Our Holy Cross Visit

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Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology is a relatively small institution situated on a tall hill in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is a beautiful campus, with a tremendous view of the city of Boston far below.

The school’s geography says a lot about its spirit. Boston has the reputation of a community of high culture and academic cogitation—it would be utterly fascinating to watch the fluid intellectual and spiritual life of this American city unfold from atop this high hill of Orthodox Christianity. This is particularly for people like me, whose religious views are partly cosmopolitan, but have a strong anchoring in the Christian faith and traditions.

The Holy Cross course catalogue has probably the highest density of classes I am interested in ever assembled in one place. From Byzantine liturgics to patristics to modern Greek theologians, the courses at Holy Cross would allow me to explore historical, global, ecumenical issues facing the church today. And Holy Cross is probably the only seminary I could find where my undergraduate Greek experience would not give me any sort of “advanced” standing in Biblical languages.

Since I am not actually from an Orthodox tradition, there has always been some question in the back of my mind as to whether or not I would be accepted in such an environment. Visiting the school allayed those fears. It only took meeting a few people on campus to assure me that not only would I be accepted, I would be almost as interesting to the campus as the campus would be to me.

There is no doubt in my mind, particularly after this visit, that Holy Cross would be a superb choice for my continuing education. Still, I wonder if it is the “right” choice; I wonder whether it would be the appropriate decision for my formation. While Holy Cross does have the fairly unique distinction of being “Orthodox,” and the Orthodox have a very good reputation for spiritual development, it is also very much a “school” environment. I would have a lot of control over my academic and spiritual experiences. And since Greek Orthodoxy is not my tradition, I would always be a little guarded: not everything that entered my head would be relevant to my heart.

My instinct is that while I would learn more at Holy Cross, my spiritual formation would be better served by time at Nashotah House. We have some praying and discerning to do on this matter. And we have a whole country to explore in the meantime (quite literally!) We will continue to listen for our call, and invite your prayers for us in this process of sketching out our next step.

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