Articles Clergy and Monastics Seide, Gernot

History of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia from Its Beginning to the Present. Part IV, Chapter 3. The Printing Presses & Publishing Houses

Fr. George (Schaefer, now bp.) with Archim. Antonii (Iamshchikoff) in St. Job's Printshop in HTM, Jordanville. Fr. Antonii used to work St. Job's Printshop in Ladomirova, Slovakia

The only English summary of the printing activities of the ROCOR.

Part IV, Chapter 3

The Printing Presses & Publishing Houses

For the religious and spiritual education of its faithful, the strengthening in the Orthodox Faith and the Christian truths, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has taken a twofold path. The first is the proclamation [of the Faith] by the priest in the parishes, who teaches the Gospel in the divine services and in his sermons and instructs the youth in the parish schools.

The second path is the proclamation and propagation of the Faith through Church literature: in the diocesan and parish periodicals, in the Church calendars with its religious articles, and in books and writings with religious-pedagogical, theological, historical, literary, philosophical and catechetical content. In this way, the teachings and traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church are passed on diachronically and disseminated synchronically. In addition to the religious-catechetical publications, which serve to proclaim the Faith and to instruct the people of the Church in religion, the Church Abroad publishes a series of books and periodicals with the aim of preserving the Russian national culture among the émigrés. These publications of historical, political, literary, and linguistic content extend from new editions of the classical works of pre-Revolutionary Russia to works by émigrés and textbooks for parish schools. These books and periodicals are produced in Church-owned publishing houses and on Church-owned printing presses. The published literature may then be purchased directly from the publisher or from Russian bookstores in the emigration.

The Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev is most closely associated with printing and publishing. It established numerous printing presses in Europe and overseas. The founder and Abbot of the Ladomirovo Monastery of St. Job (in eastern Slovakia), Archimandrite Vitalis (Maximenko), who later became Archbishop of New York & Eastern America and Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, particularly distinguished himself in this area. He had laid the cornerstone of the printing press in Ladomirovo. Within 10 years, under his direction, it became the most important printing press of the Church Abroad. After the loss of this monastery and its printing press in 1944, Archbishop Vitalis established one in Holy Trinity Monastery, dedicated to St. Job of Pochaev. After World War II, this was the most important printing press in the Church Abroad. Besides these, there are printing presses and publishing houses in the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, and the Holy Land. Most of them are run by monks and nuns of the Church Abroad, who in this way earn money for the upkeep of their monasteries and convents. The particular rôle played by the monasteries and convents in the publication and distribution of religious literature has been stressed again and again at the sessions of the Synod of Bishops and at the Councils of the Church Abroad. Thus, in a decision of the Second Pan-Diaspora Council in 1938 on the tasks of the monastic communities, among other things, it named “the publication and distribution of literature among the faithful. To this end the monks must learn the printing business, as did, for example, the Russian monasteries on Mt. Athos or the monks of the St. Job of Pochaev Printing Press, or our convent of the Kazan’ Icon of the Theotokos in Harbin.” 1

It is precisely in the realm of Church publishing that the Church Abroad can document, that the free part of the Russian Church is in the position to continue the traditions of pre-Revolutionary times. On the other hand, the Moscow Patriarchate was only allotted modest publishing facilities in 1943. The nationalization of all businesses after 1917 also affected the printing presses and publishing houses in the Soviet Union. While at the beginning of the 1920s a few Church journals could still be published on a diocesan level, mainly the schismatic Renovationist ones, the Patriarchate, which had been restored in 1917, was denied a central journal. At the end of the 1920s, the printing of these journals was finally halted, the Soviet authorities had already forbidden the printing of service and liturgical books and Bibles. A modest concession made to the Patriarchal “locum tenens,” Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky) in 1927 when he made the fateful Declaration of Loyalty, was the promise to allow the Patriarchate to publish its own journal. The promise was fulfilled for the first time four years later: from 1931-1935, a small edition, the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate (Zhurnal Moskovskoi Patriarkhii), appeared. Its publication was again halted in 1935 when the struggle against the Church reached its pinnacle. The situation changed for the first time with the outbreak of the War against Hitler’s Germany: on Good Friday, in 1942, the work The Truth About Religion in Russia, by Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), later Patriarch, was published in 50,000 copies. This is the largest number of copies of a single book printed by the Patriarchate to this day. This was a book which was intended to be sent abroad, since it was published in seven languages and was a prelude to a new beginning for publishing by the Patriarchal Church, which has since been allowed to publish special editions, including, for example, one marking the 500th anniversary of the autocephaly of the Russian Church in 1948; the Acts of the Conference of Autocephalous Churches in Moscow in 1949; a few propaganda volumes on the Peace Conferences initiated by the Russian Church; a collection of sermons by Metropolitan Nicholas (Yarushevich) of Krutitsa & Kolomna, and Patriarchs Alexis and Pimen; and an anniversary album entitled, The Russian Orthodox Church: Its Organization, Situation & Activities (Moscow, 1958). All these publications were meant more for people abroad than for their own faithful, which is demonstrated by the fact that translations appeared in German, English, French, Swedish, Spanish and even Arabic, among others languages. The purpose of these editions was to paint a picture abroad of a Church that can exist, free and unhindered, despite the state ideology of atheism. That this has succeeded over the years is a sad truth as it is bitter, for the Orthodox Russian population has hardly been able to find an advocate for its basic religious freedoms who is not persecuted anew for it daily.

