Video – Fr. Seraphim Bell, USA: “I became Orthodox for one reason: Obedience to the Truth”

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EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH

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Fr. Seraphim Bell, USA & Scotland:

“I became Orthodox for one reason: Obedience to the Truth”

Video – π. Σεραφείμ Μπελλ, Σκωτία & ΗΠΑ (πρώην Προτεστάντης): Έγινα Ορθόδοξος από υπακοή στην Αλήθεια

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ORTHODOX HEART

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π. Σεραφείμ Μπελλ, Σκωτία & ΗΠΑ (πρώην Προτεστάντης):

Έγινα Ορθόδοξος από υπακοή στην Αλήθεια

 

Link: Still Water Orthodox – St Nino Orthodox Christian Church Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

USA OF MY HEART

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Still Water Orthodox

Oklahoma, USA

Click HERE

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Holy Icon of All Saints of Canada & USA

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USA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

NATIVE AMERICANS MET ORTHODOXY

CANADA OF MY HEART

ALASKA OF MY HEART

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Orthodox Saints of Canada & USA

DALLAS HAS A SAINT: ARCHBISHOP DMITRI ROYSTER OF TEXAS & SOUTH USA (+2011)

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USA OF MY HEART

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Texas, USA

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A Saint of our days:

Archbishop Dmitri Royster of Dallas & South USA

August 28, +2011

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Diocese of Dallas & the South:

Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Florida,

South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico,

Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas & Virginia

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Above is an image taken today of the incorrupt body of Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas. He died in the summer of 2011, and was buried unembalmed, according to Orthodox tradition. On Friday his body was disinterred for transferral to his new tomb in St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas, which was his own. When the cemetery personnel opened his coffin, they found Vladyka Dmitri incorrupt.

That is to say, his body had not decayed. He has been buried for four and a half years under the Texas ground, and his body looks like it did the day he died.

This is a miracle. In Orthodox Christianity, it is seen as a sign that the deceased was, and is, a saint. If you read The Brothers Karamazov, you may remember that whether or not the deceased Elder Zosima was incorruptible was a feature of the narrative.

In Dallas today, they found their incorruptible. I don’t suppose a soul who knew Vladyka Dmitri is surprised. I knew him in the last five years of his life. What a dear and holy man he was. He had an important part in my own coming to Orthodoxy. In the summer of 2005, broken and grieving over years of scandal and corruption in the Roman Catholic Church, my wife and I began attending St. Seraphim Cathedral. We did not intend to convert to Orthodoxy; we simply wanted to be in a place where we could be confident the real presence of Christ was in the Eucharist (Roman Catholic doctrine recognizes the validity of Orthodox sacraments), the liturgy was reverent and beautiful, and we could worship without being so overwhelmed by anger.

After a couple of visits, we received an invitation to a party at the Archbishop’s house, after the Dormition feast. I felt divided about this. For one, I didn’t want to go to a fancy archbishop’s house. For another, I had had enough of bishops and archbishops, men who had wrecked the Roman Catholic Church. I didn’t want to get mixed up with an Orthodox one.

But we went anyway, showing up on a rainy August afternoon at the address on the card. It turned out to be not a palatial residence, but the modest two-story woodframe house behind the cathedral. Could this house, with the paint peeling, really be where the Archbishop of Dallas and the South lives? I knocked on the door, and in we walked, with our kids.

The house was jammed with people from the congregation. There were Russians and other Slavs, and Americans too. You could hardly move for all the people. Every inch of counter space in the kitchen was filled with dishes bearing up Russian food. At the far end of one counter was a gorgeous flan, made by Vladyka Dmitri himself. He loved to cook.

There he was, sitting at the table, his long, Gandalf beard resting on his black cassock. His eyes twinkled. He greeted us kindly. Later, we watched him remove himself to a side room where kids were playing, sit down on a low couch, and talk to them like they were his own children. He was 82 years old then, and was to those children a kindly grandfather figure.

“Come see this,” Julie said, pointing to Dmitri among the children. That’s not something we were used to seeing.

A short while later, in the kitchen, a Russian and a Ukrainian poured vodka shots for themselves and for me, and raised a toast to the Archbishop. “To Vladyka!” we said, then downed the vodka. Meanwhile, the ceiling began to leak in the poor old house. We chose to ignore it, because it was time to bless the food. Everybody became quiet as Vladyka turned toward the icon and began to pray.

It was a family dinner. That’s how it struck us. Archbishop Dmitri, born Robert Royster in Teague, Texas, was the opposite of everything I had come to expect in a bishop. He was humble and kind and gentle. He loved his people, and his people loved him. I remember thinking how good it would be to be led by such a man.

One day a few years later, after had become Orthodox, we were at Forgiveness Vespers, the pre-Lenten ritual that all Orthodox parishes do in which each parishioner must ask each other for forgiveness, and then offer it in return. Watching that tall, elderly archbishop bow before our three year old daughter Nora and ask her forgiveness — it took my breath away.

Nora did not know it at the time, but it was a saint of God who did her that honor.

Here’s what will happen today in Dallas:

On Saturday morning, March 5th, 2016 His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, will preside at the Divine Liturgy in St Seraphim Cathedral at 9:30 AM. Following the Divine Liturgy a Pannikhida will be served, after which we will solemnly process around the cathedral carrying the coffin of Archbishop Dmitri and place it over the prepared crypt in the Memorial Chapel. After the final litany, we will lower the coffin containing the body of Archbishop Dmitri into his final earthly resting place.

