St. Mina Retrteat Ctr., Troy, MI

St. Mina Retreat Center in Troy, MI

This place looks beautiful!  I've never been there but I have an open invitation to come.  I was communicating with a monk there, who sent me some chrismating oils, a few beautiful icons of St. Mena (Mina) and some small books written by Pope Shenouda III  (I believe that is how you spell their pope's name!)   Just an all-around nice guy...the monk I wrote to, that is.  

I have some more Coptic Orthodox information to post about.  I love my Coptic brothers & I want to learn as much as I can about their classic church.

Can a Christian become an Israeli Citizen?

Israel only allows Jews to become Israeli citizens.

In 1999, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that Jews or the descendants of Jews that actively practice a religion OTHER than Judaism would not be allowed to immigrate to Israel as they would no longer be considered Jews under the provisions of the Law of Return.

Israeli legislators chose to make a clear distinction between the Law of Return, which allows for Jews and their descendants to immigrate to Israel, and between Israel's nationality law, which formally grants Israeli citizenship based on the Oleh's certificate. In other words, the Law of Return in and of itself does not determine Israeli citizenship; it merely allows for Jews and their eligible descendants to permanently relocate within the territory of Israel.
The state of Israel does, however, grant citizenship to any applicant who immigrated to Israel via the Law of Return if the applicant so desires, though this is not mandated by the Law of Return itself.




SKINGIRL, a photo by ♪♫PSICO--MOD♪♫ on Flickr.

My new favorite Byrd. This one's going into the collection I'm sending to Tackett in the joint.

Nice Picture of a Random Skinhead Chick--

I found this picture a year ago or so, on some kids Flickr page. He has a shit ton of great pictures of skin chicks on his page! I don't know who this byrd is, but for some reason I just really liked this photo. I fuckin' love the style skinhead girls have! Go Skins!!! ♥♥♥

skingirl by ♪♫PSICO--MOD♪♫
Ahhh, Skin Byrds!

Edge Day 2000

Unfinished documentary of the first 'Edge Day' show in 2000, Boston, MA.

Watch the video through the link I posted above.  IN MY EYES, TEN YARD FIGHT, BANE & MOUTHPIECE!!!  Makes me nostalgic for the incredibly awesome Posi-Fest shows!!!
Looks like a blast.  Yes, yesterday, Mon Oct. 17, was National Edge Day in America.
Get into it!

Speaking of Posi-Fest--someone stole my Posi-Fest DVD!  I want it back!  Though it will never be returned to me.  I know who the culprit is...the same guy who stole 900 CD's from me & 75 DVD's.  There will be justice coming, so watch yourself, sucker!!!


Cold & Rainy Here in Ypsilanti...

Out here in Ypsi a.k.a. Little Detroit, it's been raining all last night and all today.  Stop for a few minutes then start back up again.  Cold, like 51 degrees which is all relative of course.  In two months from now, 51 degrees will feel like a day at the sauna!
Ugggg, falling asleep typing.  Can't keep my eyes open.  Problem is I can't sleep either.  This morning I woke up at 6:30 and ate a Pop-Tart.  Then got up at 8:45, made some phone calls, & ate another Pop-Tart.  I love those things & I've averaged six a day for the past seven days.  Not good for me but oh-so tasty!!!


Lightening Never Strikes Twice

My ex-father-in-law was killed on Aug. 27.  He was struck by lightening in his own back yard while letting his new puppy do his business.  This is one of the strangest, most horrible, most random things I've ever heard of happening.  I feel bad for my ex-wife & her mother.  Not that they had any love for me towards the end of my marriage, cuz they most certainly didn't.  Actually I think they hated me. 
Still, I've had at least a half a dozen dreams in the past few weeks with him in them.  Weird, scary as hell vivid dreams bordering on nightmares.  Odd.


What I'm Reading This Week:

Saint Charbel  by Paul Daher.  St. Charbel is an obscure monk in the Eastern Christian tradition.

Father Arseny 1893 - 1973  translated by Bouteniff.  This book is great!  Basically it is a compilation of stories & anecdotes about Fr. Arseny, mostly during his incarceration in Communist Russian Gulags.  This holy man had it rough, but somehow persevered.  Great uplifting stores.  I really enjoyed learning about this priest & I always love reading about Soviet Russia.  WOW!  20 Million people were killed in the name of communism!  That's like four times the amount of people killed in Nazi jails.  Why do we hear so little about the plight of humans during this era?

