing woman, let them not be separated, according to the divine Apostle, "for the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife by her husband.
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Anastasios
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2006, 01:39:54 PM »

I know that my bishop would not allow me to convert until my wife came along, saying it would be unwise, unless she refused to convert for "a very long time." In the end, I believe his decision was wise as my wife came over, whereas I have seen many who jumped the gun so to speak have their spouse embittered against Orthodoxy and never convert.  In the end it's a pastoral decision.

Anastasios
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 01:42:27 PM by Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2006, 01:55:22 PM »

Umm, i think It is part of the "Offical" body.., I'ts listed in the Official site on-line ...It is in Niles, IL and called St. Michael's....

Ah yes. I see that it is part of ACROD. That is indeed part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It looks like a nice parish: www.stmichaelniles.org

Quote
Are you sure?

Absolutely. 100 percent. No doubts. Not only have I seen such things happen many times (some of the members on this board are in your exact situation...except they are now Orthodox!), I know that such is the official policy of SCOBA and the Orthodox Church throughout the centuries. See Canon 72 of Trullo. You are perfectly "eligible" to become Orthodox from a scriptural, theological and canonical perspective. There is absolutely nothing that should prohibit you from converting (if that is your desire and your priest approves). Period.

Of course, you should talk to your priest about the pastoral aspects of your decision, since your potential conversion will influence your home life and your relationship to your husband.

Anastasios' case (mentioned above) is not representative of any "rule" or canon. Rather, it appears to be the pastoral decision of his Bishop. Any Bishop, of course, may decide a potential convert is not ready to convert for any number of reasons (including home life), but the tradition of the Church is absolutely crystal clear: You CAN convert without your husband if that is what you want and if your priest approves.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2006, 01:57:12 PM by pensateomnia » Logged

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Dismus
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2006, 01:56:10 PM »

 Thanks for the answers everyone!:)

But, I don't think there is any fear of my husband "becoming embittered" agaist Orthodoxy! Sadly, He could care less what any body practices and is only in the RCC out of "habit" from birth. He never wants to talk about religion. He really does not care. I am now forced to be the sole support (spiritually) for my little one who is just turned 3. I don't want her to grow up in the RCC.
Thanks, so  much!
Uh boy- how is the Orthodox church going to view my daughter?
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2006, 02:01:48 PM »

Uh boy- how is the Orthodox church going to view my daughter?

With love and prayers! She too can become Orthodox if that's what you want. Again, you should talk to your local priest about this.
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2006, 02:07:15 PM »

Thanks again!
Well, this might be a problem since I guess she is a "promised" Cathoic until she is 14 my friend tells me (friend in the RCC) and I guess that would be too wierd for her as she got used to Divine Liturgy but was a Catholic and "going against" the RCC in doing so. Wow this is sad. The happiest and saddest day of my life (other than her birth) was her Baptism, where I deprived her of the body and blood with my stupidity...
God will hopefully have mercy on me for my stupidity..
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2006, 02:13:45 PM »

What do you mean she is a "promised" Catholic? Do you mean that you promised at her Catholic Baptism to keep her in the Catholic Church until age 14? Or that the Catholic Church considers her to be a Catholic until 14?

In either case, this is no reason to keep her from converting to Orthodoxy. The Orthodox Church will still accept her through chrismation and she can be a fully communing member of the Orthodox Church. (Even from a Roman Catholic perspective, there should be little problem with this, since the Catholic Church believes that the Orthodox Church is fully and completely valid and apostolic.)
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2006, 02:33:53 PM »

This may not be something you want to discuss here Dismus but why do you feel drawn to Orthodoxy?

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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2006, 02:45:48 PM »

Sure,
I feel trusting in another disciple of our Risen Lord!
Why would I want to keep a secret about something I love so much?
I always say, say it loud, say it proud or shut up.
I was drawn to Orthodoxy over 10 years ago. I looked into the eyes of Jesus in the Icon of Christ at Siani....
I was a lost Protestant.., knowing it was bankrupt of worship and value in the way that the early Christians had thought... I asked so many questions from that poor man (pastor of ECLA lutheran church) he was kind,,, but kept telling me it did not matter what the early Christians did. I read hundreds of books, tried to look at history and culture at the times in question,,, I'm still a long way from knowing much, but those beautiful eyes,,, so in pain in his human side,,,so calm in his Divine side!!!
Wow. I never understood Christ better than on that day.
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Dismus
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2006, 02:49:32 PM »

Oops! Sorry-
Forgot to explain the daughter thing!
I promised the RCC and God in that sacrement that I would raise her as an RCC.
Now I am a liar to God? Or is this not lying?
Urgggh...
Faith descisions are so painful and cutting....
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2006, 02:55:33 PM »

Oops! Sorry-
Forgot to explain the daughter thing!
I promised the RCC and God in that sacrement that I would raise her as an RCC.
Now I am a liar to God? Or is this not lying?
Urgggh...
Faith descisions are so painful and cutting....

