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!