Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of the St. Nina Quarterly

Staff

The Staff of the St. Nina Quarterly

Editing:
  • Sarah Byrne
  • Bonnie A. Michal
  • Dave O'Neal
  • Teva Regule
  • Helen Creticos Theodoropolous

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Subscription Information

The St. Nina Quarterly is an entirely volunteer organization. In order to encourage readership, we do not require a subscription fee. We recommend a subscription donation of $25 a year to help cover the cost of printing and mailing. Please encourage your friends, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, as well as your parishes, parish priests and parish organizations to subscribe!

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Donations

The St. Nina Quarterly is an entirely volunteer organization. Our continuation depends on your financial support. Your donations can help us cover the cost of printing and mailing. Please contribute to the Quarterly!

Submission Information & Policies

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Submission Information and Policies Policies Authors retain copyright to their articles. The views expressed in this journal are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board.All biblical quotes are according to the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted. Letters to the Editor PolicyWe welcome the opportunity to share your thoughts and comments with our readers. All correspondence or Letters to the Editor should include your name, address, and phone number or email. If published, they will be identified by name, city, and state (or country) only, unless there is a request for anonymity or permission for more detailed personal information to be released. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letter we consider appropriate for our readers. Anyone wishing a letter to remain confidential should explicitly say so in writing.

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You may mail us at:

The St. Nina Quarterly
P.O. Box 397252
Cambridge, MA 02139

You may also email us using this form.

Sermon: The Blessing of Obedience to God

In the time of the ancient Church fathers, people asked many theological questions. One of them was, "Since God did not want Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, why did he plant it in the middle of Paradise in the first place?" It could seem as if God was setting a trap for the first human beings, something that would trip them up to make them get in trouble so they could be punished. Sometimes people make rules that work like this, but God never acts this way. His purposes are always good, never deceptive or malicious.

Book Profile: Come, Follow Me

In her book, Come, Follow Me, Mother Cassiana, now abbess of the Holy Protection Monastery in Lake George, Colorado, tells of her own spiritual journey that led her to Romania in 1984. Mother Cassiana spent a year living at Varatec women's monastery at a time when the country was still under communist rule and atheism was the only legal belief system. Varatec monastery, home to over 350 nuns of all ages, is nestled in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains, only a few miles away from Agapia monastery, where another 350 or so nuns live, work, and pray.

From the Editorial Board

If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me (Matt. 19:21).

According to his Life, when St. Antony (d. 356) heard these words from the Gospel, he sold what he owned and left for the desert to devote his entire life to Christ. Throughout the history of the Church countless men and women, like St. Antony, have felt called to a life totally devoted to God, renouncing the desire for worldly possessions and embracing a life of celibacy, prayer, and ascetic struggle.

An Interview with Mother Christophora

Teva: First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time for this interview and sharing your thoughts with the readers of the St. Nina Quarterly. You grew up in the Church and for a time worked as a social worker prior to entering the monastery. How did you choose the monastic life?

An Interview with Sister Aemiliane

Teva: First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time for this interview and sharing your thoughts with the readers of The St. Nina Quarterly. You are originally from Kansas and came to Boston to pursue graduate studies in education at Harvard University. While in Boston, you were received into the Orthodox Church. Would you tell us about your journey to the Church, what attracted you to Orthodoxy.

Letters

Dear Editors:

Thank you for your letter and the issue and articles of the St. Nina Quarterly. I enjoyed reading them all.

Please subscribe me to the journal.

I was raised Greek Orthodox

The Nuns of New Skete

 

Historical Background

The first seven nuns who eventually formed our community of Nuns of New Skete were originally Roman Catholic contemplatives of the Poor Clare Monastery in Evansville, Indiana. In the wake of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1964) monastic women and men all over the world were encouraged to study the origins of their foundations, to examine the animating vision of their communities in the light of monastic principles and practices, and to reflect on the demands of life today. Such a call was long overdue.

Poem: Reality is the Mystery

Reality reaches into mystery
tugging on an apron's string
Knotted round about your fleshy waist.
We are bound but boundless.
Come along.

