Our family had the great blessing of welcoming and worshipping with our dear friends Matushka Connie Shank and Brigid Gerard last Sunday at the mission. As with the fist Divine Liturgy we celebrated, as well as the first one I celebrated as a new priest at the mission, there was the unmistakable feeling that we had crossed another threshold in the life of the mission with our friends visit.
Connie and her husband Fr. David Shank (of blessed memory) and their kids, and Brigid and her husband Reader Nathaniel Gerard and their kids were our neighbors as well fellow parishioners and friends. It was our hope to establish a mission in North Portland but Fr. David’s crucial service to the existing missions in Oregon and Washington, and then sadly, his illness, along with our move, did not allow that to happen. But being together again in a new mission, celebrating the Divine Liturgy and giving the benediction with his Blessing Cross, his sweet presence was again felt among us.