Father Michael Plekon is a Professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Baruch College (City University of New York). He is attached to Saint Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church in Wappingers Falls, New York. He is author of the book “Hidden Holiness” and the forth-coming “Saints as They Really Are–American Voices, Lives and Paths to Holiness”.
Jim Forest is the author of numerous books and a contributor to many publications. He also serves as International Secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and is associate editor of its journal and web site, In Communion. His books include The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life, Ladder of the Beatitudes, Praying with Icons, Living With Wisdom: A Biography of Thomas Merton, and All Is Grace: A Biography of Dorothy Day. He is also the author of several children’s books. His photographs have been widely published.
Donald Peter Carmichael lives and works in San Diego. He grew up mostly in New Hampshire under the care of his parents, Fr Peter and Matushka Karen with a younger sister, Mary, and a younger brother, David and a “home” parish of Holy Trinity in Springfield, VT. He went to the US Merchant Marine Academy, graduated and joined the US Navy Nuclear Submarine Force and departed from after having spent five years. He now attends St Katherine Mission in Encinitas, CA and enjoys ladder-golf and bike rides.
Doctor Maria Degtiareva is a Professor of Theology at Perm State University in Perm, Russia.
Jessica Precop is a longtime member of OCF and served on the OCF Student Advisory Board as Great Lakes Regional Representative from 2007-2009. She has served on OCF Real Break Teams to San Francisco, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Constantinople. Jessica is from Livonia, MI and is a member of St. George Romanian Orthodox Cathedral in Southfield, MI. Jessica graduated in May 2012 with her Masters in Social Work from Michigan State University; she did her Bachelors Degree in Human Development and Classical Voice at Bowling Green State University.
Father Roman Braga was born in 1922 in Basarabia, Romania He graduated from the Theological Institute in 1947, Magna cum Laude, and the following year received a teaching certificate for theology, Romanian language, and literature. Arrested in 1948, he spent 5 years in prison. After his release from prison in 1954, he was tonsured as a monk and ordained deacon by the Metropolitan in IaÅŸi, Sebastian Rusanu. In 1959 he was arrested again and spent a full year under interrogation. He was accused of having been part of the Burning Bush movement, along with 15 other intellectuals of the time. After a show trial, he was sentenced to 18 years of forced labor. Father Roman spent the next 5 years in the labor camps along the Danube Delta, building dams and cutting reeds. In 1964, general amnesty was given to all political prisoners by the communist regime. Upon his release, Father Roman returned to IaÅŸi and was hired by Bishop Valerian Zaharia to work in the archives of the Episcopate of Oradea. That same year, Bishop Valerian ordained Father Roman a priest. In 1972, Bishop Valerian Trifa of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate in America asked Father Roman to come to the United States where he served in several parishes. In 1984, Father Roman moved to Pennsylvania and became the priest and spiritual father for the community of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City. In 1990, Father Roman retired and moved to Michigan to the Dormition of the Mother of God Orthodox Monastery in Rives Junction. Although officially retired, Father Roman had remained active in the busy schedule of services and the rich spiritual and intellectual life of the monastery for several more years.
Mr. Andrew Boyd is the managing editor of this blog. He is a 2008 graduate of the University of Connecticut and a 2012 graduate of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York. He is a native of Guilford, Connecticut and a member of Saint Alexis Orthodox Church in the neighboring town of Clinton.