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Category Archives: books

A Candle in Front of the Savior

The voice of Archbishop Anastasios Archbishop Anastasios has a white beard and moustache. His hair is silver. His glasses have tortoise-shell frames with gold stems and thick lenses, though what you notice most of all is the twinkle in his welcoming brown eyes. His words are often echoed by hand gestures. While he never seems […]

A Long Honeymoon

Father Luke and Faith Veronis Father Luke Veronis arrived in Albania in January 1994. He and Faith married the following August, a few months before his ordination. Both had been drawn to a mission vocation at a time when there were few Orthodox missionaries. Like so many others collaborating with Archbishop Anastasios, their first encounter […]

'Only With Love'

by Jim Forest While in Tirana several years ago to research a book on the Orthodox Church in Albania, one of the remarkable people I met was Raimonda Shqeva. Since 1995 she has worked full-time with the Service of Love Women’s Group, which has its office in a small building adjacent to the Annunciation Cathedral […]


The voice of Metropolitan John Pelushi My first encounter with Metropolitan John was at the seminary, an impressive complex of new stone buildings on a hilltop a short distance inland from the port city of Durres. Though his main responsibilities are in Korça, he comes to teach at the seminary as often as he can […]

Out of the Darkness

The voice of Marika Cico Despite the extreme religious repression that reigned in Albania for so many years, thousands of people lived a carefully-hidden religious life. A few even dared to organize hidden churches, among them two sisters living in Korça, the principal city in the southeast of Albania. One of the sisters is still […]

Discovering Wormwood

Here is a copy of a preface I’ve written for the forthcoming Romanian edition of The Wormwood File: E-Mail from Hell. A page about the English-language edition of the book is here: A few years ago I was thinking of sending a copy of C.S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters, to a cousin who […]

A Three-Letter Word

by Jim Forest There is no need to preach constantly on sin, to judge and to condemn. It is when a man is challenged with the real contents of the Gospel, with its Divine depth and wisdom, beauty and all embracing meaning, that he becomes ‘capable of repentance,’ for true repentance is precisely the discovery […]

The Road to Emmaus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life

In an age of tourism, the great challenge is to see ourselves at a deeper level: the dimension of pilgrimage. Being a pilgrim might involve a journey to distant places associated with God-revealing events, but it has more to do with simply living day by day in a God-attentive way. The Road to Emmaus assists […]

Silent as a Stone: Mother Maria of Paris and the Trash Can Rescue

Silent as a Stone is a children’s book about a community of rescuers in Nazi-occupied Paris. The central figure is Mother Maria Skobtsova, an unconventional nun who choose to emerge herself in urban life and the urgent needs of her neighbors. Confronting the horror of Nazi brutality, Mother Maria devised an ingenious plan to save […]

Review of Merton & Friends

Review for The Catholic Worker Merton & Friends: A Joint Biography of Thomas Merton, Robert Lax, and Edward Rice by James Harford Continuum, 333 pp, 2006, hardcover, $36 review by Jim Forest “Tell me what company you keep, and I’ll tell you what you are.” So said Cervantes. Among Thomas Merton’s closest friends were Bob […]