Humans of Ancient Faith is a series of mini-interviews designed to introduce you to the many wonderful human beings who make this ministry possible. We asked the same 5 questions in each interview, and let the interviewee choose a sixth question. Today’s guest is podcaster Michael Haldas.
If you were named for your defining characteristic, what word or phrase would be your name?
Based on what my wife, friends, and clients tell me, it would be “calm.” I had a client once say to me, “Michael, I want to put you on retainer just because you make me feel calm.” It’s funny because internally I feel like I am hyper and I physically can’t sit still, but I get this “calm thing” all the time so I am going with it.
What is your earliest specifically Orthodox memory?
Being a toddler in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Wilmington, Delaware where I grew up and looking up at the dome and icon of the Pantocrator and feeling like Jesus was watching me and knew what I did bad.
What’s your favorite story about your patron saint?
The Archangel Michael defeating the devil during the war in heaven described in Revelation. I have always been attracted to stories of battle since I was a little kid, and I remembered when I first read thinking, “How cool!”
What’s the title of a conference Ancient Faith has not yet hosted that you would absolutely attend?
The Darkness of Wokeness and How to Deal with it as an Orthodox Christian.
What’s a book or movie that you’d highly recommend? What did you like about it?
Anyone who knows me knows I am going to say The Lord of the Rings. C.S. Lewis was right when he said, “Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron; here is a book that will break your heart…good beyond hope.” I have never found another fiction book that captured love, truth, suffering, sacrifice, pity, beauty, and hope like this one.
What drives you to do so much ministry work while owning and running a small consulting business full-time?
It’s like when you read a great book or see a great movie, your reaction is to want to share, with no other motive than for someone to experience the same joy you did. Metropolitan Kallistos once wrote, “Faith is not the supposition that something might be true, but the assurance that someone is there.” I can’t imagine living any other way than knowing no matter what, Christ is there. I want everyone to have this.
About Michael Haldas
Michael Haldas is an author, a religious educator, and a speaker. He wrote the book Sacramental Living: Understanding Christianity as a Way of Life, which he presented as a gift to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis in private audiences at the Patriarchate and the Vatican. Additionally, Michael has a podcast series with the same title as his book on Ancient Faith Radio, and does a LIVE Adult Education class and reflections through the Orthodox Christian Network. He is also the author of Echoes of Truth: Christianity in the Lord of the Rings, is a contributor to Amid Weeping There is Joy: Orthodox Perspectives on Tolkien’s Fantastic Realm, and has published more than 100 articles and papers in magazines and newspapers such Theosis Magazine, The National Herald, Pravmir, and other publications. He teaches adult religious education at the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in Bethesda, Maryland, conducts regular online classes at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC, and has worked with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Religious Education Department to create educational lessons and materials. Visit Michael’s website here.