Focus Area - Spiritual Renewal


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Spiritual Renewal

Coordinator: Brendan Ferguson

SAINTS ALIVE book series

Missionnaries, Monks and Nuns

New for 2009, we have selected these six enlightening books to provide contemporary examples of holy people and saints that you can relate to in many ways. And we have structured the club so that you can learn about all these saints without having to read every book!

Reading List:

  • Missionaries, Monks, and Martyrs
  • Our Father Among the Saints Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America
  • St. Innocent: Apostle to America
  • St. Seraphim of Sarov
  • The Blessed Surgeon, Life of St. Luke
  • Pearl of Great Price, Life of Mother Maria Skobtsova

Books are available through Eighth Day Books.

Focus Areas logo

Spiritual Renewal

Coordinator: Brendan Ferguson

SAINTS ALIVE book series

Missionnaries, Monks and Nuns

New for 2009, we have selected these six enlightening books to provide contemporary examples of holy people and saints that you can relate to in many ways. And we have structured the club so that you can learn about all these saints without having to read every book!

Reading List:

  • Missionaries, Monks, and Martyrs
  • Our Father Among the Saints Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America
  • St. Innocent: Apostle to America
  • St. Seraphim of Sarov
  • The Blessed Surgeon, Life of St. Luke
  • Pearl of Great Price, Life of Mother Maria Skobtsova

Books are available through Eighth Day Books.

Download Clergy Letter

Download Saints Alive 2009 Flyer

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Download Saints Alive 2008 Flyer

Brief synopsis of SAINTS ALIVE book series.

Missionaries, Monks, and Martyrs
Luke Alexander Veronis
(Light & Life)
This select survey of inspiring missionaries attempts to offer a taste of the rich missionary tradition of the Orthodox Church. It includes missionaries from the early church to the 20th century. They include St. Paul; the Monastics of Egypt, Palestine and Syria; Cyril and Methodius; Stephen of Perm; Kosmas Aitolos; Herman of Alaska; Macarius Gloukharev; Innocent Veniaminov; Nicholas Kastakin; Anastasios Yannoulatos. 2nd printing.

Our Father Among the Saints Raphael, Bishop of Brooklyn: Good Shepherd of the Lost Sheep in America
Bishop BASIL of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America, et. al.
(Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America)
Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) (1860-1915) served the American Syrian community during the early years of Orthodoxy in America. Tireless in his efforts to minister to his flock in North America, Canada and even Mexico, Bishop Raphael dedicated his life to preaching the Gospel and establishing Syrian Orthodox congregations throughout North America. Bishop Raphael was canonized St Raphael of Brooklyn in 2000. This book provides a brief biography of St Raphael as well as the hymns for Vespers, Orthros and Liturgy for his commemoration. Includes a musical supplement set in simple chant.

St. Innocent: Apostle to America
Paul D. Garrett
(St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press)
This eminently readable biography traces the course of North America’s beloved Orthodox saint, Innocent of Alaska: his boyhood in Siberia, his call to mission in America, his labors first as a priest and then as a bishop in America and Asia, and his last years as Metropolitan of Moscow. Revealing the many facets of his warm personality and abiding interest in the natural and social sciences, this portrait fully describes him as a man of affection with an unfailing sense of humor. In this work, St Innocent emerges as an apt and accessible example of a dedicated bondservant of Jesus Christ.

St. Seraphim of Sarov
Valentine Zander

(St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press)
Orthodox spirituality has produced many holy and famous men, but none in recent centuries to compare with Seraphim, staretz of the monastery of Sarov. After an initial period as a monk, working with the community, he was led to become a hermit, living deep in the forest in a world of solitude which was only destroyed when he was attacked by brigands. He returned to the community and in 1825, after fifteen years in silence, he began to receive visitors again and to spend his energies in their spiritual direction. By means of his faith and asceticism he performed a number of miracles. His fame and humility brought a steady stream of visitors, religious and royalty alike, to him for advice. His humility and concern for people made Sarov a center of pilgrimage until the events of the 1917 revolution.
Mme Zander has constructed this biography from the notebooks of people who knew him, the nuns whose spiritual director he became, the people whose lives he influenced, and the clergy who sought his advice. She adds to this information her own recollections of pilgrimages to Sarov before 1917. The life of the staretz is told with a touching simplicity which allows his life and work to be their own witnesses.

The Blessed Surgeon, Life of St. Luke
Arch. Vasiliy Maruchchak

(Monastery of St. John of San Francisco)
The long-anticipated second edition of The Blessed Surgeon: The Life of Saint Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol has arrived from the printer. Divine Ascent Press published the first edition back in 2001. This inspiring biography of a bishop and surgeon during the darkest years of Soviet oppression in Russia has been the most widely read and appreciated publication of Divine Ascent Press to date. St. Luke endured unthinkable tortures at the hands of the atheistic state due to his outspoken confession of Christ, but his pioneering work as a surgeon gave the lie to his persecutors’ separation of faith and science. The second edition is revised and expanded to include a service and an akathist hymn in honor of St. Luke.

Pearl of Great Price, Life of Mother Maria Skobtsova
Sergei Hackel
(St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press)
Pearl of Great Price is the moving story of Mother Maria Skobtsova, a nun of the Orthodox Church, who was born into a Russian aristocratic home but who died a martyr’s death in one of Hitler’s concentration camps. In the intervening years, the vicissitudes of life led her through two marriages, childbirth and childrearing, and exile from her homeland-until she became an unconventional nun, devoted to the service of the destitute and the despairing in Nazi-occupied France during WWII.
Mother Maria was eventually consigned to Ravensbrück concentration camp because of her support of the Jews in Paris. There she continued to help those around her up until-and even by means ofher own death. Now canonized by the Orthodox Church as St Maria, she demonstrates how to love the image of God in each person, even when surrounded by hatred, undiluted evil, and brutality.