Thursday, May 23, 2024

Our First Ever Summer Picnic - Saturday, July 6th

We'd like to invite you to our Monastery Summer Picnic on Saturday, July 6, 2024. This is the first time we're doing this, and we're looking forward to this opportunity to welcome anyone who would like to come to pray, eat, and spend time with us. For the sake of space, we will gather at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch (across the street from our monastery) for Vespers at 4:30pm in the outdoor chapel and then a picnic dinner following. We'll be happy to visit with you until around 8:30pm. For those who haven't visited the monastery before, we'll be glad to give you a little tour of our monastery and chapel. 

Please bring your own picnic dinner and beverages. You may also want to bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs in case we run out of room at the shrine's picnic tables. 

Please RSVP using this link so that we can have enough booklets available for Vespers and notify you if anything changes. 

The address of the Shrine is 17486 Mumford Road, Burton, OH 44021. Please give us a call (440-834-0290) or send us an email ( if you have any questions. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Spring at the Monastery

We hope you all are having a blessed celebration of Pentecost! 

We're really enjoying this spring season. For community recreation a couple weeks ago, Mother Cecilia took us on a little adventure down to the Shrine to give us a spring wild flower tour. It was very beautiful. This past week, as we walked outside to go to Vespers, many of us were shocked that the trees suddenly had leaves. These little changes have been accompanied by the movement from the Great Fast, into Pascha, and now, Pentecost.

We had a blessed Great and Holy Week. We were very grateful to be joined by Bishop Robert, some faculty and seminarians from Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Seminary in Pittsburgh, and many other priests and faithful for our patronal celebration of Bridegroom Matins on Holy Wednesday. It was truly beautiful. 

We were very grateful to have a joyful Pascha. All of the rest of our life doesn't compute without the Resurrection, and it's wonderful to get to express that in the liturgy and in other paschal festivities. During Bright Week, we enjoyed the short, joyous liturgical prayer, some much needed free time to recover from Great and Holy Week, and time as a community. You can find more photos of these celebrations here

On April 8th, we got to experience the total solar eclipse around 3:15pm. It was very exciting that our monastery was in the path of totality. We were all able to watch the world transform around us, in this place which is so familiar to us. It was really amazing to see everything go dark and feel an evening-like chill settle over everything. The eerie light cast strangely sharp shadows on the ground. The roosters at the neighboring farms started to crow and the birds, bugs, and frogs joined in with all of their various sounds as the eclipse approached totality. It was really an amazing experience. 

The week of the eclipse, Mother Natalia ventured out West with Wyoming Catholic College. They asked her to be the spiritual director of their women's poustinia trip. She visited the college briefly, and then the group set out for the desert of Moab and spent a few days in silence and prayer in the wilderness.

Recently, Mother Cecilia, Mother Gabriella, and Mother Natalia went to Long Island for the CMSWR's annual Formators' Workshop. They were surrounded by about 130 other women religious and received some good support for their roles in giving formation to discerners, dokimoi, and rasophores in our monastery. This is the third year we have participated in the workshop. 

While some nuns were at the formation workshop, Mother Iliana and Sister Onuphria drove down to Steubenville, Ohio, for part of a day to record an episode of Franciscan University Presents. Mother Iliana talked about her book, The Light of His Eyes, with the show's host, Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR, and panelists Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Regis Martin. The show will air on EWTN sometime in October, and we'll be sure to let you know when it does. 

Finally, we are so grateful to all who have helped us with work around the monastery lately. We really couldn't keep the monastery going without you. We are especially grateful to the group who came out a week before our work day to take care of this tree (photo to the left) that fell in a wind storm earlier this spring. We are also immensely thankful to God for the success of our spring work day. Thank you to all those who came and helped us with a plethora of outdoor and indoor work here and at the Shrine. It was so great to get to spend time working, praying, and visiting with all of you. We're so blessed to have your help!