In addition to these publications of all sorts, the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate (JMP), with an edition of 10,000 copies per month, and containing approximately 80 pages, has been published again since 1943. Since 1968, there has been a Ukrainian edition, and since 1971, an English edition. Abroad, four other journals are published by the Patriarchate: in Berlin, Voice of Orthodoxy (Stimme der Orthodoxie), since 1961; in Budapest, Church Chronicle (Egyhazi khronika), since 1952; in England, Sourozh; and in New York, One Church. The distribution of these newspapers bears no relationship to the number of the faithful to whom these journals were directed. The Central European Exarchate numbers a dozen communities in the GDR, FRG, and Austria; the Hungarian deanery includes nine parishes; in the U.S.A., Canada, and Great Britain, there are 60 communities. So, some 80 communities have three of their own journals, plus an English translation of the Journal, whereas in the Soviet Union today, for every open church there is are most three or four copies of the Russian Journal.

In addition to the JMP, the Patriarchate has published a church annual since 1945; also since 1965, 21 theological volumes of Theological Works (Bogoslovskie Trudy) have been published. All these editions have only a small distribution and are not available for purchase. These can only be ordered directly from the publishing house, or also obtained in the churches, where they are sometimes displayed. The greatest lack since the Revolution is, however, in the area of liturgical books, as well as in editions of the New Testament and Bibles for the faithful. These have only appeared in very limited editions since 1948, mostly as photocopied reproductions of editions from Tsarist times. The first new one appeared in 1956, in a run of 25,000 copies, in a clumsy and oversized format, marking the first Bible distribution since the Revolution. It was meant for a Church that had 30 million faithful and 22,000 parishes (as of 1961), did not have its own church printing press, and was unable to publish its works in the state-controlled book market. Since that time, there have been two further editions of the Bible and a few editions of the New Testament. Yet the total circulation only reached 125,000 copies (in 1956, 25,000; in 1968, 50,000; in 1979, 50,000). Thus, all publications of the Patriarchate to date are only a drop in the ocean of atheist literature. The great lack of religious literature is most clearly revealed by the prices one must pay for Bibles, New Testaments, etc. on the black market. In comparison with the publishing houses of the Church Abroad, the Moscow Patriarchate’s publications appear quite modest. 2

To these quantitative limitations, one must also add a series of qualitative restrictions. Thus, Fr. Gleb Yakumin, in a report delivered in Moscow in 1979, speaks of “a whole series of themes forbidden to the Patriarchate: apologetics, criticism of materialism, publications for children, themes connected with the betterment of pastoral qualifications, methodological recommendations for confessions, sermons, and so forth. 3

The two largest waves of emigration from Russia after Word Wars I and II included, along with political, national and religious groups, representatives of the intelligentsia of all nationalities of the Russian Empire. As diverse also as the cultural, national and spiritual, religious backgrounds of these groups may have been, one thing they all had in common was the need to continue their spiritual and religious heritage. The spiritual diversity of this emigration is nowhere clearer than in the numerous periodicals, newspapers, and brochures that they published.

The writer Brumberg noted: “Also, whoever has read only a little of this literature must be impressed by the significance that the émigré publications have as a source of information, not only for the political and spiritual trials in the Russian émigré communities in the West but also for developments within the Soviet Union.” 4 Besides noteworthy belles-lettres, there is also an impressive philosophical and political literature of considerable extent. In this area of theological thought and scholarship, it has been the émigré’s task over the decades to conduct theological discussions with Catholicism and Protestantism, because, in the Soviet Union, nothing on these subjects was permitted to be published, and the theological seminaries and academies were all closed in the 1920s. The first typewritten and hectographed newspapers were published already in the refugee camps; later, these were often to become leading mouthpieces of certain groups. The Index of Periodical Publications of the Emigration from Russia and the U.S.S.R. in the years 1919-52, 5 published by the U.S.S.R. Research Institute, listed 2,356 periodicals in 35 countries: 1,571 in Russian, 537 in Ukrainian; 84 in Belorussian, and another 35 in other national languages. Added to this were another 125 titles, which were published by Russians, Ukrainians and other nationalities in West European languages. Not included in this index were the Baltic languages. Many of these periodicals had a very brief run; this applied above all else to the camp periodicals after 1945. However, many of them can look back on decades of existence. Most periodicals originated in Germany, followed by France, Czechoslovakia, the U.S.A., China, Canada, and Poland, but other journals were also published in South America, Australia, and North Africa. Some 100 titles were published by the Russian Orthodox Church [in emigration] (the Church Abroad, Metropolitan Eulogius’ Jurisdiction, and the North American Metropolia); around 15 to 20 journals have now existed for decades. Because of their large volume, it is impossible to treat all titles here. Only those that, due to their volume or their long existence, has left a strong impression upon the faithful of the Church Abroad and have found wide distribution can be examined.

The journals with religious and moral content have increased since the mid-1920s in volume and circulation because, after the schism, each jurisdiction published its own newspapers. The number of titles published by the émigré Church has always taken fourth place numerically among the total of journals, with 12 of 102 titles, after the political, general and literary and artistic periodicals. 6

While many journals were at first published by the simplest means, over the years their volume, regularity of publication, and technical production and distribution improved more and more. After the loss of the Church presses through the Revolution, the Russian Church had only two presses abroad: at the Peking and Jerusalem Missions. The Peking printing press was founded in the 19th century and devoted itself primarily to the translation of divine service and liturgical books from Russian into Chinese. During the Boxer Rebellion, the printing press and the valuable Mission library were destroyed. Under the new head of the Mission, Archimandrite Innocent (Figurovsky, later Archbishop, and from 1929 Metropolitan of Peking & China), a new press was established in 1906. In contrast to the old one, which had been run with steam engines, the new one was electric and one of the most modern presses of its time. 7 In the Jerusalem Mission’s printing press, books and writings for the schools and the Mission in Palestine were printed. They still print literature today in Russian, Church Slavonic, English, Arabic, and Greek.

