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Religion & Faith

Orthodox priests lead a Friday night Lenten service in the chapel at the Monastery of St. Silouan the Athonite, near Prescott, Ontario.  Photo: Todd Moe
Orthodox priests lead a Friday night Lenten service in the chapel at the Monastery of St. Silouan the Athonite, near Prescott, Ontario. Photo: Todd Moe

Crossing borders to create a small-town Orthodoxy

The single most important day in the Orthodox calendar - Easter, or Pascha, is this Sunday. Many Orthodox churches base their holiest days on the Julian calendar, rather than the Gregorian calendar.

Historically, Orthodox communities in the United States have been defined largely by ethnicity and found mostly in urban areas. But a group of Orthodox Christians in the Canton-Potsdam area has created a mission that brings diverse groups together. They don't have a permanent worship space, sometimes share priests with the Greek Orthodox Church in Watertown, and even visit a small monastery in Ontario. Their membership includes students, families and seniors. This Sunday will mark the group's first Easter service, or Great Vespers, and a meal of festive foods.  Go to full article
An Amish farm near Heuvelton, NY. Photo: Karen Johnson-Weiner

Old Christmas an old tradition for many Amish in the North Country

For most of us, Jan. 1 marks the end of the holiday season, whether that's a sad goodbye or a relief.

But for some Christians, including many of the Amish people in the North Country, Jan. 6 is another day of celebration: Epiphany, or "Old Christmas."

Karen Johnson-Weiner is a professor of linguistic Anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. She's been working with the North County's Amish for years.  Go to full article
Jemila Saleh in her kitchen in Potsdam. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Eritrean refugee finds home in cooking

Eritrea is a small country in the African Horn. It's been at war on and off with neighboring Ethiopia for decades. And since 2001, the government has been sending thousands of its citizens to prison for being a part of any faith group that isn't on the government's approved list of churches.

Jemila Saleh is sure she would have been sent to prison for her beliefs, if it hadn't been for a series of what she calls miracles. Just after her pastor was imprisoned, Jemila connected with a church here in the North Country, and they offered to support her escape. So in the middle of the night Jemila packed up all she could, and got on airplane with her three daughters. Members of the church picked them up at the Syracuse airport with a backseat full of blankets and winter coats, and brought them to their new apartment in Potsdam, which the church members had rented and furnished.

Four and a half years later, Jemila has a degree in finance from SUNY Canton, her daughters are in school, and Jemila is practicing her faith freely here. But the way she's kept a grip on her life, and her story, is through cooking.  Go to full article
Kateri Tekakwitha shrine in Fonda, NY. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmcordell/">Diane Cordell</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">some rights reserved</a>

First Native saint "beacon of empowerment"

Catholics across Upstate New York and Canada are celebrating the canonization of a 17th century Mohawk woman. She'll become the first Native American saint in a ceremony this...  Go to full article
The Dalai Lama and Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. Photo: Sarah Harris

Dalai Lama addresses thousands in Middlebury

The Dalai Lama visited Middlebury College in Vermont last Friday and Saturday. Thousands of people descended on the college town to hear his message.  Go to full article
Father Delbel addresses parents and parishioners at a meeting shortly after the school closure was announced.

Champlain's St. Mary's Academy closes its doors

Another Catholic school is closing in the North Country. St Mary's Academy, a pre-kindergarden to 6th grade elementary school within the Clinton County town of Champlain,...  Go to full article
Peter Garrow

The spiritual side of playing lacrosse

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, near Massena, is hosting a day devoted to the game of lacrosse. The event, at Generations Park in Hogansburg, will include some of the best...  Go to full article
Clergy filled the stairwell at the Capitol Building, urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push for a hike in the minimum wage. Photo: Karen DeWitt.

Clergy urge minimum wage hike in NY

Religious leaders rallied at the State Capitol to push for an increase in the state's minimum wage. They urged Governor Cuomo to get off the fence and advocate for passage in...  Go to full article
Eric and Susan Olsen celebrate his homecoming from Iraq. NCPR file photo

The Road from 9/11: How the war on terror changed one North Country family

One of the uncomfortable truths about the terror attacks on 9/11 is that some families have carried a far greater burden during the months and years that followed. The Olsen...  Go to full article
Tenzin Dorjee

Tibetan culture comes to Plattsburgh

Last spring downtown Plattsburgh got a new restaurant: a Himalayan restaurant. It's owned and operated by Tenzin and Yangchen Dorjee, a Tibetan couple who moved to northern...  Go to full article

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