Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Archbishop Leonty of Chile

LinkHere are a few memories of Archbishop Leonty of Chile (+1971) taken from a short oral history collected by Andrei Psarev:

Matushka Martha Iwaszewich:
Once I asked Vladyka, what should I do — children take much of my time from serving the Church. Vladyka answered: Your first responsibility before God is the family, the children. When they grow up, then you can especially dedicate yourself to the parish. When guests visited the Archbishop, he did not allow them to do anything, like prepare tea for instance. He said: I am a Bishop in all spheres. He meant that he knows not only the Church business. When they built something, he was the first to begin work, no matter that he came to Argentina with a bad heart and poor blood circulation. On other hand, he did not allow anyone to disrespect his hierarchal rank. Vladyka provided help to the needy in a humble way. When he served, we sensed that he is a Bishop. He loved that the hierarchical services should be done properly. When he made a cross with the dikyri and trikyri it seemed that he was drawing a cross on paper. He often sang in the choir. He could sing as a first or second tenor. He taught Argentineans who became the members of the Orthodox Church how to sing. He tried to do whatever was necessary to make the melodies of the Octoikh compatible with the Spanish translations. He did not serve in Spanish, but he approved of missionary activity.

Matushka remembered the following instructions of Archbishop Leonty: We are members of the Church, we live in the Church with the purpose to serve God and to save the soul. Everyone should mind his own business and not interfere with matters that are not his responsibility. Everybody in church should do his own obedience. When one parishioner makes comments to another, that person could become upset, but if the warden of the parish would say the same, nobody would be upset since it is his obedience. It needs be to said that Vladyka himself took responsibility for every matter in Church, even those outside his direct jurisdiction.
Vladimir Andrushkevich:
Vladyka Leonty wanted with every breath to serve the Church. My oldest son was very large and uncoordinated. He might step on the priest’s foot, drop the cross, the staff etc. I did not let him go to serve, but Vladyka Leonty forced him to serve during the Bishops’ service. And my wife and I watched in horror, how he stepped on the Bishop’s mantle. I said: “Vladyka, please do not take Kolia to be an acolyte, he is not fit for this role.”

Vladyka replied: “It is does not matter, everybody fits. We in Russia [during persecutions] had to take everybody.” Once we had been waiting at an airport for somebody. Suddenly there came three Englishman in pretty clean clothes with uncut hair and huge beards. Bishop Leonty exclaimed: “Wow! They would be such good priests.” I said to him: “Vladyka! They are — hippies.” "It is does not matter. If we would talk to them they may become priests.”
Photographs, top to bottom: Bishop Leonty in a DP camp near Munich, 1946; Archbishop Andrei of Rockland and Archbishop Leonty; Archbishop Leonty one month before his repose, 1971. Source.


aaronandbrighid said...

I love the story about the hippies! I always think the same thing when I see men with long hair and beards!

Felix Culpa said...

Yes, if only it were so easy!

Felipe Ortiz said...

Glory to God -- you are back, Father!

I never gave up returning to this site every now and then to find if you had finally recovered and resumed the blog. And I have never gave up praying for your recovery. I hope you are better now. I am very glad!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you are back and that you liked the stuff on Vladyka Leontii. Keep up the good job! Andrei