One Saturday Evening

It was 1964. I was a sixteen-year-old city girl growing up in Detroit, Michigan. Life before me seemed full of endless possibilities. My high school was hosting the yearly career day and the choices were vast and exciting. I could be whatever I chose.

Letter from a Sister to Her Family Announcing Her Tonsure

My dear family,

I am writing with some very good news to share - next month I will be tonsured to the little schema. The abbess and the elders have decided it is the time for me to take my vows and become a full nun. This is very exciting for me, as it is something I have long hoped for. It is in truth a wedding, and as with any wedding, it is both the culmination of years spent in developing a relationship as well as the beginning of a new life.

An Interview with Mother Raphaela

Despina: First of all, I want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with the readers of the St. Nina Quarterly. The question which always comes to mind is how did you choose the monastic life?

From the Editorial Board

As Sister Nonna Harrison writes in this issue's feature article,

To be made in the image of God is to be made in the image of the Holy Trinity; like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, human beings are persons. This means that we are free and are able to know and love others, but it also means that our belonging to the community of humankind, our relatedness to other people, is at the very root of who we are.

Communities come in many forms, immediate family, extended family, the families we form with our godparents or friends, and our parish families. But what does it mean to be in community with one another? With increasing stress and decreasing "free" time, how can we live authentic lives in community? How do we relate to others and to all of the created world within the context of Christian community? In this issue, we look at these questions as we reflect upon our faith and our community.

The Holy Trinity, A Model for Human Community

As human persons, men and women are created in the image of God. The Church Fathers have shown that many aspects of our humanity reveal the divine image, notably our ability to perceive God's presence and the spiritual realm, our intellect, our freedom of choice, and our capacity to enter into communion with God and live lives of goodness and love. These characteristics belong to every human being as such. But the leading twentieth-century Orthodox theologians have emphasized another aspect of human identity that has tremendous importance: to be made in the image of God is to be made in the image of the Holy Trinity; like the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, human beings are persons.

WOMENViews, Faith, Praxis and Community

We must do three things to create authentic community: feel at home with the God who is within us; develop the gifts God has given us to the best of our ability, with an honest sense of our own limitations, so they bear fruit to the community; and intentionally establish a spiritual community that seeks out and welcomes the diverse fruits of all. Our faith and our praxis must be nurtured in a supportive environment, and we ourselves must intentionally provide that environment for each other in our communities.

St. Sophia

What comes down to us about Sophia, a widow of Rome, is surprisingly rich when considering that information on many first and second century martyrs is sparse to nonexistent. Sophia and her three daughters, Vera, Nadezhda, and Lubov (Faith, Hope, and Love), suffered at the hand of Hadrian (117-138 BC). The charge against them was probably treason. Until the Edict of Milan (313 AD), the official policy was that refusal to take part in the cult of the emperor or the worship of pagan deities meant that Christians were, "enemies of the community and threatened its security by endangering the pax decorum."1 Persecutions, however, were more sporadic than systematic, and imperial action was often ambivalent.

Letters

Dear Editors:

It was good to read your articles on the Church and women. Your recent writings related to birthgiving, menstrual cycles, and uncleanliness were excellent.

Since seminary and continuing to the present with some clergy, I have argued that there is nothing unclean about women and the functions of their body, and that the aforementioned are natural and truly part of the miracle of birth, which God grants us, even the birth of saints.

An Interview with Jeanette Gallaway

Nancy Holloway: What is the biggest challenge you face in balancing these three areas of your life?

Jeanette Gallaway: First of all, I think it is important to say that I do not have an easy answer to this question. But I do realize that it is a constant, conscious struggle to attempt to balance one's devotion, family, and work.

Poem: Home

Your house may be a simple hut,
Or a mansion wherein you roam,
A small room in a tenement,
Or a palace with a dome.

Your house may be a simple hut,
Or a mansion wherein you roam,
A small room in a tenement,
Or a palace with a dome.

Orthodox Family Life

Orthodox Family Life (OFL) is a quarterly journal for Orthodox families offered as a parish ministry that reaches out to parents.

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