Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Work Day 2010

“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; he gave over the vineyard to caretakers. For its fruit one would have to pay a thousand silver pieces. My vineyard is at my disposal; the thousand pieces are for you, O Solomon, and two hundred for the caretakers of its fruit.” (Song of Songs 8:11-12) There are times when tending to the “vineyard” at our disposal is a bit overwhelming. We were blessed with wonderful caretakers on our workday on October 2, 2010.

What a great day! The weather was cool and damp, and an occasional misty rain throughout the day made the outdoors a little damp, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm and energy of the caretakers. A good sized crew of individuals and families came to the monastery for our work day and lamb roast. They trimmed trees, fixed spouting, painted, erected another raised raspberry patch, pulled weeds, cleaned and organized the garages, reinforced our herb garden, planted trees, hauled dead branches, prepared the property for winter and any other things that needed attention.

At lunch time we gathered to break from work and shared stories and laughter. (I wonder if they realized that we really feed them to reenergize them to work more.) During lunch, the two youngest volunteers, Irena and Juliana Pochatko, enjoyed the opportunity to momentarily wear an apostolnik (veil), but I believe the adults enjoyed it more than they.

The chapel was filled with beautiful voices of praise as we prayed Vespers with Fr. Gary Francisko. We thank God for holding back the heavy rains until Vespers. Afterwards we went to the shrine cafeteria to enjoy the lamb roast. It was quite cold, windy and wet, so we gathered inside the cafeteria. Everyone was able to enjoy the delicious roasted lamb and chicken through the generosity of Steve Trudick. They all brought various covered dishes to share which enhanced the camaraderie. We are grateful to God and for the selfless work and love of our caretakers. Their precious friendships and the value of their assistance is greater than two hundred pieces of silver. We look forward to our next opportunity to gather together for the glory of God and enjoy the fruit of our vineyard.

Photo of "Sister" Irena courtesy of Denis Kucharski. Thank you! Adorable!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Feast! And Our First YouTube Appearance...

Icon by the hand of Sr. Julie
O awesome beauty, you are the true prophetic fulfillment for all the faithful.  You are the glory of the apostles and the joy of the martyrs, the pride of virgins and a wondrous protection for the whole world.  O Lady, with the mantle of your mercy, protect our Church and all the people who sing out to you: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you, and through you He grants great mercy to the world.  (Stichera from Vespers for the Feast)

Happy Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God!  We also have to mention the feast day of one of our favorite saints...St. Therese! :)  I think the two feasts coincide beautifully, especially in the third reading for Vespers: "Let whoever is simple turn in here" (Proverbs 9).

Below is a video of ourselves that we found on YouTube!  A woman from the website went around the vocation tent at the Fest (August 8, 2010) asking members of the religious communities if she could record them praying their favorite prayer.  So we sang "It is Truly Proper."  I don't think it is our best singing voice, but we thought we would share it with you anyway!