Vladika Varlaam’s Daily Diary

TUESDAY 1 MAY 2018

The sun has returned and there are smiles on people’s faces again. A kind lady brought us soup and, before we could get to it, our neighbourhood boys ate most of it, proof that it was very tasty. Vladika had two sessions of therapy, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, both of […]

Read More

MONDAY 30 APRIL 2018

We have reached the last day of April and, even though we are surrounded by flowering bushes and an array of colourful flowers, it still does not entirely feel like spring.  Perhaps May will give us the results we so desire.  Vladika Lazar and I both visited a clinic in New Westminster with Thomas driving […]

Read More

SUNDAY 29 APRIL 2018

Since this is the last Sunday of the month, the Liturgy was served in Church Slavonic and I was surprised to find fewer people in attendance than usual, since usually the church is filled for this Liturgy.  Whatever the reasons, it was great to see baby Taisia, whom we baptized last week, and baby Sophia […]

Read More

TUESDAY 24 APRIL 2018

The first impression one receives as they drive onto the monastery grounds is the profusion of blossoms on the ancient cherry trees and the much smaller but sturdy pear tree. The two apple trees next to them have not yet put forth their blossoms. Today’s hot weather certainly will affect the shrubs and flowers everywhere. […]

Read More

MONDAY 23 APRIL 2018

Having had to drive into town twice today, I could not see a single person with a frown on their face, for the spring weather has delighted everyone. For a while I sat outdoors, looking at our gigantic cedar trees that stretch up into the heavens, with their lower branches touching the ground; how tiny […]

Read More

SATURDAY 21 APRIL 2018

Vladika Lazar and I went to Maple Ridge for a memorial dinner on the occasion of the repose of Vitaly six months ago.We arrived somewhat late but everyone had been patiently waiting for us.  The house was crammed with people eating in every room on the main floor, and the dishes were largely Kazakhstani, that […]

Read More

THURSDAY 19 APRIL 2018

Today’s warmth has brought out countless dandelions that are covering the  lawns like a carpet.  The intense yellow of the dandelions, combined with the rich green of the grass present us with a living picture.  We no longer think of them as weeds, but as dear friends that can be gathered [and even eaten]. While […]

Read More

TUESDAY 17 APRIL 2018

Today is commonly known as a memorial day when people gather to pray for the repose of their loved ones and to visit their graves at the cemetery.  Although we had done this on Sunday, nevertheless some people came to the monastery today for this purpose, bringing flowers and blini, as is customary.  Then we […]

Read More

SATURDAY 14 APRIL 2018

We have had many visitors today, starting early in the morning and ending in mid evening.  Kyril and Vanya came later than usual, yet still managed to complete a number of tasks. Then, Lija came with Olga, bringing food and groceries for us, followed by Marina and Sergei who also brought food.  After Vespers we […]

Read More

FRIDAY 13 APRIL 2018

Superstitious people claim that any Friday the thirteenth of any month is certain to bring bad luck and, if that were so, we should have experienced such bad luck today, yet I cannot recall a single such incedent,  unless one thinks that a rainy day constitutes misfortune! I baked two prosphoras using different techniques in […]

Read More

THURSDAY 12 APRIL 2018

As it so often happens, upon reflecting on the events of the day, there seems nothing worth mentioning.  And this is what I thought tonight, until I began to recall the interesting events of the day.  A young nurse, a man from Manitoba originally and of a Mennonite background, came to tend to Vladika’s dressings.  […]

Read More

WEDNESDAY 11 APRIL 2018

Although it has been cool and damp, spring is evident everywhere.  Driving through residential areas is much like driving through a park.  Flowers, shrubs and trees are bedecked with the bright colours of spring.  In fact, as I walk out of my door, I am greeted with the spicy fragrance of the mahonia bushes and […]

Read More

MONDAY 9 APRIL 2018

How quiet it has been today after all the services of Holy Week and Pascha, and how welcome this has been.  We discovered that we ran out of candles and barely had enough for the main service.  Although we quickly reordered candles, they will not arrive in time for Thomas Sunday so we shall have […]

Read More

SUNDAY 8 APRIL 2018

Christ is Risen!  Truly He is Risen!   We greet everyone on this holiest and most joyous feast of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  I was pleased that I was given enough strength to serve the Paschal Matins and the Liturgy.  At 9:30 the readers began reading in various languages and at midnight the Cross Procession […]

Read More

SATURDAY 7 APRIL 2018

Today there was a combined service for the feast of the Annunciaton and for Holy Saturday.  Father Alexey served the lengthy service after which there was a rush to clean up the church, hall and kitchen for the great feast itself.  We were amazed to see a donation of one hundred sturdy and attractive folding […]

Read More

FRIDAY 6 APRIL 2018

This is Holy and great Friday for Orthodox Christians, a day of fasting and preparing oneself for the great and sacred feast of Holy Pascha.  Father Vasili arrived from Florida, although there has not been much time to visit with him, and David and Anna came from Edmonton and have already visited Vladika Lazar.  The […]

