Most of my early life I went to Catholic schools. At St. Martin School, I had the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and I am very grateful to them, especially Sister Catherine William and Sister Margaret Edward, aka Sister Superior. They gave me the basics for going to high school. When I applied, I asked Sister Catherine William which program should I persue and without batting an eyelash she said "Academic."

I was very fortunate to go to Archbishop John Carroll High School, run by the Augustinian Fathers at the time. I am extremely grateful to Fr. Joseph Keffer [may his memory be eternal] who was my Latin teacher. At one point in my life I was actually able to carry on a pretty good conversation in Latin.

One day while we were doing some of the assignments in class, he noticed my poor English and corrected it. He then said, "Colored people are always doing that." Today people get upset when they heard this, but Fr. Keffer said this in love and it has made a tremendous difference in my English ever since. By the way, Latin has also helped me considerably with my Russian and my Greek.

My undergraduate degree is in Sociology from Merrimack College, North Andover MA. As far as we know, I was the first black male student to enroll there and I was the only one on campus for two of my four years. There was another black student there in my second year but he did not stay. Because of money and grades, I dropped out for four years and return and earned my BA. Then we had about a dozen black students.

After I left Merrimack College, I did not stop studying. I took courses at various colleges when I had the opportunity. I started a graduate program at the University of Texas at San Antonio but dropped out when I moved to the Houston area. Then I went to Texas Southern University, which was probably the biggest academic mistake in my life. I felt that I was getting a degree but not an education.

I eventually earned a Masters of Divinity degree from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. Going there was the second best decision of my life, only after becoming Orthodox.

Page updated Thursday 29 October 2009.

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