You are not bound to promises you made to another Church. The Orthodox Church is Christ's Church and you did not know that when you made that promise. So you are free to go back on it because it was made in ignorance.

Anastasios
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2006, 03:02:27 PM »

Ah yes. I see that it is part of ACROD. That is indeed part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It looks like a nice parish: www.stmichaelniles.org


being a recently former member of that parish, I would seriously disagree with you on the point of it being a "nice parish." I'd try St. John the Baptist in Des Plaines, only about 15 minutes from St. Michaels and they have a liturgy in english in the morning as well as a large population of young people. St. Michaels is more of an older parish with over 60% of the parishoners  age 50+ and serious funding problems.

-Nick
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Dismus
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2006, 03:03:49 PM »

Thank you!

I still get pretty emotional about that day.Sad
I think to be honest , I did know what I was doing was wrong, but I thought (stupidly) that God (there I go again trying to think I know what God thinks!!!)
would rather (if we were to be blessed with a child) we raise that blessing together in unity of faith for her benifit....
So I made the "sacrifice" since he had been a RCC all his life , and I was only getting my feet wet in it so to speak. Sad
Ignorance is not so bliss...
It's pure hell to be iignorant.
God , have mercy on my ignorance of your will for me so late in life!
But THANK you God for helping me find you through your Son Jesus Christ!
Who baptised me in his blood...
I love God so much!
My husband thinks I'm insane.
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2006, 03:09:21 PM »

admiral nick-
Sorry- I'm not good at this forum set up- It's different than my Catholic Answers forum format-

That is sad information to hear....about the experience you had there at St. Michael's...
I am really glad you told me but sad too. Sad
Maybe the positive way to look at it is, I would be bringing a little one there, and that might lead to something---- like more moms that don't go much with their moms but might if there were more kids....
I just like to see obstacles as opportunity...
but as a new member...this might be too hard to do...
Hmmm...
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Dismus
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2006, 03:14:36 PM »

last question---

Am I sinning by not doing anything about this since I feel this way?
I am still trying to get some insight so I can feel I am not running away from RCC but running to the OC.
I cry most nights over this.
The Theotokos has been very helpful for comfort... my favorite Saint is St. John The Baptist!!!!

Wow. I went to that parish ...once...I did not like it at first...can not remember why...been a long time maybe 5 years.....
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2006, 03:37:20 PM »

As a final P.S. to my lenghty posts (forgive me!)

Some "reasons" that led me to this disaster I did not mention:

OR better said,,"justifying" my stupidity!
1) Eucharist - in my mind only valid in RCC and OC (obviously, in a different way!)
but- for the sake of brevity- "both" are the only ways one could ever even think there is meaning in it!
2) history - in terms of years established...
3) NO FEMALE PRIESTS!!!
4) Value of the sacred, in terms of sacrements, sacrementals, etc,,
5) I am a sinner that wants to obey the Church, not turn it into silly putty by making demands on it to accomodate "ME"
6) Satan is everywhere and I need the best instruction to protect myself from his snares.
More , but these are some reasons...
Urggh...
I am trying in the meantime to do my best to be a blessing and not a curse in God's sight...
My little girl is my driving desire to help evven if it is too late for me to get it together.. at this age I should have figured this all out by now..
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Dismus
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2006, 04:05:25 PM »

Did I get anyone upset??
If I did write it off to my inability to word things correctly--
I am most sure you would know this if you knew me!
Sorry.
Thanks for the help. Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2006, 04:16:20 PM »

Take your time in prayer to make a decision. You won't be sinning in putting off a decision until such time as God makes it clear to  you in prayer what you are to do.

Anastasios
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2006, 04:26:01 PM »


being a recently former member of that parish, I would seriously disagree with you on the point of it being a "nice parish." I'd try St. John the Baptist in Des Plaines, only about 15 minutes from St. Michaels and they have a liturgy in english in the morning as well as a large population of young people. St. Michaels is more of an older parish with over 60% of the parishonersÂÂ  age 50+ and serious funding problems.

-Nick

1.  There are no "perfect" parishes.

2.  One man's feast is another's poison (or however that saying goes).  Also, why not go to improve that parish?  You seem a bit quick to give up on it.

