Enter into the silence.  Release your pain.  Return whole.

We will accompany you on this walk...in this place.

 

WELCOME - LASKAVO PROSYMO - BIENVENIDO

                                                             Divine Liturgy

                       M-F 6:30AM   Sat 7:00AM  Sun 10AM

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Monastic Conference 2019

Holy Theophany Monastery - Olympia, WA

Every year the Monastics (monks and nuns) of Eastern Byzantine Catholic Traditions that live in western United States, meet for several days to share their lives of prayer, fraternity, and common struggles and challenges. The annual conference was held this year on August 20-23 at Holy Theophany Monastery, a Romanian Greek-Catholic Monastery of Nuns, in Olympia, WA. They were the hosts for such important gathering, and as usual, they went our of their way to make this event as hospitable and fraternal as possible. Praised be Jesus Christ for Eastern Catholic Monastic life. 


 

 

 

NEW ICONOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Nov. 11-15, 2019 - starting at 4:30pm with Vespers.

This is an exceptional opportunity for individuals interested both in the sacred art of traditional Byzantine iconography as well as the practice of this art in the contemplative beauty of a monastery. Each student will be instructed in the construction of an icon from the drawing application of gold leaf, of painting with natural pigments tempered with egg yolk also known as egg tempura. 

In addition to classroom instruction there will be the opportunity for each student to participate in the daily routine of the monastic discipline including morning prayers, Divine Liturgy, noon prayer and Vespers, as well as private prayer in the beautiful setting of the pristine forests of northern California.

There will be 3 simple but healthy meals each day. The cost is $550.00 for room and board and materials and instruction. 

Space is limited, but we will have a waiting list. To reserve your place, please call the Monastery at (707) 485-8959 or contact Petro at petropia3@gmail.com (please include phone number).

NEW ICON WORKSHOP SCHEDULE FOR 2019!

Back by popular demand are Fr. Damian's Icon Retreats for the New Year.  Below is all the pertinent information.  See you soon!

                                Aug 18th - 22nd;   St. Placid Priory Spiritual Center, Lacy, WA; Call Sr. Lucy @ 360 438-2595

                                Aug 23rd - 28th     Holy Theophany, Olympia, WA; Call Mother Seraphina @ 360 491- 8233

                                Sep 10th - 15th:    St. Basil, Sterling Heights, MI; Call Fr. Mychail @ 568 719-4425

                                Oct  2nd - 6th:       Immaculate Heart, Spokane, WA; Call Sr. Mary Eucharista @ 509 448-1224

                                Oct 29th - Nov 2nd Greenbough House of Prayer, Adrian, GA; Call Steve or Fay @ 478 668-4758

                                Nov 11th - 15:        Holy Transfiguration Monastery; Contact Petro at petropia3@gmail.com. Include phone #.

                                 Feb 3rd - 7th, 2019  Holy Transfiguration Monastery;  Contact Petro at petropia3@gmail.com. Include phone #.

                                                            **The cost for this retreat is $550 for the week for 'boarders' and $350 for daily commuters

INVESTITURE OF NOVICE MONK BROTHER KOSMAS

Our postulant Kevin Gaughen was invested as a novice monk the eve of the feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Joining the monastic brotherhood in this holy occasion were his parents and other family members along with our devoted extended community who support us with their love and prayers.

The monastery was originally established in 1972 under the title of "The Monks of Mt. Tabor". Our founder, +Archimandrite Boniface, of blessed memory, was intent of making the focus of this new foundation in Michigan, the LIGHT of Mt. Tabor. That transforming Light of Christ follows Him as the Light and in following they in turn become transfigured IN HIM, with Him and thru Him.

It was later, with the encouragement of our Bishop that the monastery would be more properly identified as Holy Transfiguration and the legal corporation retained the title of The Monks of Mt. Tabor.

It is a great and wondrous work of God that lives and continues to be transformed in this holy place. We are grateful for the grace and strength that has been given to Kevin who, at his investiture received the monastic name of Br. Kosmas, to surrender his life more fully to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is realized in this place and in our monastic Typikon (Rule).

We are also aware of the great responsibility that now lies before us in instructing Br. Kosmas along with our postulants Jared, Joseph and Daniel in the way of salvation.

We cannot do this without your support and prayers. We are very conscious of how many of our friends are assisting in the renewed flourishing of our monastic community.

May God reward you abundantly. Pray for us sinners.

+ Abbot Damian Higgins

 

INJURED BROTHER CONTINUING TO HEAL

All the brethren (particularly the injured party) wanted to thank the greater Monks of Mt. Tabor community for your prayers,

cards, donations, flowers and other gifts (both spiritual and temporal) in the wake of Br. Gideon's catastrophic fall and subsequent

healing.  For those of you who were unaware of this, on May 23rd, Br. Gideon fell from a tree he was trying to cut down, and due to

the extent of his injuries, he was airlifted (ultimately) to UC Davis Medical Center, where he would remain in the ICU for a month or so.

He returned to the Monastery at the end of June to recuperate in the familiar (and much welcome) peace and the pace of Mt. Tabor,

and in addition to his physical healing, he now remembers the bulk of our various liturgical offices, which he had forgotten during his

time in the hospital.  In addition to thanking all of you for your kindness, Br. Gideon would also like to express his enormous gratitude

to his dedicated team of highly talented medical personnel from UC Davis, Ukiah, Willits and San Francisco. 

