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, August 24, 2013

We need your help at the NHA School

Future NHA Students 

In a few short weeks, the Nazareth House Apostolate School in Kabala will begin a new academic year. There will be over 300 students receiving the opportunity to be given an education, a chance for a better life.

Solar Calculators provided by our supporters 
Without your support, these students will spend their days not in a school room but working hard to scrounge for their basic needs.

selling cucumbers 

hauling wood

The gift of education is a wonderful gift.  Over 75 million children in the world are unable to go to school because their parents do not have the money to pay for uniforms, supplies and fees.

At Nazareth House Apostolate, we depend on God expressing himself through the generosity of our sponsors to remove the stumbling block for these children by providing a truly FREE school.

We are one of the only schools in the area that fully funds all the aspects of education for these children - from teacher's salary, to uniforms, to supplies, to an actual building.

Many schools in the village meet under a large shade tree.  In fact, NHA School did this before we came together to build the School completed in 2008.

By relieving the parents of the costs, we can ensure that every child has the same opportunity to learn.

How can we lay school fee burdens on young parents already doing the very best they can? 

How can we ask a parent who works night and day by the sweat of their brow struggling to manage to supply their family with enough food (usually only one meal a day) to pay for a child's education as well?   Especially when many of us get three meals a day, several snacks, specialty coffees and in some cases much more than we need. Some people consume so much extra we have to pay for a gym membership to work off the extra calories.   (FWP - First World Problems).

The NHA School in Kabala has many necessities required for the start of this new School Year.  For NHA to provide the school's basic operations and student's needs for the 2013/2014 School Program the cost is $ 27,000.  This includes the Annual Salary for teachers, assistants and administrators ($750 per month -total), school supplies ($250 per month), uniforms ($7,500 for 300 students @ $25 per student), building of essential classrooms ($7,000) we are overflowing in every classroom; plus unexpected incidentals.

As you can see our school needs are great.   To outfit every student in new uniforms ($25 for two uniforms for each child) the cost to NHA is $7500.  These NHA Kabala students must wash their uniforms in the brook and dry on a rock.  This takes time, especially in the rainy season two uniforms per child are a must.

By purchasing local Kabala material and having local seamstresses make the uniforms we not only are able to clothe students but stimulate the village economy as well.  A win win situation.  If you would like to help these students in the project, you can mail your tax deductible donation to Nazareth House Apostolate at 185 Captains Cove Drive.  Or you may make your gift through the Paypal Donation Link on our website “”.  Either way, you are changing lives, bringing better education to the students and making life in general better individual by individual, village by village.

Please consider making a contribution for the school or adding an extra donation to your regular monthly pledge to help NHA obtain this need today.

Just think, for $25 you can equip a child with school clothes for a whole year!  In order to make the  $27,000 budget required for the school's operation, it costs us $90 per student.  There are many ways to ensure these children of poverty receive what he or she needs to get an education.

Maybe you or your organization would like to provide the funding for the new classrooms by giving $7,000.  Or you can give NHA a boost toward that goal by donating $1000. Maybe you are able to sponsor a child for $90.

If you are able to squeeze out a few extra pennies to help the poorest of the poor, we are most appreciative of anything you can do. Maybe you can hold a Yard Sale, or a Dinner Party to garner support & awareness for NHA.  You can exercise your creativity to raise money.  It really can be a rewarding incident wrapped in a lot of fun - all the while giving a hand to those in need.

Don’t be shy - if you only have a small amount to share - God does big with little.  We understand that many of you are already giving monthly or have given recently. We don’t want to place an extra burden on you. The most important and effective gift for anyone is prayer.  The next is generosity and spreading the word - making others aware of the need and inviting them to be a part of making a difference.

Now that we've made you aware of the necessities of the Nazareth House Apostolate School, Kabala let us tell you about an exciting special event that took place on 
August 20th.

One of our students, Kumba (Class 5, NHA School), was invited to a Symposium on "Awareness on the Importance of Education".  Her NHA teacher prepared her and arranged for her to be present at the event.

Kumba gracefully showed her ability to acquire and apply the knowledge she has gained from her education at the NHA School in Kabala.

