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Fr. John Behr to Speak at St. Anthony Church, Bergenfield, NJ

Tomb to Womb:  The Liturgical Linkage between Christ's Annunciation, Nativity & Passion

On Friday, March 20, 2009, Fr. John Behr, Dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, will speak on the liturgical linkage between the Feast of the Annunciation and Christ's Nativity and Passion. The event will be held at St. Anthony Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey. The program will begin after the Celebration of the Salutations to the Mother of God service at 7:30 PM. Refreshments will be served.

Some thoughts from Father John on the topic:

"On Holy Friday, as we bury the body of Christ, we read from Isaiah about the suffering servant, but conclude with the joyful words about the barren woman giving birth to many children. How is it that we come to know that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of the Living God, through his Passion, his Crucifixion and Resurrection, and how do we come to share in this, by dying to ourselves and our passions, to be reborn as sons of God, as the body of Christ?

As we approach the feast of the Annunciation, learn why we celebrate it on this day, its connection to the Passion and the Nativity of Christ... how we go from the tomb to the womb."

Fr. John Behr teaches courses in patristics, dogmatics and scriptural exegesis at the seminary. After completing a degree in Philosophy in London in 1987, he spent a year studying in Greece. He finished an M.Phil. in Eastern Christian Studies at Oxford University, under Bishop Kallistos (Ware), who subsequently supervised his doctoral work, which was examined by Andrew Louth and Rowan Williams, now Archbishop of Canterbury. While finishing his studies, he was invited to be a Visiting Lecturer at St. Vladimir's Seminary in 1993, where he has been a permanent faculty member since 1995, tenured in 2000, and ordained in 2001. He is the currently the editor of St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly and the Popular Patristics Series, the faculty supervisor for the Inter-Seminary Dialogue, and, as "resident alien," the advisor for foreign students at the Seminary. His particular interests lie in the early church, especially the development of theological reflection, asceticism and anthropology, areas in which he has published a number of books. His other passion is cycling: the Tour de France dominates the Behr family life during July, dictating annual upgrades in cable subscription and the scheduling of important family events. Fr John's wife, also a Tour de France enthusiast, teaches English at a nearby college, and their two sons and daughter are being taught to appreciate the finer points of French culture: cycle racing and cheese.