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, October 30, 2012

NHA Family has increased by a village

Greetings from yet another new village that James has placed under the care of Nazareth House Apostolate.  

It is a good distance away from the NHA Compound in Kabala and very difficult to bring supplies by foot or motorbike.

 Nevertheless, James makes his way to the hidden villages

where those in the furtherest places out seek the minimal substance that will enable them to survive.

This is one of the many reasons we must provide a Vehicle for James.  James' entrance into their community is the first sign of hope to them.

Nazareth House has been begging for assistance in getting this transportation situation handled.

Its not easy raising the money when the economy is strained, politicians are doing their own fundraising and disasters require our attention.

However, its not easy for the people that James presents to us for help.  Its not easy on James, either.  He hikes into these villages, witnessing poverty at utmost extremes.... and he knows it depends entirely on God as He expresses His generosity through us...  that is, when we hear Him and heed his call.  

Despite this weakened economy, many of us have enough to grab an extra latte' or eat out several times a week - and with gas prices increasing weekly, we still manage to drive from one place to the next with little cutbacks.  Some of us are suffering, others have had to cutback but are still in a position to help those who are struggling to survive. 

When the cupboard is bare, how many of us have had to resort to roasting a snake to feed our family?

...and how many of us would have such a satisfied smile for the provision?

I don't know how to share with you how very great the need is other than to tell you that it is huge and show you in these pictures that James sends from these villages.  

There is no government assistance for these people.  They are not lazy, they work hard all day long, men women and children.

The resources are simply not there for them.  They haven't asked for our help, they voice no complaints for their living conditions.

 In fact, they daily, frequently throughout the day,

 give thanks to God for what they have.  

It is James who bears witness to the poor and brings it to us.  It is up to us to have compassion and in turn offer a hand or we can look away, ignore.

By next week, the politicians will end their campaigns and your phones will stop ringing and your email inboxes won't be filled up with campaign requests for money and votes.  Win or lose, the politicians will survive and maybe we and they can return to normal lives.  Campaigns ending, maybe unity can begin to be considered.

 Adjusters and Insurance will do their best for the people in the Northeast. Unfortunately, those poor people will be besieged with contractors - some legit, some not. It is our prayer that those who have suffered the horrendous storm damage will begin to see a glimmer of hope, in the kindness and generosity of those who place "helping thy neighbor" in to action.  Some lost their lives, others lost their possessions.  It won't be a quick fix for those who survived the hurricane, it will take time, patience and steadfastness.  Please keep them in your prayers and be ready to lend a hand.

Neither will there be a quick fix for these villages in Sierra Leone.  It takes many of us working together, not forsaking one human tragedy for the next.  Seraphim's father always said "son, be nice to everybody, because everyone is having a rough time"  That was good advice then and it remains good advice now.  There is no insurance or government aid coming to the villagers rescue, their glimmer of hope is totally dependent on your love, support and compassion. 

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Nazareth House Apostolate
185 Captains Cove Drive
Taylorsville, KY 40071

The Holy Rosary Convocation

October is a very important month in the life of St. Simeon Skete. 

 It is, by tradition, the Month of the Holy Rosary.  

The Sixteenth Annual HOLY ROSARY CONVOCATION was held the first weekend of October with the Pilgrimage occurring on Saturday, October 6th.   Sunday, October 7th is the “Feast of the Most Holy Rosary”  - so the weekend is extremely special to us here at the Skete. 

The three-stranded Prayer Rope of St. Simeon Skete (of which the Jesus Life Rosary is the third strand) constitutes the very essence of religion and the environment in which that essence can be best given expression.  

This Years Convocation’s theme was “The Rosary as Place”. 

The themes for the Rosary as Place, a cosmology* of place for the following years 2012 through 2015 are as follows: 

  • Invocation - 2012
  • Revelation - 2013
  • Declaration -2014
  • Incarnation - 2015

  • The definition of Cosmology is for our understanding, a spiritual discipline that seeks to understand the origin evolution and structure of place and the spiritual laws that keep it in order. 

As is the custom, we begin the Rosary Pilgrimage (always the Saturday nearest to the Rosary Feast day of October 7th) with prayers from the Chapel at St. Simeon Skete, 

the cars are loaded and the journey begins.  

Its not a quick drive, but a long scenic route.  

Pilgrimages are about making an effort, not conveniences but having to put forth a sacrifice. 

Our first stop is at the Ohio River. 

A beautiful sight.  

Here we said the preparatory prayers of the Jesus Life Rosary.   

Back into our cars we make our way to the parish of St. Augustine 

where we say the first set of mysteries - the Joyous Mysteries.  

We look for the familiar remembrances of landmarks along the way.

 “Oh yes, there is the old bridge... we’re almost there”. 

We were surprised to find the church decorated and a Wedding about to take place.   

There was time for the Mysteries to be said and we left the sanctuary just as the Wedding Party begin to arrive.  

The Bride and Groom will never know that we were there and bathed the chapel in prayer just before they said their marriage vows. 

Malarica and Savannah opened the Mysteries by bringing forth the Lighted Candle.  

Once we completed the Joyous Mysteries, 

we took in a bit of the beauty of St. Augustine’s grounds 

and then we were off to the Shrine of St. Joseph.  The route to this shrine is filled with beautiful signs of Autumn 

and a few deer in our path 

- as well as a few peacocks.  

The second set of Mysteries, the Luminous Mysteries were recited at the St. Joseph Shrine.  

The Fall time is such a beautiful time for this pilgrimage and it enhances the journey.  

Next stop (my favorite) is The Shrine of Our Lady of Monte Cassino.   

The little chapel is perfect with hand painted frescos 

and its stone walls.   


Fr. Tim Butler led us in the Sorrowful Mysteries 

and gave us a talk on what the rosary means to him.  

Its been almost 4 hours since 

we left the skete and we are hungry.  

Its picnic time.  

A little time for fellowship, 

a sandwich and chips 

and then we are traveling again.  

This time a short distance to the Archabbey of St. Meinrad.  

As you approach the Archabbey it is as though you’ve been transported to ancient England.   

We quietly said the Glorious Mysteries to ourselves (so as not to disturb the others in the church) as we walked around inside the sanctuary.  

The grounds of St Meinrad’s Archabbey are exquisite and their gardens have a whimsical flare to them.  

Giving us a little glimpse into the lives of the monks,

 it is easy to see that they don’t take themselves to seriously.  

God - they take seriously, themselves, not so much.  

A quick visit into the Abbey Press Gift shop and we are ready for the long drive back to the skete.  

Its been a long day but oh so wonderful.