Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Presbytera Athanasia and Saint Patrick

I went to the chapel this evening at 8 pm to listen to and speak with Presbytera Athanasia Papademetriou, author of Presbytera: The Life, Mission, and Service of the Priest's Wife.

Things I got out of it:
* Being married to a seminarian is a choice. First you said 'yes' when you married him. Then you said 'yes' to going to the seminary with him. It's important to remember that the first 'yes' was to your marriage. "You are wife before you are presbytera."
* Being a presbytera means being brave. Follow the Panagia's example: "I will do as you please."
* Father Elias was also there, with thoughtful contributions: On being called Presbytera instead of your given name: "In a thousand years, who 's going to remember 'Father Elias'? 'Father' and 'Presbytera' are what's important."
* Father Elias told of his first parish assignment, where he expected to be an assistant priest, but ended up being the main priest from mid-September through Pascha, giving Communion for 45 minutes on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. Presbytera emphasized an earlier point, "So when he comes home, don't ask him to do anything!"
* Prepare for your bishop's visit: vestments, husband, altar, home, children, self. A delightful quotation from Presbytera on preparing your husband, grooming-wise: "Get *him* ready if he is forgetful -- some people do need help, you know?" Make sure your bishop and your children have a relationship.
* The divorce rate in the clergy is the same as the American divorce rate.
* Turn to prayer, to Christ, to the Panagia. Your husband can't always be there for you. Your parishoners are your in your care more than they can be your friends.
* Other quotations from Presbytera: "Do not be jealous of each other. ... If they praise your husband, be happy." "Cliques are not good. ... They divide. You must unite. Bring people together. They will love you for that." "The priest is the best counselor you will ever find." "You have to look at your whole life as a ministry." One from Fr. Elias: "You have to make an example for your husband."
* When Presbytera's son was singled out in a group of children after a window was broken and the others had run away, she came onto the scene, asking him, "Why didn't you run?" "I was there to tell the man I didn't do it."

Also, today is the feast of Saint Patrick! Nobody beat me to making an article on my beloved orthodoxwiki! My mother's package arrived here today. I got a button saying, "Thank God I'm Irish," while Virgil's proclaims, "Irish By Marriage."


Blogger TeaLizzy said...

Irish by marriage! I love it. I want one for mine.

Fri Mar 18, 07:07:00 AM CST  
Blogger TeaLizzy said...

P.S. The talk sounds great. Do you have her book? I think I need to read this.

Fri Mar 18, 07:08:00 AM CST  
Blogger Pete said...

That was a really good post!

Tue Mar 22, 09:16:00 AM CST  

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