February 16, 2019


Hierodeacon* Paisius (Firman), formerly of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, received monastic tonsure into the community of Holy Resurrection Monastery in St Nazianz, Wisconsin in the United States. Deacon Paisius studied at the Ukrainian Catholic Seminary of the Holy Spirit in Ottawa and was ordained to the diaconate for the Archeparchy of Winnipeg. However, he always felt a tug in his soul toward the monastic life. Although he considered the more mission-oriented religious life of the Redemptorist Fathers or the apostolic monastic life of the Basilian Fathers that have heroically served the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada for generations, he discerned a more cloistered community life that was focused essentially on life within the monastery itself. In Ukraine and Eastern Canada this would be more the life associated with the Studite monastic communities.

As there is, alas, presently no such monastic community per se within the Ukrainian Catholic Church in North America, Deacon Paisius looked to other Eastern Churches. It was at Holy Resurrection Monastery, associated with the Romanian Catholic Eparchy, where he found the monastic community that he sought. Hierodeacon Paisius hails from Birds Hill, Manitoba. Holy Eucharist Parish in Winnipeg was blessed to have him spend extended periods of time over a number of years leading liturgical services, visiting the sick and occasionally giving talks and lectures on theological questions. Deacon Pasius, then known by his baptismal name Deacon Patrick, also served in several parishes throughout the province of Manitoba.

After spending a good period of time at Holy Resurrection Monastery, deacon Paisius requested to transfer officially from the Archeparchy to be enrolled into the monastic community. After his monastery superiors and all appropriate hierarchs - including Metropolitan Lawrence of Winnipeg and His Beatitude Sviatoslav - issued all the canonical documentation, the ceremony took place on 16 February 2019. At St. Gregory church in the town of St. Nazianz, WI. in the presence of the Monastery Archimandrite (Abbot), Fr. Nicholas (Zachariadis) and the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Chicago His Excellency Benedict (also a Studite monk) Deacon Paisius went through the tonsure ceremony by which he made his public and perpetual profession into the monastic life. (+)

We wish Hierodeacon Paisius every success in this new adventure that has begun for him according to the Will and Blessings of our Lord. We will all keep him in our prayer as well as all others that courageously say "yes" to the calling of the Lord to give themselves to the consecrated life!

Na mnohaya lita, Fr. Paisius*


* "Hierodeacon" is simply the term used to designate a monastic deacon

* In the eastern Churches "Father" is a term used for all clergy in major orders.


(+) M. Basil Pennington in his book, The Monks of Mount Athos, describes briefly what took place at the monastic tonsure of a certain Theophilitis, which would be very similar to the tonsure of Deacon Paisius:

"...Then the profession took place, through a series of interrogations. Father's robe was taken off and the Archimandrite tonsured him. This was especially interesting. Archimandrite Aemilianos first stressed that by tonsure, Father Theophilitis placed himself under Christ and His Gospels in total obedience. To emphasize this, he rapped the Gospel book with the scissors repeatedly. Then he dropped the scissors on the book and they fell to the floor. Father Theophilitis picked them up and gave them back to the Hegumen (superior), signifying his complete willingness to be tonsured and come completely under Christ and the Gospels in the person of the Hegumen. This was repeated two more times (sometimes tossing the scissors at a distance) before the Hegumen cut Father Theophilitis' hair . Then he was clothed in a new robe and sandals, the analavos (a black scapular with special red embroidery and strings attached), a belt, rason (cassock), skouphos and veil, and mandyas (a pleated black cloak), all of which had remained on the altar through the night. He kept the veil on even during Communion...."

The Monks of Mount Athos by M. Basil Pennington, (Woodstock: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2003), pp. 113-114.

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