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.

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

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Nazareth House Apostolate: A Tale of Two Cities

Intro: A tradition at Nazareth House Centers is the following Rosary for Peace to begin on the Feast of the Transfiguration, August 6th.

Rosary Novena For Peace

(Using the Nazareth Bead*)
(*If you haven't received training in the Nazareth Bead, the traditional Rosary will work)

(6th August to 15th August)

"All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus" -Acts 1: 14


Nazareth where Mary gave us her peace plan


Hiroshima where it was ignored.

Nazareth is where our Lord spent his hidden life, where “nothing” was coming forth but tables and chairs, where He lived as we must live, where the Son of God was simply the son of Mary and Joseph. The hiddeness and ordinariness of Nazareth is an icon to something beyond self. It is the accepting that people may say of us what others said of Him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn.1:46), i.e. can anything good come out of this life of “ordinariness” and “hiddeness”, strategically placed in areas of need, making a difference by entering into the moment? Praying this Rosary Novena for Peace is our answer “for he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Eph. 2:14); it is our answer because He said “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn.14:27); it is our answer because we’re sent forth with peace, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (Jn. 20:21).

The Peace Plan for the World is Jesus, who gave us The Commandment (Mk. 12:28-31) to have a right relationship with God and Man. We can realize the Commandment when we follow Mary’s instruction relative to her Son, “Do whatever he says” (Jn.2:5). When we take up the Nazareth Bead, we are praying the life of Christ with a determination to do what he says in the Nazareth of our lives, Jesus.

The atomic bomb named "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 bomber at 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945. Immediately after the atomic bomb was dropped 70,000 Japanese were instantly killed.

As we experience this Rosary Novena for peace remember not only the destruction of that morning in 1945 but also the bombs that continue to drop. Bombs such as intolerance, hatred, pride, unforgiveness, greed and selfishness. These destructions are being dropped by the planes of commerce, enforcement, body politics and religion where there is no longer any room for He who said, "What you've done unto the least of these my brethren you've done unto me." Mt. 25:40

May this Rosary Novena for Peace do what theology cannot: put a human face on suffering and redemption. May we find sacred space in two “conflicting” yet complementary Biblical quotations:

"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Mt. 5:4) and

"The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1 :21)

Both thoughts can serve as a response to the two cities:
those who mourn will be comforted,
and all has happened as part of God’s perfect will and permissive will.

May you take up the Rosary once more, as I have asked many times in the past,
and pray it in an Incarnational manner
for the "little ones" and for peace in our world.

May priests and religious chart programs of infiltrating areas of greatest need, "broadcasting" and bearing the Mysteries to the ends of the earth (Acts 1 :8). May they introduce and re-introduce this praying of the Rosary into all areas of life: families, cities, neighborhoods, offices, riding buses, walking streets ...

May we be aided in all our efforts with the grace and strength of the Lord whose life we contemplate in the Rosary, and may we be accompanied by Our Lady of the Nazareth as we continue work for an entering into all of life with the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6).

1. Relative to the orientation message of Thursday Night, (6:30 PM, Grace Church) and the deaths of Hiroshima, instead of asking why, try to focus on the kind of theology needed to explain these events.

2. Meditate on the following Scriptures: Mt. 25:31-46; Heb. 13:3; John 1:14

3. Vicki Hicks during a trip to Africa organized a team to bear witness of the slaughter of 280 young people who were caught after curfew. She went with her Rosary and prayed on the sight of the tragedy with what she called instead of "air drops", "prayer drops." Find a place of great need, go, take your Rosary, and pray. Such places could be among the rich poor, ie. banking, insurance, judicial, law offices, etc.

4. If you cannot come to the church to pray your Novena before the Shrine for Peace, you have been provided with a picture so you can be in solidarity with those who can be present at the 5:30 PM Rosary. Create a sacred space, enthrone your picture, kneel, say your Rosary. This can be done at home or places as suggested above.

5. Be sure to keep track of your daily chaplets with the "Beads or Bombs" folder. This has been designed to fit into your Rosary case.

Remember dear ones, sacrifice, penance and prayer. Don't miss the great adventure and wonderment of it all.

My love-

Being absorbed Into His Mercy,
- Seraphim+
“Do penance for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" Mt 4:17

The Shrine
The Rosary Novena for Peace Shrine is composed primarily of two items; one representing Nazareth, the statue of Our Lady of Nazareth where she is offering us the Rosary, our connection to peace. On it we will pray the mysteries of our faith, hope of the world.

To the right of our Lady of the Rosary is an urn which contains Trinitite, representing Hiroshima. Trinitite is the surface of the earth that was instantaneously melted by the heat of the first atomic bomb test blast.

Shortly before dawn on July 16, 1945, at 5:29:45 AM Mountain War Time, the atomic age was born. After years of experimentation and preparation, the plutonium bomb, nicknamed "the Gadget," was placed on top of a one-hundred foot tower at a site termed "Trinity" by the scientists of the "Manhattan Project." Inside, about twelve pounds of plutonium was imploded to start the fusion reaction which resulted in a blast equal to twenty thousand tons of TNT. The fireball was almost as bright as twenty suns. It is this melted earth from the first atomic bomb blast that is housed in the urn of the shrine.

*Merciful God,
Receive the prayers we offer for our anxious and troubled world. Send thy light into our darkness and guide the nations as one family into the ways of peace. We, together on the earth, belong to you. May we see one another as you see us. Help us to love one another, teach us to understand each other, just as you, understand us. Make us as fresh as the morning, make our hearts free of fear. May we forgive each other and forget the past. Strengthen in us day by day, the desire for you. Amen.

*The above prayer was composed for and prayed during a Rosary of Masses celebrated in Sierra Leone, West Africa, Summer 2005, Nazareth House Apostolate

Litany of Non-Violence
God, aware of my own brokenness,
I ask the gift of courage to identify how and where I am
in need of conversation in order to live
in solidarity with all people.

Deliver me from the violence of superiority and disdain.
Grant me the desire, and the humility,
to listen with special care to those whose experiences
and attitudes are different from my own.

Deliver me from the violence of greed and privilege.
Grant me the desire, and the will, to live simply
so others may have their just share of Earth’s resources.

Deliver me from the silence that gives
consent to abuse, war and evil.
Grant me the desire, and the courage, to risk
speaking and acting for the common good.

Deliver me from the violence of irreverence,
exploitation and control.
Grant me the desire, and the strength, to act
responsibly within the cycle of creation.

God of love, mercy and justice,
acknowledging my complicity in those attitudes,
action and words which perpetuate violence,
I beg the grace of a non-violent heart. Amen.


Rosary Novena For Peace

August 6th thru 15th
August 6th: Luminous Mysteries
August 7th: Sorrowful Mysteries
August 8th: Joyful Mysteries
August 9th: Glorious Mysteries
August 10th: Joyful Mysteries
August 11th: Sorrowful Mysteries
August 12th: Glorious Mysteries
August 13th: Luminous Mysteries
August 14th: Sorrowful Mysteries

Motto: "Do whatever He says" -Jn. 2:5

Locally at Nazareth House Center the service will begin at 6:30PM August 6th, which is also the Feast of the Transfiguration. Feast of the Transfiguration Mass will be at 6:30 AM