St. Juliana Society Evening Features Hatfield Story

Hatfield hospitality: Mat. Thekla shares her story with the women of the St. Juliana SocietyHatfield hospitality: Mat. Thekla shares her story with the women of the St. Juliana Society"When we started out our years of ministry, I was terrified," admitted Matushka Thekla Hatfield, in an evening where she shared the Hatfield family story with the women of the St. Juliana Society at St. Vladimir's. The Society supports future clergy wives through special presentations, and Mat. Thekla's talk about the years she and Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield have ministered together in locations around the world, is always a favorite.

Matushka recalled their five years of teaching, preaching, and raising small children in South Africa, during the dangerous era of apartheid and unrest. She remarked that God's grace was always with her as she began to learn to deal with people of diverse backgrounds and persuasions. "In every parish you're going to meet with the same people in different guises," she explained. "You must learn to love the unloveable."

Later, she and Fr. Chad served in several parishes large and small, eventually planting Orthodox mission churches in Kansas before moving to Alaska to assume the leadership of St. Herman's Orthodox Seminary. While actively engaged in that outpost, the call came again to relocate to St. Vladimir's Seminary. Matushka testified to God's faithfulness as they made yet another huge adjustment, this time from life in the Alaskan wilderness to life as two New Yorkers.

"There were our plans, and then there were the Holy Spirit's plans," said Fr. Chad during his portion of the evening. "You have to be prepared for what the Lord asks you to do, and sometimes, it's pretty scary."

Other "Matushka-isms":

""That will never happen' was proven to be wrong, time and time again!"

"Protect your spouse, your home, your kids, and be your own advocate."

"Wherever we land, I find my place, and use my gifts as I can. Find your way to keep yourself going. No matter how old you are, you can always learn new things. Don't forget about the things that your heart wants to do."

"Every day is a journey."