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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You are needed

In Sierra Leone, James has been very busy bringing much needed supplies to the Bush Clinics and families in the villages.  

These are the poorest of poor, desperately requiring our assistance.   Yours and mine.

James has also been heading up the construction crew while throwing in his own hand at building the wall around the NHA Compound.  He said with the economy in such a downward spiral, thieves are more prevalent than ever.  Unfortunately, without the final funding, he had to delay the finishing of the security wall.  

Upkeep of the skete is a matter beyond the weekly 7-8 hours of grass cutting.  It is groundskeeping, building maintenance, household chores, cleaning the chapel, preparing for guests,  and much more, week after week.  We had some unexpected plumbing issues at Anna House hit us this past week.  I was already struggling to figure out a way to go ahead and send an extra $700 to James to finish the NHA Compound Security Wall in Kabala when I decided the danger is too great, I just have to send it, couldn’t risk the family left open to thieves or thugs any longer.   No sooner did I send it to Sierra Leone when the plumbing woes showed their ugly head to the tune of $700 (This was with a $185 discount for religious institutions).   I’ve been paying the heating costs bit by bit from last Winter but the company insisted it all must be paid at once or we won’t be able to use them next year - so there goes $500 for Anna House and $400 for the Kellia.  At least that won’t come up again until the Winter, and the plumbing is completed.  However, in one week we had to cover $2300 in unexpected bills.   That’s a difficult sum for any organization to endure, more so for us who depend on donations. 

Each month, NHA sends $2300 towards the work in Sierra Leone.  This includes paying our hard working teachers, providing needs of the school, providing food and supplies for the families and villages in need and accommodating the maintenance and sustenance of the NHA Compound and staff.  Our goal has always been to secure 1000 donors giving at least $25 per month.  This would provide a budget that allows for maintenance of both the skete and the NHA Compound in Sierra Leone as well as increasing our presence in the villages surrounding the compound.   We’ve had as high as 33 people giving monthly but are now at 30.  Recently a couple of our supporters passed on, God rest their soul.  I am encouraged that now these two are now praying for us from the other side.

We are very thrifty around here, Seraphim goes behind everyone flipping lights off - sometimes while we are still using them.  We don’t heat or cool the chapel except on Sundays.  We are growing a garden to reduce food costs - the new chickens, in time, will begin producing eggs again.  The chicken area was completely constructed by scrap materials left over from the Boat Storage’s new buildings next door.  We use shipping boxes to keep from buying garbage bags, we do all we can to save money.  James and Kadijah reuse everything until it is in shreds before tossing it away.  We have equipped and are equipping the Compound in solar lighting to save on batteries and fuel for a well worn generator that is on its last leg.  Still and all, it costs a lot to continue our life of prayer, hospitality, generosity and sacrifice for the needs of souls - spiritually (St. Simeon Skete) and physically (Sierra Leone).

As he was taking supplies into the villages, James happened upon this young boy wandering along a dusty road.  He was hungry, feeling faint, naked with a belly full of worms, no shelter from the hot sun.  This is what NHA does, this is what you do when you support NHA - Matthew 25:35-36.

Children near Kroo Bay in Freetown, bathing in dirty water shared with swine

Donations for NHA are critically important, there is so much more at stake than meets the eye.  People are in serious poverty in the villages in Sierra Leone and in America there has never been a more urgent need for the skete.  Its tough everywhere, people take comfort in knowing that there is a place where prayer is going on continually for them and those around them.  

Please consider becoming a part of the NHA Monthly Giving Program and remember to spread the word - allow others the opportunity to be a part of the love found in Matthew 25 - bring awareness of the needs.  

For information on making donations please click on the link below:

Thank you. 

You can follow Nazareth House on Facebook at
and St. Simeon Skete at   Have prayer requests? Send them via our Bede Roll of St. Simeon Skete at this link:

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Month of May ... going, going...

"The world's favorite season is the spring.  All things seem possible in May." 
-Edwin Way Teale

The Month of May is always a rather full month for us at the Skete.  

May 2013 has been no exception.  In this week’s blog post I will attempt to bring you up to date with all that we’ve experienced these past 30 days.  

May is the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.   At St. Simeon Skete we moved  our Annual Rosary Convocation from the traditional feast day in October to the second weekend in the month of May.  

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary at the skete will be the second Sunday of May from now on.  This day is also the secular “Mother’s Day”, however, at the skete our focus is on Mary.  Jesus gave her to be our mother from the cross therefore it is fitting that Mother’s Day should be in honor of her. 

This year’s Seventeenth Annual NHA Rosary Convocation took place on May 10, 11, 12th.  

The Pilgrimage began Saturday morning (May 12th) from the Skete. 

There have been many pilgrims visiting at the skete this month.  June seems to follow the same pattern.  

Please pray for those who come to the skete as they step out of the world to deepen the prayer and then bring it back with them as they re-enter into the marketplace.  

recent text message received after one left the skete

It is a difficult reentry.  

The next NHA Rosary Convocation will be May 9, 10, 11th, 2014.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Let's PULL TOGETHER and make a difference...

James and I have had a flurry of phone calls lately.  I've sensed he was "holding back" and I pushed to find out what is going on.

Times are hard for everyone, the economy is on edge all over the world.  For this reason, NHA has refrained from repeating over and over the needs in Sierra Leone.  You know them, we know them but most of all God knows them.  God works in space made for Him.  It is through our prayers that space is made.  We ask for your prayers for provision.

In my conversation with James, he revealed to me the intense struggle of living in Sierra Leone and the rippling effect of the economy woes on an already horribly impoverished nation.  He said things are worse from when we were there last, that people are desperate.  Desperate people do desperate things.  He says it is imperative that the wall around the compound be completed immediately.  This is a deterrent for the rise in thieves, those looking to help themselves to the provisions within the compound.  We continue to lack $700 to complete this task.

In order to supply the overwhelming demand of needs that must be met (people are hungry, sick, without shelter, children need education, etc) James is struggling.  It breaks his heart when he can't help someone especially because of lack of funding and especially when its a child that is hungry.  NHA well knows that it can't "fix it all" or even place bandages on some it.  We can only do what we can do as a need arrises, one need at a time.

However, not posting, or hiding, the needs doesn't make them go away.  Situations are presenting themselves that demand that awareness be made and shared by everyone everywhere.  People need to know about the work that you are doing through NHA.

James is wearing tired, and it is more than time for us to return to Sierra Leone.  Our own health issues need to be put aside and we need to go to James.  Our teachers need to see us, our staff needs to see us and the students and parents of the NHA School need to see us.  Therefore, we must begin to raise funding for a trip back to Sierra Leone as soon as possible.  It is time.   I ask that you dig into your pockets and find someway to give to make this a reality ...and that soon.

There are many children depending on us to bring supplies that can only come via "hand delivery" in our suitcases.  Our infamous "Four Suitcases" Method.

There are those who are barely hanging on to life, waiting to see us one more time.  

So without further delay, we must find our way back to Salone.  

We ask for your prayers, passion and provision as we take this journey a little further.  Thank you.