Vladika Varlaam’s Daily Diary

Monday, May 20, 2019

It was exactly as we had expected.  Today is Victoria Day and it usually rains on this day which is fine for the farmers and gardeners, but disappointing for campers who return home Monday evening, looking forlorn after having hoped for a bright and hot weekend.  A large group of young Copts came with some […]

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Thursday, May, 16 2019

Our beloved Svetlana Vasilievna, who lives in Volgograd, telephoned a few minutes ago to ask everyone to pray for her.  On Monday she will take the train to Moscow where she we have a medical examination on Tuesday morning in the lengthy process of being granted permission to move to Canada to join her family.  […]

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Today happened to be an important day for me, as I drove for the first time in a couple of months.  It felt so simple and natural to drive Vladika Lazar to Mission for his physiotherapy session, then back to the monastery.  It almost felt as if I had not given up driving for even […]

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

After a few hot days, one tends to forget what a cool morning is like.  In fact, even my nose felt cold when I awoke, but I resisted turning on the heat, knowing that it would surely warm up as the day progressed.  As well, it had rained overnight so the air smelled completely different.  […]

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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Today was an unusual Sunday in that many of our regular worshippers were absent, the first time in many weeks but, on the other hand,  many people came for the first time, including a large group of Serbs.  Actually, I would like to ask a couple of women to volunteer to clean the large candle […]

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

A few Georgians came early in the morning to continue working on the pavilion, and they were joined by others who came throughout the day.  Davey brought his Bobcat to cut down the bush that bordered on the pavilion, so that one could see that much progress had been made today.  After serving a memorial […]

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Friday, May 10, 2019

There was a bit of confusion about Father Moses and his birds.  He resuscitated the humming bird one day and a robin the following day.  He managed to photograph the humming bird while holding it, but the photo was not available that evening, so it was shown the following day when I wrote about the […]

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Thursday, May 09, 2019

While Thomas, our guest from Iowa, had gone to Vancouver to attend a meeting, our faithful women arrived to prepare their weekly food contribution.  I never seem to see them in the kitchen, so I at least used the phone to express our gratitude.  Andy found the time to transplant a large fig tree that […]

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

We had another beautiful day for the visit of Dr. Thomas Bottai, an old friend of this monastery, who is the director of the Department of Toxicology in the state of Iowa.  It is always a pleasure to have him visit us and today was no exception.  Other visitors brought us real Ukrainian borshch which […]

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The good news I have today is that Father Moses [aka Doctor Moses] once again proved himself capable of reviving birds and giving them new life.  He nursed the little humming bird until it was strong enough to fly away.  Several volunteers showed up to do some gardening, including transplanting the Saskatoon bushes, and watering […]

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Monday, May 6, 2019

I spent part of the day in the hospital where I had a bone scan, the first time ever for me.  It was interesting, but somewhat lengthy  and I was happy when it ended.  I truly am glad that Vladika Lazar can drive me to such appointments and even for a short ride whenever the […]

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Sunday, May 5, 2019

As the end of Matins approached, I wondered why there were so few people in church, but really there was no need to be concerned, for they quickly began to fill the church. At least a dozen people asked for prayers for travelling, then we had a general memorial litany which should be served next […]

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Saturday, May 4, 2019

Naiana and Ovidiu came this morning to ask for prayers for travel, as they will be flying to Romania tomorrow for a brief visit.  It is rewarding to see so many people asking for a blessing to travel, not that this can guarantee a safe trip, but it does give one a profound sense of […]

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Friday, April 3, 2019

How could have this week have gone by so quickly?  It began with the joyous Resurrection of Jesus Christ, then it led us along the path of Bright Week and, today, we celebrate the feast of the Theotokos, Lifebearing Spring.  We had decided that, since few people could come today, we would bless our Holy […]

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Thursday, May 02, 2019

Some of the weather from Alberta and Saskatchewan must have spilled over into our part of British Columbia, as it has been chilly all day.  Still, as I walked by the workshop, I was overcome by an intense fragrance that came from the mock orange bushes.  How sweet and enchanting was this fragrance that I […]

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Misha, Natasha and Elena arrived early in the morning to prepare food for Archbishop Irenee’s visit.  The sounds of chopping, cutting, and stirring resounded in the kitchen as each one prepared separate dishes.  In addition, much more food was sent by others.   The visitors were a couple of hours late in arriving, with me fretting […]

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Before Father Vasili could retire for the night last night, a bat suddenly appeared  and, no matter how hard he and Father Moses tried to catch it, the bat evaded them.  Mind you, they are excellent mosquito catchers.  As well, Father Vasili’s lost baggage was delivered this morning to his great relief.  The service tonight […]

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

It was satisfying to see so many people in church for the Healing Service tonight at which Vladika Lazar officiated, assisted by me, Father Moses and Father Alexey. Lija and Gintas hurried back from Toronto to be present for this service and the rest of Holy Week.  Concerning our “worldly affairs”, Natasha announced that our […]

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

We celebrated the feast of the Entrance of Our Lord into Jerusalem with the church full of people.  Unfortunately, Vladika Lazar was not able to attend as he was exhausted and he wanted to conserve his energy for the services this Holy Week.  Palms and pussy willow branches were brought yesterday and even some today […]

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Some volunteers arrived early in the morning and immediately began working, while others came throughout the day.  Windows were cleaned, floors washed, carpets steam cleaned and much, much more.  We would like to thank all of them for  giving up some of their free time and coming to help us here at the monastery, free […]

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

After mentioning yesterday’s soup, Anya and some others asked for a recipe.  Actually, there is no such recipe. The basic ingredients consisted of: potatoes, onion, garlic, carrot, and chopped stinging nettles and dandelion leaves added near the end [to keep them from getting too soft and mushy]. I added lovage [liubistok or leustean] and a […]

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

I am writing Thursday’s entry on Friday morning and I shall explain what happened yesterday.  The day felt quite normal until, suddenly, our constant problem occurred.  We had a power failure.  On the way back from town where Vladika had his therapy, we noticed a car lying deep in a ditch.  It apparently had veered […]

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Monday, April 8, 2019

Perhaps yesterday was a day too full of afternoon activities, conversations and other stimulating events, because I found it difficult to fall asleep.  Somewhere around three o’clock in the morning I finally fell asleep, only to hear the alarm clock ringing at six.  We hurried to take Ksenia to catch the last train to Vancouver, […]

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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Today’s feast of the Annunciation was celebrated with joy.  It felt like “old times” with Vladika Lazar serving with Priest Alexey and Deacon Markel, while I sat on my walker next to the confession stand where people once again could come up for confession, the last couple of weeks having been difficult for me.  It […]

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Saturday, April 6, 2019

Monica arrived with a trunk full of shrubs and flowers to be transplanted, and later Natasha came with Xenia, the student studying in Berlin, whereupon they spent hours digging and transplanting, then raking and tidying up the yard.  Since they had to leave early, we were glad to see Irina come who carried on their […]

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