Becoming Orthodox  by Peter Gillquist.
Magic & Mysticism  by Arthur Versluis
The Desert Fathers Sayings of the Early Christian Monks
Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way  by Matthew the Poor
Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr  by Ludmila Koehler
Bill W.: A Biography of Alcoholics Anonymous Co founder Bill Wilson  by Francis Hartigan
Saint Bernard: The Oracle of the 12th Century  by Rev. Hugo H. Hoever, S.O. Cist.,Ph.D


VERSE video

This is a great clip from VERSE live in Germany August 31, 2008.
Get into it!!!

ALKALINE TRIO "While You're Waiting"

This is probably my favorite ALKALINE TRIO song!!!  This and "Queen of Pain" which are both from the split with HOT WATER MUSIC!!!  Good tunes for sure!!!
  "I'm not crying wolf you whispered, I'm really dead this time!"

PEGBOY "Strong Reaction"

Ahhhh, The almighty PEGBOY!!!  Now let me say this: singer is named Larry Damore, right? I always hated his name & the fact that he's a big teddy bear of a jock.  I know he was in the BHOPAL STIFFS, I even had their LP on vinyl, but he always seemed so "unpunk" to me.  I guess because at times I can be very shallow.

The Maronites

Maronite History Project

Cool website.  The Maronites are an Eastern Catholic Church that is in full communion with Rome & the Roman Catholics.  This church was founded by St. Maron in Lebanon.  And they are primarily all Lebanese.  There is no Orthodox equivalent church, like there is for many of the other Uniate Orthodox (Eastern Catholic) Churches.  I have a giant, hardcover book on the Maronites that was given to me by a Maronite priest from California.  Also have a few smaller books & some icon-prayer cards.  I have always been fascinated by Christianity, and especially Catholicism, of the middle east.

More Weird Dreams / Jail Guitar Doors

I no longer wear a nicotine patch to sleep at night.  Just don't really need it.  Besides, I was only using about 2mg's anyhow.  I would cut a 21mg patch into about 8 - 10 pieces and wear one of those small, small ones.  But nonetheless, I have had weird-ass dreams still.  Man, I can't remember the specifics of last night's dreams, but I keep getting that "elusive" feeling.  Like the more that I try to remember the more the dreams fades & fades away....Slipping through my fingers....

Sent out a letter & card to my friend Pat D. in prison today.  He recently got sentenced to 5 - 20 years state time.  He is currently housed in a psychiatric medium security prison in Whitmore Lake, MI.  Apparently this is one of our states adolescent prisons, formerly known as Maxey Boys Training Camp.  I'll find out the specifics of the prison from Pat when I hear back from him.  I hadn't seen him in a while so I looked him up on the MI Prison Info page and sure enough, there he was.  I'm sure he'll be excited to hear from me.  He's a good dude, just got completely messed up by the dual problem of drug addiction & bi-polar disorder.  Sent along a few icons & prayer cards, as well as some Catholic propaganda & a photo of me.  Inmates like this kind of stuff, to make collages with or use to aid in their prayer life.  I'll keep him in my prayers & you can too, if you're so inclined.

Also sent a letter to James N. who saw the parole board last month.  I think he'll find out real soon if he got his parole or if he got a flop.  But really, since he caught a new case while on parole (PV new bit) we're not expecting him to make his first parole date of March 2012.  One can always hope though, since he has a three year old son, his first & only, out here waiting for his daddy to come home.

And shot a letter & card out to my friend Eric L. today.  Eric will be coming home in Sept. of 2012.  He is eligible for boot camp but has yet to hear from them with the paperwork & specifics so he thinks he'll just do the time instead of messing with three months of boot camp & then three months out on a tether.  That state MDOC boot camp program is soft as hell these days!  Back in the mid to late 90's it was still rough going!  The corporals & drill sergeants put their hands on you, spit on you, knocked you down, picked you up, threw food at you, TOOK food from you, and just generally made life miserable for you.  From 5am until 10pm it was non-stop moving & hardcore p.t.!!!  Now it's like a behavior modification training program, with hardly any rough physical training!  It's actually called "MPRI" now.  That stands for the Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative.  The only real good thing to come from that program is that you must work hard to get your GED while you're there & they will pay the first three months of your rent when you get out, allowing a chance for you to get your feet back on the ground.
I don't know--writing letters to my friends & sending religious propaganda & some of my artwork--seems like the right thing to do.  It's not that hard for me but it means a lot to them.  Anyone who's ever been locked-up will agree.

