Reading and Book Club

Our next Reading will be

Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica by Ana Smiljanic

Starting February 8, 2022.

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm (EST)

Join online at

We will be ordering the books and have them at the Church soon. If you prefer, you may purchase the book at:

Ancient Faith –

SVS Press –

Saint Herman Press –

Amazon –

by Ana Smiljanic and Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

“Love little things, and strive for that which is modest and simple. The Lord watches over us, and He is pleased that you long for His peace. Until the soul is ready, He will only sometimes allow us to see that He is present everywhere and fills all things. At these moments the soul feels such joy!… But then the Lord conceals Himself from us again, in order that we might long for Him and seek Him with our hearts!” —Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica was one of the most renowned spiritual guides of Serbia in the twentieth century. As a novice he lived in obedience to Elder Ambrose of Miljkovo Monastery, a disciple of the Optina Elders. From him Fr. Thaddeus learned the Prayer of the Heart and the selfless love that came to characterize his whole ministry to the suffering Serbian people.

Born in 1914, Elder Thaddeus lived through all the suffering endured by Serbia in the twentieth century. Over the course of two World Wars, during the Communist takeover, and through the nato bombings of 1999, he co-suffered with his people. He taught, counseled, and prayed for all who came to him in pain and sorrow. His words of love and hope provided spiritual balm for people from all classes of society.

In 2002 Elder Thaddeus reposed, leaving behind a large collection of his teachings, preserved by his faithful spiritual children. His life, teachings, and spiritual conversations are here presented for the first time in English.

Past Readings

Ordinary Wonders: Stories of Unexpected Grace by Olesia Nikolaeva

The Deceitful Onion Bulb. A Blessing to Smuggle. The Conjuror of Rain. In this collection of stories as whimsical as their titles, award-winning author Olesia Nikolaeva poignantly recounts life for Christian believers in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. In a manner reminiscent of the bestselling Everyday Saints these tales reveal a common theme – the subtle, sometimes imperceptible movement of Divine Providence at work in the lives of saints and sinners alike. Her writings bring us to what the ancient Celts called “thin places” where the boundaries of heaven and earth meet and the sacred and the secular can no longer be distinguished.

About the Author: Olesia Nikolaeva is an award-winning author, poet, and essayist. She has been writing since her early youth and was first published at the age of seventeen. Bishop Tikhon (Shevkhunov), author of the 2011 bestseller Everyday Saints, called her “a trailblazer in Russian Orthodox prose.”

Join online at

Pages vii – 17
In Liew of an Introduction
The Conjuror of Rain
The New Nicodemus
Two or Three Days
Flowers for the Shroud
Monk Leonid
Pages 17-35
Another Source
How I Battled the Gypsies
Non-Komsomol Gingerbread
At Blessed Xenia’s
The Hunger Striker
“A Little Piece of Wood”
Pages 35-52
The Gypsy
Martyr Tryphon
The Queens’s Pendants
Pages 52-71
About Love
“You Do Not Know What You Ask” (Mk 10:38)
Wishes Come True
Pages 71-89
More Than Enough or Nothing Extra
Come and See
Bring Back my Husband
Pages 89-107
The Apple of My Eye
The Thrill Seeker
An Experiment
Quid Pro Quo
Pages 107-124
Confession to the Prison Guard
One Wave after the Other
The Sound of Trumpets
Pages 125-137
Our “Boys” and “the Germans”
Five Months of Love
Mysteries Beyond the Grave
Pages 137-156
The Lord Gave and the Lord Took Away
Pages 156-172
The Deceitful Onion Bulb
How I Lost My Voice
Money for Sabaoth
Pages 173-189
Good Material for a Television Series
A Blessing to Smuggle
Pages 189-206
The Delusional One
How the Vatican Shod Our Bishops
Pages 206-226
The Little Cloud
The Late Husband of Mother Seraphima
Pages 227-245
The Angel
Heavenly Fire
Corfu (Part 1)
Pages 245-263
Corfu (Part 2)
Pages 263-280
Corfu (Part 3)
Pages 280-293
Corfu (conclusion)

