Hammi: The Norwegian Forest Cat – Our pets are gifts from God – Abbot Tryphon, Vashon Island, WA, USA

http://animalsofmyheart.wordpress.com

ANIMALS OF MY HEART

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Hammi: The Norwegian Forest Cat

Our pets are gifts from God

Source:

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/morningoffering/2017/02/hammi-norwegian-forest-cat/

ANCIENT FAITH

MORNING OFFERING

Every evening I try to spend an hour or so in the library, sitting in front of the fire place. Our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat, Hammi, sleeps in the library/community room every night. Hammi is most happy when the entire monastic brotherhood is gathered together with him. He’s an important member of our community, loved by all of us, and is the only cat I know who has his own facebook fan page, started by a woman who’d met him on a pilgrimage to the monastery (if my memory be correct).

I first met Hammi, a large male cat, as I was walking between our old trailer house (now gone) and my cell, some seventeen years ago. We startled one another, but as I reached down with extended hand, he came to me. When I picked him up he began purring immediately, so I opened a can of salmon, and he never left. A month after his arrival we took him to a vet to be checked out. It was the veterinarian who suggested he’d most likely been dumped by someone from Seattle, as happens frequently when people want to dispose of a pet, and make sure the animal can’t find it’s way back home (impossible from an island).

I often tell people that Hammi domesticated me, since I’d not previously been a cat fancier, being allergic to cat dander. Little did I know at the beginning that Norwegian Forest Cats do not have dander. They have a very soft double fur coat, large paws, sweet facial features and a very loud purr box. They are known to be personable, liking to be around people. He greets everyone who comes to the monastery, escorting them up the steps from the parking lot. Everyone who’s ever met Hammi, falls in love. I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve stated they don’t like cats, but want to get a Norwegian Forest Cat for themselves, once they’ve met him.

Intelligent breed that they are, Hammi has learned to let us know just what he wants, be it water, food, cuddling, sleep, whatever. He is a great companion to all of us, even going into the forest when one of us takes a walk on the Valaam Trail. He has a special game which he seems to enjoy with me, particularly. I’ll head out on the trail with Hammi running ahead. He’ll hide behind a large fern, and even though I know he’s waiting ahead, he always manages to scare me. I’ll then run ahead and hide behind a tree and jump out when he walks by. We play this game until the end of the trail!

At the ripe old age of twenty, Hammi is slowing down a bit, just as am I. We both suffer from arthritis and like to sit by the fire on a cold winter evening, with him cuddling in the lap of the old abbot. I’ve grown so attached to him that I can’t even begin to think of what life in the monastery will be like after he’s gone.

Animals teach us so much about life, and about unconditional love. I’ll never forget the day Hammi spotted our newly arrived Rhode Island Reds for the first time. I was sitting on the veranda of the trapeza with some guests. Hammi sat up when he spotted the hens, and started walking toward the Saint John Chapel. I followed him, as did our guests. When we were standing by the hens, Hammi crouched down, ready for the kill. All that was needed was for me to say, “No, Hammi, they are our friends”. He turned away and walked back to the veranda, leaving me and the guests alone with the chickens. He’s never bothered them since.

Although I’d grown up with dogs and cats, they’d not been in my life throughout my adulthood, until Hammi came around. I’m so very glad he did.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

https://vashonmonks.com

VASHON MONKS

Washington, USA

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Elder Ephraim’s Eastern Orthodox Christian Monasteries in North America

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USA OF MY HEART

Elder Ephraim’s Eastern Orthodox Christian Monasteries in North America

 

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Photos from St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, Arizona, USA

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The Spiritual War – Father Efraim of Philotheou and Arizona

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Facebook about Father Ephraim Philotheitis, Arizona, USA 

http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/map.php

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St Anthony’s Monastery in Arizona

The Monasteries of Fr. Ephraim in North America:

