Our Living Style
TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY DESERT FATHERS
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On Mother's Day in 1981, His Eminence, Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, SSJt., Ph.D. was first consecrated (lines of succession) Bishop in the Catholic Christian Church which was later absorbed into the American Orthodox Church . That was over twenty years ago.
It seems coincidental that as Metropolitan +Thaddeus celebrates his more than twenty-four years in the Episcopacy on Mother's Day in the year of our Lord and Savior, 2005, although a very short time as an Orthodox Archbishop through +Mikhail Augustine Itkin, +Wallace David de Ortega Maxey and then the +Yuri Spaeth lines a mile stone had been reached. While some have opined that our lines were repudiated, we have had conversation with the consecrator and find that no repudiations exists (June 17, 2005) whatsoever.
In February - March of 2003, some may recall that it was said of Metropolitan Archbishop +Thaddeus' desire for the fruition of a vision in which a monastic community and international headquarters for the various jurisdictions would be established. The vision which took place seven years previous was specifically to come about in New Mexico, U.S.A. Many had said it would not be done as there was much to be expected and an enormous outlay of material resources for this to happen. Some even told +Thaddeus it was a good "pipe dream," while yet another out of Ohio (USA), at the time, one had been with us but no more, said it would be impossible to accomplish and that the endeavor should take place in Ohio. We pray for the Ohio bishop whose consecrator had excommunicated him in July 2004 we are advised. Of course, many know the disastrous history of the Ohio affair which caused for His Eminence to get back on the spiritual track originally envisioned in 1998.
The vision took form, strength, spirit and in truth because God does not provide for a vision, but what He also provides a means for such to be accomplished by those who are willing to truly sacrifice and not to give just "lip service" to the spiritual and material ideologies involved. Such requires not only physical work, but struggle in the soul for a true venture (in this instance the vision) to take place.
All of those who struggle in this life for the sake of Divine Truth and not mankind's false conceptions, will surely find that they too take part in the Divine Plan of Christ Himself, not through pomp, not through self-image, and most assuredly not through grandiose schemes and eloquent words. Jesus Christ surely makes all things come to pass for those whom he has given the vision.
Yet, caution is given here because self-image can be destructive or it can be a blessing where struggle is either lacking or truly involved in the heart, the soul, and the body. God does provide!
We know there are many who 'think' they have had a 'vision' when it has often been proved to be the imaginations of one's own selfish ideas and ideals while claiming "Christ" but not living the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ according to the spiritual quest. The infection of "prelest" is a form of self-idolatry according to some. Thus, whether one be a Benedictine, a Franciscan Friar, or even a Thaddean Father (Society and Holy Order of St. Jude Thaddeus), one has to maintain a guard against the evil one who plays upon one's self-image in both politics and religious experiences.
With the consent of the Synod of Bishops, The Thaddean Fathers care for the administrative needs of the International Headquarters for the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (AOC), NORTH AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH (NAOC), AMERICAN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH (AOCC), CONFEDERATION OF ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE (OSB), HOLY ORDER and SOCIETY OF ST. JUDE THADDEUS [SSJt.] (Thaddean Companions, also known as the Holy Order of St. Jude and Thaddean Fathers and the Orthodox Brotherhood of St. Jude Thaddeus), and the ORTHODOX FRANCISCANS (OOFM = ORTHODOX ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR) moved in 2003 to New Mexico and in 2009, moved to Caldwell, Idaho. Soon afterwards, our beloved Bishop +Matthias (+Jeffery Hammons) went to his repose.
Our goals are simple. To practice, teach and preach the Good News and to share with our Brothers and sisters, the savor and peace that only comes from Jesus Christ.
The environment is not easy to live in. It is similar to those of the Desert Fathers. With technology being what it is in these times, most of the comforts of survival were still at hand with little to no difficulty for those who were willing to apply themselves accordingly.
However, "comfort" is not what we are about. It is about studying, praying, practicing and keeping those things proper in accordance with our Orthodox Catholic understandings and to further them in spirit and truth. Many there are who have not been able to do this for the environment and conditions in New Mexico were harsh and debilitating at times for those who come from soft living. For there are many today who are called "monastic" but live according to the comforts of this world in a manner that is ultra modern.
While some of monks lived in trailers, 5th Wheels, even apartments or other abodes of various kind, the living arrangements are not necessarily comfortable because income is always at issue for many of us. Trailers, RV's and 5th Wheels, apartments - were the modern day desert fathers dwelling place in a desert setting of rich fauna and flora. As a monastic community and modern day desert fathers, are a "Catacomb" church movement that combines many other elements for these times in which we live.
