Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Understand two thoughts, and fear them. One says, ‘You are a saint,’ the other, ‘You won't be saved.’ Both of these thoughts are from the enemy, and there is no truth in them. But think this way: I am a great sinner, but the Lord is merciful. He loves people very much, and He will forgive my sins.” -- St Silouan the Athonite  


Thursday, June 9th, is the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at Holy Cross parish on Thursday evening at 6:30 PM. The Ascension of Christ into heaven took place forty days after His resurrection from the dead, and as Orthodox Christians we continue to celebrate the event forty days after Holy Pascha. Please join us Thursday evening to celebrate our Lord's Ascension.


Last week two more former Anglican clergymen were ordained as Orthodox priests and two more former Anglican congregations were received into the Orthodox Church as Western Rite churches. Fr. Jonathan Cook and Fr. William Bauer are the two newly ordained Orthodox priests. Axios!

Fr. Jonathan Cook and his congregation were received into the Orthodox Church from the Missionary Diocese of All Saints of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA); and Fr. William Bauer and his congregation were received into the Orthodox Church from the Episcopal Missionary Church (EMC), a continuing Anglican jurisdiction that evolved from the Missionary Diocese of the America's which left the Episcopal Church under the leadership of Bishop Donald Davies more than twenty years ago.

Fr. William Bauer and I both served under the late Bishop Donald Davies. Bishop Davies had once been the Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska and became the first bishop of Fort Worth, Texas. He later left the Episcopal Church and became a continuing Anglican bishop. 

Fr. Jonathan Cook and I both served under the late Archbishop Robert Morse. Archbishop Robert Morse was one of the four original continuing Anglican bishops consecrated back in 1978. Both of these men are good priests and will be real assets to the work of our Western Rite Communities. The restoration of Western Orthodoxy continues to advance as the Lord rebuilds the foundation stone by stone. 

Fr. Jonathan Cook is pastor of St. Tikhon Orthodox Church in the greater Richmond area of Virginia, and Fr. William Bauer is the pastor of St. Columba Orthodox Church in Fernley, Nevada. There are photos of Fathers Jonathan and William at their ordinations posted on our parish Facebook page. May God grant them many years!


Our English and Celtic forefathers in the Faith were torn away from the Orthodox Church against their will by the Norman Invasion and Conquest of 1066, but the door is now wide open to return to the Orthodox Church. Today, Anglicans make up the largest single group of converts to the Orthodox Church, and in the United States alone there are hundreds of former Anglicans who are now Orthodox priests serving in both the Eastern and Western rites. 

The Western Rite that had been lost to the Orthodox Church due to the Papal Schism in 1054, and the Norman Conquest of Orthodox England in 1066, has been restored and the number of Western Rite Orthodox congregations and monastic communities is growing. At Holy Cross we have just celebrated our fourth Pascha (Easter) as an Orthodox parish. As a Western Rite Orthodox parish we have preserved the fullness of our English and Celtic cultural, liturgical and spiritual heritage and patrimony in full sacramental communion and visible unity with the 300 million-member Orthodox Church. We were received with open arms, have been fully integrated into the Orthodox Church, and have no nostalgia for our Anglican past. We have lost nothing and gained much. After almost a millennium, we are home.

To my traditional Anglican friends, both clerical and lay, please know that the door is wide open, the lights are on, and the welcome mat is out. I am often asked, “Where have all of the traditional Anglicans gone?” And my answer is always the same: Home to the Orthodox Church, — the Church of our Fathers. You can come home again too. You will be welcomed with joy. Come and see!

If you live in Eastern Nebraska or Western Iowa, I hope to see you at church on Thursday evening, June 9th, at 6:30 PM for the celebration of the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist for the Feast of the Ascension; or on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM for the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist. Visitors are always welcome. We are a faithful and friendly parish and we have a place for you.

If you live outside of the Omaha area, but are interested in coming home to the Orthodox Church, I would be happy to answer your questions and to help you come home too. You can reach me by phone at (402) 573-6558, or by email at venovak@hughes.net. 

Jesus Christ is the Truth Revealed. Orthodox Christianity is the Truth Lived. Let’s live it!

7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
(402) 573-6558