Blog Posts

Annunciation, by Eileen McGuckin
On March 25, those of us on the New Calendar celebrated one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Orthodox calendar, the Annunciation. Those of us on the Old Calendar celebrated just yesterday.
This is a photo of an icon by Eileen McGuckin which I am honored to have in my icon corner at home.  I especially chose this from her gallery because I love its sense of time standing still.  Gabriel speaks to Mary, his news is momentous, and she is leaning towards him trying to understand what his message could possibly mean. The colors are vivid. Their expressions are wondrous with awe, and marvel, and incomprehension.
St. Xenia of Petersburg by R. Lentz

To mark April Fool's Day, we thought we'd take a moment to post a prayer service to St. Xenia of Petersburg, Fool For Christ. You can learn about her life in many places, as she is a much beloved saint for those looking for help in finding a job, a spouse, or a home, save a marriage, or healing mental illness. We suggest this site if you want to learn more about her.  

We found this akathist at St. Gregory Outreach. You can read it by yourself, or with friends or family, if so inclined.

Donna WOW 1a

This is our fourth and final week of celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting the roles that women are already doing in the Church — roles that we tend to assume only men are allowed to fulfill. Last week we looked at women in leadership roles at church organizations. This week we’ll talk about women who act as theologians, liturgists, and homilists.

Mother Katherine WOW 3

This is our third week of celebrating Women’s History Month by highlighting the roles that women are already doing in the Church—roles that we tend to assume only men are allowed to fulfill. Last week we took a look at women engaged in church diplomacy and advisory roles to bishops. This week we’ll spotlight women who act as the administrative leaders of their church-related organizations, as abbesses, trustees and directors, and parish council presidents.


Monastic Superiors

Laura WOW 1

Last week, we kicked off Women’s History Month by highlighting the roles women are already doing in the Church today and in recent history that we normally think of as being confined to men. We saw women engaged in pastoral care, including chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, youth ministry, college and young adult ministry, family ministry, adult and women’s ministry, spiritual advice, and spiritual accompaniment. This week, we continue our series by looking at women who have served or are serving as church diplomats and consultants to bishops.

Clio WOW 1

A lot of what we do at Axia Women is highlight what women are already doing in the Church, which to us is a matter for celebration, respect, and often surprise. Many churchgoers  seem to assume that some non-ordained categories are reserved for men only. But Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, at least fifty years ago, observed that the only task reserved for ordained clergy is performing the sacraments. It is natural—if unfortunate—that many people see ordained clergy, because of their vestments and cassocks, as the “fullest” members of the Church, and therefore as the ones who perform church roles. As part of Women’s History Month, we’d like to test that perception!

Ranks of lit beeswax candles in a church

We didn’t expect this! Nobody could have expected this.

At the first meeting of what was to become Axia Women, those of us who were present wrote a vision statement:

“We are an organization by, for, and about Orthodox women in the service of Christ.”

Two of us had conducted a national poll of women in Orthodox churches. They had discovered that many women were actively engaged in church activities, programs, and services on the parish, diocesan, and jurisdictional levels. Many engaged in vocations outside the churches’ walls yet within the purview of Christ ‘s mission. We knew this was happening, but for the most part no one was acknowledging the scope of women’s endeavors.