Javascript Menu by

Orthodox Alaska Cruise Septemebr 2-9! - 06/28/16

With the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, and the support of Bishop David of the historic diocese of Alaska (who will be on board!), a cruise and conference at sea will be held September 2-9, 2017.

Sailing from Seattle and while exploring Juneau, Sitka, Glacier Bay, and other sites on the Holland America Westerdam, conference participants will attend a wide variety of daily lectures, services and workshops offered by Fr Michael Oleksa, a recognized authority on Alaskan history and spirituality, and Fr Laurent Cleenewerck, Rector of Saint Innocent Church, Eureka, CA, who is also an academic and author.

Detailed information, including rates and agenda, may be found at

 Only 50 “seats” are available for this event, and registrations are accepted now on a first-come, first-serve basis.

REFLECTION - All Politics are Local - 06/25/16

by Father John Dresko

Tip O’Neill, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States, once famously said that “all politics are local.” What he meant was that if potholes are not fixed, no one can get a job where they live, and house prices are skyrocketing out of reach for most people, no one will be happy with the work of any politician, no matter how eloquent or hard-working. Grand visions (if there are any) are words wasted as they float off ignored into the air.

Patronal Feast of the Trinity celebrated in San Francisco - 06/20/16

This past weekend, His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin presided at services in San Francisco marking the "the last day, that great day of the feast” (John 7:37). Pentecost, also called Trinity Sunday, is the celebration by the Church of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the end—the achievement and fulfillment—of the entire history of salvation. This special moment in the life of the Church is also the particular “altar feast” of Holy Trinity Cathedral, the see of the Archbishop of San Francisco and the West.

Parishes can be good neighbors - 06/16/16

Reprinted with permission by Catholic Sentinel

Our Milwaukie, OR parish is highlighted in the article for its efforts.

by Kristen Hannum

This is the third and final part of a series on how parishes in the Archdiocese of Portland can prepare for “the big one,” the subduction zone earthquake off the coast that scientists say is overdue.

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Portland experienced a mild preview of what an earthquake feels like 23 years ago, when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake jolted the Mount Angel area in March 1993.

St. Mary Church, one of the archdiocese’s architectural and artistic gems, was damaged more than was first thought. None of the windows had imploded, and the statues and altar were mostly unscathed, and yet the shaking had damaged the building to such an extent that  it needed extensive shoring up.

Another earthquake rumbled through southern Oregon six months later, in September 1993, with the Klamath Falls earthquake.

While those earthquakes were memorable for those who lived through them, comparing them to the subduction quake that experts are warning Oregonians about is like comparing the danger of a kitten (watch her claws!) to that of a hungry lion.

Once the inevitability of tsunamis are added to the mix, Sheryl Getery of Coos Bay says it’s important for parishes to do what they can to get people thinking about their own disaster plans.

Elizabeth Lien, a parish nurse for the (Orthodox) Church of the Annunciation in Milwaukie, prepared an article for the national Orthodox Churches of America about parish emergency preparedness.

Her parish established an emergency preparedness team in 2009 in preparation for a potential H1N1 influenza epidemic.

The team educated other parishioners and, after the scare had passed, decided they could help their parish and community in case of another emergency.

REFLECTION - "Spiritual" but not Religious? - 05/29/16

by Father John Dresko

“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.... Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
(Revelation 3:14-16, 20-21)

A relatively recent phenomenon in American culture (within about the last five years) is that a great number of Americans (mostly the so-called “millenials”), when asked about their religious preferences, respond that they are “spiritual but not religious.” In news articles, they are even referred to as “SBNRs.” They find “spirituality” wherever they choose to find it, but refuse to participate in a church. They say things like, “I find spirituality in the sunset,” “I find spirituality when I walk along the beach,” etc.

Is this even possible?

We are now in the middle of our Paschal celebration, but the Church has already pointed us to the coming of Pentecost. When Jesus ascended to His Father from the mountain, it was with the promise that He would send the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon the Apostles. Then, the Spirit-filled Apostles would go to the ends of the earth, preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ risen from the dead and establishing the Church in places that come down to Las Vegas, Nevada today. He established the Church when He sent the Holy Spirit.

To be “spiritual” for anyone who knows and follows Jesus Christ is to belong to His Holy Church. Now, I am in total agreement with Fr. Alexander Schmemann of blessed memory when he said, “No to religion.” But what he meant wasn’t “no” to the Church. It was an emphatic “no” to the dead falsehood of empty ritual and the preaching of and adherance to the forms of religion and not substance. But that is not the “religion” that today’s “spiritual” people reject. They reject the Church.


Bookmark and Share

© Diocese of the West. 1520 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94123; 415-567-WEST(9378)

Powered by Orthodox Web Solutions