Friday, May 22, 2015

Join us for our first fundraising event!

We're excited to invite you to "Mumford & Nuns" BBQ, our first fundraising event, on Saturday, July 11!  Enjoy a BBQ cookout, live music, monastery tours, a silent auction, raffles and more!  “Mumford & Nuns” BBQ is a “play on words” with the name of the popular band “Mumford & Sons” and will take place at the monastery (on Mumford Road!). The event is for adults 21 and older.

We are grateful to a committee of volunteers from Byzantine and Roman Catholic parishes in Northeast Ohio for suggesting and helping with this event. We think this will be a great opportunity for you to visit the monastery, pray with us, enjoy an evening out, have an opportunity to get to know us, and support monastic life during this Year of Consecrated Life.

Visit our BBQ page for more information and to purchase a ticket! Tickets are $60/person or $110/couple. Please purchase your ticket by June 30. We are also in need of table sponsors and event sponsors.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the silent auction items:

  • An icon of Christ the Bridegroom hand-painted in the traditional egg-tempera style by postulant Moki Lonchyna
  • Framed photographs by Fr. Patrick Anderson
  • A dinner cooked for you, and up to six guests, by Mother Theodora
  • Themed gift baskets

We hope you can join us for a great evening!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Girls' Camp registration is now open!

Teen girls!  It's time to sign up for Girls' Camp!  Our theme this year is "Beautifully Made.  Wholly Redeemed." 

Girls' Camp is open to girls 13-18.  The camp takes place here on the monastery grounds and is led by us and other young adult women.  The event is sponsored by the Eparchy of Parma Office of Vocations and provides an opportunity for teen girls to discover different vocations in the Church and develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

For more information and to register, visit our Teen Girls' tab.  Be sure to register by June 15! Space is limited!  There is also a camp for boys 8-18, taking place at the same time across the street from us at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch.  More information is available here. We will close the camp at the shrine with the boys and their families on Sunday, June 28, with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Bishop John, followed by lunch.

Watch our short Girls' Camp video below to see what we do at Girls' Camp!



Click here to view photos from last year's camp


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Happy 20th Anniversary of Orientale Lumen!

Today, May 2, the feast of St. Athanasius, is the day, 20 years ago, that St. John Paul II signed his Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen ("Light of the East").  This letter inspired the foundation of our monastery and the writing of our typikon (rule of life)!

So this letter is a big deal for us, and we recommend that you read it! Why?

If you are an Eastern Christian, we recommend it because it helps us to better understand who we are, our dignity, our gifts and our place in the Church and the world. It also challenges us to pray and work toward the unity of the whole Church, East and West, which is urgently necessary as we face the many attacks against Christianity and the need to be a witness of love in the world. "They will know you are My disciples by your love for one another!" (Jn 13:35). How will the world embrace the truth of Jesus Christ if His body is divided?

If you are NOT an Eastern Christian, we recommend it because it was written for you!  We will use St. John Paul II's own words from the introduction of the document:
"Since, in fact, we believe that the venerable and ancient tradition of the Eastern Churches is an integral part of the heritage of Christ's Church, the first need for Catholics is to be familiar with that tradition, so as to be nourished by it and to encourage the process of unity in the best way possible for each. 
"Our Eastern Catholic brothers and sisters are very conscious of being the living bearers of this tradition, together with our Orthodox brothers and sisters. The members of the Catholic Church of the Latin tradition must also be fully acquainted with this treasure and thus feel, with the Pope, a passionate longing that the full manifestation of the Church's catholicity be restored to the Church and to the world, expressed not by a single tradition, and still less by one community in opposition to the other; and that we too may be granted a full taste of the divinely revealed and undivided heritage of the universal Church which is preserved and grows in the life of the Churches of the East as in those of the West."
So the purpose of this letter for all of us is nourishment and unity, no matter to what Tradition we belong.  And it's not very long! :)

Let's pray in a special way today for unity, so that we may be able to "offer ourselves to God with the pure hands of reconciliation, and the people of the world will have one more well-founded reason to believe and to hope" (Orientale Lumen, 28).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Third phase of renovations begin! (While our very full monastic life continues!)

Please forgive us for our lack of updates on our renovation project--life has been so crazy around here that there isn't time to clean up the mud on the floors, let alone write a blog post! (We've found a moment to write this one now, but the mud is still on the floor...)

The second phase of our renovations are just about complete! We have moved into our new rooms and are working on moving into the new kitchen!  As this phase was finishing, we discerned that we should go ahead and move along with the next portions of the project. And that's when things got really crazy... So, here is a quick photo synopsis of what is currently happening:

The bushes in front of the monastery have been removed...

 ...so that trenches around the monastery could be dug and the basement waterproofed to stop the flooding.

 We dug up the flowers in order to save them.



The pond is being drained so that it can be lined with clay and the dam replaced.

Also, while the Bobcats are here, they tore down an old garage.

Inside, we had to empty the pool room which we had been using as a big storage room.  It is now being gutted and the pool will be removed. (We're bracing ourselves for the jackhammers!) 

And, the paneling in the cloister rooms (in the north side of the monastery) is being torn down and will be replaced with drywall (and insulation in the walls, for greater quiet in our rooms).

While all of this has been going on, and even though the monastery is pretty much a disaster, we still managed to continue providing hospitality.  Some women from New Millennium Laity joined us for noon prayer, and they brought lunch to share.

 Our Serbian Orthodox nun-friends from Monastery Marcha visited with their chaplain and two visiting priests.