The presses in Peking and Jerusalem were not in any position to meet the tremendous need for liturgical books, prayer books, Church calendars and journals overall in the newly-formed parishes and churches of the emigration. The greatest shortage prevailed in the area of liturgical books, Bibles and catechisms, which the Church leadership at first had published in Bulgaria, Serbia, and Poland, where there were Cyrillic typesetters. This shortage held true for both the wave of emigration after 1917 and that after 1945. There was also the possibility of placing orders with the printing presses in the newly-formed Baltic States and the Russian St. Panteleimon’s Monastery on Athos. The desire to have their own efficient printing press, which would also be in a position to publish a central Church journal and the communiqués of the Synod of Bishops, was, therefore, present from the beginning and also necessary for financial reasons, in order to save on the cost of printing.

The importance that the Church attached to printing and publishing is also underscored by the fact that it formed its own commissions to deal with this problem. At the Third Pan-Diaspora Council, in 1974, in Resolution VIII on the “Commission for Missions and Publishing,” it was resolved, among other things, to build up community libraries and the editions of books, brochures, journals, and so forth in the Russian language, as well as in other languages, and to increase the distribution of these printed products in churches of the Church Abroad. 8

The first plans to establish an official church mouthpiece, which was to report on the events in the Church emigration, and most of all on the relations between the SCA and the Patriarch of Russia, stemmed back to 1920. Because of the evacuation, it never came about. Thus, it was only possible to realize these plans in early 1922. The necessity for a journal with official pronouncements were becoming more and more urgent, the more so because all manner of rumors were circulating about events in the emigration and about the situation in the homeland. In the official section, important pronouncements were to be published on the life of the Church emigration, such as the appointments of the clergy, administrative directives, epistles and the SEA’s pronouncements, and so forth. In the unofficial part, there are general reports on the situation in the emigration and in Russia. The first issue appeared on 15/28 March 1922 under the title Church News. Publication by the Supreme Russian Ecclesiastical Administration Abroad (Tserkovnie Vedomosti, Izdanie pri vysshem russkom tserklovnom upravlenii zagranitsei). E.I. Macharoblidze, long-time secretary of the Synod of Bishops, was the editor. The journal was published every two weeks and was 8-10 pages long. For the Church developments in the emigration, as well as for those in the Soviet Union, it represents a comprehensive source, because all important developments can be traced in the official part. The unofficial part, the chronicle, reports on the life of individual dioceses and communities of the Church Abroad, and also presents many interesting articles on the situation in Russia and the plight of the Patriarch. Among other things, in 1926 (No. 23-24) and 1927 (No. 3-6 and 11-12) there is a complete list of all canonical bishops in the Soviet Union, i.e. those bishops who were included in the Tikhonite hierarchy, and a list of canonically consecrated bishops who had joined the Renovationists. The first list contained the names of 260 bishops and the second another 17 bishops.

At the end of the 1920s, the periodical encountered financial difficulties and had finally to cease publication. In 1933, it was resumed under the name Church Life (Tserkovnaya zhizn’), which was published by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia as its official mouthpiece. Its temporary publication was suspended after the June 1944 issue. It appeared again, from 1947, in Munich, first with 50 pages per issue, mostly as a double issue.

From 1951-1976, it was edited in the U.S.A., first in Mahopac, then in New York, but printed in Jordanville. After the War, except for the period in Munich, when it was edited by Archpriest Pomazansky and Archimandrite Abercius (Taushev), Archpriest Grabbe remained the editor.

From the mid-1950s, 5-6 issues were published per year; from the mid-1960s, only 3-4. Count G.P. Grabbe (today Bishop Gregory) was the editor of the periodical, first in Karlovtsy, then in Munich, Mahopac and New York, until 1976, at which time publication was again suspended due to financial difficulties. Since 1983, it is again being published. In the interim, Orthodox Russia took over some of its tasks by printing the pronouncements and directives of the Synod of Bishops (see below).

The periodical Church Life was published at first monthly, with 15-20 pages, then later, as a double issue. Like its predecessors, it had an official and an unofficial part with a chronicle, and in all the years of its existence, it comprehensively mirrored the ecclesial developments of the Church Abroad and also of the Patriarchal Church, on which it regularly reported.

Archimandrite Vitalis (Maximenko), who had a great experience in this area, took the initiative to establish the Church’s new printing press. He can rightly be called the father of all publishing and printing in the Church Abroad. Archimandrite Vitalis had been appointed to be in charge of the printing press at the St. Job of Pochaev Dormition Monastery as early as 1900; this press had been established in 1618. This oldest church printing press in the south of Russia had lost much of its significance by the end of the 19th century and published only a Church calendar and a diocesan bulletin. Within barely 15 years, Archimandrite Vitalis succeeded in making it one of the most important printing presses in Russia. From five coworkers, the number grew to 150; the eight printing machines had more than 220,000 pounds of matrices. During World War I, the press was moved to the interior of Russia, where it was able to continue working on a small scale.

