Sunday, January 17, 2010

Protestant Studies Fathers and Becomes Byzantine Catholic

We found this article at Medjugorje Central at Spirit Daily.

Sees Byzantine church a “perfect marriage” of Eastern traditions and unity with pope


A former Lutheran pastor from Northern Michigan now heads St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church in Anchorage.

On Oct. 31, Father James Barrand, 52, succeeded just-retired pastor Father Mike Hornick at the little, dome-topped church, where an ancient Catholic liturgy is celebrated everyday. Father Barrand is quick to explain that he got to the icon and incense-filled church with the help of ancient guides — the Early Church Fathers — who chanted the same Divine Praises in the first centuries of the church as he does now.


While a Protestant seminarian, Father Barrand had been fascinated by the Catholic Church.

“I had been exploring it all the way through seminary,” he told the Anchor.

Father James Barrand celebrates the Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church in Anchorage on Dec. 30. At right, Father Barrand stands along side the screen of icons, in front of the sanctuary of the church. His concentration was the study of the Fathers of the Church, the influential theologians and writers of the first centuries after Jesus Christ. They include St. Augustine, St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. John Chrysostom.

As with many Protestant denominations, Father Barrand explained, Lutherans think they must “restore” the church to “its pristine shape before the corruption – as they saw it – of the Middle Ages. So they very much encourage people to go back to the Fathers. So I did.”

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