Blog Posts

Anne Hopko

I came to know Matushka Anne Hopko during a brief but developmentally important span of time when I was a student at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, now exactly two decades ago. She was arguably OCA royalty by virtue of being Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s daughter and Fr. Tom Hopko’s wife, and I think everyone shared an unspoken awareness and esteem for her presence on campus—a reality that she bore gracefully, but without any capitulation to vanity or sentimentality. 

How to Be a Church Scholar


Just in time for the new academic year, top scholars--Dr. Susan Ashbrook Harvey (Brown University), Dr. Nadia Kizenko (State University of New York at Albany), Dr. Ashley Purpura (Purdue University), Dr. Mary Farag (Princeton Theological Seminary), and Rachel Contos (Fordham University)-- will gather to talk about Orthodox scholarship in the academy and how they practice it. This is a rare chance to see women scholars of this caliber in conversation with one another--don't miss it!

Photini on St Photini

Did you know that the woman at the well, also known as the Samaritan woman, has a name? I was surprised to learn that in Eastern Orthodox hagiography, she was baptized by the apostles with the name Photini, Greek for “luminous one” or “she who is filled with light.” This name is often translated as Svetlana (Slavic), Fatima (Arabic), Fiona (Celtic), or Claire (European). It was a thrill for me to discover that Photini was such an influential figure in the early church. In fact, she is so highly revered that she is said to be “equal to the apostles” in her liturgical rank, a venerable title given to saints whose public witness is comparable to the ministry of Christ’s original disciples.

Teva webinar recap

As part of our webinar series, Dr. Teva Regule walked us through the importance of integrating girls and boys into the liturgy.  For those of you who are not familiar with Dr. Regule’s work: she is a well-known Othodox scholar, not just in her academic area of liturgics but as an active leader and founder of many youth and women organizations. She gave her webinar on one area she is most excited about, how some parishes are emulating some of the practices that are already in use in the Patriarchate of Antioch, actively including young people in the liturgy as a means of deepening their knowledge and understanding of our faith.

Nearly Forgotten Saints

This list is based on information at

The month of June starts with the feast day of some very well known saints: 


Holy Myrrh-bearers Mary and Martha, sisters of St Lazarus (1st c.)

Mary and Martha, with their brother Lazarus, were especially devoted disciples of our Lord; their story up to the time of the Resurrection can be found in Luke 10 and John 11-12. Mary and Martha were among the Myrrh-bearing women. They, with their brother, reposed in Cyprus, where Lazarus became first Bishop of Kition after he was raised from death by Christ.

Mother Maria Skobstova 1

Mother Maria of Paris (Mother Maria Skobtsova) wrote a paper called (in English) “Concerning the Emulation of the Mother of God” that has made me love her. Mother Maria bases her argument off the idea that, if God became human at the incarnation, then his mother, the Theotokos has already achieved theosis: she’s a human who has become god or divinized. To Mother Maria, therefore, to fulfill the life in the Church, you have to imitate Christ AND the Mother of God. Which means since Christ voluntarily took up his cross for us and dies, we all have to take up our cross. And we also have to imitate the Mother of God. What does that mean?

Event Recap Chaplains Panel

If you would like to watch the recording of this panel discussion, we would be happy to provide to you for a donation of $9 (which supports our ongoing programs). You can find a donation form here.

Then [Jesus] said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.”” (Matthew 26:38)