Archimandrite Vitalis was put in a Polish prison and sentenced to death for collaboration with the Ukrainian nationalists, but finally, on the intervention of leading statesmen and church figures, among others the French President Clemenceau and the Serbian Patriarch, he was pardoned and exiled from the country. He arrived in Ladomirova in eastern Slovakia, via Yugoslavia, in order to establish a monastery for the Orthodox there; the monks were appointed to give pastoral care to and run a mission among the populace. In the new monastery, which was dedicated to St. Job of Pochaev, 9 and from which later many hierarchs of the Church Abroad came, the first ecclesiastical; printing press of the Church Abroad came into existence, and in subsequent years it developed into one of the most important presses of the Church emigration.

Within a year from the arrival of Archimandrite Vitalis in the autumn of 1924, the small printing press began its work. The basic equipment was a few steam-driven machines with 440 pounds of matrices that Vitalis obtained in Prague from the former Russian Black Sea Legion. Printing was done in Church Slavonic and in Russian. At this time, the Brotherhood consisted of five people, who at first had to be trained in printing. Within a few years, the press was built up and other machines were procured. At first, liturgical books, such as the priest’s Service Book (Sluzhebnik), the Book of Needs (Trebnik), the Small Collection (Maly Sbornik), the Commemoration Book (Pomyannik), as well as other prayer books and catechisms, were printed. From 1925, a Church calendar was published yearly; it was called the Orthodox Church Calendar 10 and contained a monthly section (mesiatseslov) with the typicon (the order of services) and a section with readings (dlya chteniya) for specific feast days and Sundays. There were also theological, religious-educational, historical and literary articles. The most extensive work that the Brotherhood published in these first years was a four-volume edition of the Great Collection (Veliky Sbornik), which included the principal divine services celebrated in the churches of the Church Abroad. After 1945, a few monks, who had gathered together in the Fischbek Camp near Hamburg around Archimandrite Vitalis (Ustinov, later Metropolitan), reproduced it in order to care for the new refugee communities and camp churches that were coming into existence everywhere in Europe and overseas.

After the outbreak of the War with the Soviet Union, the Ladomirovo Brotherhood published Bibles, prayerbooks, and liturgical books, some of which were printed in editions of as many as 100,000 copies, in order to send them into the German-occupied areas of the Soviet Union, where they were distributed to the newly-established parishes and faithful. 11

The Brotherhood received financial support for this missionary work from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which in 1942/43 had put at their disposal 900,000 leva. By 1943, they had published 3,000 Gospel books, 100,000 Gospels according to St. John, 35,000 small prayer books, and 30,000 apologetical brochures. A further 300,000 Gospels according to St. John and 60,000 prayer books were planned. Also, a mission series was begun. Of this series, entitled For the Faith (Za veru), six different titles were published by 1943, for example, “Is there a God?”, “Why Do the Communists Persecute Christ?”, and “Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy.” The Brotherhood also produced 400 antimensia, which were blessed by Metropolitan Seraphim (Lade). 12 Besides these religious writings and books, the printing press also published books on church history, history, and political themes. 13

Alongside these periodicals, which had a primarily regional significance for the population of eastern Slovakia, there also appeared the following titles: Russian Pastor (Russky Pastyr), Orthodox Lemkovshchina (Pravoslavnaya Lemkovshchina), Orthodox Carpatho-Russia (Pravoslavnaya Prikarpatskaya Rus’), and others. However, Orthodox Russia. An ecclesiastical and social periodical (Pravoslavnaya Rus’. Tserkovno-obshchestvenny organ), which has attained the greatest importance, has appeared regularly every 14 days with a 15-20 page content since 1928.

In 1943, the state authorities forbade the newspaper and another 700 periodicals from publishing for a few months because there was not sufficient paper. However, they were able to resume publication in the summer of 1943, until October 1944, when the Brotherhood fled. Since 1947, the newspaper has been published in Jordanville, usually with two issues per month. In 1972, issue No. 23, dated 1/14 December, published its 1,000th issue as a jubilee edition.

This periodical is the central mouthpiece of the Church Abroad, in which all important decisions of the Synod of Bishops, the correspondence, Paschal and Christmas epistles of the First Hierarch of the Church, sermons by the bishops and priests, the biographies of the hierarchs and a regular chronicle of the communities and dioceses throughout the world, appeared. Also, alongside theological articles, one finds articles on church history and political history (for example, the rôle of the monarchy in the past and future, the relationship of the Church to the monarchy, to the situation in the Communist sphere of influence), stories and reports from old Russia from the time of the emigration, descriptions of the Russian cultural monuments, biographies of its rulers and its Church hierarchs and much more. In the jubilee issue, the periodical published the aims that it had set at its establishment in 1928. 14 Among other things, it says therein that it wants to consider itself the central mouthpiece of the Russian Orthodox emigration, whose Orthodox consciousness of self it would like to strengthen. Furthermore, its aims are to spread unity among the Russian Church emigration and defend Orthodoxy in the face of sectarianism, occultism, and theosophy. The periodical has faithfully pursued these aims. In 1971, in an advertisement for subscriptions, the following are listed: (1) instruction on the most important general Church events and their appreciation, (2) instruction on the actual Church life of the whole diaspora, which had organized itself ecclesiastically and forms a unity of Russians, (3) a collection of materials reflecting the position of the True Church of the Russian people, who are tortured and tormented by the Soviet yoke, (4) the transmission and spread of the basic values of the Orthodox Faith to the Church people with the aim of a knowledge founded upon the deep truths of the Church. 15 From 1935, until the outbreak of the War, the newspaper had also published a monthly accompanying issue for the children of the émigrés, Childhood and Youth in Christ (Detstvo i yunost’ vo Khriste); 56 issues of this appeared.

