Ego Patricius peccator rusticissimus

The cathedral in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. St. Patrick is buried deep within the hill on which it rests, along with Ss. Columba of Iona and Brigid of Kildaire.

My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. This photo was taken in the summer of 2001 during a nearly month-long pilgrimage I took to Great Britain and Ireland. It was a dreary day in Downpatrick (and the photo was taken with real film! remember […]

Unifying the Orthodox Church in America

Photo credit: Dimitrios S Panagos / GOA

I’ve got a new piece published today at First Things, where I discuss the problems and solutions of Orthodox Christian unity in America. Here’s an excerpt: Are you Greek?” This is the question I get asked the most when I tell someone that I am an Orthodox Christian. At first, this question rankled, because I […]

A Tolkien-Shaped Mind

I do not know how aware most folks are of what books shape their basic imaginations—the formation that to a large part determines what brings them delight, what strikes them as worth attention, what gives them a vocabulary for the world. For me, there are really two sources that give me that shape—the Bible and […]

Rootedness and Uprootedness: A Lament

mosaic

In the past few weeks, I’ve learned of impending relocations of more relatives west of the Mississippi River, including one family that has been in the same state for decades and one elderly relative who has even been in the same house since the mid-1960s. One by one or in clumps, over the past several […]

No True Church? No True Church History.

One of the criticisms of Orthodoxy’s understanding of its own history (not to mention, Roman Catholicism’s) is that there really is no unbroken Christian tradition of anything at all, that Church history is really just about multiple movements, doctrines and practices that cannot coherently be traced back to the Apostles. This is essentially one version […]