On Nov. 7, the Rev. Christopher LePage was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests in the Holy Orthodox Church.
The ordaining prelate was His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia Western Rite in New York City.
LePage will be celebrating the Rite of St. Gregory (Gregorian Mass) in English at St. Peter and St. Paul Orthodox Church, 26 Lower Malpeque Rd., Charlottetown. Holy Mass will be weekly on Saturdays at 4 p.m. All are welcome.
LePage was raised in Cavendish and Charlottetown and attended Cavendish, Prince Street and West Kent elementary schools, Queen Charlotte Junior High and Colonel Gray Senior High School. He graduated from Mount Allison University with a bachelor of music degree and from the Atlantic School of Theology with a master of divinity degree.
He was married to Heather (Keizer) and has two daughters, and three grandsons.
LePage feels he has come home to Orthodoxy after being associated with several churches through his life, all of which he found were lacking the fullness of the faith, either in practice and/or in belief.
The Orthodox Church, he says, is the source and summit of the Christian Faith, and in it lies in the mystical unseen essence and the living power of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church.
“There is great confusion in most of the churches of the world, and confusion is one of the works that Satan uses to try and bring down the church. But it is not so in the Orthodox Church.
Because the true faith seeks to transform the relationship with God of the Christian person and to produce growth in them spiritually (Romans 12:2), one must look to where this might happen. The only place is the Holy Orthodox Church.
There is nothing anti-Biblical in this church, says LePage. In fact, the Bible, which by the way came from the Orthodox Catholic Church, helps one see how they should be as a Christian and experience the Catholic Faith in its fullness, as a Catholic in the universal sense.
“One will find the worship in the Orthodox Church more transforming. One will find what is appropriate in worship. Either the Eastern Rite or the Western Rite will bring one, by the power of the Holy Spirit, into the most powerfully transforming relationship with our Lord and Saviour.
And what is perhaps the most pleasant thing of all about Orthodoxy is that the nature of the Church is primarily pastoral, not juridical. It is here that the loving embrace of the Lord will be felt in its most real sense. This pastoral element will accompany one from the baptismal font well into the next life itself.”
It has been a long journey for LePage, but he feels God has made His Will known for him. The length of time is not because of any particular doubts he had about the direction he was taking. Rather it was to a great measure due to the lack of resources he had in making the journey at all.
“The things one learns in the Orthodox Church will make a real and transforming difference to one’s life. They will bring one into new depths of the spiritual life. They will bring one by a spiritual, sacramental and mystical manner into unity with Christ and ultimately to salvation. This is not a faith of just having knowledge about Christ; it is a living faith of coming into Christ.”