Bar Mitzva

Mazel Tov ~ Reflections from A Bar Mitzvah

  If you are like me, you have only heard or read about the Jewish custom of Bar Mitzvah.  I had an intellectual knowledge of what it was all about - the becoming of an adult in the eyes of Jewish Community and an acceptance of the Jewish faith in a very public way - but I never had any first-hand experience with it.  Well, that all changed when I recently attended my nephew Jacob’s Bar Mitzvah. I often describe myself as a “church geek”. I like ritual and liturgy, not only of my own c … [Read More...]


What Kind of Soil Are You?

The Gospel of Luke 8:5-15 The Lord said this parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell along the path, and was trodden under foot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew, and yielded a hundredfold." And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, "To … [Read More...]

The Gettysburg Story

I listen to a number of podcasts as I travel on my rounds and one of my favorites is Civil War Talk Radio hosted by Professor Gerry Prokopowicz of East Carolina University.  Each week Gerry, as I like to think of him, brings authors and other Civil War scholars to his show for an interview about their book or specific topic.  If you are a serious student of the Civil War or just someone who likes history, this show is for you. The show takes a break for the summer so I have been using the time t … [Read More...]

love your enemies

But Love Your Enemies and do Good

The Gospel of Luke 6:31-36 The Lord said, "And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, … [Read More...]

Top Posts of the Past Week

Here is a list of the top posts of the past week here at Shepherd of Souls. Orthodox Unity in America The Parable of the Vineyard The Challenge of our Time Wedding Sermon Sermon ~ Take Up Your Cross Launching into the Deep Blessed are your Poor Orthodoxy and Contraception Transsexuals & Orthodoxy Sermon ~ Do Not Weep … [Read More...]

Comments Turned Off

You may have noticed that the ability to comment has been disabled.  That is due to a high rate of spam comment, more than 100 in one day, so I have been forced to turn of the ability to comment on posts for the time being. Fear not, commenting will return soon. Thanks for your understanding. … [Read More...]


Blessed Are Your Poor

The title of this essay comes from the 6th chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke and is part of a much larger talk by Jesus that has become part of the Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes.  When I hear this passage I conjure up images of people living on the street or perhaps standing in line for food, but is this what this verse is all about or is it about something else? We often think of the poor of those who have less than we do in a material sense of our thinking.  Our world today places a l … [Read More...]

Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick

Orthodox Unity in America

Recently, an essay was published on the blog of First Things with the title, Are You Greek? Unifying the Orthodox Church in the United States.  Written by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick the essay takes the reader through a bit or American Orthodox history and the question of Orthodox unity here in The United States of America. I am a priest in an ethnic Orthodox jurisdiction, the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese, however I am not ethnically Romanian.  Like Fr. Andrew I am a convert to Orthodoxy and I c … [Read More...]