Monday, November 2, 2020

Meet-the-Nuns Monday

Enjoy this week of fun activities on our Facebook page leading up to our Virtual Bridegroom's Banquet this Sat. Nov. 7! Today's posts for "Meet-the-Nuns Monday" are compiled below. The Virtual Bridegroom's Banquet is our online benefit event that includes live-streamed Vespers, the premier of our new video: "Bethany: Supporting Spiritual Fatherhood," and a chance for your donation to be doubled! Please visit the event page for more information.

Mother Theodora

Patron saint: Blessed Theodore Romzha

Feast day: October 31

A few of my saint friends: St. John Paul II, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Augustine, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, St. Martha of Bethany, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Symeon the New Theologian

Interests: Sacred Scripture, Iconography, Gardening, Canning, Painting, Cooking, Sewing

One of my favorite quotes: "I belong to my Lover, and for me He yearns." Song of Songs 7:11

An Interesting fact: I used to teach ballroom dancing.

Where I grew up: Niles, Ohio

Mother Cecilia

Patron saint: St. Cecilia, virgin-martyr of Rome

Feast day: Nov. 22

A few of my saint friends: St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. John the Baptist, St. John of the Cross, St. Anthony of the Desert, St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia, St. Mary of Bethany, St. John Paul II

Interests: Prayer, silence, nature, taking walks with Jesus, writing poetry, painting icons, watercolors, camping, skiing, photography, saints, spiritual motherhood, adventures.

One of my favorite quotes: (A story from the desert fathers) Abba Lot came to Abba Joseph and said: “Father, according as I am able, I keep my little rule, and my little fast, my prayer, meditation and contemplative silence; and, according as I am able, I strive to cleanse my heart of thoughts: now what more should I do?” The elder rose up in reply and stretched out his hands to heaven, and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire. He said: “Why not become fire?”

An interesting fact: So far, I am the only nun in the monastery named after a female saint!

Where I grew up: North Royalton, Ohio (near Cleveland)

Mother Gabriella

Patron saint: St. Gabriel the Archangel

Feast day: July 13 - Synaxis of St. Gabriel

A few of my saint friends: St. Dorotheos of Gaza, St. Francis de Sales, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, St. Teresa of Avila, Servant of God Catherine Doherty, Servant of God Walter Ciszek, Servant of God Fulton Sheen

Interests: Hiking, kayaking, reading, painting icons, The Awkward Yeti, Calvin and Hobbes, hugs, watching sports, people!

One of my favorite quotes: Relying on God has to begin again everyday as if nothing had yet been done. -C.S. Lewis

An interesting fact: I was at St. John Paul II's beatification AND canonization! 

Where I grew up: New Franklin, Ohio (near Akron, Ohio)

Mother Iliana

Patron saint: St. Elias (aka the prophet can read about him in lots of places in the Bible)

Feast day: July 20

A few of my saint friends: St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Philip Neri, St. John the Beloved, St. Peter the Apostle, Hosea the Prophet, St. Michael the Archangel, because each of these saints has touched my life in a very particular way and drawn me to receive the Father's love.

Interests: Ask any of the nuns and they'll tell you, I have a lot of "favorites!" That means, I also have a lot of interests (which are my favorites). I'm interested in all things beautiful and have loved art since before I can remember. I love drawing, watercolor, and painting icons, or going to the art museum to see everything (with a soft spot for French Impressionism). Baby faces, fall leaves, and sunsets cause me physical pain (because they are beautiful). I'm also always interested in eating ice cream and talking about prayer, saints’ lives, and funny stories. I love swimming, braiding hair, and watching movies or documentaries. I love to be outside whenever possible, especially hiking in the woods, and to laugh. I also love reading lots of books especially ones by Michael D.O'Brien and Elizabeth Goudge)! I should probably stop now, as I've only listed about the first 0.005% of my favorite things.

One of my favorite quotes: Some monks came to see Abba Poemen and said to him: "Tell us, when we see brothers dozing during the sacred office, should we pinch them so they will stay awake?" The old man said to them: "Actually, if I saw a brother sleeping, I would put his head on my knees and let him rest."

An interesting fact: When I was a kid I would watch a Mother Teresa of Calcutta documentary (the 1986 one narrated by Sir Richard Attenborough) religiously (pun intended), probably hundreds of times. I'm not sure, I just remember being obsessed. I was drawn to her love for God in a powerful way and I remember aching for His love when I watched. In 1996, when I was just a teen, I had the chance to meet Mother Teresa. I happened to be at the right place and right time and she held my hands and spoke with me. I'm completely convinced that she's praying for me in my vocation today.

Where I grew up: Silver Spring, MD

Sister Natalia

Patron saint: St. Nathanael (Bartholomew) the apostle

Feast day: June 11 in the east, August 24 in the west

A few of my saint friends: St. Photina, St. Mary of Egypt, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassatti, Bl. Bishop Theodore Romzha, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Ephraim, St. Nicholas

Interests: Reading, Hiking (especially 14ers), Climbing trees (or anything, really), Watching Star Trek

One of my favorite quotes: "God is not a deceiver, that he should offer to support us, and then, when we lean upon him, should slip away from us." -St. Augustine

An interesting fact: I lived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for two years!

Where I grew up: I've moved over twenty times, but my last (and favorite) residence before entering the monastery was Colorado. 

Sister Petra

Patron saint:  St. Peter the Apostle

Feast day:  St. Peter in Chains (January 16)

A few of my saint friends:  St. John Henry Newman, St. Thomas More, Julian of Norwich, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Joseph, St. Barlaam of Antioch.

Interests: Reading, Gospel Nonviolence, the Inklings, England, hiking and biking

One of my favorite quotes:  "Therefore I will trust Him.  Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.  If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him; if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.  My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be necessary causes of some great end, which is quite beyond us.  He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about.  He may take away my friends, He may throw me among strangers, He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide the future from me--still He knows what He is about." (St. John Henry Newman)

An interesting fact:  Raised Wesleyan, I was received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in 2009.  Since then, I have made four pilgrimages:  an Inklings pilgrimage to Oxford, England; a Flannery O'Connor pilgrimage to Milledgeville, Georgia; a St. Joseph pilgrimage to L'Oratoire de Saint-Joseph du Mont Royal in Montreal; and a Holy Land pilgrimage with all the nuns.  Before I die, I hope to make pilgrimages to see the tilma of the Virgin of Guadalupe, pray at the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in England, and walk the Camino de Santiago.

Where I grew up: Indiana

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