The Blessed Surgeon by Archdeacon Vasiliy Marushchak

The Blessed Surgeon by Archdeacon Vasiliy Marushchak
Childhood and Youth,
University and Early Work
1917: First Ordeals
“Doctor, you must become a priest!”
The Trial of the Doctors
First Arrest
Imprisonment and Exile (Part 1)
Imprisonment and Exile (Part 2)
Return to Freedom
Second Arrest and Exile
Return from Second Exile. Temptations
Third Arrest and Sentencing
Third Exile and War
Ministry at the Krasnoyarsk See
Ministry at the Tambov See
Ministry at the Crimean See (Part 1)
Ministry at the Crimean See (Part 2)
Ministry at the Crimean See (Part 3)
Cases and Miracles
Towards the End
The Archbishop’s Repose
The Glorification of the Archbishop and the Uncovering of his Relics

The Archbishop by Tihon Hieromonk

Chapters 1 & 2
Chapters 3 & 4
Chapter 5
Chapters 6 & 7
Chapters 8 & 9
Chapters 10 – 12
Chapters 13 & 14
Chapters 15 & 16
Chapters 17 & 18

Beginning to Pray by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Chapter 1 – The Absence of God
Chapter 2 – Knocking at the Door
Chapter 3 – Going Inward (Part 1)
Chapter 3 – Going Inward (Part 2)
Chapter 4 – Managing Time
Chapter 5 – Addressing God, Chapter 6 – Two Meditations

Ascetics in the World

Part 1, Chapters 1-4
Part 1, Chapters 5,6
Part 1, Chapters 7-9
Part 1, Chapters 10,11
Part 1, Chapters 12, 13
Part 1, Chapters 14, 15
Part 1, Chapters 16, 17
Part 1, Chapters 18, 19
Part 1, Chapter 20
Part 2, Chapters 1-12
Part 2, Chapters 13-28
Part 2, Chapters 29-45

The Holy Angels by Mother Alexandra

Book 1, Section 1, Chapter 1 through Book 1, Section 2, Chapter 5
Book 1, Section 3, Chapter 1 through Book 1, Section 4, Chapter 3
Book 1, Section 4, Chapter 4 through Book 1, Section 5, Chapter 5
Book 1, Section 5, Chapter 6 through Book 2, Section 1
Book 2, Section 2, Chapter 1 through Book 2, Section 4, Chapter 2
Book 2, Section 4, Chapter 3 through Book 2, Section 6, Chapter 4
Book 2, Section 6, Chapter 5 through the middle of Book 2, Section 8
Middle of Book 2, Section 8 through Book 3, Section 2, Chapter 1
Book 3, Section 2, Chapter 2 through Book 3, Section 3, Chapter 5
Book 3, Section 3, Chapter 6 through Book 3, Section 3, Chapter 9
Book 3, Section 3, Chapter 10 through Book 3, Section 4
Book 3, Section 5, Chapter 1 through Epilogue

Pearl of Great Price by Sergei Hackel

Opening through page 19 including chapters 1 and 2 (Deprivation and The Straightening of the Way)
Pages 20-36 including Chapter 3 and a portion of Chapter 4 (Monasticism and The House at Rue de Lourmel)
Pages 36-49 concluding Chapter 4 (The House at Rue de Lourmel)
Pages 50-68, Chapter 5 (Orthodox Action)
Pages 69-84, Chapter 6 and a portion of Chapter 7 (The Second Commandment and Forebodings)
Pages 84-97, concluding Chapter 7 (Forebodings)
Pages 98-113, beginning Chapter 8 (War)
Pages 113-130, concluding Chapter 8 and a portion of Chapter 9 (War and Martyrdom)
Pages 130-149, concluding Chapter 9 (Martyrdom)

Wounded by Love by St Porphyrios

1-25 (The Path to the Holy Mountain, The Holy Mountain – Kavsokalyvia)
25-48 (Evia)
46-69 (The Polyclinic Hospital in Athens)
70-95 (Saint Nicholas at Kallisia, The Holy Monastery at the Transfiguration at Milesi, Kavsokalyvia, On the Church)
96-112 (On Divine Eros)
113-133 (On Prayer)
134-157 (On Spiritual Struggle)
158-179 (On the Monastic Life, On the Mystery of Repentance)
180-194 (On Love for One’s Neighbour, On Divine Providence)
195-217 (On the Upbringing of Children, On Dispositions of the heart)
218-247 (On Creation, On Illness, On the Gift of Clear Sight)

Leave a Reply