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#327324 07/13/09 02:47 PM
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Greetings Everyone,

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

I'm not sure how to word this, so let me just jump in and start writing. My twenty year Roman Catholic marriage is ending. Not by my wishes, and my therapist and I agree I did everything possible to save the marriage. There's plenty of blame to go around and just for the record there was not an affair or drugs involved. So I come to you wounded and hurting, but please know I'm in a faith based divorce support group and my emotional needs are being addressed.

I was not raised in a faith--mom was fallen away Catholic and dad was fallen away Russian Orthodox. Ever since my adult conversion to Christ, I've had an attraction to the East. The friction though it caused in my marriage made serious efforts to move in that direction impossible. Even my attendance at EC rite services caused problems and it seemed better at the time stay Latin for the good of the family.

In fact I became *very* Latin. I explored and became involved in all the RC Church as to offer. I have a rule of prayer that includes the Divine Office and at least 30 mins of mental prayer daily--which I have followed for years. I'm comfortable with NO liturgies, NO in Latin liturgies, and the TLM. I'm sure you all know what's coming--in all of these forms of worship I'm most attracted to the St. John Chrysostom Divine Liturgy.

Almost from the beginning of my adult conversion to Christ 18 years ago, I learned of the Prayer of the Heart and have fairly consistently practiced and the Jesus Prayer. I've read large portions of the Philokalia and for a short but wonderful time had spiritual direction via the internet from an Orthodox Monk.

I now really want to explore something that was not possible while I was married. Namely, fully immersing myself in Orthodox spirituality. This may or may not mean becoming Orthodox or EC but it's something I've always wanted to explore and now have the freedom to do.

I live in the Detroit area and I'm blessed with many Orthodox parishes. My first stop is going to be a Romanian Orthodox Monastery that offers--get this--DAILY services!!

Has anyone ever been to Holy Ascension Monastery? I was planning attending Matins tomorrow:

http://www.holy-ascension.org/

I'd also like to ask if there are other suggestions for parishes to explore, both Orthodox and EC in and around Detroit.

Peace, -Charleson







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Nope, don't know anything about Detroit, but...

Lord of the Powers be with us, for in times of distress we have no other help but You.
Lord of the Powers, have mercy on Charleson and his family, may they find rest and peace in You Jesus, that all in their lives be brought into Your order, in agreement with Your Word Jesus. May he find a home that is pleasing to You for him in every way. Thank you Jesus.

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Welcome to Byzcath

Not being in the USA I can't help re parishes - but hold on and you will get positively deluged with information soon .

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Thank you Pani Rose and Our Lady's Slave for your kind prayers and welcome.

Dn. Robert, thank you also. I've been to 3 of the 4 parishes of the Byzantine Rite listed on your link in my area. Two of which I would strongly consider putting down roots in if I'm lead to change rites. Have you been to any of them?

Best, -Charleson

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Originally Posted by Charleson
Thank you Pani Rose and Our Lady's Slave for your kind prayers and welcome.

Dn. Robert, thank you also. I've been to 3 of the 4 parishes of the Byzantine Rite listed on your link in my area. Two of which I would strongly consider putting down roots in if I'm lead to change rites. Have you been to any of them?

Best, -Charleson

No, I don't get to travel that much. I have met, or know of, the clergy involved. I've heard nothing put positive things about them. It's worth at least a visit.

In Christ,
Dn. Robert

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I'm from Detroit. And yes, it is a fortunate place for Orthodox to be.

Check out orthodoxyinamerica.com for all the listings. I've been too (and loved) St. George's Romanian Orthodox Cathedral (Southfield - 50/50 English/Romanian) and St. Thomas Orthodox Church (OCA - Farmington Hills - mostly English).

I've never been to that monastery though.

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Also the parish pastored by Fr. John Fenton--western rite Antiochean, if I recall correctly.

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Originally Posted by Thomas the Seeker
Also the parish pastored by Fr. John Fenton--western rite Antiochean, if I recall correctly.

Anitochean-western rite?!? Now that is very interesting--and all of about a 15 min. drive from me.

Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church [holyincarnation.org]


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As you are in the Detroit area, I suggest you seek out Bishop Nicholas (Samra) of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, who is an outstanding teacher and spiritual guide. I think he may be able to be of great assistance to you.

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Thank you Stuart, funny you should mention the Melkite Rite. I know they recently built a beautiful new church/cathedral and I've been meaning to pay it a visit.

Best, -Charleson

p.s., I hope this doesn't come off as church hopping. I'm just very excited about being able to explore Byzantine Spirituality fully in a way I couldn't when I was married. 

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Peace everyone,

An update, I called the Romanian monastery that I mentioned up-topic. Unfortunately, through understandable, all their services are in Romanian. I been to many exclusively Latin services and learned the basics over time. So I know it's possible to worship in an unfamiliar language, but it's probably not what I'm seeking now.

I'd like to explore a parish that offers the fullest range of Orthodox services. Saturday vespers, Sunday matins, etc. I'd especially be interested in mid week or some sort of daily service. That's probably a hold over from being Latin, I'm used to being able to go to church, well, whenever I want.

I'm currently looking at the following Russian Orthodox Church:

St. Innocent Church [stinnocentchurch.com]

They offer a full cycle of weekend services and Friday Akathist devotions. Their services are also mostly in English too.  Dad was Russian Orthodox and there's much of my heritage I wasn't exposed to.

Not to paint with a broad brush--but what would be the subtle differences between, say, a Russian Orthodox service, an Antiochian rite church, or OCA church outside of language? (which I intend to find out for myself)

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Hmm...I don't know why the link above didn't format correctly. It worked in the preview screen.

St. Innocent Church [stinnocentchurch.com]

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the mysteries of the Internet :P

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ack....

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