Holy Dmitri of Dallas, pray for us. I am sure that official canonization procedureswill soon be underway. What a blessing he was to all of us who knew him.

A saint. Our Vladyka. What a gift.

Rod Dreher

The American Conservative

05 / 03 / 2016

Source:

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/91243.htm

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

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A Saint of our days: Archbishop Dmitri Royster of Dallas & South USA (+2011)

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FROM TEXAS BAPTIST TO ORTHODOX SAINT? – BY TERRY MATTINGLY

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USA OF MY HEART

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Texas, USA

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A Saint of our days:

Archbishop Dmitri Royster of Dallas & South USA

August 28, +2011

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

Diocese of Dallas & the South:

Alabama, Arkansas, North Carolina, Florida,

South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico,

Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas & Virginia

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The incorrupt body of Archbishop Dmitri Royster of Dallas

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From Texas Baptist to Orthodox Saint?

by Terry Mattingly

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2011/08/from-texas-baptist-to-orthodox-saint/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Wherever bishops travel, churches plan lavish banquets and other solemn tributes to honor their hierarchs.

Visitations by Archbishop Dmitri Royster of the Orthodox Church in America were different, since the faithful in the 14-state Diocese of the South knew that one memorable event would take care of itself. All they had to do was take their leader to a children’s Sunday-school class and let him answer questions.

During a 1999 visit to Knoxville, Tenn., the lanky Texan folded down onto a kid-sized chair and faced a circle of preschool and elementary children. With his long white hair and flowing white beard, he resembled an icon of St. Nicholas — as in St. Nicholas, the monk and fourth-century bishop of Myra.

As snacks were served, a child asked if Dmitri liked his doughnuts plain or with sprinkles. With a straight face, the scholarly archbishop explained that he had theological reasons — based on centuries of church tradition — for preferring doughnuts with icing and sprinkles.

A parent in the back of the room whispered:

“Here we go.”

Some of the children giggled, amused at the sight of the bemused bishop holding up a colorful pastry as if he were performing a ritual.

“In Orthodoxy, there are seasons in which we fast from many of the foods we love,” he said. “When we fast, we should fast. But when we feast, we should truly feast and be thankful.”

Thus, he reasoned, with a smile, that doughnuts with sprinkles and icing were “more Orthodox” than plain doughnuts.

Dmitri made that Knoxville trip to ordain yet another priest in his diocese, which grew from a dozen parishes to 70 during his three decades. The 87-year-old missionary died last Sunday (Aug. 28) in Dallas, in his simple bungalow — complete with leaky kitchen roof — next to Saint Seraphim Cathedral, the parish he founded in 1954.

Parishioners were worried the upstairs floor might buckle under the weight of those praying around his deathbed.

The future archbishop was raised Southern Baptist in the town of Teague, Texas, before moving to Dallas. As teens, Royster and his sister became intrigued with the history of the major Christian holidays and began visiting a variety of churches, including an Orthodox parish. The services were completely in Greek, but they joined anyway — decades before evangelical-to-Orthodox conversions became common.

During World War II, the young Texan learned Japanese in order to interrogate prisoners of war, while serving on Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s staff. A gifted linguist, he later taught Greek and Spanish classes on the campus of Southern Methodist University. While training to serve in the OCA, which has Russian roots, he learned Old Russian and some modern Russian.

Early in his priesthood, the Dallas parish was so small that Dmitri helped his sister operate a restaurant to support the ministry, thus becoming a skilled chef who was become famous for his hospitality and love of cooking for his flocks. During his years as a missionary bishop, driving back and forth from Dallas to Miami, monks in New Orleans saved him packages of his favorite chicory coffee and Hispanic parishioners offered bottles of homemade hot sauce, which he stashed in special compartments in his Byzantine mitre’s traveling case.

A pivotal moment in his career came just before the creation of the Diocese of the South. In 1970, then-Bishop Dmitri was elected — in a landslide — as the OCA metropolitan, to lead the national hierarchy in Syosset, N.Y. But the ethnic Slavic core in the synod of bishops ignored the clergy vote and appointed one of its own.

Decades later, the Orthodox theologian Father Thomas Hopko described the impact of that election this way:

“One could have gone to Syosset and become a metropolitan, or go to Dallas and become a saint.”

The priest ordained in Tennessee on that Sunday back in 1999 shared this judgment, when reacting to the death of “Vladika” (in English, “master”) Dmitri.

“There are a number of saints within Orthodox history who are given the title ‘Equal to the Apostles,’ ” noted Father J. Stephen Freeman of Oak Ridge. “I cannot rush beyond the church and declare a saint where the church has not done so, but I can think of no better description of the life and ministry of Vladika Dmitri here in the South than ‘Equal to the Apostles.’ “

(Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Contact him at tmattingly(at)cccu.org or http://www.tmatt.net.)

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CHURCHES IN NORTH AMERICA – FIND THE PARISH NEAREST YOU

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USA & CANADA OF MY HEART

AMERICA OF MY HEART

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Churches in North America – Find the parish nearest you

Canonical Orthodox jurisdictions represented in North America

Eastern Orthodox Church