WATCH: Family Of Ten Moves From America to Russia - TV News Story

Having already visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, this family of 10 was fascinated by ancient Rostov, so two years ago they decided to settle there. They are having a house built in the nearby countryside.


Arseny Kondratiev:

Good evening. This broadcast of the channel "RUSSIA" continues with the program "Vesti-Yaroslavl". This is Arseny Kondratiev in the studio, with an overview of top news for the hour.

Flying into oncoming traffic and colliding head-on into a family, a drunk-driver in a foreign car caused a serious accident on the M8 highway. Children were injured in the accident.

Why did an American priest and his family leave Texas and settle in Rostov the Great? How does an Orthodox family live in an unfamiliar country? We'll provide details.

In Yaroslavl, New Year's decorations are being put up on Sovietskaya Street, and a Christmas tree is going up in its normal place on Octoberskaya Square, but there is still a question about the festive fireworks. I'll tell you why.

To see Russia, and to stay forever, Joseph Gleason — a priest from America — came to the Yaroslavl region two years ago, leaving behind a comfortable life and his family in Texas. Marina McKenna will tell us why.

Marina McKenna:

Playing music is a must for Joseph Gleason's homeschooled children, playing the piano, mandolin, and flute. Joseph is the son of a famous musician in America, a place which now, obviously, is far away for everyone.

Here in Russia, they acquired this "Homeland" piano, and they brought this guitar from their Texas homeland. It has been mastered by Kimberly, their second oldest daughter.

Kimberly understands Russian better than her parents and siblings, and she has seven of them: Katie, Andrea, Julie, Jeremy, Andrew, Kelsey, & little Kenneth. Together with their father Joseph and mother Amy, they came here to Rostov in January 2017.

Kimberly Gleason:

Yes, I remember I was very tired! It was winter, so it was very dark when we arrived here.

Marina McKenna:

Eighteen years ago, in English, young Amy said "Yes" to her beloved. At that time, she couldn't imagine she would someday be - as Russians say - "Matushka".

A young computer engineer wanted the same, to have children and a strong family.

She became his devoted wife, and she supported his desire to study in seminary, and to become an Anglican deacon.

Just a few years later, they became Orthodox Christians, and eventually moved to Russia.

Amy Gleason:

My first reaction was shock, but then I agreed. As an Orthodox family, it is better to live where Orthodoxy is the main religion.

Marina McKenna:

Having already visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Gleasons were fascinated by ancient Rostov, and decided to settle down here. The local church provided temporary housing, but Fr. Joseph is building a house for the whole family, outside the city, and it looks like it will last for centuries.

In the Dormition Cathedral at the Rostov Kremlin, this Texan priest is well known, and they strongly support his desire to become Russian.

Fr. Roman Krupnov:

For two years they have gotten accustomed to life here, though assimilation takes time. They have already become more like us. Where you live, and who you spend time with, gradually shapes your character.

Marina McKenna:

Visiting holy places, and participating in the Church's ceremonies and sacraments, Fr. Joseph serves as a pilgrim in various churches in multiple towns, while he learns the language and works towards Russian citizenship.

He is happy to answer the most important question, because he found the answer to it while living in a country where most people have not yet heard about Orthodox Christianity.

Fr. Joseph Gleason:

But as I studied more of the Bible, and more of Church history, I realized that Protestantism is only 500 years old, and I did not want to be part of a religion that is so young.

I wanted to be in the Church that was founded by Christ and the apostles. So I realized that if we want to be with Christ, then we need to be in the Orthodox Church.

Marina McKenna:
I'm Marina McKenna. Ok, back to you in Yaroslavl.

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