1. Holy Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos
Abbess Theophano
121 St. Elias Lane
Saxonburg, PA 16056 USA
Tel: (724) 352-3999
Fax: (724) 352-5822
2. Holy Monastery of St. Kosmas Aitolos
Abbess Alexia
14155 Caledon King Town
Line Rd. South
Bolton, Ont. L7E 5R7
CANADA
Tel: (905) 859-2474
Fax: (905) 859-2505
Web Site
3. Holy Monastery of Panagia Parigoritissa
Abbess Thekla
827 Chemin de la Carriere
Brownsburg (Chatham),
Quebec, J8G 1K7
CANADA
Tel: (450) 533-4313
Fax: (450) 533-1169
Web Site
4. Holy Monastery of St. John Chrysostomos
Abbess Melanie
4600 93rd Street
Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158 USA
Tel: (262) 694-9850
Fax: (262) 697-1581
Web Site
5. Holy Protection Monastery
Abbess Olympiada
1 St. Joseph’s Way
White Haven, PA 18661 USA
Tel: (570) 443-2220
Fax: (570) 443-9167
Web Site
6. Holy Monastery of the Theotokos, the Life-Giving Spring
Abbess Markella
P.O. Box 549
Dunlap, CA 93621 USA
Tel: (559) 338-3110
Fax: (559) 338-3101
7. Holy Monastery of St. John the Forerunner
Abbess Efpraxia
5 Timmer Lane
Goldendale, WA 98620 USA
Tel: (509)-773-7141
Fax: (509) 773-4131
Web Site
8. Holy Monastery of St. Anthony
Archimandrite Paisios
4784 N. St. Joseph’s Way
Florence, AZ 85132
Tel: 520-868-3188
Fax: 520-868-3088
Web Site
9. Holy Archangels’ Monastery
Archimandrite Dositheos
P.O. Box 422
Kendalia, TX 78027 USA
Tel: (830) 833-2793
Fax: (830) 833-2231
Web Site
10. Holy Monastery of Panagia Vlahernon
Monk Modestos
12600 West Hwy. 318
Williston, FL 32696
Tel: (352) 591-1716
Fax: (352) 591-1719
Web Site
11. Annunciation Monastery
Abbess Agapia
13486 N.W. Hwy. 225
Reddick, FL 32686 USA
Tel: (352) 591-1803
Fax: (352) 591-2083
Web Site
12. Holy Trinity Monastery
Hieromonk Joseph
125 Sturdevant Rd.
Smith Creek, MI 48061 USA
Tel: (810) 367-8134
Fax: (810) 367-6344
13. Holy Monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa
Abbess Agne
404 Warner Road
Troy, NC 27371 USA
Tel: (910) 572-3331
Fax: (910) 572-4176
Web Site
14. Panagia Pammakaristou
Hieromonk Nektarios
1631 Creasey Rd.
Lawsonville, NC 27032 USA
Tel: (336) 593-9760
Fax: (336) 593-9767
15. Holy Monastery of St. Nektarios
Hieromonk Joseph
100 Lake Anawanda Rd.
Roscoe, NY 12776 USA
Tel: (607) 498-5285
Fax: (607) 498-5468
Web Site
16. Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Abbot Akakios
17906 Rt. 173
Harvard, IL 60033 USA
Tel: (815) 943-3588
Fax: (815) 943-3878
Web Site
17. Holy Monastery of St. Paraskevi
Abbess Paraskevi
6855 Little York Lane
Washington, TX 77880 USA
Tel: (936) 878-2390
Fax: (936) 878-2630
Web Site

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protesantism to Orthodoxy

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PROTESTANTS MET ORTHODOXY

The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA

From Protestantism to Orthodoxy

by

Fr. George Johnson

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/the-personal-story-of-fr-george-johnson/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

I am a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, serving in the cathedral of St John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. There are some almost uncanny parallels between our lives, even down to the grumpy choir directors. I was (and sometimes still am) the grumpy choir director, however.

I became interested and involved in Anglicanism through a singing job in a “high” church in 1968. At the time, my focus was primarily musical. My parents were devout Southern Baptists, and, while I now appreciate their humility and devotion, in my youth I did not so much. The Episcopal Church offered an escape from the music and worship of the Baptists, which, shall we say, were not to my taste.

