Half-way around the world, in a church in Moscow, the famous Benedictine monk and spiritual writer, Fr. Gabriel Bunge, was welcomed into the Orthodox Christian faith on August 27, 2010. His reception into Orthodoxy holds special significance for our seminary, since Fr. Gabriel has written two exquisite volumes for St. Vladimir's Seminary Press (SVS Press ): Dragon's Wine and Angel's Bread and The Rublev Trinity.
Moreover, and coincidently, other highly respected authors of our academic press were present as Fr. Gabriel was received into his newly chosen faith: Metropolitan Hilarion (Alefyev), archbishop of Volokolamsk, who authored Christ the Conqueror of Hell; Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), bishop of Diokleia, who wrote The Orthodox Way and The Inner Kingdom; and Fr. Andrew Louth, Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion at Durham University, who authored Greek East and Latin West and is the Series Editor for our press's Church in History series.
Father Gabriel was received into the Orthodox Church just prior to the beginning of the All-Night Vigil service for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, according to the Julian Calendar. Metropolitan Hilarion officiated and Metropolitan Kallistos concelebrated at the service. Mingled with the parish congregation was a delegation from "The Friends of Mount Athos Society," who were visiting with the blessing of His Holiness Kirill, patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Congratulating Fr. Gabriel on his entrance into the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Hilarion presented him with an icon of the Mother of God called “Joy of All the Afflicted”—which also is the name of the church in which Fr. Gabriel was received.
Fr. Gabriel, who lives in Switzerland, has been practicing an eremitical monastic life since 1980. He has been a contributor to numerous spiritual and monastic journals, and his books and articles demonstrate his expert knowledge of the writings of the church fathers.