Diocesan Priest Wives Celebrate Patronal Feast Day
JOHNSTOWN, PA -- Many years ago, His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas, in recognition of the pivotal role our Diocesan priest wives (Panis) play in the life of the Church, placed them under the spiritual protection of St. Sophia and her daughters Faith, Hope and Love. Click Here to Learn About these Saints. Today, on the feast of St. Sophia, we pay tribute to our faithful Panis who labor along side of their husbands in serving the faithful of our diocesan parishes.
On this day, it is fitting that we reprint a short reflection written by His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas, of Thrice-Blessed Memory, about the blessed role and vocation of Priest Wives in the Church.
It is essential that we show our love and support to our Diocesan clergy wives, whose service, all too
often, has not been adequately recognized. The work of these pious women in the
ministry of the Orthodox Church and this Diocese often goes unnoticed: but all
the same, it is a work that is of incalculable benefit.
Pani's are said to have a task that is great in
responsibility but low in authority. They serve piously and humbly, frequently
shunning the limelight so that the focus could be on the Church and the
parishioners. They are sources of compassion, wisdom, good counsel, and are of
enormous support and companionship for their spouse, the priest.
I ask you to consider the following supportive measures that every parish can put into practice:
Ensure that the Pani is able to enter Divine
Services in quiet prayer, without having to discuss parish concerns before
Direct questions and concerns about the parish
and the Orthodox Faith to the priest, not his Pani.
Remember that the first priority of the Pani is
to be a wife to her husband and a mother to her children.
Resist the temptation to express critical
comments about other people or situations to the Pani.
Pani's are happy to serve the parish, but in
their own way. Some are great cooks. Some are great musicians. Some are great
organizers. None of them are perfect, but they are each beautiful in their own
Do not expect the Pani to divulge confidential
information about other people or parish concerns.
Respect the fact that Pani's are not to involve
themselves in so-called "parish politics," or to become overly involved in
activities that might detract from their primary vocation, which is to care for
the priest and family.
Finally, thank God for the Pani, and pray for her to
grow in her faith. Encourage her and support her in her very difficult task.
Her husband was called to the priesthood. She is called, like Ruth, to follow
September 29, 2007