Monday, July 1, 2024

Early Summer Updates: A Time of Gratitude

Early summer has been for us a time of gratitude for the Father’s provision and care.  We want to thank all those who came out for our Spring Work Day!  Many families and individuals joined us for several hours of work projects around the monastery, chapel, and grounds.  After our labors, we prayed Vespers together down at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch, and enjoyed visiting over a potluck dinner.  It gave us joy to be able to fellowship with you, your help eased our burdens.

 A few weeks ago, Olivia (formerly known as Sister Onuphria) discerned that the Lord was not calling her to continue in our monastic life.  She asked us to share with you her gratitude in the following message: 

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me over the last three years since I entered the monastery. I'm so grateful for your support, and I am especially grateful to the nuns for all of their sisterly love, generosity, and prayer during my time in the monastery and now as I continue on. The last three years have been a tremendous gift. I love the nuns so much and so deeply appreciate my time at Christ the Bridegroom Monastery. Please continue to pray for me while I transition back into the world. 

We are grateful for the years when we were blessed to share daily life with Olivia!  She has our love and prayers as she continues to pursue the Lord.

Earlier in the month, Bishop Benedict (Venedykt Aleksiychuk) of Chicago graced us with his prayerful presence by bringing three of his priests to pray Vespers with us.  We are grateful for the opportunity to pray with our fellow Eastern (Ukrainian) Catholic fathers and brothers!

Our garden is delivering a beautiful yield, both in the form of sunflowers and other blooms, and edible produce.  Several volunteers, both volunteers on the Work Day and also others who offered the gift of their time and energy afterward, helped us put new soil in our raised garden beds.  Now we are reaping a harvest of parsley, arugula, chard, blueberries, and more.  We grateful for the gift of participating in God’s work by cultivating the natural resources He has given us.  

Finally, we were grateful for, and delighted by, the Mullins’ Family’s second annual “Ora et Labora Vacation.”  Don, Rachel, and their children (Eric, Samuel, Amelia & Margaret) camped down at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch for a week, doing work projects both at the shrine and here at the monastery, spending time together having fun as a family, and joining us for prayers in our chapel.  They brought such energy and love with them, both to prayer and to work!  Their final evening, they invited us down to the shrine for dinner, where Rachel cooked a delicious fast-friendly Indian dinner.  We are grateful for their friendship, faithfulness, and their service for the Lord.

Please remember our first ever Summer Picnic is coming up on Saturday, July 6—and you are invited!  We’ll gather at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mariapoch (across the street from the monastery:  17486 Mumford Rd., Burton, Ohio 44021) for Vespers at 4:30 p.m. in the outdoor chapel, followed by a picnic dinner.  We’ll be happy to visit with you until around 8:30 p.m.  For those who have never visited the monastery before, we’ll be glad to give you a brief tour of the 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.  If you plan to attend, RSP using this form so that we can have enough booklets available for Vespers and notify you if anything changes. 

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