Read More

THURSDAY 5 APRIL 2018

Since I have less and less energy, I was grateful that Father Alexey served the Divine Liturgy this morning.  During the day I spent time correcting the books to be used for tonight’s service and really had no time to rest, so when the evening service began I felt weaker than usual, and finally had […]

Read More

WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL 2018

With each passing day we come closer to the Feast of Feasts, Holy Pascha.  Tonight’s Healing Service brought many out to hear prayers and readings in various languages.  Father Alexey and Father Moses served together with me, while the readers were encouraged to do more than they usually do.  It was also pleasant to see […]

Read More

TUESDAY 3 APRIL 2018

I was grateful to Thomas for driving me to the hospital to visit Vladika Lazar.  Usually I use a walker to navigate the long corridors and halls, but his time Thomas got me one of the hospital wheelchairs and pushed me all the way to Vladika’s room.  I must admit that it was enjoyable scurrying […]

Read More

SUNDAY 1 APRIL 2018

On this first day of the month of April we celebrated the feast of the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem, often simply called Palm Sunday.   The palms, brought by Gerry a couple of days ago,  were blessed during Matins and so many people attended the service that we soon ran out of palms.  The […]

Read More

SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018

It took a bit of thinking about which tables stood where in the hall, but I think that they eventually were returned to their proper positions.  The carpet in the hall looks so fresh, while the one in the new church actually beams with new life.  The two Natashas together with Georgy and Kyrill rushed […]

Read More

THURSDAY 29 MARCH 2018

A work party has toiled this day.  The pantry was emptied, washed and cleaned, then the cans, jars, etc were returned while whatever was past the due date was set aside.  Some things had been sitting there for about four years.  Carpet cleaners came to clean our carpets, some of which needed more attention than […]

Read More

WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH 2018

This evening I heard, for the first time, the pleasant croaking of frogs in the distance and I suddenly realized how much I missed their vocal serenading.  At the Presanctified Liturgy Altita came with her two youngest sons, one of whom, Augustus [Paul], had just returned from Scotland where he and his older brother Nicholas […]

Read More

TUESDAY 27 MARCH 2018

Many bushes, among them the camellias, have budded forth informing us that spring is definitely here, even if we think otherwise at times.  We served a memorial service at the request of a woman living here for the repose of her mother who suddenly died in Russia. Later in the afternoon I visited Vladika Lazar  […]

Read More

SUNDAY 25 MARCH 2018

Dima Gusev baked a number of loaves of pure rye bread that were used as a fund raising event.  They were quickly snapped up because he bakes an exquisite rye bread that cannot be done better by anyone.  The talent must run in the family because his father, Yuri, bakes a different type of bread, […]

Read More

FRIDAY 23 MARCH 2018

I visited Vladika Lazar who finally has been moved from Emergency to the ward where he should be, although the wait was quite long.  The room is semiprivate giving him a beautiful view of nearby nature.  The procedure that was intended for him has begun and we pray that it will hasten the healing of […]

Read More

WEDNESDAY 21 MARCH 2018

This has been a warm day that offered me the opportunity to prune a couple of hydrangea bushes that, if done correctly, will bloom through the summer and into late autumn.  We had many people present for the Presanctified Liturgy, many of whom stayed for a modest lenten meal that followed.  It felt good to […]

Read More

MONDAY 19 MARCH 2018

Today passed by very quietly with almost nothing of significance to mention.  Yuri began baking his famous bread but someone turned off the oven and, consequently, the bread was a failure.  In future he will have to post a sign informing anyone who walks into the kitchen that there is bread baking in the oven. […]

Read More

SUNDAY 18 MARCH 2018

I came to church late this morning as there were a number of things that had to be done first.  As Father Alexey was serving, I could not see the congregation behind me while I was sitting next to the stand where confessions are heard.  At Communion time I went into the altar and, when […]

Read More

FRIDAY 16 MARCH 2018

It has been another bright and sunny day with our spirits held high by this lovely temperature.  There were almost as many people present for the Liturgy today as there were on Wednesday with some bringing [healthy and nutritious] treats for Vladika.  I have been driving him to the local Care Clinic daily where he […]

Read More

WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH 2018

After several disappointments we at last got  to see Vladika Lazar back at the monastery where he is reclining in his special chair at this very moment while I compose today’s diary entry.  This chair  can be used in various positions, and one can even sleep on it.  We had a thoroughly good Liturgy tonight […]

Read More

MONDAY 12 MARCH 2018

Thomas and I had a nice drive in the sunshine to visit Vladika Lazar.  In fact it became so warm that we opened the windows to allow the fresh and fragrant air into the vehicle.  Although Vladika Irinee’s plane had arrived from Whitehorse in the Yukon, the Deacon’s plane was delayed until ten thirty, so […]

Read More