Archimandrite Vitalis (Maximenko) was in charge of the printing press until 1934 when he was succeeded by Archimandrite Seraphim (Ivanov), the founder of the New Kursk-Root Hermitage and later Archibishop of Chicago & Detroit. When, in 1944, the Brotherhood fled in the face of advancing Soviet troops via Pressburg and Berlin to the West, even during the flight they published a copy of Orthodox Russia, which appeared on 22 October 1944 in Pressburg.

The exact size of the periodical’s edition has not been precisely determined, but some 4,000 copies might have been printed.

The Ladomirovo printing press was the most important printing press in the time between the Wars. In it, 75 percent of all the literature of the Church Abroad was published, which was dispatched to fifty countries around the world. 16

After the Brotherhood fled, other monks joined on the way to the West, and their number grew to 49 monks. While the majority of them waited for a journey overseas or to Palestine, the Monastery of St. Job in Munich-Obermenzing was newly founded for those who remained. In the appeal to reestablish the monastery, the first point listed was to support Metropolitan Anastasius and the Holy Synod by publishing literature. 17

Due to the Communist seizure of power in Eastern Europe, China, and Manchuria, the Church Abroad lost all its possessions in these areas, including the printing presses in Ladomirova, Harbin, and Peking. Naturally, they also had no further possibility of having anything printed at the private or state printing presses in Eastern Europe. The necessity for a new beginning was even greater than after World War I. In addition to the above losses, there was also the loss of the Jerusalem Mission with its new printing press in 1949 because the Israeli authorities gave the ownership of all property of the Church Abroad on Israeli territory to the Moscow Patriarchate. 18

In the Athonite printing presses, nothing more was published due to the aging of the monks.

After 1945, the Church had only two small printing presses, in the U.S.A. One was located in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville and had been in existence since the end of the 1930s. It had been founded by Archbishop Vitalis (Maximenko), and as well as a Church calendar it printed religious educational literature, catechism, and prayerbooks. The second one was in the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God Convent in San Francisco, a sister convent of the Harbin Convent. This printing press can be traced back to an initiative by Archbishop Tikhon (Troitsky) of San Francisco & Western America, and printed the diocesan newsletter, “Orthodox Herald” (“Pravoslavny Blagovestnik”), as well as a church calendar.

It is therefore understandable that special value must be placed upon the establishment of the new printing presses. Three printing presses have continued the work of the St. Job Brotherhood in the Ladomirovo Monastery; they were all set up by the refugee monks: (1) the printing press of the St. Job Monastery in Munich-Obermenzing, at first the most important press, because the fleeing Synod of Bishops had its headquarters from 1945-50 in Munich; (2) the printing press of the St. Job Brotherhood in Jordanville, which since the end of the 1940s, in consequence of the influx of many monks from Europe and the Far East, has become the most important printing press of the Church Abroad and the true heir of the Ladomirovo press; and (3) the printing press of the St. Job Brotherhood in Montréal at the archbishop’s podvorye, with a second printing press in Holy Transfiguration Skete in Canada. It was founded after Bishop Vitalis (Ustinov) moved to Canada in 1956. (In 1950, the Brotherhood had also set up a printing press in São Paulo, when Bishop Vitalis had been appointed vicar bishop of the Brazilian Diocese.)

The first post-War attempts to publish books and periodicals were made even in the refugee camps. In Fischbek Camp, near Hamburg, Archimandrite Vitalis (Ustinov), later Archbishop of Montréal & Canada, with the support of other monks (the present Archbishop Paul of Australia & New Zealand belonged to this Brotherhood) published the first books. The most extensive work was the aforementioned reproduction of the Ladomirovo edition of the Great Collection (Veliky Sbornik). It was published on a German printing press; due to the poor quality of the paper and the simple printing equipment then available, it had to be partly corrected by hand. Prayer books and liturgical books were also printed, including a liturgicon. For the first time, An Orthodox Survey (Pravoslavnoe Obozrenie) appeared (see below).

In Munich, publishing similarly made a modest beginning. The first church periodicals appeared: the Sunday Newsletter (Voskresny listok) in 1945, Herald of the Orthodox Church Benevolent Committee of the German Diocese with 10 pages (1946-1948), which was later continued as Information of the Orthodox Church Benevolent Committee (Soobshcheniya Pravoslavnogo Tserkovnogo Blagotrovitelnogo Komiteta) and had another 24 issues (1949-50). The transregional periodical Church Chronicle (Tserkovny letopis) was published from December 1945-1946 with three issues. This was then continued from 1947 as The Life of the Church (Zhizn’ tserkvi) and concerned itself with Church developments in the emigration since 1945 and the new situation following the reentry of the Moscow Patriarchates into the community life of Western Europe, the Near East, and North America. 19

In 1947, the Monastery of St. Job in Munich also published Pochaev Notes (Pochaevskie Listki, six issues) and the central mouthpiece, Information and News from the Metropolitan of the Central European Metropolitan District (Rasporyazheniya i soobshcheniya Mitropolita sredne-evropeiskogo mitropolichego okruga), which was published monthly in the years 1946-50. In addition to this, there were also books on divine services, Church calendars, prayerbooks, and catechisms. In 1950, the first volume of the twelve-volume Lives of the Saints was published.