The Western liturgical tradition as carried on by the high-church Anglicans seemed to me to be just the right combination of grandness and sobriety justly suited to worship. Having just come from the Baptists, the intellectual and spiritual confusion which at length gave rise to tradition-destroying innovations did not concern me for a long time. I chalked it up to our fallen state, for which God was making accommodations which I did not understand. I thought I could press on for the sake of art and faith, and pray that everything would come out alright. It was going to take a great deal to make me want to throw away Tallis, Byrd, Weelkes, Purcell, …, RVW, Walton, Britten, … , not to mention all the great hymns and tunes, and the gorgeous language of the (old) Prayer Book and Psalter.

A great many things happened, but I’ll cut to the chase. In 1984 or 5, a lesbian member of our parish who sang in my choir asked me to be a member of a committee to help her explore a calling to the priesthood. Needless to say, I begged off. But I did not have the courage to tell her that the thought of her as a priest made me sick. You may be familiar with the musical “Fiddler on the Continue reading “The Personal Story of Fr. George Johnson, Washington, USA – From Protesantism to Orthodoxy”

The Path of Kyriaki-Fevronia Ka’akau, Hawaii, USA – by Kyriaki-Fevronia Ka’akau

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WASHINGTON OF MY HEART

HAWAII OF MY HEART

The Path of Kyriaki-Fevronia Ka’akau

by

Kyriaki-Fevronia Ka’akau

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/07/the-path-of-kyriaki-fevronia-ka’akau/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

If someone told me four years ago that I would become Orthodox I would have suggested psychological testing! Before moving to Washington in 1996, I was a Protestant for 26 years, hopping from one church to another. There was always something missing but I couldn’t identify it. My marriage of 16 years failed so I decided to “take a break” from anything church related, move to Washington with my son and start over.

After being there for nearly a year, I quit one security job and was hired for another company. My new boss, Pete, was a big bear of a man with a wonderful sense of humor and the ability to speak the language of his ancestry which I had always wanted to learn—Greek!

To a background in Hawaiian, Hebrew, Latin, French, and American Sign Language I wanted to add Greek, especially since the New Testament was written in it. When Pete suggested I call one of the Greek Orthodox churches in Tacoma I had no idea what to look for. I “let my fingers do the walking” and arbitrarily chose St. Nicholas.

I know that the Holy Spirit led me to choose that parish. I inquired about Greek lessons and the woman took my name and phone number. A few days later Despina Kipelidis called me. That was the beginning of my adventure!

During my Greek lessons, we would talk about spiritual things and she would answer my questions about Orthodoxy with as much zeal as I had as Protestant. She loaned me books like St. Seraphim of Sarov, Mother Macarius, etc. Being the “good Christian” that I was, I checked everything against scripture. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting into something strange or something that went contrary to what I knew scripture taught.

I could find nothing wrong but it took a while to get used to certain theological issues such as the rightful position of the Holy Mother, and the transformation of the break and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. Once I started attending services— first at St. Nicholas and then at Holy Resurrection (OCA)—1 began finding what had been missing in all the other churches I attended—WORSHIP and REVERENCE.

I was relieved in what I found in Orthodoxy. There was no “show” or a need to “entertain” to attract new believers. I found meaning in everything that was done in the Liturgy and at home. It was comforting. I had come home.

The traditions in Orthodoxy are passed down from the Apostles themselves and there is the desire for more spiritual discipline. There is a right way and a wrong way to worship, dress, pray, fast, etc.

And I found people who wanted to do it right. I had been covering my head for 19 years and for the first time I wasn’t the only (outside a messianic congregation)! There is consistency. There is a cycle. But make no mistake about one thing; there is just as much, if not more, emotion. These traditions are in no way dead or boring! I discovered in Orthodoxy that which so many other Christians have forgotten. After several months of being a Catechumen I was baptized. My Godmother is Fevronia Prodomidou from Kavala, Greece.

I chose the name Kyriaki, after my Greek teacher’s aunt so I actually have TWO names; Kyriaki-Fevronia.

I have been Orthodox for a little over a year now and thought it would be wonderful if my family, especially my son, became Orthodox, it’s God’s job to enlighten them the same way He enlightened me. I’m just in awe of the way He blessed me and helped me find my way home!