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.

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, March 30, 2009

Nazareth House Apostolate Kabala School

James with the NHA Kabala Students. Photo taken March 2009

James is resting this week. The trip to Guinea two weeks ago and then the trip to Kabala last week, has left James is exhausted - and rightly so! It's not the same as jumping on American Highways. Travel in Sierra Leone is difficult. Roads are full of pot holes, vehicles are not well maintained, transports are over crowed with people and their baggage crammed inside. Journeys that should take a few hours take many.

James promises to write in his own words about the recent trip when he is rested. In the meantime, I could not resist the chance to show you these pictures of the Nazareth House Apostolate Kabala School students.

They dressed in handmade costumes made from the Banana Tree leaves and local plant life. They are adorable and I don't think I've ever seen a store bought costume look as good. I am so proud of the teachers and students. What a remarkable work they are doing.

It makes me so happy to see the students with such big smiles on their faces - smiles put there because of you! God bless you, all!

The students know all about all of you, they know that it is your love and generosity that is changing their lives.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ah! Lumley Beach, Freetown

This is Lumley Beach in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The beaches in Sierra Leone are awesome, especially the remote areas. Quiet and quaint they are the perfect relaxation place. A prime Tourism attraction as long as they don't become commercialized and destroyed by concrete. The natural beauty is second to none.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Little did we at Nazareth House Apostolate know that at the first meeting of Fr. Seraphim and James Mansaray(shown above April 2000) in Sierra Leone, April 2000, that so much would develop and be accomplished in Sierra Leone. A beautiful history to unfold. James is a son to Fr. Seraphim and I, as much a member of the family as if he had been born of the same blood.

This young man, pictured above, giving us the thumbs up, fresh out of high school, joined us in Nazareth House and has become an intricate and most valuable player in helping those in his country to rise above the horrid of poverty.

If there was any one person that NHA had to put their money on to follow through and accomplish a task that will in turn benefit others, it is Mr. James Mansaray.

Together with his beautiful bride, Kadijah,

Nazareth House gives thanks to God for placing the both of them in our lives. We can't imagine what our life would be without them in it.



Friday, March 27, 2009

Greetings from the Students at Nazareth House Apostolate Kabala School

James has just returned from checking on Nazareth House School in Kabala. He reports all is well. We will have more pictures and a detailed report from James in the next few days.

March 28th is James Birthday! Nazareth House Apostolate wishes him a wonderful day!
God Bless you James, happy birthday, We love you!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Packing up supplies to ship to Sierra Leone

Click on the play arrow above to watch video.

Liz, Aleica, Kelsay and I packed up several boxes of supplies

to ship to Sierra Leone.

We had a variety of things to ship: household supplies, some foods, Easter gifts for the Kabala Students, over- the- counter medications, as well as hospital supplies. The items came from all over the country.

Little Kelsay was so excited about hugging the boxes so that when James opens them up he will

also receive a hug - as well as the supplies.

It was a long day, sorting all the many items, labeling, packing

and closing up the boxes.

USPS Priority allows you 20 pounds per box we crammed (and I mean crammed!)

each box to the last ounce so that every box was filled to the brim.

Then came the chore of taping it up

so that the box doesn't pop open (since it is stuffed so full) during its long travel.

One of the ladies from the church, named Arlene, brought in some dolls

that she had in her collection to give to the children living around St. Laurence House.

Even Chase, the border collie got in on the action (photo below, Chase is monitoring Aleica's work progress)

-keeping a keen eye on us, making sure we kept busy at our work.

A real working sheep dog, Chase stayed right with us until the work was done, herding us back to our work if we strayed from the area.

Finally, all the boxes are packed and ready to make the journey to Freetown. ....well...almost

...except for the one in which Liz tried to ship herself to St. Laurence House....

Only thing left to do is to PRAY the boxes' way clear to Sierra Leone. I pray that the hearts of the those who come in contact with these boxes prior to James' receiving them, considers the plight of the poor and that they do everything they can to speed the arrival to their proper destination.

Important Note: Nazareth House regularly ships hospital supplies to Sierra Leone. Periodically we also collect o-t-c medications and supplies to send to St. Laurence House for distribution.

However, we are very precise as to the times and items in which we send. It is very cost prohibitive to ship to Sierra Leone. We must send the hospital supplies. To use up all the box space and not to waste poundage (the Post Office charges the same amount for a box whether the box weighs 2 ounces or 20 pounds!); we add other items to go along with the hospital supply.

However, because of the high cost of shipping please do not send items to our headquarters in Louisville for shipping to Sierra Leone without first contacting us.

Many everyday items can be purchased in Freetown for the needs of the people. At this point feeding, sheltering, and providing medical aid are the most critical needs - to do this, we depend on financial donations. Education for the betterment of the lives of the people is equally important, for this we must also depend on financial donations. Please continue your support. If you haven't committed to monthly contributions, please consider doing so today. Change a life, bring on a smile, make a difference.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No Vaccine in Freetown for Mumps?

Roo is current on his immunizations, but apparently there was no mumps vaccine available.