The press also produced the German diocesan newsletter, Church News (Tserkovnye vedomosti). This periodical, with a content of 15 to 20 pages, appeared from 1951, at first monthly, then every two to three months, and finally quarterly until 1971. 20 In addition to news from the German Diocese, it contained information on the life of the Church Abroad, and also longer theological and historical articles on an elevated theological plane. Thus, in 1951-52, from the pen of Professor Mozhaisky came a then little-noticed article, “On a Few Important Moments in the Final Days of His Holiness Patriarch Tikhon’s Life (1923-25),” which first found recognition a few years later and has done much to explain the Patriarch’s stance against the Communist authorities. 21

As a consequence of the emigration of most of the monks overseas and the moving of the Synod of Bishops to the U.S. A., the publishing business also moved overseas in 1950. Then, Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville became the new center of the Church Abroad’s printing and publishing.

At the printing press of the Munich monastery in the early 1970s, books and literature were still being published. After that, however, on account of the advanced age of the co-workers and the death of the monks, only smaller manuscripts such as Apologetical Instructions and short tracts on the Church Abroad were published. These writings, in a small format of some 20-30 pages, were sent by the organization Orthodox Work to the faithful in the USSR or distributed to tourists and groups of travelers from the U.S.S.R. Just recently, a new printing press was installed and more publishing is being done in German, Russian, and English.

The printing press at Jordanville, which had been in existence since the 1930s, received many new valuable workers with the influx of new monks after 1945. Since World War II, it has been expanded, modernized, and developed. Also, an offset printer was installed in the monastery, which made it possible to reprint old editions and which can reproduce photographs, artwork, and graphics. At this time, there is also a photo-offset printer. The printing press will also be moved into its own building because at the present it is in the main building and must work in very confined quarters.

The periodical Orthodox Russia has been published in this monastery since that time. It has a circulation of 2,600 copies, of which 400 are sold on the market; the remainder is sent by mail to subscribers throughout the world. The editor of the newspaper for more than 20 years, until his death in 1975, was Archimandrite Constantine (Professor Cyril Iosifovich Zaitsev).

Until 1974, almost all important articles were penned by him; this particularly applied to the chronicle, which gave a vivid picture of the life of the Church Abroad. Archimandrite Constantine, a typical representative of educated Russian monasticism, was born in 1887, in St. Petersburg. He studied at the University of Jura. After the Revolution, he continued his studies in Prague with Professor P.B. Struve and attended courses in political science and economics. At the same time, he taught at the Prague Law School as a private instructor. For a few years, he worked at the journal Rebirth (Vozrozhdenie), which was published in Paris, and Russia & Slavism (Rossia and Slavyanstvo). In 1935, he became a professor at the Russian Faculty in Harbin. From 1944, he was a member of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Peking and was ordained a priest upon the death of his wife in 1945. In 1949, he came with other refugees from China via the Philippines to San Francisco and arrived at Holy Trinity Monastery, where, at the new seminary, he became a teacher of dogmatics and church history. In 1949, he received the monastic tonsure and took the name Constantine.

Besides Orthodox Russia, Archimandrite Constantine also edited both Orthodox Life (Pravoslavnaya Zhizn’) in Russian, which has appeared monthly since 1950, as well as Orthodox Life in English, which has appeared bimonthly since 1950 and is addressed to the English-speaking faithful of the Church Abroad. Both periodicals are devoted to deepening the religious consciousness of the faithful and contain articles on Orthodox spirituality, extracts from the writings of the Church Fathers and the great Church leaders of Russia, the lives of the saints, and religious usages and customs in Russia; the English edition also contains translations from the liturgical and divine service books. These periodicals are first and foremost addressed to the Orthodox laypeople. The ecclesia-philosophical annual, The Orthodox Way (Pravoslavny Put’), in contrast, presents theological and church historical articles on a lofty plane. Articles on Russian Church leaders, philosophers, and religious-oriented writers from Old Russia were also printed. In addition to editing all these periodicals, Archimandrite Constantine found the time to publish many books and writings on all areas of spiritual life. He compiled a history of the Russian Church under the Soviet regime (Pravoslavnaya Tserkov’ v Sovetskoi Rossii, Shanghai, 1947), a Russian history (Chudo Russkoi istorii 1970), and a two-volume history of Russian literature (Lektsii po istorii Russkoi slovestnosti Vol. I-II, 1967/68), just to name a few of his works. 22

His successor was Priestmonk Ignatius, who has been editor of the two Russian-language periodicals since 1975. Bishop Abercius (Taushëv, d. 1976) of Syracuse & Trinity contributed many articles. Next, Hieromonk Hilarion [Kapral], now Bishop of Manhattan, became managing editor of the English-language Orthodox Life; he was succeeded by Hieromonk Luke in 1989.

Besides these periodicals, almost all liturgical books of the Church Abroad are published at the Monastery printing press: new editions and reproductions of the Great Collection, the Psalter, prayer books, akathists to the saints, a five-volume edition with Church hymns (which contains 4,000 pages), an edition of the Bible, the New Testament, the Gospels, works on Church history, courses on theology, dictionaries and grammars, the writings of departed hierarchs, and much more. It is quite impossible to mention all the titles. The catalog 23 of available books, published by Holy Trinity Monastery and other Church presses, and which were available in the monastery bookstore in 1977, contains over 300 titles in Church Slavonic, Russian and English. One must also keep in mind that many titles consist of more than one volume, which together may add up to a few thousand pages. For example, the new reprint of the 1898 Petersburg edition of the Works of St. John Chrysostom has 12,271 pages.

As already mentioned, a second group of the Ladomirovo monks had gathered around Fischbek Camp near Hamburg around Archimandrite Vitalis (Ustinov) and had already begun publishing and reproducing books and periodicals during the time in the camps. Orthodox Survey, a periodical on Russian Orthodox thought published by the Brotherhood of the Venerable Job of Pochaev in Montreal (Periodichesky zhurnal Russkoi pravoslavnoi Mysli. Izdanie Bratstvo Prep. Iova Pochaevskogo v Monreale), appeared for the first time in Fischbek Camp near Hamburg with four issues.

