I finally have some internet access! Mother Cassiana has ‘descended’ from the mountains into Colorado Springs to do some shopping, so I can use the internet for a few hours in a cafe (quite a beautiful place, Agia Sophia Cafe, full of icons and great books).
Holy Week and Easter have been wonderful – this is the first time in my (almost) nine years as a priest, when I celebrated alone (that is, as the only priest) all the services in Holy Week, from Monday to Easter Night. In my monastery in Bucovine, this honour was reserved to the elderly Fathers, while we (the young & the restless) had to deal with pilgrims, tourists, and do all the preparations for the Big Night – to be honest, it would have been too much for us to do all this work, celebrate at the Altar AND keep the particularly strict fast of the Holy Week.
Holy Week was especially beautiful: just myself, Mother Cassiana (who has lived here for over 18 years now) and a visitor. Each day was a succession of services, meals (or lack of meals in the fasting days!), and long, wonderful walks in the mountains. I attach some photos – we had so much snow, I found myself singing Christmas carols! I felt as if, after all these mad weeks of running from parish to parish, fundraising for the monastery, God has given me this gift as a wonderful sign of His love and encouragement. You know, the way you give a candy to a child after he’s done something (relatively) good.
Well, this break into Heaven will end this week’end, when I return to visiting some of the parishes in area, to fundraise for the land we need to buy for the monastery. Thanks to some of you (you know who you are, and God definitely knows as well!), we’ve managed to raise slightly over half the money we need to have by September. I pray for you with all my strength; may God reward you both here, and (especially so) in His Kingdom.
Christ is risen! I’m so glad that you have had a wonderful Pascha, we certainly have. I just want to remind you (again and again…..) you are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you on the second 1/2 of your mission.
In Christ our Risen Savior,
Mark Case / St. Philip’s
Thank you, dear Mark. I need those prayers as much as I need everyone’s financial support! For the first time in my life, I’m actually looking forward to not doing anything for a while; I picture myself hibernating (like a true Colorado bear!) for the winter months on Mull. please give my love to Frs Noah and James, and do send me (in my email) some photos from the Easter service, if you you have any. I really miss you all.
Hristos a Inviat!
Adevarat este, ca pare sa fie Craciunul la maica Cassiana. Multa zapada, multa.
S-a mai topit acum, incep sa se trezeasca ursii 🙂 dar e tot frumos, turme intregi de caprioare, bursuci si alte vietati pe care le-a creat Domnul in marea lui Dragoste.
Christ is Risen! What a treat to hear from you in such beautiful country. Pascha went very well here and you remain in our hearts and prayers. Yours in the Risen Saviour… Athanasios
Indeed He is risen! You are in my prayers, too, dear Athanasios. In every parish, there seem to be a few people whose love and support are so genuine that they remain with me long after it’s all gone. Please pray that the remaining five parish visits will be fruitful, and that the Lord speaks to these people and pours Love in their hearts for this monastery.
Christ is Risen father Seraphim! I am very happy to learn that everything is going well on your way to build your monastery. Very beautiful pictures also.
I had the blessing to visit England and more specific Lancaster the previous week and I also had the blessing to meet father Jonathan Hemmings. We visited together Heysam and the ancient chapel of saint Patrick. We also visited saint Herberts island at Derventwater. I also had the blessing to take part at father Jonathan’s holy liturgy and also I was at a Sunday liturgy at saint Aidans church in Manchester. It was a trip full of blessings! I hope that I will be able to visit England again and meet you also.
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