Our first meeting

by Andrea Elizabeth

My husband and I first met Archbishop Dmitri as we were transitioning from reading about Orthodoxy, to actually visiting Orthodox Churches. The previous two Sundays we had visited an Antiochian and a Greek parish. This was our first Saturday night Vespers. We had been debating whether or not to see a movie or to actually visit St. Seraphim Cathedral. Giving up Saturday night is one of the first transitional offerings on the road to becoming Orthodox. Looking back, it was easy enough to catch up with Mean Girls on DVD. After the service, Archbishop Dmitri greeted people in the Nave of the Church and invited us to come to the hall for coffee. His Eminence was so gracious to answer mostly George’s questions and to give us a picture of how Orthodoxy meets Texas. He showed us an article about him in the Dallas Morning News and told us about his days at SMU. He seemed to have all the time in the world. I remember his being very cheerful and warm, and my being intimidated despite his manner. We decided that the next day, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, we would visit the OCA Church in Ft. Worth, half the distance away, where the St. Seraphim book store manager’s son was the priest. The rest is history.

After that meeting, every time we went up for a blessing on either our visits to the Cathedral, or his visits to our parish, Archbishop Dmitri asked us when we were going to start a mission in Weatherford. Fr. John took up the slack last night at his panakhida, a prayer service for the departed. How sad it makes me to say that, even though I feel his intercessions more strongly now. Fr. John mentioned there is another Orthodox family moving to Weatherford. We’ll watch and pray.

By the way, my daughter said she smelled flowers when she kissed his hands last night, and I don’t think it was the ones a few feet away. What a blessing.