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.

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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Bell's not a bell 'til you ring it ...

Dusk at St. Simeon Skete  ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved 
Last Summer, Jesús and his son,    
installed the bell at St. Simeon Skete. 

©2012 NHA, All rights reserved

  It is to be rung as a “call to prayer” prior to every Service at St. Simeon Skete.  

©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
One of the things I miss most in Sierra Leone is the “Adhan”, the Muslim Call to Prayer that rings from the minaret 5 times a day.  

Nightfall, St. Simeon Skete         ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved

In the wee hours of the morning, hearing that wakes me from my sleep with a reminder to pray.  

Sunrise at St. Simeon Skete
Archbishop Provence once said to me that “the first thing you do when you wake up is what holds your day,”  “If prayer begins your day, then your day will be held by prayer.  If checking the news, email or facebook is the first action you make after waking - then those things will hold your day.”   
The Chapel entrance at St. Simeon Skete, early morning.   ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
St. Simeon’s Skete’s “call to prayer” is not from a large bell, its not fancy, its simple and functional and in this way a perfect representation of life at the skete.  It is enough. 
©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
Seraphim appointed Joanie Markwell as the Official Bell Ringer of St. Simeon Skete.  Every Sunday, she rings the bell eleven times, five minutes before the Liturgy.   The bell is rung eleven times in honor of the eleven patronal saints of the skete.  
Last week, Joanie celebrated her birthday and the small study group that meets on Wednesdays at the Holy Trinity Kellia presented Joanie with an Official Bell Ringer tee-shirt and hat.   

This past Sunday, Joanie came dressed in her Sunday hat 

Joanie ringing Skete bell wearing "bell-ringing" hat    ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
but made sure to change into her “bell-ringing hat” while ringing the call to the Liturgy.  
 St. Simeon Skete                    ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved

As the Lord's Supper was celebrated on Sexagesmia Sunday at St. Simeon Skete, little Vicki Ann Mansaray's life
  Vicki's Dedication              ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
was being dedicated to God by her doting grandfather, Pastor Foday 

Proud Grandpa Foday with Vicki        ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved

at his church in Kabala. 

Pa Foday praying with his youngest granddaughter, Vicki at her Dedication  ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved

The family gathered together 

Pa Foday (James father)  with Vicki, Kadijah (center) and Mama Fatu (James mother)        ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved

for this special and very joyous event.   

©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
James and Kadijah are very pleased to have made the return to Kabala and are anxious to settle in and spread the work of NHA throughout Kabala and the outlying villages.  

We have made some medical shipments to Sierra Leone for James to receive, however, they have not arrived as timely as hoped.   In one of the boxes filled with medication is a small valentine gift for Roo and Vicki.  
©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
St. Mark's Parish in Portland, Oregon has also sent Valentines to the students of the NHA School in Kabala.   Obviously, the boxes have not made it to their destination in time for Valentine's Day.  And so this year's greetings may be more on African time (where they are event oriented rather than Chronoor sequential time).   Love has no expiration dates and I’m sure St. Valentine would be the first to agree that the message of love should be everyday - love for God and love for all mankind. 
Joanie ringing the bell before the Liturgy        ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved

"A bell's not a bell 'til you ring it, 

St. Simeon Skete     ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved
A song's not a song 'til you sing it, Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay, 

Love isn't love 'til you give it away. " - Oscar hammerstein II 

Sunset at St. Simeon Skete           ©2012 NHA, All rights reserved