Her confident and fluent address delivered to the audience of Senior Government Officials, Paramount Chiefs, Prominent NGO personnel and the Mayor of the Kabala Town Council greatly impressed them all.  The Mayor was so amazed by Kumba that he ran home to obtain a gift to present to her!  We are all so very proud of her.  As James told me about this, he could barely contain his joy.    

Nazareth House Apostolate School excels in education at all levels both scholastically and morally. Because of your generosity and the dedicated skills of the teachers and staff, it is a top notch place of knowledge.

Kumba's Notes

Please help it continue, send in your support today.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Click on this link to make a donation now:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Novena for Peace

Rosary Novena For Peace
(Using the Jesus Life Rosary) 

(6th August to 15th August)
Nazareth House Apostolate 
St. Simeon Skete
185 Captains Cove Dr 
Taylorsville, KY 40071

On August 6th, 1945 at 8:15 AM Japan Standard Time an American B-29 bomber, The Enola Gay, drops the world's first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,0000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured.  At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

Tonight at 7:15 PM  EST (thirteen hours behind JST), the chapel bell at St. Simeon Skete will toll 68 times, one ring for each year since the bomb was dropped. This will begin our sixteenth Annual Novena for Peace.  We invite you to join us in setting apart a special prayer time these next Nine Days (beginning tomorrow) with the intention of peace.

"All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus" -Acts 1: 14
Nazareth where Mary gave us her peace plan:
“Do whatever He says” -Jn. 2:5

Hiroshima where it was ignored.

Nazareth is where our Lord spent his hidden life, where “nothing” was coming forth but tables and chairs, where He lived as we must live, where the Son of God was simply the son of Mary and Joseph. The hiddeness and ordinariness of Nazareth is an icon to something beyond self. It is the accepting that people may say of us what others said of Him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn.1:46), i.e. can anything good come out of this life of “ordinariness” and “hiddeness”, strategically placed in areas of need, making a difference by entering into the moment? Praying this Rosary Novena for Peace is our answer “for he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Eph. 2:14); it is our answer because He said “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn.14:27); it is our an- swer because we’re sent forth with peace, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (Jn. 20:21).

The Peace Plan for the World is Jesus, who gave us The Commandment (Mk. 12:28-31) to have a right relationship with God and Man. We can realize the Commandment when we follow Mary’s instruction relative to her Son, “Do whatever he says” (Jn.2:5). When we take up the Rosary, we are praying the life of Christ with a determination to do what he says in the Nazareth of our lives, Jesus.

The atomic bomb named "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 bomber at 8:15 in the morning of August 6, 1945. Immediately after the atomic bomb was dropped 70,000 Japanese were instantly killed.

As we experience this Rosary Novena for peace remember not only the destruction of that morning in 1945 but also the bombs that continue to drop. Bombs... bombs of intolerance, hatred, pride, unforgiveness, greed and selfishness. These destructions dropped by the planes of commerce, enforcement, body politics and religion where there is no longer any room for He who said, "What you've done unto the least of these my brethren you've done unto me." Mt. 25:40
May this Rosary Novena for Peace do what theology cannot: put a human face on suffering and redemption. May we find sacred space in two “conflicting” yet complementary Biblical quota- tions:

 "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Mt. 5:4) and
"The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1 :21)

Both thoughts can serve as a response to the two cities: those who mourn will be comforted, and all has happened as part of God’s perfect will and permissive will.

May you take up the Rosary once more, as I have asked many times in the past, and pray it in an In- carnational manner for the "little ones" and for peace in our world.

May priests and religious chart programs of infiltrating areas of greatest need, "broadcasting" and bearing the Mysteries to the ends of the earth (Acts 1 :8). May they introduce and re-introduce this praying of the Rosary into all areas of life: families, cities, neighborhoods, offices, riding buses, walking streets ...

May we be aided in all our efforts with the grace and strength of the Lord whose life we contemplate in the Rosary, and may we be accompanied by Our Lady of the Nazareth as we continue the work of entering into all of life with the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6).

“Mary, Messenger of Peace”.
  1. Her right hand raised in a gesture
    of peace.

  2. Left hand held out in a gesture of offering but there’s noth- ing in her hand. The reason why her hand is empty is because we already have all we need to love and be God’s people. 