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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2006, 04:50:02 PM »

Help me out with thoughts on this-
It just came to me that my agony over weather I lied to God/RCC---
My priest also "lied" to me- (God forgive me for saying that) but,
maybe he did not mean to - but it is still a lie.
I told him I was hesitant to convert to RCC for many reasons-
for the sake of brevity I will only hit the "low" points-
Primacy of the Pope-
His answer was (basically exploiting my stupidity) and telling me that many protestants are simply ignorant about the role. He is merely a "Proud PAPPA" that loves his children and wants what is best for them.
I read a lot more RCC reading material later that in fact - proves him to be a sugar coater on that one:(
But, this was really not the "big bone of contention" at that point since I had no idea about the next "lie?" he told me...
He said that that was why there have been "Antipopes" and that is how things get handeld eventually.
I later found out through RCC material that an "Antipope" is only called such in an electoral error!!!!! Shocked
Then I asked him, if there have been "bad" guy Popes, and they were not discipilined-
were not the "gates of Hell" prevailed???
He said that I was (*&^%) yes you read that right- he swore at me and said that I had better pray real hard.... Angry
Anyway, a Jesuit priest in our parish is a nut job- he calls God "HE or SHE"Huh?
I think I want to throw up just recalling my question to him about that one.
He looked at me and said- you are thinking you know more than I do???
Who are you?
I cried and walked out... :'(
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2006, 06:41:19 PM »

Dismus

I think you will find unpleasant and unhelpful people in just about any denomination. Likewise pleasant and helpful people are everywhere too. The basis for making a decision about your faith is not so much the people that you meet as the soundness of the faith as a whole and where you feel the Spirit is leading you towards. Although I am a Catholic myself I would not seek to dissuade you from your path, if God wants you in the Orthodox Church then thats where you should be.

The thing that comes over to me from your posts is that you have a very strong desire to come nearer to Jesus and that you really love him. I also get the feeling though that you still have lots and lots of questions that you feel the need to have clear guidance about and that you have not yet met a person who is able to guide you in a clear way towards God. You mention various people, priests and others who have been less than helpful to you. I'm sure you can receive lots of advice over the internet but my suggestion to you is that you pray really hard for God to send you a wise counsellor, a spiritual guide, who can walk you home and give you all the advice and support you clearly need in your difficult situation. The Church is many things among which we find the idea of community and family. A spiritual brother or sister who can come close to you I think will be the best gift the Lord can send you in the near future. I pray that he will do so.

God Bless you.

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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2006, 07:08:31 PM »

Sound advice,
Thank you and I agree with most of what you said, but the narrowing down of where to seek such a spiritual guide is elusive and rather general.
For instance, where do I find this "special person"?
Like you said - nice people and not so nice people are everywhere.
I'm not looking for a social outlet to join to.
So, there are other factors too.
Like the fact that I would like some solace in a chaotic ever changing world.
The RCC has been making some moves of change for years, so small it appears at first but over the course of generations it is alarming.
I would selfishly like to take comfort in knowing that my daughter would be practicing and worshiping and believeing the same things I would be taught, and likewise her children (God willing!) ...
I see one compelling aspect of Orthodoxy- It is not likely to change.
May this continue if it is God's will, and why would his will change?
Truth does not change. Sin does not change.
Mankind has not changed.
So, again - I respect your comments and am thankful for them , but how can you tell me as a faithful Catholic that I can overlook the ever changing nature of the Church in whole?
Thanks again!
Pax
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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2006, 07:19:27 PM »

Anyway-
I am sorry if you may think I am not being a Good Catholic for thinking this-
I am still living up to my promises and putting a good face on. I Don't have any bitterness over these dissapointing events, Judas cleared all of that up for us a long time ago, that there would be dissapointing people in the Body of Christ..
But - I am not to sure that that means anything goes either.
I do not expect Orthodoxy to be a nirvana, quite the opposite. I think it will be a hard tough road. Change is not easy for me! Wink
But- sometimes we need to prune off the dead branches off the tree?
The RCC has been a great help to me and I am grateful for that, but I am not happy with the Church now, for many reasons and none of them involve bad people.
It's just so much more than that. I'm not a strong person or one that has the canon law memorized, I just think I should be able to trust the Church. Is that too much?
Maybe...
I don't trust the RCC since whatever is okay now or not okay now could change tomorrow.
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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2006, 08:14:47 PM »

Dismus

In terms of finding a guide prayer is a good starting point, ask the Lord to send you one and if it is in your best interests then He will make sure you get one. I don't know the area you live in but if there is a monastery or convent within travelling distance you might profit from spending time in prayer and recollection there and maybe you will find much wisdom too.