From 1945-47, Archimandrite Vitalis was a priest at the camp and had a small brotherhood of four monks assembled around him. When he was named the administrator of the London communities in 1948, all the monks accompanied him. There, Vitalis founded another printing press, which was steam-driven. He began with the publication of a Church calendar; later followed books and small tracts, among others The History of the Russian Church by Smirnov, other issues of Orthodox Survey, and catechisms for school instruction.

The appointment of Archimandrite Vitalis as a vicar bishop of the Brazilian Diocese in 1949, led to the resettlement of the group to Brazil, where they founded another printing press. The machines came from London, the typesetters from Germany. The Brotherhood began with a new printing of various books from the time before the Revolution, including the works of Archbishop Hilarion (Troitsky), Khomiakov, and others. Many smaller tracts, and the journal Orthodox Survey, were also published; then the Brazilian Diocese’s mouthpiece Sim Popedishi, the newsletter to the Orthodox Brazilian Diocese, which had been published in typewritten form since 1948 and was now published in printed form monthly. Furthermore, the Vladimir Herald (Vladimirsky Vestnik), a journal with a wealth of Russian national and ecclesiastical-religious thought, was also published. The press in São Paulo still exists today but has had hardly any steady workers since the Brotherhood moved to Canada.

The appointment of Bishop Vitalis as Bishop of Montréal & Canada led to the resettlement of the Brotherhood in Canada and to the establishment of yet another two printing presses. At Holy Transfiguration Skete, in Mansonville, the Brotherhood has a small press. A second is located at the archbishop’s residence in Montréal. Its journal, Orthodox Survey, has since then been published quarterly in Montréal with a 70-80 page content. According to the preface, it is concerned with the transmission of the old Greek Orthodox world-view, free from Protestant and Catholic influences, which since the times of Peter the Great has intruded upon Russian thought. There are also articles by Russian theologians, both past and present, and articles from religious samizdat, such as the works, letters, and sermons by Fr. Dimitri Dudko, who was held in high esteem by the faithful in the Soviet Union and in the emigration. Also published are essays from Russian religious literature and Church history that dealt with the general position of the Russian Church Abroad, and general articles on the history and culture of Russia. The Brotherhood also publishes liturgical, theological and religious literature and edits larger editions, such as the 17-volume works of the First Hierarch of the Church Abroad, Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), which was published by Archbishop Nikon (Rklitsky) under the name Zhizneopisanie. Since 1964, the press has printed diocesan mouthpiece Orthodox Herald in Canada (Pravoslavny Vestnik v Kanade) with a monthly content of 15-20 pages. It often appears as a double issue. Like other diocesan journals, this Herald reports on diocesan life, the ruling bishop’s official visits, the developments in individual communities and monasteries on Canadian soil, and on events throughout the Church.

All of the printing presses mentioned up to this point originated with the Brotherhood of St. Job in Ladomirovo.

A second church printing press of the Church Abroad was blessed in Harbin between the Wars. This press began its work in 1929, at the Monastery of the Kazan’ Icon of the Mother of God, the cornerstone of which was laid in 1922 in Harbin. There was also a bookbindery attached. Russian émigrés from the city worked at both businesses, which were under the direction of the monks. In this press, the periodical Heavenly Bread (Khleb nebesny) was published with the aim of proclaiming the Faith among the émigrés and the local population.

Also, divine service books and textbooks for religious instruction on the history, grammar, and readers were published. The Harbin printing press worked for the needs of the Church Province of the Far East of the Church Abroad, which on account of the great distance from the European and North American ecclesiastical provinces enjoyed far-reaching autonomy. Thus, the press in Harbin, which was also responsible for the parishes in Korea and Japan, remained more of regional importance, although the books, periodicals, and calendar all attained a wide circulation. The aforementioned periodical Heavenly Bread, which was begun in 1926, appeared into the mid-1930s with some 10-15 sides per issue, and from 1936 was edited by Archimandrite Basil (Pavlovsky). It reached a circulation of 7,500 copies, with the content of 80-100 pages per issue. Prayer books and church calendars were printed, with a press run of 50,000-100,000 copies. An edition of The Lives of the Saints reached 2,500 copies, the Akathist to the Mother of God 10,000, and smaller religious educational tracts even reached 100,000-200,000 copies. 24

The same applies to the Peking printing press of the Ecclesiastical Mission. In it, the pre-Revolutionary tradition was continued and divine service books and liturgical books were translated from Russian into Chinese and printed, so as to provide the existing Chinese-Orthodox communities in China with the necessary literature. For the Russian refugees living in China, the newspaper Chinese Herald (Kitaisky Blagovestnik), which had been published since the turn of the century, continued to be published. It remained in existence until the Russian clergy were exiled from China in 1956. Thereafter, the Chinese Autonomous Orthodox Church, which was then established, replaced it with their own journal Church Newsletter (Tserkovny listok), though nothing is known of its manner of publication, size or content. Presumably, it was published at the printing press of the Peking Mission because a few Chinese monks still lived there. During the Cultural Revolution, this missionary Church was destroyed.

