My grandfather and my mother were Bulgarian, and my grandfather served in Bulgaria’s diplomatic services in Austria. When it came to the point in World War II when the Bulgarians were lining up with the Soviets against Germany, the SS approached my grandfather and gave him a choice:
(I want to make here a parenthetical comment. This is at least part of the reason I have never been a pacifist. And this is as good a time as any to say that the first official event I want to have at the Rectory, now that we’ve moved in to it, is a Veterans’ Day dinner, this Veterans Day, November 11th – I want to honor and thank the men and women of our current armed forces who are members of this church, because I literally owe my life, my existence, to the United States military.)
In March of 1948, my mother came to the United States on a visitor’s visa; she was 26 years-old.
In 1949, my uncle (her brother) and my grandfather and grandmother immigrated here under the Displaced Persons Act, passed by the United States Congress.
My grandfather spoke six languages: Bulgarian, French, English, German, Turkish, and Greek. When he was in Bulgaria, before the war, before his diplomatic service, he was a professor of political science and history...
- She’s a woman in 1st Century Middle East culture that treated women as little more than property;
- She’s a Gentile – of Syrophoenician (Syrian) origin -- in a world where Jews and Gentiles had strong ethnic and religious reasons to distrust and dislike each other, and they distanced themselves as much as possible from each other.
- She has a demon-possessed daughter.
he opens minds, he opens the border between people,
and between humanity and God.