Thursday, September 22, 2022

Renovations Updates: Inside, Outside, and a Sad Good-bye

Glory to Jesus Christ!

It's been a while since we had a chapel renovations update, and a lot has happened since then! We have a lot of photos for you, so make sure you keep scrolling to the end to see all of them. 


After all of the electrical wiring was completed, new insulation was put in. 

Next, drywall and mudding. 

We've been choosing design details like paint colors, tile for the sanctuary, and lighting. We're getting really excited to see what it's going to be like when it's finished! 


The new sidewalks, poustinia entry pads, and chapel entrance are nearly complete. 

Also, a big thank you to everyone who came to our Fall Work Day last weekend. We got a lot done, including painting the trim of our chapel sign, so we'll have a fresh sign to match our freshened up chapel. We can't thank you enough for the work you have done to help us maintain our monastery. 

Finally, good-bye to our St. Anthony Poustinia. 

One really important project we needed to have done was the demolition of our oldest, dearest poustinia house, dedicated to St. Anthony of the Desert. The foundation was irreparable, and at times, nuns and guests would feel the entire house shift on its foundation. We knew it was time to say good-bye to St. Anthony. Many of our nuns received their call to the monastery and to make steps in their monastic lives in this poustinia, so we are certainly feeling the loss. We also know that many, many people have had profound experiences of prayer in this poustinia as well. It was becoming more and more unsafe though, so we had to let it go. 

The demolition crew arrived as we finished Matins on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14th. There was a blanket of fog over the field as the work began. For the next couple of hours, we watched the demolition of the poustinia, until it was time to have Divine Liturgy. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Thank you for your generosity!

 Thank you so much to everyone who so generously supported our monastic life through our 2022 Bridegroom's Banquet. It was such a beautiful evening, and we are blown away by your love and generosity. We were able to surpass our goal of $100,000 (which will be matched), and our monastic life will be able to continue and flourish by God's grace and your assistance. 

Thank you especially to everyone who invited friends and family to join us for the first time. We met  wonderful new people this year, and we are so glad. It's so good to see the community of people surrounding the monastery growing and expanding in such incredible ways. 

You have already given us so much, but we also ask you to please pray for us, as we pray for you. May we all be united in prayer for each other under the loving gaze of our Bridegroom, Christ, and the protection of His Mother.

Please save the date for next year's Bridegroom's Banquet: November 4th, 2023, but please don't make us wait that long to see each other again. We'd love for all of you to join us for prayer anytime. Please see our Divine Liturgy schedule and our daily prayer schedule for opportunities for us to pray together.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

"Receive the Gift: Reflections on Chastity" is now on YouTube!

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Our new video which premiered last night at our Bridegroom's Banquet is now available on YouTube!

This year’s video is entitled “Receive the Gift:  Reflections on Chastity.”  Chastity is not merely about sex:  it’s an attitude toward life, a posture that receives all good things as a gift and refuses to grasp.  In this video, we journey through what chastity looks like in several areas:  Creational chastity, intellectual chastity, emotional chastity, sexual chastity, and spiritual chastity.  This video is an invitation to open yourself to receive the gift the Lord desires to pour into your heart...

God bless you for your generous support for our monastic life at this year's Bridegroom's Banquet! We're so happy to announce that we surpassed our goal! We are so grateful.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The Newest Fair in the Country

Last week, in community we were talking about the Geauga County Fair, which was celebrating it's 200th anniversary this past weekend and is just a few miles away from us. We learned that's it's the second oldest fair in the country, so we decided to create the newest fair in the country. Thus, our own personal monastery fair was born. Mother Natalia spearheaded the planning process, which included inviting a couple of friends, gathering supplies, and inviting all of us to plan some part of it if we'd like to. Sunday afternoon, amidst our usual rest time and much rain, some of us were preparing our contributions to the fair. We tried to keep everything a surprise as much as possible. Then we prayed Vespers, and it was time for the fair to begin. 

We opened it up with a corn shucking contest, and then it was revealed that one of our guests, Fr. Steve, brought a pizza oven. So we all took turns making pizzas. 

Mother Theodora got to work making elephant ears and freshly squeezed lemonade. 

Mother Gabriella grilled a couple other food options, and Olivia opened up a set of face paints. The fair had begun, and the amount of rain steadily increased. 

Mother Natalia and Fr. Steve provided us with the opportunity to try axe throwing near the fair's pumpkin patch (little orange gourdes that volunteered in our garden this summer which one of our other guests arranged to spell his name). 

We also had a "corn maze," planned by Olivia and Mother Natalia. At this point, the sun had set, and it was pouring rain, so it was pretty spooky. The "corn maze" consisted in walking into a corn field near the monastery, and trying to get lost, and then getting out again. For the most part, we all split up, and it was very difficult to find one another because of the loudness of the rain and the corn stalks all around us. But no worries, we all made it out alive (but very wet). 

We did some more face painting. Below you can see Mother Gabriella sporting her monarch butterfly face paint. 

And then it was time for the final activity: a flower arranging contest. Mother Cecilia spent some time in the afternoon taking cuttings from various plants in our gardens and wildflower areas, and presented us all with many vases to choose from and three large buckets of flowers and foliage. She gave us twelve minutes to make the best arrangement we could, and she deducted points for complaining. She was a tough judge. After we all presented our arrangements to her in the garage, we all huddled under a tent, while the garage door was closed so she could award prizes in private. A few minutes later, the garage door was lifted up, and revealed that Mother Petra won first prize for a very nice woodland themed arrangement. Fr. Steve came in second, and Mother Natalia took third. 

Altogether, we had so much fun, and we're thinking of making this a community tradition for our Sunday night recreation during fair weekend. And now, we'll have a whole year to come up with ideas instead of just a few days. It was really fun to be creative in so many different ways, to have everyone share their gifts, and to just get to play as a community. 

Also, while you're here, just a reminder that our Fall Work Day is coming up on September 17th. If you're planning to come, please RSVP! As of right now, we're going to need a lot more volunteers! Please feel free to invite your friends. Thank you! 

Thursday, September 1, 2022


Who's ready to join us for a day of work projects (mostly outdoor), prayer, food, and fun at the monastery on Saturday, September 17th? 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 for as much of the day as you are able, and bring a side dish to share if you can. 

The monastery is located at 17485 Mumford Rd., Burton, Ohio. 

Please RSVP here by Thursday, September 15th, so that the appropriate amount of food can be prepared.