    How many more churches do we need; how many more denominations do we need? Most of “religion” is the result of: not finding God; not finding Him to be enough; and not wanting Him to be enough. Much of religion is not about God, its about control and to a large degree political parties are not about good government, they’re after control. 

    Not finding God to be enough, not realizing we have what we need to live out the Shema (Mark 12:29 -31) breeds greed and violence. Some years ago a reporter interviewing Seraphim asked “What happens if you’re captured by the rebels and shot?” Without a blink of hesitation he responded: “I have absolutely everything I need in order to be shot and killed and conversely I have absolutely everything I need to continue on living in this body.” 

1. Relative to the orientation message and the deaths of Hiroshima, instead of asking why, try to focus on the kind of theology needed to explain these events.
2. Meditate on the following Scriptures: Mt. 25:31-46; Heb. 13:3; John 1:14
3. Vicki Hicks on a trip to Africa organized a team to bear witness of the slaughter of 280 young people who were caught after curfew. She went with her Rosary and prayed on the sight of the tragedy with what she called instead of "air drops", "prayer drops." Find a place of great need, go, take your Rosary, and pray. Such places could be among the rich poor, ie. banking, insurance, judicial, law offices, etc.
4. If you cannot come to the skete to pray your Novena before the Shrine for Peace, print out the photo below, so you can be in solidarity with those who can be present at the 5:00 PM Vespers and Rosary. Create a sacred space, enthrone your picture, kneel, say your Rosary. This can be done at home or places as suggested above.

Remember dear ones, sacrifice, penance and prayer.
My love-
Being absorbed Into His Mercy,
  - Seraphim+ 

The Shrine
The Rosary Novena for Peace Shrine has a dual focus; one representing Nazareth in the statue of Mary, Messenger of Peace that we might realize what we have and who we are is enough as we pray and live our Lord’s Way, Name and Life in union with Mary, Messenger of Peace.

The second focus, to the left of Mary, Messenger of Peace, is an urn which contains Trinitite, representing Hiroshima. Trinitite is the surface of the earth that was instantaneously melted by the heat of the first atomic bomb test blast. Shortly before dawn on July 16, 1945, at 5:29:45 AM Mountain War Time, the atomic age was born. After years of experimentation and preparation, the plutonium bomb, nicknamed "the Gadget," was placed on top of a one-hundred foot tower at a site termed "Trinity" by the scientists of the "Manhattan Project." Inside, about twelve pounds of plutonium was imploded to start the fusion reaction which resulted in a blast equal to twenty thousand tons of TNT. The fireball was almost as bright as twenty suns. It is this melted earth from the first atomic bomb blast that is housed in the urn of the shrine. 

“Lord Jesus, we thank you for giving us Mary, Messenger of Peace, to be our Mother. Great warmth fills our hearts as we take refuge in the tenderness of your Mother’s gaze; Grant that we might receive her message of peace by realizing what we have and who we are is enough, as we pray and live Your Way, Name and Life in union with Mary, Messenger of Peace.” Amen. 

Litany of Non-Violence

God, aware of my own brokenness,
I ask the gift of courage to identify how 

and where I am in need of conversation 

in order to live in solidarity with all people.

Deliver me from the violence of superiority and disdain. 
Grant me the desire, and the humility,
to listen with special care to those whose experiences 
and attitudes are different from my own.

Deliver me from the violence of greed and privilege. 
Grant me the desire, and the will, to live simply
so others may have their just share of Earth’s resources.

Deliver me from the silence that gives consent 
to abuse, war and evil.
Grant me the desire, and the courage, to risk speaking 
and acting for the common good.

Deliver me from the violence of irreverence, exploitation and control.
Grant me the desire, and the strength, 
to act responsibly within the cycle of creation.

God of love, mercy and justice,
acknowledging my complicity in those attitudes,

action and words which perpetuate violence, 
I beg the grace of a non-violent heart. Amen. 

Start your Rosary Novena for Peace on the 6th day of August. Say the Chaplet of the day, according to the day of the week. For instance, If the 6th of August falls on a Tuesday you begin the Novena with the Sorrowful Mysteries.

Mondays and Saturdays– Joyful Mysteries 
Tuesdays and Fridays - Sorrowful Mysteries 
Wednesdays and Sundays—Glorious 
Mysteries Thursdays—Luminous Mysteries