Congratulations to the newly ordained Priest Silouan Thompson. This Sunday, on the Feast of the First Ecumenical Council, Fr. Silouan was elevated to the Priesthood in my former parish, St. Silouan Orthodox Church, in Walla Walla, WA. What great joy this is for all of us who know and love him and for the people of the the Philippines, where, God willing, he will soon take up his new position as Missionary Priest.
It was my privilege to catechize and baptize Fr. Silouan, and to encourage him to accept ordination, first to the Diaconate and then to the Priesthood. Knowing of his love for the Philippines and the Filipino people (as well as his many liturgical gifts) I quickly asked him to accompany me and assist me in the mission work there when His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion asked me to travel there last summer. During that time we spoke of his longstanding desire to serve and help the people of the Philippines, especially those who were just entering the Orthodox Church. I encouraged him to follow his heart in this matter and seek a blessing to be assigned as a permanent mission priest. Fr. Silouan never sought after the Priesthood and even shrank away from it, feeling himself unworthy. He is precisely the kind of man one wants in the Priesthood. May God use him to advance His Kingdom in the Philippines. Glory to God and again, Axios!