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.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

...And so this is Christmas...

The Christmas songs are playing over and over on the radio. In particular one song, written by John Lennon captures my attention. It says, "...and so this is Christmas and what have you done?"

Allow these pictures to show you what you've done, what we've all done through Nazareth House Apostolate.
You brought about smiles,
not just one or two smiles,
but MANY smiles.

You provided our Nazareth House Staff in Freetown, Sierra Leone
with the means
to bring the spirit of Christmas to many people.

Some received
candy canes,
some received rice,
some got a little cash
to help them along.
Others got chickens,
and yes, there are still more shoes to be given.
In return, it is you and I that have been gifted by all this.

On Christmas morning I opened these pictures from James in my email inbox.
These are my greatest gifts I have received: But one in particular lifted my spirits and made me cry tears of joy. It is this picture below:
And another picture of the same child with a smile on her face as she licks her candy cane.
Look again, do you know who it is?
It is a child I never have seen smile, click here for past blog post about her and yet here she is smiling, her eyes shining!
It is little Husianatu from the window of our website homepage. The child lonely for her twin sister who died several months ago. James has brought her family Christmas gifts of rice, candy canes, supplies, etc.
What joy to see this, to see this child smiling. What joy it is to see others smiling, too.
James, you could not have given me a better gift, thank you my son, you've done well. And to all of you, our Nazareth House supporters, I say the same:
Thank You so much, you've done well and these pictures say it all! Please keep it up, the needs continue so we must continue to give as well.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Candy Cane Christmas

This morning, children all over the world are waking up to an abundance of toys and goodies under the Christmas Tree.

Most of the Children in Sierra Leone will wake to nothing under the tree,
there will be no Christmas tree
and their bellies will be growling with hunger.

Families will get together in the Holiday Spirit and enjoy large full course meals together complete with several desserts.

For many in Sierra Leone, a handful of boiled rice will be their fill for the day.

There will be those children in First World Countries that will grumble at not getting the right toy, or those that quickly become bored with their abundance of toys and begin looking for more presents, something more to keep them stimulated.
The Children of Nazareth House Apostolate School in Kabala have just got the word that James is in town. He has brought them their Christmas gift ...and for most of them... it is the only gift they will receive.
Nevertheless, the excitement is evident as they run
to the school to collect this very special treat. As they hurriedly make their way to the Nazareth House School,
we notice they are wearing the shoes they received some weeks ago through the Nazareth House/One Love "We Got Feet" Collection Drive.
The shoes are dusty showing the residue of the winds of the Harmattan Season. To the people in Kabala, it is cold and dust covers everything during this time. Happy with anticipation, they wait for the teachers
to hand out the special gift that will make their day. And then they receive their prize! They didn't get a gameboy,
they didn't get any games,
they didn't get new clothes,
nor did they get a Barbie Doll,
or a scooter, or anything like that... they got a candy cane.
One Candy cane is their entire Christmas Gift
and you know what?
They are totally delighted
and very satisfied.
Look at these faces,

see the smiles...
I've seen a lot of children with more toys than they know what to do with,
but I've never seen those children
with smiles as big
and genuine
as these Kabala children.
The NHA teachers enjoyed a candy cane themselves!
On the way to Kabala to deliver the candy canes, James and Albert stopped at some of the villages to give out the tasty little canes.
At first the children weren't too sure of what this object was...
but they quickly found out.
May you enjoy the real meaning of Christmas today and always.

God bless you all.