St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

The outreach of Nazareth House Apostolate is in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Matthew 25:31-46. For more information see our website at

Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Window Passages

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There is a bedtime procedure that most parents, including myself, use. It is the method of feeding, changing, tending to your infant - making sure it has all that it requires to comfortably sleep through the night. You place the child in its crib, kiss it goodnight and tip-toe out the door. Invariably, the child realizes he is alone. Wanting attention, it begins to cry. But the parent, knowing the child does not want for anything, is aware that the baby only wants attention and is fighting sleep. The parent "ignores" the child. Alone in the dark, the child eventually cries itself to sleep.

Whenever I think of Sierra Leone, the above scenario goes through my mind. Sierra Leone, to me, is that child, left alone in the dark, its cries being ignored. The difference being - it is NOT alright, it doesn't have everything it needs to sleep comfortably through the night. Its belly is NOT pleasantly filled to give it that full, groggy feeling that allows it to drift off to sleep. It is NOT healthy, it doesn't have the basic medical requirements needed for mere existence. It is lying in filth and its own waste.

Nazareth House Apostolate, you, me, individuals and the branches throughout the world are the ones looking in on that child, Sierra Leone. It is crying and its needs are not met. Its parents, in need themselves, are unable to make it comfortable. Without us, without our love, our compassion the night will serve to plunge it further into desperation. Sierra Leone is not looking for attention for the sake of attention. It is crying because it is without, neglected, marginalized, broken and begging for help.

James' photographs are always awesome and depict life in Sierra Leone, on the ground, reality to the utmost degree-untouched, raw - pain showing through.

Today's pictures on this post draw you into the battered, hungry, scarred souls of these children as they peer out of the window in search for what's out there, beyond their world of suffering.

Just like Russian Religious Icons are considered "windows" that allow us to peer into another dimension bringing the Beyond to be in our midst, these photographs, these windows, allow you to look into a life very different from your own. A life looking for you, looking for us.
As we look into their eyes we see their pain reflected in ours. Many times in life what you see isn't what is really happening. In James' pictures, it is exactly what is happening. Total reality, not black or grey - but color!

As these beautiful, sorrowful children peer out the window, searching for hope, a different life...they see a light in the dark, showered in James' sunbeam smile - our smile, all of us of Nazareth House represented in James. They nervously inch their fingers through the window to touch what is beyond them. They reach for something to comfort them. They find an extended hand, steady and sure. They find the hand of Nazareth House Apostolate.

Join Us Today

Nazareth House Apostolate
185 Captains Cove Drive
Taylorsville, KY 40071 

Your donations make a difference.

Note:  This post was originally written in 2009.  Since that time both of these twins have passed away.  Both of worms invading their intestines.  Years ago, NHA was given worm medication directly from the pharmaceutical company, but then the prescription medication went generic and the company lost profits so it was never made available for humanitarian needs again.  For years following we paid $3 per pill (it takes 6 pills to cure an onset of internal parasites) and now even that is no longer available to us - sighting the loss of "profit".  ...hmmm, I'm sure the Big Pharm is really hurting financially...not! 

Click on a picture to enlarge

All photographs are the exclusive property of Nazareth House Apostolate and its photographers. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Where and the Who

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Recently, at one of our Rosary Study Groups at St. Simeon Skete, someone asked Seraphim, "What is the Rosary?"  

Seraphim replied, "There is a Where and Who of the Rosary.  We find this when we divest ourselves of inner resources developed apart from God." 

1. "Where IAM, here shall also my servant be." - Jn. 12:26

2. "Where do you dwell? Come and see" - Jn. 1:38-39

3. "This is me" - Mt. 25:33-40

4. "My Body and Blood" -Mt. 26:26-28

5. "Eat" - Jn.6:53-58 

6.  "They will see me" - Mt. 28: 5,7

7. "Mary was there" -Jn. 2:1, Jn. 19:25

Saturday, May 2, 2015

This is us, this is you.

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We get a lot of questions, what is the skete, what is it about.  I always struggle for words.  My daily prayer is "Lord, let my words be yours, not mine".   God answered the question of the skete for me, perfectly.  I cannot think of a better Scripture or a better Translation than what is said via The Message:  It explains the Skete, it explains the struggle, it explains what we all endure in this troubled world.

2 Corinthians 4:1-18   --The Message (MSG)

Trial and Torture
4 1-2 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

3-4 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it’s not because we’re holding back in any way. No, it’s because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t see. They’re stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we’ll ever get.

5-6 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!

13-15 We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

Friday, April 24, 2015

TBT: Rosary Pilgrimage

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On May 9th we will once again make a pilgrimage to one of the rare Archabbeys of the World, St. Meinrad's Archabbey and Seminary.  This pilgrimage will be one of the highlights of our 19th Annual NHA Rosary Convocation - May 8 thru 10th.   For Throw Back Thursday here's a video collection of our Rosary Pilgrimage in which we stop at various points to say a Mystery of the Remnant (Jesus Life Prayer) Rosary together.

Photos of previous NHA Rosary Pilgrimages in USA and Sierra Leone.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stations of St. Simeon Skete

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Its been a long, dark Winter.  It feels like we've been in a cocoon waiting to spring forth with new life.

Its been a long Lent as well.

but now Easter has arrived, the Resurrection has happened

New life, new beginnings.

and the day of Ascension is but a few weeks away.

Nazareth House Apostolate is the umbrella organization that contains St. Simeon Skete, which has Grace Church as its parish church and the work in Sierra Leone as its outreach.  

Nazareth House Apostolate is organized as a separate entity so that it may be free to be a beacon of love to all. 

The 4 Stations of St. Simeon Skete 
  1. Those who live and work in the town near the skete. 
  2. Those who earn their livelihood in their own countries, come to visit the skete to receive spiritual sustenance and return home again. 
  3. Those who immigrate from their own countries in order to be near the skete and find work for themselves in nearby town. 
  4. Those who take up residency at the skete living its life of prayer.

At this time we have two field houses of St. Simeon Skete, both in Louisville - St. Pachomius House and St. Mary of Bethany House.  They are the 3rd Station of St. Simeon Skete.  

Those that dwell in these homes live and/or work within the city. They maintain a daily typicon of prayer within the market place, as they go about their daily lives - at their jobs, at the grocrey, at the neighborhood park.  

They have become unnoticed, hidden resident forces of prayer infiltrating the city, the country and the world with love and prayer. 

They are the "leaven" hidden in the loaf of humanity.  

And the only way you will know that they are there is because Christ has become bigger in their lives and that of the lives they touch.