In addition to these two periodicals, Church calendars were published in Russian, Chinese, and English. 25

The flight of the monks and nuns from the Far East contributed to the building up of the Convent of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God in San Francisco, which was the filial convent of the same name in Harbin. Since the early 1940s, there has been a small printing press established by Archbishop Tikhon (Troitsky), which printed a church calendar and the Orthodox Herald (Pravoslavny Blagovestnik), as well as shorter religious writings. The periodical was published from 1942-1952. It suspended publication because Orthodox Russia had for the most part taken over its tasks. During its existence, Good News was sent to other countries that had no periodicals of their own. It contained news from the life of the Russian parishes in North America and religious articles. In each issue, there were also articles in English, which came from two Orthodox Americans – Eugene Rose and John Gregerson. 26 Besides these publications, the convent published a collection of the Lives of the Saints, in which also the Life of the Blessed Fool-for-Christ Xenia of Petersburg (who lived in the 18th century) was published.

An important printing press among the English-speaking Americans was that of the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood near Platina, California. This Brotherhood at first consisted only of two monks – one Russian and one convert to Orthodoxy, the aforementioned Eugene Rose, later Hieromonk Seraphim (+1982). Their aim was to carry on a mission among the English-speaking population. For this reason, their press primarily printed English translations of Russian books on Orthodox spirituality, which are used in the English-speaking communities of the Church Abroad.

The St. Herman Brotherhood has published the journal Orthodox Word since 1965, which has served to spread the Orthodox Faith and to publish articles on the lives of Russian saints and shrines. At the focal point of the journal, however, is Orthodoxy in North America from its beginnings, and research into the life of the sainted missionary Herman of Alaska, to whom American Orthodoxy can be traced. Additionally, the journal has presented articles on Orthodox spirituality and against secularization, atheism and the loss of faith. It is approximately 200 pages in length and appears bimonthly. The Brotherhood also publishes the St. Herman Orthodox Calendar for English-speaking communities; it is a complete calendar of Orthodox holy days with readings for each day of the year and in an appendix the names of men and women, not canonized but known for their holiness of their lives in recent centuries. 27 Since 1967, the Brotherhood had again published the Orthodox Good News, which had been suspended in 1952. This was the mouthpiece of the Western America Diocese and was 16 pages in length.

A small printing press still exists in Sydney, which takes care of the Diocese of Australia & New Zealand. In it, since 1956, The Word of the Church (Tserkovnoe Slovo), the official mouthpiece of the diocese, and since 1957 the journal The Call (Prizyv), (although it has in the meantime again been suspended) have been published. Other smaller tracts of religious-educational content are also printed on the printing press. 28

Notes:

  1. Le Concile à Karlovtsy, p. 223. This chapter appeared in 1980 in Ostkirchliche Studien, 4, pp. 283-300. On account of the special importance of the church printing presses and publishing houses for the Church Abroad, it will be presented here once again in abridged form.
  2. Seide, Schrifttum, pp. 7-10; Idem., “The Journal” and “Stimme,” pp. 1-3; “Stimme,” pp. 146-171; Rössler, The Journal.
  3. Yakunin, O sovremennom polozhenii, pp. 59-60.
  4. Brumberg, p. 468.
  5. Ukazatel’ periodicheskikh izdanii.
  6. Volkmann, pp. 121-125 and Table II, Appendix.
  7. Seide, Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in China, pp. 173-175.
  8. Prav. Rus’ (1974) 22, p. 13; Le Concile à Karlovtsy, p. 223.
  9. Seide, Klöster im Ausland.
  10. Pravoslavny Tserkovny Kalendar’ This calendar was published in Ladomirova from 1924 until 1945. Also, the Pravoslavny Russky Kalendar’ was published in Ladomirova from 1926. The publication of both has been continued in the USA: Troitsky Pravoslavny Kalendar’ by Jordanville since 1945, and the Vladimirsky Kalendar’ by New York and Jordanville since 1945. Along with these, there are numerous other smaller calendars in all dioceses.
  11. Obozrenie (1977) 42, pp. 12-29, here p. 21.
  12. Tserk. Zhizn´ (1942) 9, p. 14; (1942) 5-6, p. 6; (1943) 4, pp. 5-6; 7, p. 107.
  13. Cf. Kratky katalog izdanii Pochaevsky Tipografy in Pravoslavny Russky Kalendar‘ (1939) Appendix, not paginated.
  14. Prav. Rus’ (1972) 23, p. 5.
  15. Ibid. (1971) 19, p. 11.
  16. “Pravoslavny Russky Kalendar’” (Ladomirova, 1939), Appendix, paginated: “Vozstanovlenie Pochaevsky Tipografy vo Vladimirove”, pp. 7-15, here p. 12.
  17. Prav. Rus’ (1947) 15, pp. 4-9; 16, pp. 5-9.
  18. Seide, Jerusalem, pp. 170-171.
  19. “Russie et Chretienté” (1947) 15, pp. 4-9.
  20. Seide, Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in BRD, p. 174f.
  21. Rössler, Kirche und Revolution; Felmy, Patriarch Tichon.
  22. Prav. Rus’ (1975) 12,p.16; 23, pp. 3-6.
  23. “Katalog knig izdannii Sv. Troitskim Monastyrem” in Prav. Rus’ (1977) 11, pp. 9-20. Also, Katalog izdanii Sv. Troitskogo Monastyrya [Jordanville] (1980).
  24. Church News (1930) 1, pp. 1-5; (1935) 1, pp. 14-17; (1939) 7, pp. 55-63.
  25. Seide, Die Russisch Orthodoxe Kirche in China, p. 191.
  26. Prav. Rus’ (1952) 22, pp. 15-16; Seide, Die Russische Orthodoxe Kirche in China, pp. 185-186.
  27. Prav. Rus’ (1977) 11, p. 20.
  28. Russ. Prav. Ts. 2, pp. 1354.

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