Eulogy for My Mother

This eulogy was written for my mother’s funeral on August 29, 2014. A few months before, she was diagnosed with a Class 4 glioblastoma (brain cancer) which ultimately claimed her life. A somewhat shorter version of this text was delivered at the funeral service. Funeral Service of Sandy Damick, August 29, 2014 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick Colorado Springs, Colorado In the name of…

Raising Authentically Christian Children: Good News and Bad News

My friend Seraphim Danckaert published an article today on the O&H site that I think every Christian (Orthodox or not) should read: Losing our Religion: On “Retaining” Young People in the Orthodox Church. Why? Almost every kind of church throughout America is losing kids. So read it first before reading the rest of this. Okay, done? First, some bad news: If you’re counting on…

A Decade that Belongs

Ten years ago today, Nicole Ann Boury married me. After ten years, I’m still not entirely sure why she did it. I know I haven’t always made her happy. I know I’ve many times made her unhappy. But even through all the uncertainty and instability of the past ten years—which is not very much for some, but is for us—we still belong. Over this…

Rootedness and Uprootedness: A Lament

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 years it seems that both sides of my family…

A Firm Foothold

I feel that as long as the Shire lies behind, safe and comfortable, I shall find wandering more bearable: I shall know that somewhere there is a firm foothold, even if my feet cannot stand there again. —Frodo Baggins I happened upon this quotation again yesterday evening, while I was reading my daughter The Lord of the Rings. It seems a dauntingly long tome…

Saving the World from Suicide: Localism, Christian Evangelism and the Culture War

The world is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time; so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and to save the world from suicide. —T. S. Eliot, “Thoughts After…

Children and the Cosmos

The following is a repost from September of 2008, when our first child (now 5, the older one you see in this photo) was only 18 months old. Since my wife just gave birth to our third child (also pictured) on Monday—a boy named Raphael Joseph Caedmon—I thought it apt. Children and saints cling to You, O Lord, the rest rebel against You. Children…

Conversions

Ten years ago today—April 26, 2002—I first sat down and had coffee with the beautiful woman in the picture above. This picture was taken about sixteen months later, on our wedding day. Our pairing was (and in some ways, remains) unlikely. When I met her ten years ago, she was actually an atheist with a Lutheran background she had left behind in her teens.…