The Catholic Church. Well this isn't a debating forum so I won't debate. I am happy in my faith and believe that it is the right place for me. Since I also believe Orthodox sacraments to be valid while I feel sad that the Church has failed to help you enough I cannot be too distressed by your decision since I feel you are still near kin. Earlier this week Pope Benedict said "May the Lord help us to move forward with renewed confidence toward the day when we will be able to celebrate together the holy Eucharist of the Lord as a sign of full communion," If the Good Lord prospers this prayer then our kinship may become closer still.

Anyways, God Bless and may the Holy Spirit of God lead you into the joy of the Risen One.



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« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2006, 08:40:35 PM »

 Cool

good idea agian. How can one argue prayer.
Are not my tears at night thinking on this prayer too? I sometimes think about God and then empty my mind out (easy for me in this instance!) and declutter my junk and negative thoughts and try to just think of nothing sometimes for a half hour or so. Is that being lazy, heretical or stupid, or is it prayer to? I will do as you advise.
I will probobly do a Rosary too, just to get my knots unwound in my stomach over all this worry...
Thanks for helping me realize I need more help than I thought I did.
 Cheesy
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« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2006, 09:16:16 PM »

I pray that the Holy Spirit guide you in the right direction as it has me.  No one goes his or her way alone.   Prayer is a good foundation to keep and establish.  It may take some time to discern between which faith is the truth.  Read as much as you can on both religions and use this in your decision.  God will guide you to the true faith.  It is a struggle for most and for me it was a struggle of many years but when the truth made itself evident the struggle was over.  Pray to God that the process of determining your path is short and that your choice is one which will reap your salvific rewards.  In Christ,
 
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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2006, 10:41:33 PM »

Amazing story.  I will pray for you and your family while you go through this struggle.  My wife and I are going through a tug of war in our minds (as some of you who have read my posts and have offered your advice know).  May God give you the wisdom to make a decision which will bring you peace.
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« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2006, 12:14:34 AM »

Thank you everyone for your helpful comments. I could not sleep so I came back to take a peek. I guess this thread is over now!

I am hopeful that this all a good thing to go through (even though it seems too daunting) since anything worth having comes with effort.

I will try to find another place in this forum to ask other questions if I can.

Thanks again, maybe  I'll try fasting with prayer? can't hurt even if it is not required to do., I might help get my focus on track.

Maybe it is more simple than I am making it to be.
Bye for now!
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« Reply #31 on: July 01, 2006, 12:54:11 AM »

May the Lord help you through this passage that so many of us on the OCnet have also gone through. The Holy Spirit is a wonderful counselor who will guide you through this journey home.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2006, 10:39:49 PM »

1.ÂÂ  There are no "perfect" parishes.

2.ÂÂ  One man's feast is another's poison (or however that saying goes).ÂÂ  Also, why not go to improve that parish?ÂÂ  You seem a bit quick to give up on it.



1) This parish is what I would call: "Orthodoxy for the Lazy man"

2) I spent 22 years there and my family had been there since the church was founded. Things only got worse, never better, no matter what happened. I gave everything I had to that parish as did my family and in the end we were "too old fashioned".

-Nick
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2006, 10:51:43 PM »

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Wow. This sounds a bit frieghtening.. I'm so sorry for you,and your family, and above all for me opening up my big mouth making you re-live all that over again. So sorry.
I thought they were aok, even with all kinds of new formation classes and a new convert class... Everyone was nice there.. but maybe you only see so much from the outside. Well, I'm going to pray that that Parish gets healed and quickly. It is in a good location, and has an English Divine Liturgy, too bad.  I will stay away from that one. Sad
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« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2006, 10:56:23 PM »

Lips Sealed

Wow. This sounds a bit frieghtening.. I'm so sorry for you,and your family, and above all for me opening up my big mouth making you re-live all that over again. So sorry.
I thought they were aok, even with all kinds of new formation classes and a new convert class... Everyone was nice there.. but maybe you only see so much from the outside. Well, I'm going to pray that that Parish gets healed and quickly. It is in a good location, and has an English Divine Liturgy, too bad.ÂÂ  I will stay away from that one. Sad


I don't by any means want you to discount the parish on my opinion alone. If you wish to join it, I think that you should definately join. I'm simply relating my point of view on the church having spent my life there and having had family there since the formation of the church. You should definately try it out and if it works for you, then you should stay there. Only God knows what the future will hold for the church and for all of us. I hope that you do indeed find your way there or at the very least end up in the Orthodox Church. May God lead you on the path that has been chosen for you.

-Nick
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