The lives of many of us have been affected by Father Matthew Harrington, the modest but brilliant young priest of the Orthodox Mission Parish of Saint John the Theologian in Saint Francisville, Louisiana, who has not only formed the first successful Russian Orthodox Mission Parish in Louisiana, but has been instrumental in spreading the Good News. Respected by all who know him, both laymen and clergy, Father Matthew has always been available for all inquirers and has pointed many - all over our country and even overseas - towards the beacon of the Church. In his efforts, he has been supported by his Matushka, Anna, who has sacrificed as much, if not more, as Father to keep not only the Harrington Family a shining beacon, but also to allow Father to continue being the Priest we affectionately call "The Swamp Priest."
The Harrington Family is facing one of the most challenging tests it has ever been confronted with. While joyously expecting their fourth child, Irene, they learned they must also prepare for health issues for both mother and baby. Due to complications with Anna's pregnancy, Irene's delivery will require her month-early arrival (July 21) by a complex surgical procedure. She will also be born with a special condition called hemifacial microsomia that includes pronounced spinal scoliosis.
Matushka Anna stopped working at the end of April due to these medical struggles. While the members of the Parish of Saint John the Theologian lovingly support Father Matthew financially in his priesthood , the Harrington family also depended on Matushka Anna's income to fullfill their needs. The Harringtons are facing major financial hardship. Anna will not physically be able to work, and baby Irene will require her attentions full-time. Irene will likely need future surgical procedures and the attentions of specialists to care for the many possible complexities of her condition. This includes medical care and may include travel to major hospitals in other areas of the united states. Matushka Anna's condition is delicate in the sense that the procedure she will undergo is complicated and will require a week or so long hospital stay and her recovery will be longer than expected. The family has never been known for anything but grateful acceptance of even the most challenging situations, but these new tests have involved selling Matushka's car, delaying almost all purchases, and belt-tightening to an extent which we, both friends and those who have been affected by Father, as well as those who appreciate voices of his variety, need to step up and do what we can.
In addition to your gratefully received prayers for the recovery of Matushka Anna, I, his friend Vladimir Hindrichs and Father Jesse Philo, his dear friend in the clergy, whose Matushka Elizabeth will be baby Irene's Godmother, ask you to send your donations to this worthy cause.