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.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Window Passages

There is a bedtime procedure that most parents, including myself, use. It is the method of feeding, changing, tending to your infant - making sure it has all that it requires to comfortably sleep through the night. You place the child in its crib, kiss it goodnight and tip-toe out the door. Invariably, the child realizes he is alone. Wanting attention, it begins to cry. But the parent, knowing the child does not want for anything, is aware that the baby only wants attention and is fighting sleep. The parent "ignores" the child. Alone in the dark, the child eventually cries itself to sleep.

Whenever I think of Sierra Leone, the above scenario goes through my mind. Sierra Leone, to me, is that child, left alone in the dark, its cries being ignored. The difference being - it is NOT alright, it doesn't have everything it needs to sleep comfortably through the night. Its belly is NOT pleasantly filled to give it that full, groggy feeling that allows it to drift off to sleep. It is NOT healthy, it doesn't have the basic medical requirements needed for mere existence. It is lying in filth and its own waste.

Nazareth House Apostolate, you, me, individuals and the branches throughout the world are the ones looking in on that child, Sierra Leone. It is crying and its needs are not met. Its parents, in need themselves, are unable to make it comfortable. Without us, without our love, our compassion the night will serve to plunge it further into desperation. Sierra Leone is not looking for attention for the sake of attention. It is crying because it is without, neglected, marginalized, broken and begging for help.

James' photographs are always awesome and depict life in Sierra Leone, on the ground, reality to the utmost degree-untouched, raw - pain showing through.

Today's pictures on this post draw you into the battered, hungry, scarred souls of these children as they peer out of the window in search for what's out there, beyond their world of suffering.

Just like Russian Religious Icons are considered "windows" that allow us to peer into another dimension bringing the Beyond to be in our midst, these photographs, these windows, allow you to look into a life very different from your own. A life looking for you, looking for us.
As we look into their eyes we see their pain reflected in ours. Many times in life what you see isn't what is really happening. In James' pictures, it is exactly what is happening. Total reality, not black or grey - but color!

As these beautiful, sorrowful children peer out the window, searching for hope, a different life...they see a light in the dark, showered in James' sunbeam smile - our smile, all of us of Nazareth House represented in James. They nervously inch their fingers through the window to touch what is beyond them. They reach for something to comfort them. They find an extended hand, steady and sure. They find the hand of Nazareth House Apostolate.

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Nazareth House Apostolate
185 Captains Cove Drive
Taylorsville, KY 40071 

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Note:  This post was originally written in 2009.  Since that time both of these twins have passed away.  Both of worms invading their intestines.  Years ago, NHA was given worm medication directly from the pharmaceutical company, but then the prescription medication went generic and the company lost profits so it was never made available for humanitarian needs again.  For years following we paid $3 per pill (it takes 6 pills to cure an onset of internal parasites) and now even that is no longer available to us - sighting the loss of "profit".  ...hmmm, I'm sure the Big Pharm is really hurting financially...not! 

Click on a picture to enlarge

All photographs are the exclusive property of Nazareth House Apostolate and its photographers. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Where and the Who

Recently, at one of our Rosary Study Groups at St. Simeon Skete, someone asked Seraphim, "What is the Rosary?"  

Seraphim replied, "There is a Where and Who of the Rosary.  We find this when we divest ourselves of inner resources developed apart from God." 

1. "Where IAM, here shall also my servant be." - Jn. 12:26

2. "Where do you dwell? Come and see" - Jn. 1:38-39

3. "This is me" - Mt. 25:33-40

4. "My Body and Blood" -Mt. 26:26-28

5. "Eat" - Jn.6:53-58 

6.  "They will see me" - Mt. 28: 5,7

7. "Mary was there" -Jn. 2:1, Jn. 19:25