 We hosted some seminarians from the Diocese of Cleveland for Vespers and dinner. 

And a few other guests and retreatants have also brought their joy.

Please pray for our sanity, patience and joy, for the safety of the workers, and for successful projects! Thank you again to all of our benefactors! We are at 88% of our goal.  So close! ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Join us for our spring work day & cookout!

Saturday, May 9
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Vespers & Cookout

As always, there are many projects around the monastery, and we need your help!

Join us 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 9.  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 4, to 440-834-0290 or christthebridegroom@gmail.com, 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

Facebook Event


Sunday, April 12, 2015

"How wonderful is this doubt of Thomas!"

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Happy Thomas Sunday!

"Although the doors were locked, You appeared to Your disciples, O Christ; but through providence, Thomas was not with them. For he said: I will not believe until I see the Lord, until I see the side from which the blood and water of our baptism came forth, until I see the wound by which He healed all people from the great wound, and I see that He is not a pure spirit, but a person made of flesh and bones. Therefore, O Lord, who trampled Death and made Thomas firm in his belief, O Lord, glory to You!" (From the stichera at Vespers for Thomas Sunday).

In the prayers of Vespers we also sing: "How wonderful is this doubt of Thomas! It brought the hearts of believers to the knowledge of God." God chooses to use our weaknesses for His glory! May we never become discouraged by our weaknesses, but cry out instead, "My Lord and my God!" and turn quickly to Him, offering Him the very things that seem to us to be stumbling blocks in our relationship with Him. Let us approach with confidence the wound of Christ "by which He healed all people from the great wound"--the great wound of sin we received by listening to the great lie of Satan: that God does not love us and does not intend for us to be like Him. Jesus' first words to His disciples were, "Peace be with you!" He did not come and condemn them for abandoning Him in His Passion...He came bringing peace and mercy.

Here at the monastery, our celebration of Christ's Passion and Resurrection was a powerful experience for each of us personally, as well as a community. A Byzantine Carmelite priest, Fr. Cyril, came from Chicago to stay with us and celebrate the services here from Great & Holy Friday until Bright Monday. It was a great gift to be able to celebrate all of the services in our chapel, and to spend this holy time with another monastic. Other priests from our eparchy helped out as well, and Bishop John celebrated Bridegroom Matins here on Holy Wednesday.  Our photos may not be able to convey the deep spiritual beauty of this time, but at least they can give you a little glimpse!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Holy Week & Bright Week Schedule

The Feast of Pascha--the Resurrection of Our Lord--is the climax of the liturgical year.  The journey to the highpoint of our faith is felt with particular intensity in a monastery, where our lives literally revolve around prayer, fasting and preparation for this day.  Great & Holy Week is a week that on the Byzantine liturgical calendar is not even considered part of the 40 days of the Great Fast (the 40 days are completed this Friday); it is a week of its own special intensity and beauty.  Great & Holy Week can also be called the Week of the Bridegroom, because during this week, Jesus is preparing to lay down his life for His Bride, the Church (and for each of us individually).  This is why the icon of Christ the Bridegroom portrays Jesus in the moment of being mocked and humiliated as his Passion begins.  He loves us to the extent of humiliation, to death on the cross, to descending into Hades, and to raising our human nature with Him.  The coming week is a time to be with Him during all of this, so that we can experience, to a small degree, the depth of His love for us.

We encourage you to participate as much as possible in the Holy Week services at your parish, and we also welcome to join us at the monastery for any of these services listed below.  Our schedule can also be found on our Upcoming Events page.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 (Lazarus Saturday)
9:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy 

Sunday, March 29, 2015 (Palm Sunday)
8:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy 

Monday, March 30, 2015 (Great & Holy Monday)
3:30 p.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 (Great & Holy Tuesday)
3:30 p.m. Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 (Great & Holy Wednesday)
8:00 a.m. Bridegroom Matins with Bishop John,
                 followed by a light breakfast at the monastery (Please RSVP by Holy Monday)
Time TBA Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts & Anointing of the Sick

Thursday, April 2, 2015 (Great & Holy Thursday)
We will be attending Vespers & Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 1900 Carlton Rd., Parma, Ohio, at 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 3, 2015—our 6th anniversary (Great & Holy Friday)
7:00-9:30 a.m.  Matins with the 12 Gospel Readings
5:00 p.m. Vespers and Burial Procession

Saturday, April 4, 2015 (Great & Holy Saturday)
6:30 a.m. Jerusalem Matins
4:00 p.m. Vespers and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil

Sunday, April 5, 2015 (Pascha--the Resurrection of Our Lord)
8:00 a.m. Resurrection Matins, Divine Liturgy & Basket blessing

Monday, April 6, 2015 (Bright Monday)
8:00 a.m. Resurrection Matins & Divine Liturgy 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 (Bright Tuesday)
9:00 a.m. Resurrection Matins & Divine Liturgy 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 (Bright Wednesday)
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy 

Thursday, April 9, 2015 (Bright Thursday)
9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy 

Friday, April 10, 2015 (Bright Friday)
8:00 a.m. Resurrection Matins & Divine Liturgy 

Saturday, April 11, 2015 (Bright Monday)
10:00 a.m. Memorial Divine Liturgy for Sr. Flora, celebrated by Bishop John
Refreshments at monastery (Please RSVP by Wed. April 7)

Sunday, April 12, 2015 (Thomas Sunday)
8:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy
Potluck at the monastery (please RSVP and let us know what dish you plan to bring)