Poor little Roo is a bit uncomfortable and looking like a chip monk with its cheek pouches full.

He's been running a high temperature, but it has diminished somewhat as of this morning. Fortunately, St. Laurence House is stocked with the proper children's pain reliever/fever reducer (thanks to those who have collected it for NHA -Once again we see the work in action - you give it and it provides for a need in Salone).

Lucy and Ann Marie have not had the mumps yet so we have instructed them to stay away from Roo. Hopefully it is not too late. What alarmed me most is that Kadijah, also, has not had the mumps... no way mama is going to be able to stay away from Roo when he is so uncomfortable. Luckily James had the mumps as a child.

Looks like the next two weeks are going to be rough ones at St. Laurence House. Thank God we are able to remain in the building, have shelter and supplies to see us through this one!

Wishing everyone a happy day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rent done done.

After a bit of confusion over leones & dollars, currency exchanges and such, the rent for St. Laurence House was paid in full for 2009.

We all know how fast time flies by, we've just barely stepped into Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter will sneak up and be upon us before we can turn around.

We have a roof over our heads and our supplies for 12 months.

So while we have that security, we must begin the tasks of finding a way to buy our own property now.

And the best way to start this task is to bathe it in prayer and move on from that starting point.

We can do it! I have no doubt what this Nazareth House group can do when they pull together. You all are fantastic and such a perfect example of what team work should be. The spirit of unity within Nazareth House is amazing. Always keep it alive. God bless you all.

Monday, March 16, 2009

From Freetown, SL to Kindia, Guinea and back...

Written by James Mansaray, 16 March, 2009

(Pa Barrie's widow, Marianna, and James at St. Laurence House)

Greetings from Freetown, Sierra Leone

Having gone through several weeks of mourning for her late husband, Mama Marianna made yet another trip to Kindia town/ Conakry Guinea to pay last respect to her late husband, Pa Barrie.

( Pa Amadu Barrie, Waliullah -صديق الله)

It was our promise at NHA to continue helping and seeing her through this and to take responsibility for her hence forth.

(Fr. Seraphim and Mama Vicki paying the rent for 2009 of Marianna's tiny little "house")

Mama Marianna, Mama Vicki, Fr. Seraphim, Pa Barrie and Jaria Barrie at the Barrie Home, September 2008.

Mama Vicki and Pa Barrie, September 2008 at his home.

Below, the photo is of the inside of the Barrie house, storage of foods, etc.

Once more, I was on the road again last week to bring Marianna Barrie home. As usual, passing through that road is always hectic, meeting more military and police check points, harassment and not mentioning the pains from the continuous road bumps. Despite the dust and broken bridges,this time round I consider it much better. No trouble on the Sierra Leonean part of the road so it was a lucky trip. Thanks to you all for your prayers.

To prevent more damage to my working tools (Cameras) I bury them among my few clothes and placed all in my bag. Remember they damaged and almost took my only camera on the Guinean part during my last trip to Kindia, so I was kind of conscious and a bit worried making way through those guys again.

A quick stop at Conakry, before jumping into another jam-packed vehicle to Kindia the following day.
(James is wearing mask to prevent all the dust from entering his lungs during the drive)

Yet again at this big check point called Transis, a Guinean soldier having found no fault in me decided to take money from me somehow so he said that I need an official medical proof to enter their Country. I did’t know what to say, as he was already walking away with my Passport. God bless the heart of a lady sitting next to me who went out arguing on my behalf and brought back my Passport. Like Mama Vicki says "Miracles are LOUD in Salone" and they were shouting to make it so easy for me to cross the border this time.

Once in Kindia, Mama Marianna was there waiting and I received a warm welcome again from the few family members that I met there.

I just could not wait to see Pa Barrie’s grave again. It all seems as if he was waiting there to say "hello". I spent sometime there in prayers with Ibrahim, one of his Grandsons

and also Sheriff, a friend I made on my way to Conakry.

The thoughts of spending another dreadful night with bed bugs and killer mosquitoes was on my mind from my last trip... so I wasted no time the following morning to make it quick out of Guinea and cross the border post before it closes down. Mama Marianna never said a word nor climb out of that vehicle till we get home in Freetown, late that evening.

Eight hours from Pamalap to Freetown in a drive that was supposed to be just three hours. This time we squeezed into the car of the most rotten and bad driver I had ever met in my life, with no spare tires, no jack for his vehicle etc.

We had ten to fifteen break downs and any time this happens we have to wait for another vehicle to help up us out.

One long stop at Boamoi village where the tire could go no more so the bad driver finally decided to buy another old one.

Here I took a walk along the village greeting some of the villagers who were all in a happy mood

collecting peanuts and getting busy.

You’ll see the need but these people have no choice but to stick with it happily.

More kids rolling on the dust keeping the dry wind alive.

Thank God I am back home and Mama Marianna happy to be here.

She, along with me and the whole St. Laurence House family, say "hello" and send love to all at NHA for providing for and praying her back home safe.

Thanks for keeping up the support of Nazareth House and not forgetting needs of those in my country. You are making a difference. God bless you.