On May the 6th, an anonymous announcement appeared regarding my ostensible meeting on May 3rd with Bishop Gregory (Petrenko) at the home of Fr. Wsewolod Dutikow in New York, and the same information was posted on "Portal-Credo" on May 10th.

I was not in New York and did not meet with Bp. Gregory (Petrenko).  I had asked him over the phone to send me the "Address" through the mail. On no occasion did I express to anyone "my readiness to join" them and have made no similar statements.  It was only today (May 10th) in my own home that I received and opened the "Address".

May 10 2010

+ Bishop Stefan of Trenton
(not "Toronto" as printed in Portal-Credo) and North America.






We are living in exceedingly difficult times. The apostasy that surrounds us is wreaking havoc with the very essence of our Orthodox faith. By all accounts things will continue to worsen, yet we are doing little to counteract our despondency, doing almost nothing to change our lukewarm attitude towards prayer, make no effort at this time of great need to cuddle upon our Lord’s breast – in the manner of the disciple John who  “leaned on His (Christ’s) breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee.” (John,21:20)

With the upcoming holy days, this is as good a time as any to pay attention to something of great importance: We decorate our homes with Christmas trees, wreaths, lights – so that those who pass by or enter our abodes see how we rejoice in the Coming of our Lord, yet we neglect that which is most important: Christ, His Most Holy Theotokos, the holy Angels and Saints by leaving our holy icons in the dark! I beg you to heed my request and not put off to another time the matter of lighting a lampada (oil lamp) before your holy icons – considering it to be a bother. And, this must not be seasonal, but a daily endeavor to that which is conducive to prayer. This is not an ‘Orthodox tradition’. It is an integral part of our spiritual cognizance. That tiny little light will warm your heart, bring peace to your mind and blessed prayer into your soul.

Repeated tests have shown that it takes from 35 to 70 seconds to remove the burnt particles with a tissue (trim the wick), add the necessary oil, and re-light the lampada. I would venture to say with certainty that he/she who does not ‘find the time’ to light an oil lamp does not ‘find the time’ for necessary prayers.

To facilitate this blessed endeavor, I am offering your parish the necessary wick-holders with wicks, instructions & tips, and other implements such as a wire wick-threading device at the nominal price of production. Or you may order what you need from your favorite bookstore/church supply. For those who have the fear of a fire: Common sense dictates that there should be nothing combustible directly above or near an open flame. Also: The use of mineral oil is not recommended as it is more flammable than vegetable oils, nor is the use of cork floats. These have the tendency to catch fire from the heat build-up at the bottom of the glass. The use of wick-holders which sit on the rim of the glass (which we provide) and vegetable/corn oil is, by the Grace of God – as with all facets of our lives – safe.

God bless!

December 12 / 25 2009
St. Spyridon – St. Herman of Alaska

+ Bishop Stefan of Trenton and North America