If one recalls the early church, we learn:
According to Eusebius, John spent his last years in Ephesus. Ephesus became the home of Saint John and Mary. The mother of Jesus had gone to live there also, under John's care. It was before the days of church buildings, they had to meet in halls or homes or wherever they could. There was not one great central temple, but many perhaps hundreds, of small congregations, each under its own pastor, yet the letter is addressed to "The Church at Ephesus". Hundreds of congregations: yet One Church. In our true catacomb church movement, we can do no less...
Sometimes the struggle in living can stretch the nerves of an individual. Sometimes, the very weather is a demon of its own, but provides a challenge for us. These are temporary set-backs which make it rather challenging for those who are willing to face the challenge and those who have need to learn a greater degree of devotion and work in humility of heart and mind for Jesus Christ and our Patron, Saint Jude Thaddeus (who wrote the shortest epistle in the New Testament). This becomes a lesson not just for the individual but all who are monastic, residing in proximity. Of course, this also causes for a sifting of the flack from the wheat, the soft comfortable earthy city-life ways versus those who are willing to be true to their profession of faith and the Rule of life if one is truly Orthodox.
When we read the lives of the Saints, we find that their domiciles were less than enthralling, sometimes living inside a tree trunk where they slept for the glory of God under extreme and harsh conditions.
St. John Maximovitch, we are reminded, served Divine Liturgy and many of the Holy Mysteries under extreme conditions in China, and other parts of the world; on a train, a small boat, a shack, even in the open with little to no materials or supplies at hand.
The harshness of life no matter where one resides is no different than many of those humble and glorious monks of centuries ago who have since become the Saints in Heaven, or even St. John Maximovitch in these later decades. Yet, whether one is living in the desert area of God's Country, or in a city traffic area, reminds us of the purpose for our common unity (community). Developing a small garden is rather easy and very possible. Having a cat or dog is not discouraged for so long as they are house broken and do not live outside most of the day, but within one's own modern day 'mobile' or stationary setting.
The Thaddean Fathers (Society and Holy Order of Saint Jude Thaddeus, sometimes called "Thaddean Companions") reside within the the Holy Monastic Community of St. John Maximovitch and the Holy Theotokos. This community is made up of those whose rule of life is: "Orthodox Franciscan" - "Benedictine" and several others. In the Orthodox tradition, each must work toward becoming an example of the Patron Saint under whose rule of life they lives. The Archabbot of the community makes little to no demands upon the community outside of observances for our prayer and liturgical schedules as sampled below which is not the fullness of the schedule. The schedules of each person is dictated more by the Rule of Life they follow. However, certain times are very specific for "Community" coming together, as noted below:
The day is counted as being from Sundown [between 6:00 PM and 7:30] -
This is the basic Community Schedule
3:00 A.M. Early Prayers to fight the demons
6:00 A.M. - Early Morning Prayers (Private, followed by Divine Liturgy involving the whole community where possible)
Noon (sometimes modified due to schedules): Mid-day prayers
6:00 to 7:30 P.M. - Evening Prayers
Divine Liturgy (Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Holy Days)
(For Information as to proper time and place, telephone ahead. If your name does not show on the I.D. Caller, leave a message on the voice machine)
Now the Thaddean Fathers central Headquarters along with the International Communication Headquarters of the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH and the NORTH AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH have had to relocate to Idaho for two primary reasons.
1. The immediate medical needs of those with HIV/AIDS and Cancer requires that if we are to be true to ourselves in our resolve to meet the needs of those requiring better health care, then it is to them and their families that we must bow.
2. The area of New Mexico we had been located in was an area of Vigilanty-ism.... What this means is that those who are connected with drug cartels and drug trafficking, along with those whose educational levels were below that of a sixth and seventh grade ideology, often bit into the "gossip" mongering while calling themselves "Christian". In spite of some of the educational supports presented by the Thaddean Fathers, including various "counseling" needs; those of the area dealt us a blow because we were not "wealthy" like the Roman Church with materials supports such as plenty of land, buildings and money coupled with a synchrestic acceptance of all things cultic and heretical. Even our former landlords were involved in such diabolical activities unbeknownst to us at the beginning of our 1 and 1/2 year residency. Being nice to our faces but using methods unbecoming a true "Christian" we had had enough because of the impact such was having on the health needs of those lives faced with real "life and death" issues.
A review panel had been established for the needs of relocation at a later time either within or outside of the state of Idaho, USA as being more a permanent location for all the goals we wish to reach in due time.