The Ruthenian Catholic Churches

  From the Catholic Near East Welfare Association:

The motherland of Ruthenian Catholics is now in extreme western Ukraine southwest of the Carpathian mountains. The area was known variously in the past as Carpatho-Ukraine, Carpatho-Ruthenia, Carpatho-Russia, Subcarpathia, and now as Transcarpathia. Although the ecclesiastical term “Ruthenian” was formerly used more broadly to include Ukrainians, Belarusans and Slovaks as well, it is now used by church authorities in a narrower sense to denote this specific Greek Catholic Church. In terms of ethnicity, Ruthenian Catholics prefer to be called Rusyns. They are closely related to the Ukrainians and speak a dialect of the same language. The traditional Rusyn homeland extends beyond Transcarpathia into northeast Slovakia and the Lemko region of extreme southeast Poland.
In the late 9th century, most of this area came under the control of Catholic Hungary, which much later promoted Catholic missionary work among its Orthodox population, including the Rusyns. This activity culminated in the reception of 63 of their priests into the Catholic Church on April 24, 1646, at the town of Užhorod. The Union of Užhorod affected the Orthodox population of an area which roughly corresponds to today’s eastern Slovakia. In 1664 a union took place at Mukačevo which involved the Orthodox in today’s Transcarpathia in Ukraine and the Hungarian diocese of Hajdúdorog. A third union, which affected the Orthodox in today’s county of Maramures in Romania to the east of Mukačevo, took place in about 1713. Thus within 100 years after the 1646 Union of Užhorod, the Orthodox Church virtually ceased to exist in the region.
Early on there were jurisdictional conflicts over who would control the Ruthenian Catholic Church in this area. In spite of the desire of the Ruthenian Catholics to have their own ecclesiastical organization, for more than a century the Ruthenian bishop of Mukačevo was only the ritual vicar of the Latin bishop of Eger, and Ruthenian priests served as assistants in Latin parishes. The dispute was resolved in 1771 by Pope Clement XIV who, at the request of Empress Maria-Theresa, erected the Ruthenian eparchy of Mukačevo and made it a suffragan of the Primate of Hungary. A seminary for Ruthenian Catholics was set up at Užhorod in 1778.
After World War I, Transcarpathia became part of the new republic of Czechoslovakia. There were Byzantine Catholic dioceses at Mukačevo and Prešov. Although in the 1920s a group of these Ruthenian Catholics returned to the Orthodox Church [see Orthodox Church in the Czech and Slovak Republics], Rusyn ethnic identity remained closely tied to the Ruthenian Catholic Church. 
At the end of World War II, Transcarpathia, including Užhorod and Mukačevo, was annexed to the Soviet Union as part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Prešov, however, remained in Czechoslovakia [see Slovak Catholic Church]. The Soviet authorities soon initiated a vicious persecution of the Ruthenian Church in the newly acquired region. In 1946 the Užhorod seminary was closed, and in 1947 Bishop Theodore Romža of Mukačevo was poisoned by the communist authorities. In 1949 the Ruthenian Catholic Church was officially integrated into the Russian Orthodox Church. Rusyns on the other side of the Czechoslovak border were also forced to become Orthodox, while those in the Polish Lemko region were deported en masse in 1947 either to the Soviet Union or other parts of Poland. In all three countries, an attempt was made to wipe out any residual Rusyn national identity by declaring them all to be Orthodox and Ukrainian.
The collapse of communism throughout the region had a dramatic effect on Ruthenian Catholics. The first changes took place in Poland in the mid-1980s, where Lemko organizations began to surface and press for recognition of their rights and distinct status. In Czechoslovakia, the much-diminished Rusyn minority began in November 1989 to press for recognition within the predominantly Slovak Greek Catholic diocese of Prešov. And finally, in the Transcarpathian heartland, on January 16, 1991, the Holy See confirmed a bishop and two auxiliaries that had been functioning underground for the Ruthenian Catholic eparchy of Mukačevo. By 2006 the eparchy had 370 parishes served by 217 priests. Soon after the end of communist rule, the diocese was able to establish the Theodore Romža Theological Academy in Užhorod for the formation of clergy and laity.
A continuing issue for Ruthenian Catholics has been their relationship with the much larger Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. For the first time ever, the Mukačevo diocese finds itself functioning freely in the same country with the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Although it is not officially a part of the Ukrainian church and is still immediately subject to the Holy See, its bishops have attended recent Ukrainian Greek Catholic synods. The bishop of Mukačevo has made it clear, however, that he opposes integration into the Ukrainian Catholic Church and favors the promotion of the distinct ethnic and religious identity of his Rusyn people. This identity received a boost in March 2007 when the Transcarpathian Oblast Council voted to recognize the Rusyn people as an indigenous nationality of the region. As a result, the local government will be required to provide funding to promote Rusyn language, culture, and education. 
