TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY DESERT FATHERS
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Deming, New Mexico - May 9, 2004 (Mother's Day)
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 American Orthodox Church. That was over twenty years ago.
It seems coincidental that as Metropolitan +Thaddeus celebrates his 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 the +Yuri Spaeth lines which flow through His Eminence +Michael Damian Benedict (Stephen Palladino), OSB, a mile stone had been reached.
Over the last couple of years, some of us 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 ago 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 in the northeastern part of the U.S.A was, at the time, one with us but no more, had said it would be impossible to accomplish and that the endeavor should take place in Ohio. Of course, many know the history of the Ohio affair.
Now, the vision takes on form and strength in 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 International Headquarters will be the administrative and International headquarters for the AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, NORTH AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, AMERICAN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH, WESTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH (WOCA), CONFEDERATION OF ORTHODOX BENEDICTINE, SOCIETY OF ST. JUDE THADDEUS (Thaddean Companions, also known as the Holy Order of St. Jude and Thaddean Fathers), and the ORTHODOX FRANCISCANS (OOFM = ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR).
Our goals are simple. To practice, teach and preach the Good News and to share with our Brothers, the savor and peace that only comes from Jesus Christ.
Setting: The environment of this part of New Mexico 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 are still at hand with little to no difficulty for those who are willing to apply themselves accordingly. However, "comfort" is not what this is 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 can be harsh and debilitating to those who come from soft living.
Those who might be best suited to this community are those who have little to no care or concern for the political machinations of other jurisdictions, lack of desire to truly learn that which comes from true Orthodox spirituality not from that of those who hold to a "political correctness" approach. While unity hinges upon a certain amount of discipline, the true core rests upon the foundation of Jesus Christ without which the church becomes nothing more than what men make of it, not Christ!
For those who are retired, or have other means of private income, the community makes no demands upon your material resources because those who have desires for true Orthodoxy in their spirit, will aide in the support of the community as the needs may be met.
Does this community require physical strength? Only insofar as the norm of every day life requires and that of which any other community would require. The climate can be very hot (sometimes reaching 100 degrees or more) at certain times of the year and at other times rather cold (30's, sometime, not often, low 20's). Because of this being a dry climate with little rainfall, those who have health issues should ask before hand in order to discern exactly if they would have difficulty residing here. While a hot, dry climate is preferable to many people who have arthritis issues and breathing problems or heart related problems coupled with asthma, etc. it is advised that anyone with a health issue supply information concerning what those issues may be before attempting this struggle out of pain of heart. This is not for the faint hearted and certainly not for those who want to escape the responsibility of life.
Because of immaturity of persons in the past, we ask that applicants for residency be a minimum of 30 years of age or older and have enough understanding and desire to learn Orthodoxy from its spiritual perspective, not the perspective of that which can only be called the "Correctness" disease of "politics" approach. The community relies on individual donations and sharing of both financial and physical responsibilities according to each one's abilities. There are, if necessary, some available employment opportunities in the area.
See: Orthodox Cross Sets Tone For the Village of Columbus, New Mexico, U.S.A
See: Modern Day Desert Fathers
See: Monastic Community of Saint John Maximovitch and the Holy Theotokos
See: New Mexico Humor Album
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