Forever in Our Hearts and Prayers
I am writing to you with both a heavy heart and tremendous joy. This past summer our ROCOR community lost a dedicated and amazing priest. He was a hidden gem, serving a small parish in Virginia. Despite living off the beaten path, this servant of God, Fr. John Moses, touched countless lives.
For those of us who have ever felt nervous, scared, alone, or just misunderstood, Fr. John was our champion. He knew how to approach that terrible pit in your stomach and replace it with laughter, hope, and ultimately, faith.
As a child, Fr. John faced unimaginable fear and hurt. During his childhood Fr. John was abused. He left behind this abuse searching for complete joy, and found his joy in Christ and the Church.
For the rest of his life, Fr. John spent his ministry as an open book and a beacon of love. It wouldn’t be abnormal to hear him breaking the ice with a joke.
“How long have you been raising your parents?" he’d ask the kids. He’d make jokes to make sure that kids, and adults like you and me, who needed help could feel comfortable around him and know that he was there to listen. Not to judge.
Fr. John brought joy and healing to those around him.
Days before his death, Fr. John gave us one more moment of joy, sharing an inspiring sermon on being God’s servants.
“Servanthood is the expression of God among us. His nature. If we want to become in tune to God’s nature, we become attuned when we are servants, as he was a servant… I have missed being a servant to you… I appreciate the time that I’ve been able to spend with you.”
After delivering this moving sermon, Fr. John passed away after a long battle with various illnesses, including diabetes and kidney disease, and finally cancer.
Metropolitan Pitirim of Volokolamsk describes this illness, “cancer is a special way to God.” On his special road to God, Fr. John did not complain, get angry, and or stop serving others. Instead, Fr. John bore his cross patiently, quietly, and humbly.
The sad truth is that dying in the United States is expensive. Priests, like Fr. John, who’ve spent their whole lives serving the church cannot afford to die. When they pass, their families become burdened with exorbitant expenses.
Matushka Alexandra had to scrape together and take a loan out from her parents to have money to bury her husband. Even after taking a loan out and working with their parish, to pull together their money, Matushka Alexandra hasn’t been able to cover the last $9300.
I am asking you to help lighten Matushka Alexandra’s cross and help other clergy families who cannot afford to bury their loved one. Click here to send a gift.
All funds raised for this appeal will go to covering Fr. John’s funeral expenses, and any amount over $9300 will be put into a grant, in Fr. John Moses’ name, dedicated to helping clergy’s families cover funeral expenses.
When you give to the Fr. John Moses Grant, you are not only helping Matushka Alexandra, but future clergy families in need.
This might one day be your priest’s family, and your gift will alleviate crippling financial stress and bring peace to the family in this difficult time.
Let’s remember just how much our priests do for us, day in and day out, to help us reach eternal salvation. They spend their days praying for us, serving us, and ministering to our needs.
I am asking you to make sure that when Batushka’s time on this earth has ended, this family’s needs aren’t forgotten. You can give him and his family love, care, and compassion by meeting their needs.
Your priest needs you. Your gift to support the Fr. John Moses Grant will support future clergy like Fr. John, and allow them to be buried with the dignity they deserve.
Fr. John taught world religious classes, showing the difference between the Western and Orthodox views of God. He explained the Western perspective of Zeus as, “I’m going to punish you when you sin,” whereas the Orthodox view of God is, “Welcome home. Repent, but you’re most welcome home.”
That all-encompassing love is a great example of Christ’s Church. That is what I am asking of you today. Help our priests finish their last days encompassed in the love of their brothers and sisters in Christ, without the worries of financial troubles.
I share the wish that priests like Fr. John can repose in peace. That their families do not have to worry about paying for the burial.
Pictured: Fr. John's son-in-law, Fr. Dcn. Thomas Opyoke and his granddaughter.
I know you care for your priest, and you continually show your
compassion. By sending your gift, you will lift the financial burden and bring relief and peace to Fr. John’s family and others like theirs.
Your gift shows them that their many years of serving Christ’s Church has not gone unnoticed.
Thank you for being the kind of person who not only believes in supporting the Church, but is dedicated to making it happen.
You have a chance today to show your priest how thankful you are for all that he’s done and will continue to do.
Because he cares about you. Please show that you care about him as well.
St. Seraphim of Sarov said, "When I am dead, come to me at my grave, and the more often the better. Whatever is in your soul, whatever may have happened to you, come to me as when I was alive and kneeling on the ground, cast all your bitterness upon my grave. Tell me everything and I shall listen to you, and all the bitterness will fly away from you. And as you spoke to me when I was alive, do so now. For I am living and I shall be forever.”
When we bury our beloved priests, we can rejoice that we can still visit, pray for them, and share our burdens. They will forever be in our hearts because they, like Fr. John, have forever changed our hearts for the better.
They show us kindness, understanding, and compassion. Let’s do the same for them.
Fund for Assistance to ROCOR
P.S. Please rush your gift so Matushka Aleksandra can pay the funeral costs for her husband, Fr. John Moses, by November 5th. And by supporting the Fr. John Moses Grant, you will be giving the clergy and their families the gratification that after giving their lives to serve the Church and her people, they can pass this life into the next in peace. Please be generous.
P.P.S. If you can’t send your donation by this deadline, please call us at (917) 817-2925 if you’d like to still get it in by that time. All donations after the deadline will go towards the Fr. John Moses Grant. Thank you.