East meets West: The New Mother Maria (aka Sister Martha) Visits California Templars
Chev. Marston Watson, GCTJ, CMTJ; Grand Editeur Emeritus
Maj Chev. Sandor X. Mayuga, Esq., GCTJ; Assistant Grand Editeur

Excellencies All:

The Sister Martha we have come to know and love and whose ministry as Director of the Orthodox Bethany School for Girls (OBSG) has been supported by GPUSA for many years, has been elevated by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) to Mother Maria. Even though her name change denoting her elevation in the ROCOR hierarchy is traditional, we are pleased to report that she is still the hard-working, charming and articulate servant of the Lord we have known for many years, dedicated to her students and tenacious in her accomplishments despite the most challenging of circumstances.

Without exception those who have made a GPUSA Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and who have met Mother Maria will tell you of the love and admiration she engenders. She engendered that same love and admiration from those who have not been on a pilgrimage during a whirlwind tour of the West Coast from May 4th to May 22nd when she arrived in Milwaukee for the Grand C&I. Did we say “whirlwind”? Within hours after arriving at LAX, she attended a vigil service at a ROCOR cathedral in Los Angeles. Early the next morning she started a road tour visiting and speaking with parishioners and ROCOR diocesan officials in Hollywood, Las Vegas, Lake Forest, San Diego, Seaside, Burlingame, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Calistoga, Santa Rosa, back to San Francisco, Sparks, NV, back to San Francisco, Sacramento, Sonora, thence to Corvallis and Mulino, OR, before leaving for Seattle and then Milwaukee for the Grand C&I. Despite the frenetic pace of her tour, she carved out time for quality visits with California Templars during two luncheons in her honor.

Tuesday, May 7: Long Beach, CA

Chev. Sandor Mayuga, Prior III of the Priory of the Christian Soldier, arranged a luncheon at Boathouse on the Bay Restaurant on Alamitos Bay to welcome Mother Maria and former OBSG student, now teacher Jacqueline Khouriya. In attendance were Deputy Grand Prior Marston Watson and many of the leadership of the Priory of the Christian Soldier and Priory of Our Savior. Attending for Priory of the Christian Soldier were Founding Prior Fred Darley, Secretary Joan Darley, Chancellor James Wilkinson, Treasurer Paul Groff, Lady Pamela Groff, and Dame Kathleen Gray. Attending for the Priory of Our Savior were Prior Carl Heft, Dame Janine Heft, Past Prior Louis Carlson, Dame Karen Carlson, Treasurer Don MacNamara, Dame Maureen Rhyne, Chev. Alan Burns, and Dame Cindy Burns. Also attending were locally transplanted members of the Priory of St. John the Baptist, Chev. Fred Bourjaily and Dame Lori Bourjaily.

The OBSG, being an isolated but highly-rated Christian school in the West Bank territory with over 90% Muslim enrollment, faces many challenges daily – from parents, individuals within the Bethany community, local government bureaucrats and local religious leaders. During the luncheon Mother Maria described how she copes with those challenges and how, with support from the ROCOR and private organizations like GPUSA, she and the OBSG faculty nonetheless manage to provide a top tier education for their students while setting a Christian example under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Chev. Mayuga, on behalf of the Priories present, as well as Priory of the Christian Shield (San Diego), presented Mother Maria with a ceremonial check representing an initial collection from the priories and from individual donors of $3,000, with promises for more to be collected and presented at the Grand Banquet on May 25. Update: At the Grand Banquet, a new ceremonial check for just over $5,000 from the three Southern California priories and from individual Priory members was presented to Mother Maria.

Tuesday, May 14, San Francisco, CA

A week later, Mother Maria arrived in San Francisco and received a warm welcome from Deputy Grand Prior Marston Watson and Grand Webmaster Kathy Watson, who arranged a luncheon in her honor at the Delancey Street Restaurant. Joining them from the Priory of St. Francis were Chancellor Don Bradley, his wife Lana, Past Prior Art Curtis, his sister Anne Birmingham, and Len Holzworth. They were joined by three members of the ROCOR clergy and Jacqueline Khouriya. Mother Maria also shared with the San Francisco Templars her stories about the challenges she faces daily and how she copes with volatile situations in the West Bank.

His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America shared an album of his memorable time in Jerusalem with Mother Maria, while His Grace Bishop Theodosy of Seattle (Vicar Bishop of the ROCOR Diocese of San Francisco and Western America) looked on. DGP Watson enjoyed a short primer on the traditions of the ROCOR in his conversation with Archpriest Peter Perekrestov of San Francisco. There was an exchange of contact information and an undertaking to continue communicating to facilitate understanding of the needs of the OBSG and how interested individuals could support the OBSG.

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If you too would like to make a contribution to support the OBSG or find out about scholarships and other ways to support our various charities in the Holy Land, please contact CAPT Chev. Keith H. Larson, USN (Ret.), GCTJ, GMTJ, Chairman, GEN Raymond G. Davis Templar Foundation, Inc. by email at: Chairman Keith . Also, you may call or text Chairman Keith at 757-288-8408.

 

July 2019
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  A Word from the Grand Prior

  Unveiling of the ARTM

  Christ has died...

  Milwaukee Brewed

  Raymond Davis Society, etc.

  Scholarship Students Graduate

  East Meets West

  Lead Generation Process

  Music for Charity

  Priory News

  Priory News (Cont'd)

  GPUSA Calendar




Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam ®

   
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