In 1996 Pope John Paul II established an Apostolic Exarchate for Catholics of the Byzantine rite in the Czech Republic and appointed Fr. Ivan Ljavinec, until then the syncellus of the Prešov Slovak Catholic diocese, as its first bishop. One reason for the establishment of this jurisdiction – which was officially classified as belonging to the Ruthenian rite – was to regularize the situation of married Latin priests secretly ordained in Czechoslovakia under communist rule. Sixty of these priests had been accepted by the church but had been allowed to minister only as permanent deacons in the Latin rite because of their marriages. In 1997, 18 of these men were re-ordained Greek Catholic priests by Bishop Ljavinec. There are about 178,000 Greek Catholics in the Czech Republic.
Many Ruthenian Catholics immigrated to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Because of strained relations with the Latin hierarchy and the imposition of clerical celibacy on the Eastern Catholic clergy in the United States in 1929, large numbers of these Catholics returned to the Orthodox Church. In 1982 it was estimated that out of 690,000 people of Rusyn descent in the United States, 225,000 were still Ruthenian Catholics, 95,000 belonged to the Carpatho-Russian Orthodox diocese, 250,000 were in the Orthodox Church in America, 20,000 were in Orthodox parishes directly under the Moscow Patriarchate, and 100,000 belonged to various other Orthodox, Ukrainian Catholic, Roman Catholic, and Protestant denominations.
In the United States today, the Ruthenians constitute a separate ecclesiastical structure with four dioceses, 222 parishes, 231 priests, 50 permanent deacons, and about 100,000 faithful. The office of Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh has been vacant since the death of Most Reverend Basil Schott, OFM, in June 2010 (66 Riverview Avenue, Pittsburg, PA 15214). This church, generally known simply as Byzantine Catholic, emphasizes its American character, and celebrates liturgy in English in most parishes. Candidates for the priesthood are trained at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Pittsburgh. In 1999 the Vatican approved a new particular law for the Ruthenian Metropolitanate which allowed for the ordination to the priesthood of married men who had received a proper dispensation from the Holy See.
In other areas of the diaspora, including Australia, Great Britain, and Canada, Ruthenian Catholics are not distinguished from Ukrainian Catholics.
In sum, today there are three distinct Ruthenian Catholic jurisdictions: (1) the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Metropolitanate in the United States, a metropolitan church sui iuris, (2) the eparchy of Mukačevo in Ukraine, which is immediately subject to the Holy See, and (3) the Apostolic Exarchate in the Czech Republic. The relationship between the three has not been clarified. The bishop of Mukačevo is listed below as head of the church, but he has no authority over the other two jurisdictions. The membership figure includes the combined statistics for all three entities.
Location: Ukraine, United States, Czech Republic
Head: Bishop Milan Šašík (Apostolic Administrator, born 1952, appointed 2002)
Title: Bishop of Mukačevo of the Byzantines
Residence: Užhorod, Ukraine
Membership: 598,000



The Desert Fathers Blog

I really like this blog which I only recently discovered.  I've been enthralled by the writings of the Desert Fathers books I have acquired recently.  Great, spiritual stuff. 
And I really like this blog because it's packed with informative stuff.
The Desert Fathers

Light a Candle

I really like sites like this for some reason.  I just think it's cool to be able to light a "virtual candle."
So take advantage of this and light some candles, saying a prayer as you go along.  Spend some time to stop and reflect on what you're praying about.
Let there be light!!!

Holy Nicholean Catholic Church

The Holy Nicholean Catholic Church

I think this is part of the "Reformed" Catholic or "Liberal" Catholic Church.
Mos def related to the Holy Imperial Russian Orthodox Church.

The Unknown Christ Blog

The Unknown Christ
I like this one, mostly for the beautiful paintings & poems.  Catholic, Coptic, & Orthodox.  But I do believe this is a Gnostic site.  I could be wrong.  I need to investigate it more.

Vestiges of Christianity

Vestiges of Christianity

Gnostic Society

The Gnostic Society Library

I like this site because of the Christian New Testament Apocryphal books that they have on here.  I'm fascinated by the apocrypha!  I've read nearly every book in the Ann Arbor & Ypsi public libraries.