However... we have also adopted a means of prayer that has come to us from one of our monks, Monk Michael that has gained our attention to a very serious degree in our efforts to present Truth, understanding, compassion and Love.
First: Might we consider for the New Year and all the year through, the following idea of the Trinity as:
Father = Love! Why? Because Love is what was expressed
by Him in creation and providing
us with "Free Will".
Son = Charity! Why? Because it was the Charity of Himself
that gave His life out of Love.
Hope = Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)! Why? For without Hope
we can not, as human being, bear up to the struggles
in this life for the life to come without guidance
through the hope that the Holy Ghost provides as
promised by Jesus the Christ whose Love for the
Father is inherent in all human beings who truly struggle
out of pain of heart for
the faith once and for all delivered unto the Holy
Apostles and their true successors who, according
to their nature and degree of ability, struggle and
pass on those truths, those experiences.
Praying the Holy Word, the Holy Bible as a means to gain insight, understanding, compassion and love. A means to bring to fore within one's self the three main aspects of God: Love, Hope and Charity!
Praying the Holy Bible and more....
For those who desire a formation in a monastic setting, it is our goal to acquire acreage so that our small community may have a greater degree of control over our immediate setting. Yet, with our location at the present, it is conducive to monastic life in a modern day approach where their are very few 'frills' and it therefore becomes necessary to understand that this fledgling community can and will survive only where prayer, contemplation, mediation and struggle out of pain of heart for the love of Jesus Christ is the goal, reminding ourselves that this 'struggle' is both inward and outward, material and spiritual.
Our Monastic Community of St. John Maximovitch and the Holy Theotokos have limited outside ministries... We Minister to those in Hospitals, the elderly, the poor... the disenfranchised... Most of the time we provide for those in their homes in the local areas in which we reside. Presently our primary ministry is to the homeless and those with HIV/AIDS, Dyslexia and a few who have ADD/ADHD...
Your Prayers and your donation of religious items, material goods, supplies and even finances will be receipted by the American Orthodox Church (North American Orthodox Church, American Orthodox Catholic Church) upon request... We are a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit religious organization.
Have you read the many pages dealing with the "Apostasy"? Have you read the more recent SPECIAL MESSAGE from our Vladyka (Spiritual Father) who is our Metropolitan Archbishop, Archabbot and Primate? It is time you should!
A few simple questions and answers:
Question: I am a clergyman from another jurisdiction... what if I want to move to your area and become a member of your monastic community. What would I need to do?
Answer: Have permission from your superiors and complete the application process.
Question: I live in another geographical area and I would like to be a member of the monastic community, but I am not a member of the clergy. Can I become a member?
Answer: You could become a member, but you would need to go through the process for becoming a monk. Complete the application.
Question: I am not a clergyman or nun... I am a simple everyday person who believes in the faith. I have read the pages on the coming "Apostasy" and wish to help in some way. I'm not sure what I can do. Can I join in your endeavors?
Answer: Yes... you can! Be a supporter... Be a member of our prayer efforts... If you are married or single (widowed or otherwise)... you can help as said.
More Information - Applications
Contact the Thaddean Fathres at:
+Who We Are and Our present day Living +Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant?
+Our Monastic Community +What we Believe +Our Rule of Life: +Praying the Holy Scriptures
+News and Information +Our Host's Home Page
In anticipation of the forthcoming year, 2010... we are disconnecting many of the links to the old news and the archives. We are going to create a new archive having to do only with religious news that we consider important. Each Month's DAILY NEWS will contain both religious and secular, but will also be culled at the end of each month to save only religious news for archiving... This will obviously take time to accomplish for those article in past years and cause some problems along the way with some links not working... But we do ask for your patience in our endeavors.
You have reached the end of the primary article or news item(s) posted. We take no responsibility or liability for News or other information posted at this web site, nor any link to other websites or the contents therein - If a link does not fully work... It is up to you, the viewer to use your "back" or "return" button to get back to this web site! Scroll down for more information!
"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."
- Blessed St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco
So, as said, Daily News is very important to a true Orthodox Catholic Christian.
AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
NORTH AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Institutions include, but are not limited to the following:
Catholic Christian Church, Orthodox Benedictine,
Holy Order and Society of St. Jude Thaddeus
Brotherhood of St. John Maximovitch & the Holy Theotokos
+Who We Are and Our present day Living +Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant?
+Our Monastic Community +What we Believe +Our Rule of Life: +Praying the Holy Scriptures
+News and Information
Daily News for 2010
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