St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral



St. John of the Ladder

St. John was Abbot of the Mount Sinai monastery in the seventh century, and he wrote his Ladder of Divine Ascent for his monks. The volume became a classic whose value was recognized even by those struggling to serve Christ in the non-monastic world. The book was read by the monks of the monastery during the Lenten season, and this Sunday of Great Lent commemorates the writer with gratitude, thereby commending his work to the entire Orthodox world.

St. John was born about 579 and came to the monastery at Mount Sinai when he was sixteen, learning from his spiritual father Martyrius, who tonsured him a monk at about age twenty. Martyrius died soon after, and John retired to Tholas, five miles from the monastery, to live as a hermit. He lived in prudent moderation, eating everything allowed but in small amounts. He slept very little and received the grace of continual prayer and the gift of tears. He became famous as a spiritual guide and received many visitors—so many that some criticized him as a chatterbox. After this he kept silence for a year, finally speaking only when entreated by those who had once criticized him.

John visited a large monastery in Egypt but continued to live at his hermitage. After forty years there he was elected abbot of Mount Sinai. John was a great spiritual director, and he placed much emphasis on mourning for one's sins, attaining inner stillness, and being constantly in prayer, invoking the Name of Jesus. It was for his monks that he wrote his famous book of monastic direction, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, which is read by monks during Great Lent. In it, he said, "When we die, we will not be criticized for having failed to work miracles. We will not be accused of having failed to be theologians or contemplatives. But we will certainly have to offer some explanation to God for not having mourned unceasingly.” Before his death he resigned as abbot and returned to the quiet of a hermitage. He died in peace in about 649.

~ Fr. Lawrence Farley


Service cancellation policy:

  • No one should travel to church for services if the road conditions are dangerous.
  • No services will be cancelled. Most services will be live streamed (links below).
  • Those who cannot get to services should instead stay home, watch the live stream of the service if possible, and be happy in the knowledge that a priest and a chanter are singing the services and praying for them.
  • Cancellation of services and activities will be posted below.

At this time we are closed for public worship at the Cathedral and the Annunciation chapel. A limited number of parishioners are able to reserve space for Sunday morning services using our reservation platform. Weekday services and Saturday Vespers do not require a reservation.

Activities at the parish center are canceled until further notice, and the parish center is closed. 

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  (Galatians 6:2)

Schedule of ServicesAll services listed below will be closed but will be live streamed at

Lenten Fast Continues

Wednesday, April 14
9:00 am Presanctified Liturgy
5:00-7:00 pm Donchenko Visitation @ Kozlak-Radulovich NE, 1918 University Ave NE  (Masks required)
7:00 pm Donchenko Parastas @ Kozlak-Radulovich NE Chapel (Masks required)

Thursday, April 15
9:00 am Donchenko Visitation @ Cathedral (Masks required)
10:00 am Donchenko Funeral @ Cathedral (Masks required)

Friday, April 16
9:00 am Presanctified Liturgy
7:00 pm Akathist Hymn (Not Live Streamed)

Saturday, April 17
9:00 am Akathist Liturgy @ Cathedral
2:30 pm Christensen Baptism
5:00 pm Vigil

Sunday, April 18
5th Sunday of Great Lent
St. Mary of Egypt + Parastas Sunday
8:00 am* Divine Liturgy @ Cemetery Chapel
9:00 am Divine Liturgy @ Cathedral
Parastas @ Cathedral
John Banholzer, Katherine & Michael Dzubay, Helen & Allen Kline.

4:00 pm MEOCCA Pan-Orthodox Lenten Vespers @ Twelve Holy Apostles GOC, Duluth

* Note time change back to 8:00 am
* Note change back to Church School

If you missed any of the live streaming services you can go to the playlist to replay them by clicking here


NOTE: Elevators available at both the Cathedral and the Parish Center.

This Week's EventsLenten Fast Continues

, April 12
Church Office Closed
Parish Center Closed
7:00 PM Board Meeting

, April 13
Parish Center Closed

Wednesday, April 14
Parish Center Closed

Thursday, April 15
Parish Center Closed

Friday, April 16
Parish Center Closed
NO Perohi Sales

Saturday, April 17
Parish Center Closed

Sunday, April 18
10:00 am Typika & Church School (2nd-5th Graders) @ gym (Click here for details).


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