St. Basil the Great, one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, in his explication of the gospel reading concerning the rich young ruler, challenges us to make a way that all may live and thrive, rich and poor together:
And where is this new city? Let us seek, that we may find. There are ministries here and there which reveal this new city, this manifestation of the Kingdom of God. Even in the U.S.A., where the situation of multiple jurisdictions complicates united effort, a beginning has been made. And we pray for the day when this new city will shine throughout our land.
And for ordering Fr. Paul’s new book from St. Vladimir’s Press, which elaborates on St. Basil’s vision, go here: St. Vladimir Seminary Press: On Social Justice – St. Basil the Great
Another of the Cappadocian Fathers, St. Gregory the Theologian wrote a homily entitled “On Love of the Poor,” based on his encounter with St. Basil’s city of prayer and charity. A Catholic Worker House in Nashville, TN, with the same goals, shares a prayer based on excerpts from St. Gregory’s homily which expresses their yearning to live this way: Amos House Community: The Gregory of Nazianzus Prayer
Also, if you would click on the RESOURCES page above and follow the links to Orthodox Christian Ministries, you would find many efforts to create this new city: the ministries of Focus North America, the Matthew 25 House, the Monastery of St. Martyr Grand Princess Elizabeth, Al-Kafaat, the Oasis of Joy,Panagia Philanthropini, the Pokrov Community, St. Gregory’s Foundation, St. Matthew House, Trinity Youth Services, Joy of the Disconsolate, Raphael House, Russian Orphans Opportunity Fund, St. Brigid Fellowship, St. John the Compassionate Mission, St. Mary of Egypt Monastery, Hellenos House, and so on. A good place to start would be
But as one who has spent many years working with developmentally disabled adults with http://www.friendshipcommunity.net/ I would also love to see more local Orthodox Ministries with this focus. Such as . . .
[The original version of this post contained some reflections on L’Arche and Faith and Light, worldwide ministries to persons with developmental disability, begun by the Roman Catholic Christian Jean Vanier, both of which include non-Roman Catholic Christians. I mused on the matter of Orthodox Christian interraction with these ministries, which does in fact happen, and to what extent we could extend cooperation with them. (http://www.larche.org/ & http://www.foietlumiere.org/site/english/ )
In the months and years leading up to my discovery of the Orthodox Church, while working in a Protestant Christian group home system –Friendship Community, a residential provider for persons with developmental disability, in which my wife and I still work- the writings of Jean Vanier strengthened my sense of mission for our life with our friends in this community. And the desire to explore this matter from an Orthodox Christian perspective (appropriating Vanier’s vision and implementing it with other Orthodox Christians) remains.
But I am not qualified to proceed on this matter and my speculations in regard to it remain speculations until I confer with other Orthodox Christians, including bishops, as to the Orthodox Christian parameters of ministry with ecumenical partners. I will explore the matter further, and then post on it.]
Troparion in honor of St. Basil the Great:
Your proclamation has gone out into all the earth Which was divinely taught by hearing your voice Expounding the nature of creatures, Ennobling the manners of men. O holy father of a royal priesthood, Entreat Christ God that our souls may be saved.