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Who We Are

Icon - Washing of the Disciples' FeetThe Lived Theology School (LTS) is not an academic school. It is rather a way to serve and to learn through prayer and theological reflection.The St Maria of Paris Lived Theology School is a “school of service of the Lord” (Prologue of the Rule of St Benedict) that offers to adult Orthodox Christians (and others) the opportunity to serve the poor and marginalized by exercising a pastoral ministry of service in a busy inner-city Orthodox mission as Lay Missionaries.  A place to be “schooled” in the practice and meaning of a specifically Orthodox approach to mission through serving as a Lay Missionary and through theological reflection on the meaning of mission as it is lived in a community that has served the inner-city poor and marginalized in Toronto since 1986.

St Maria of Paris, and others with her in “Orthodox Action”, not only served the poor but also sought to relate what they were living to the theological understanding of the Orthodox Church. It is in this spirit that the Lived Theology School lives within the community of those who serve, and are served, at St John the Compassionate Mission here in Toronto, Ontario.

Why Are We?

Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
(Matthew 25:45)

Look up the words “missionary” or “mission” and you will quickly find that they are linked to the idea of working in a foreign country. However it is the mission of the Church to serve the world wherever it is. It may be for some in a foreign land but for others it is to serve those in need on its very doorstep. St John the Compassionate Mission is unique and one of the very few Orthodox places of mission “on the doorstep”. As such it is able to offer a place to serve in the Church as a Lay Missionary and at the same time to offer a “formation” through theological reflection on Orthodox mission.

St Maria of Paris

Elizabeth Skobtsova (St Maria of Paris)

“At the Last Judgment I will not be asked whether I satisfactorily practiced asceticism, nor how many bows I have made before the divine altar. I will be asked whether I fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick, and the prisoner in his jail. That is all I will be asked.”
- Mother Maria
"There is no such thing as a Christian problem. Don't you realize that the battle is being wages against Christianity? If we were true Christians we would all wear the Star. The age of confessors has arrived."
- Mother Maria

The St Maria of Paris Lived Theology School was established with the blessing of the late Metropolitan Nicholas of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese

Metropolitan Nicholas

"What Orthodoxy needs is not more professors but confessors!"
- Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos