Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thank you to our spring work day volunteers!

Thank you to all our amazing volunteers who helped us at our spring work day on Saturday, May 13! Click on the photo to see more photos from the day. (However, these photos only show a fragment of our many awesome volunteers!)

We had such a beautiful, fun and productive day. Trees were cut down, bushes trimmed, flower beds weeded, a frame for the herb garden was built, windows washed, grass weed-wacked, the chapel sign received a first coat of new paint, gravel spread, the light post repaired, the chapel cleaned, and more! We couldn't have accomplished all of this work on our own!

We also enjoyed lunch at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch with the shrine volunteers. Many volunteers also stayed for Great Vespers for the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, celebrated by our chaplain, Fr. Dennis, and enjoyed a cookout/potluck. We thank God for the beautiful weather and for the gift of your generous hearts.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Boys & Girls Camps Registration Open

Update: Girls Camp is full for this year. To be added to a waiting list, email or call 440-834-0290.

Registration opened this week for the Eparchy of Parma Boys and Girls Camps, sponsored by the Office of Vocations and the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center. See below for more information about the camps. There are only a few spots still open for Girls Camp!

Girls Camp is for girls 13-18 and provides an opportunity for teen girls to discover the different vocations in the Church and develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.  We will pray together, listen to inspiring talks, engage in group discussions, enjoy various activities and have fun! The camp is hosted by the nuns of Christ the Bridegroom Monastery in Burton, Ohio, and led by the nuns and young adult women.

Space is limited and may fill up before the deadline!  Questions?  Email call the nuns at 440-834-0290.

Boys Camp is for boys 8-18 and is an ascetical boot camp aimed at assisting young men in their path to true Christian discipleship and holiness.  The four-day weekend focuses on the boys need for God and how to best hear His call for their lives.  All vocations are discussed both in large and small group settings.  Campers will experience a variety of liturgical prayer, hiking and team activities. Please note that registration for boys ages 8-11 requires his father or legal male guardian's registration and participation.

The camp takes place at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch in Burton, Ohio, and is led by a dedicated team of priests, deacons, and lay leaders from the Eparchy of Parma.  Questions?  Email or call John Popp at 216-741-8773 x225.

Cost per camper: $100 (Family maximum: $300)
Scholarships available upon request
Register Online by June 5

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring Work Day, May 13

Join the nuns of Christ the Bridegroom Monastery for a day of outdoor and indoor work projects, prayer, food and fun at the monastery and the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch on Saturday, May 13. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome! The day begins at 10 a.m., includes lunch, and closes with vespers at 5 p.m. followed by a cookout. Come at whatever time you are available, and bring a side dish to share if you can. The monastery is located at 17485 Mumford Rd. Burton, Ohio. Please RSVP* by Monday, May 8, to 440-834-0290 or, so that the appropriate amount of food can be prepared.

*Please RSVP with:
1. The number of adults (include teens) and the number of kids (12 and under)
2. Will you be here for lunch or dinner or both?
3. The dish you plan to bring

Monday, April 24, 2017

Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! We hope you are enjoying this beautiful celebration of the Resurrection!

"Thomas Didymus dared to touch with his hand
the side of Him Who is untouchable
yet his hand was not consumed by fire!
He diligently probed the wounds
crying out concerning Him Whose side was pierced for us:
You are my Lord and my God, Who endured the Passion!"

(Sessional Hymn II, Monday of Thomas Week)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

To be Consoled, or to Console?

By Sr. Iliana

As Jesus hung on the cross in utter anguish, struggling for every breath, He turned to the thief crucified to His right and said, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43). These words suddenly had deeper meaning for me when I found myself one day struggling to breathe in an emergency room. If any of you have ever struggled to breathe, you know the anxiety that this produces. I do admit I felt pretty anxious. I soon realized that I felt lonely, too, as if I had been abandoned. I hadn’t actually been abandoned, but that is how it felt. Due to a series of unforeseen events, I was there alone. The nurse who was caring for me was truly a dear, but she was a stranger to me, and I desired my loved ones to be there. Even though I knew in my mind that there was no need for them to come, my heart still desired for them to come. This is a very normal human reaction! When we’re suffering, we want to be consoled by our loved ones. We even want this when we’re not suffering. The first thing I do when I’m in a large crowd is scan the room for someone I know.

Jesus was actually abandoned by His friends. Of His twelve disciples, only John came to the foot of the cross. Peter denied Him, Judas betrayed Him, and all the others fled in sheer terror. Though His Mother was there, and a few women at a distance, His intimate friends abandoned Him as He foretold. Jesus must have felt truly abandoned. Jesus is fully human and He desires consolation just as we do.

Yet in the moment that all of humanity would most desire to be consoled, Jesus turns to the stranger at His side – the thief who had been mocking Him just moments before – and He consoles. He says, “Today you will be with me in paradise,” as if to say: “You are now as close to Me as possible. You are now a saint. You are about to be face to face with your Father who loves you. Between us is the most intimate friendship, the most intimate love.” He takes the stranger and brings him into intimate relationship with Himself, the same relationship He desires for each of us. Whereas I desired my intimate friends, Jesus makes the stranger His intimate friend.

When I was in the emergency room, I eventually stopped feeling sorry for myself, and began to talk to Kaitlyn, my nurse. She asked me to pray for her, and I was profoundly moved by our encounter. I even wondered if Jesus had allowed me to be sick just so that I could be there with Kaitlyn in that moment. Kaitlyn was a consolation to me. Imagine how much more Jesus was consoled to see the salvation of the thief at His side. The Lord wants to take us out of mere feelings and into true communion with Himself, so that in the moment of our utter darkness we can see the hand of God and be consoled – not because the darkness has now passed, but even in the midst of the darkness. The thief was still nailed to the cross in anguish when He received the greatest consolation of all – the promise of eternal life. As we face the trials of our life, as we pick up our crosses and follow Him, let us join St. Francis in praying, “Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console.”

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Holy Week & Pascha Schedule

All are invited to join us for any of these services during Great & Holy Week, also called "The Week of the Bridegroom," or for Pascha, the Resurrection of Our Lord!

Monday, April 10
Great & Holy Monday
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Tuesday, April 11
Great & Holy Tuesday
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Wednesday, April 12
Great & Holy Wednesday
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Bridegroom Matins with Bishop John, followed by a light breakfast (please RSVP to 440-834-0290 or if staying for breakfast)
4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts & Mystery of Holy Anointing

Friday, April 14
Great & Holy Friday
7:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  Matins with the 12 Passion Gospels
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.        1st & 3rd Royal Hours
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.  6th & 9th Royal Hours
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Vespers and Burial Procession

Saturday, April 15
Great & Holy Saturday
6:15 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.  Jerusalem Matins
3:00 p.m. - 5:40 p.m.  Vespers & Divine Liturgy of St. Basil

Sunday, April 16
Pascha: The Resurrection of Our Lord!
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.          Resurrection Matins & Divine Liturgy

Bright Monday & Tuesday Liturgies Cancelled due to a funeral

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"My Life for Yours:" Spring Issue of Pomegranate Blossoms

Enjoy some great reflections in the spring issue of our newsletter. Sr. Iliana reflects on her experience of meeting St. Gianna's daughter, Sara Lynn shares about her entrance into the monastery, and Sr. Natalia explains what has drawn family members to the Church through her vocation.  Click on the image below!