Friday, March 25, 2016


Dear N._____,
Thank you for your email. It is good to hear from you. I am glad to hear that you found my article on Fr. Novak’s Blog, EVANGELISM EXPLOSION - Orthodox Christianity: Winning the World for Christ! to be a blessing. 

The Western Rite of the Orthodox Church is ancient, and the restoration of it began about a century and a half ago. It is well established today with Western Rite congregations and monastic communities in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and on the Continent of Europe, and our numbers are growing. I have written about it  in an article titled, The Western Rite Within the Orthodox Church. It was posted on February 25, 2016, on my blog, Fr. Novak’s Blog. You can find Fr. Novak’s Blog here: Just scroll down to the February 25th posting to read the article.

Two great supporters of Western Rite Orthodoxy were St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco and St. Tikhon of America and Moscow. St. John of San Francisco said, "Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must be Eastern. The West was fully Orthodox for a thousand years."

Today there are Western Rite congregations and monastic communities in the Patriarchate of Antioch  ("Where they were first called Christians")  and in the Russian Orthodox Church (which is the largest autocephalous Orthodox Church and makes up more than half of all Orthodox Christians), as well as in the Romanian and Serbian Patriarchates (in Europe). In the Russian and Antiochian Orthodox Churches there are nine Western Rite monastic communities. 

I have been blessed by Metropolitan Hilarion to be bi-liturgical  — to serve both the Western and Eastern Rites. My parish is a Western Rite congregation. We are an active and thriving parish, and I am the full time rector.

You can learn more about Western Orthodoxy from my parish website:

My blog, Fr. Novak's Blog:

Our parish Facebook page:

The Russian Orthodox Western Rite Communities:

These sites will give you a lot of helpful information. The Western Rite isn't an experiment, it is a restoration of Western Orthodoxy that began a century and a half ago, and its restoration has been supported by hierarchs and Saints. It is a demonstration of the Catholicity of the Orthodox Church. The Church is not just Eastern, it is Catholic (Universal).  

Are you in the greater Omaha area? If so, I hope that you will visit our parish and worship with us. If not, I hope that you will take the opportunity to visit a Western Rite Orthodox church if there is one near you. Western Rite communities are thoroughly Orthodox in Faith, completely canonical, and in full visible unity with the 300 million-member Orthodox Church, while preserving their Western cultural, liturgical and spiritual patrimony. Thank you again for writing.

May God grant you every grace and blessing,

Fr. Victor+

Fr. Victor Novak
A Western Rite Parish of the
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558

Edited for publication.