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, December 11, 2012

Heaven Sent

“The Bible and the Beads" 

"If you want to get back to the source of the Rosary, to its origins, we would need to open the Scriptures.  
That is why I like to bring together the Bible and the Beads, the two together" -Fr. Gabriel Harty, OP

Good morning! Its pushing 7:00 AM here at St. Simeon Skete, vigils began at 2:30 AM, we’ve been up and at it for 5 hours already.   

While the oatmeal walnut raisin cookies are baking in the oven, I just fixed myself a bowl of Irish Oatmeal.  It brings to mind a very dear friend of ours, Fr. Gabriel Harty, The Rosary Priest.   I fondly remember preparing his oatmeal with prunes for breakfast when he was here last year.   What a joy it was to have him with us and what a joy it is to carry him in our hearts.  Seraphim, Fr. Gabriel and I are never far apart though the miles span wide; for we are connected through the Life of Christ prayed in the rosary.  Everyday.  

If you’ve read much or know much about the rosary, you know about Fr. Gabriel.  He is a remarkable man and as a Dominican he has preached, prayed and taught the rosary all over the world.  

His strength and focus is incredible.  During his visit to St. Simeon Skete, he was only a few months from turning 90 years old.  The first thing Fr. Gabriel did upon arriving at the Kellia was to walk out of his cell with an opened laptop and ask me “What’s your wifi passcode?” 

I beamed with admiration - a man of the rosary and a Mac user - totally a man of my heart! 

Fr. Gabriel using my ipad 

Later that week the Archbishop arrived to the skete to meet with Fr. Gabriel and Seraphim. 

  Archbishop Provence was out walking the grounds in prayer, beads in hand.  

I glanced out of the door and noticed Fr. Gabriel moving at a good paced jog towards what now is the area of the Chicken Enclosure. Chase, our border collie was with him.   Thinking that he was approaching his 90th year, I was both amazed at Fr. Gabriel’s strength... and a little concerned to see him jogging. I went inside and went to work.  A bit later I decided I should check on him.  I knew the Archbishop was out there, but there is a lot of land and their paths may not cross.   

As I peered out from the upstairs deck I saw Fr. Gabriel laying in the green grass.   I saw the Archbishop with a concerned look heading towards him.  As I grabbed my camera - a natural instinct for me,(its always within reach) - I ran down the stairs and out the door.  

As I came closer, I noticed a smile on Archbishop’s face and I breathed a sigh of relief.  

Fr. Gabriel simply wanted to lay down in the sweet tender bluegrass and observe the Kentucky clouds floating by in the bright blue sky on an April afternoon. 

Our time with Fr. Gabriel is one of the most cherished experiences Seraphim and I have had.  

Although, this was our first meeting face to face, Fr. Gabriel has been there for us and with us in his books on the rosary.  

Seraphim carried Fr. Gabriel’s book on the rosary and healing with him when he first began in Sierra Leone.  There was so much healing needed in that country after the horrific atrocities during the war.  

Part of the weekly schedule at St. Simeon Skete is a Wednesday Study Class.  The perpetual subject is the rosary.  Currently we are diving deep into one mystery at a time.  

Fr. Seraphim always begins the class with the quote from Fr. Gabriel "If you want to get back to the source of the Rosary, to its origins, we would need to open the Scriptures.  That is why I like to bring together the Bible and the Beads, the two together"

This morning, I received an email from Fr. Gabriel.  His words always brighten my day and today it was no exception.  

At 91 this beloved priest is speaking on the National Radio about the rosary and the book: Heaven Sent.  

There has been a flood of invitations for him to speak all over Ireland.  

He’s been running from interviews to book launches and currently he is doing an Advent Retreat for the Dominican Novices in Cork.  

If you haven’t purchased the book HEAVEN SENT, we highly recommend it.  

Its the perfect Christmas Gift for those who daily say the rosary, for those just starting out or at any stage in between.   It is one of his best, although everything he has to say or write is excellent.   

If you visit the skete, we have a few copies for sale in our Gift Shop, however, it is available on Amazon at this link.  Link to Heaven Sent, by Fr. Gabriel. 

The kindle edition is also available.  

Oh how we long to spend time with him again ...   I think I’ll go say another rosary... I find him there with me everyday. 

Fr. Gabriel ended his email with this sentence: 

“The chain of the Rosary is a living bond between us.”