May God bless you for your prayers, concern, well wishes, love and your outpouring of indulgent desserts & other sweets.

Sincerely,  The Monks of Mt. Tabor

 

 

Inspiring words from our dear Metropolitan +Borys Gudziak

after his enthronement as Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia

on June 4, 2019.

 

NBC NEWS VIDEO OF MT. TABOR & ABHAYAGIRI MONASTERIES DURING/AFTER THE FIRE

NBC News made a nice little clip of the impact of the recent wildfire on Mount Tabor and neighboring Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

but I have been unsuccessful in getting the segment attached to this site.  Please take a look at:

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Mendocino-Monks-Return-From-Fiery-Exile-451529893.html

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AFTERMATH

We have returned home safely.  Isolated fires still burn on our mountain but with several decades' worth of downed trees, branches and other dead fall cleansed from the forest floor by the flames, the scattered blazes have nowhere to go...so they burn in the night like lonely beacons.  Cal Fire used our Monastery as their base for a couple of days as the flames slowly descended towards the Retreat House, and seeing the handwriting on the mountain, they finally cut a huge firebreak from the high ridge all the way down to Tomki Road, thus sparing our vulnerable structures, including the Sacred Temple.  We have received a huge (and humbling) outpouring of sympathy from hundreds of the Faithful, yet in all honesty, we regard our sufferings as slight...mere inconveniences compared with the majority of Tomki residents who were seriously injured, lost their homes and in a couple of cases, lost their lives.  Sadness manifests itself in many forms but one of the more poignant of these is the sight of a person literally sifting through the ashes in the hopes of finding those lost things that might have withstood fire and temperatures so intense that burning cars wept rivulets of liquid chrome. 

After seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling such things, the above picture of St. Jude Thaddeus, set against a backdrop of destruction, pretty much says it all.  Some might wonder where his Master was as the flames raced up our vulnerable canyon, leaping from tree to house to barn to car and then repeating, and that's a fair question to ask.  The answer is impossibly long and diverse but after talking to so many who ended up on the sharp end of the flames, it is apparent that Our Lord was guiding the hands of those who fled in their cars through a gauntlet of nearly impenetrable smoke and flames.  He was calming the pounding hearts and racing minds of some who were sliding down the slippery slope of panic.  He was answering the prayers of those who awoke to the nightmare, aghast, with those four life-saving words on  their lips and in their hearts: "Lord, help me...please," and from the beginning to the end, He was slipping His mightiest of shoulders under the yokes of all those affected, helping him, her and them to bear what must be borne with grace and peace.

Though it looks bad and smells worse right now, the forest was in desperate need of this cleansing and who knows what new growth might emerge from the ground next spring, unlocked and activated by the rare but indispensable heat of these flames?  The cleansing of our hearts and souls is a more difficult-to-predict matter, so only time will tell if this catastrophe will not only unlock that knowledge of what matters most, but will affect a lasting re-prioritization of the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical aspects of our lives.  After awakening to the flames on that tempestuous night, our first priority as a small community of monks was to pray an ancient office used in times of disaster, and though our focus has shifted to intentions for recovery, healing and thanksgiving, our prayers will continue...albeit with the heightened awareness of people who felt the heat, but were largely spared from the flames. 

We are grateful for the heroic efforts of Cal Fire, the various local Fire Departments, the Sheriff's Department, all official emergency personnel, the hard-working PG&E crews and all those other assorted heroes who took it upon themselves to give their neighbors a hand, in large ways and small.  Along with those who suffered as a result of this unprecedented fire, all involved will remain fixed in our prayers for the foreseeable future.

May God Bless You All. 

The Monks of Mt. Tabor

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FIRESTORM

It began ominously, as such things have the tendency to do, with a knock on the door at around 1:50AM.  "Redwood Valley is on fire and the flames are coming this way", said Br. Seraphim in a calm voice.  "The Abbot wants to see you so we can talk about what we're going to do."  As I left my room, I gasped as I got my first look at the southern sky, which was impossibly red.  I'd thought Br. S must have been exaggerating with his comment that the town was on fire, but the glowing sky dispelled those doubts.  This was serious.  After gathering the brethren for a brief talk, we did what monks should do, which is pray.  With the power out, we chanted an office for help in times of disaster in the candlelight, which made me think of the scene at the end of the original, "War of the Worlds," where the seemingly unstoppable Martian invasion finally collapses at the doors of a full cathedral.  If the flames made it to the doors of our small temple, I told myself, that would be as far as they would go, too.

      Once it seemed that the initial danger had passed a couple hours later, a few of us ventured out of the monastery to scout out possible avenues of escape but less than two miles down Tomki Rd, we realized that the majority of our neighbors had fled long ago.  House after house had been reduced to smoldering piles of ash, cinder blocks, flaming gas lines, twisted metal and burned out cars.  Charred power lines and fallen trees crisscrossed the road, which felt more like a gauntlet hemmed in by flaming trees, stumps and the occasional smoking, abandoned car.  We were relieved to make it to West Road, which offered us a safe avenue to the 101, but after crossing through a sheriff's checkpoint, we were shocked to find that we could no longer return to the monastery.  We were now evacuees with no change of clothes, toiletries, computers, food or water.

There's more to tell about this day--and all those since--but for the purpose of this post, we wanted to let everyone know that we are all okay and, the last we heard, the Monastery is still untouched by flames of the (apparently still-growing) Redwood Valley/Potter Valley complex.  With all the downed power lines and active gas lines, we don't know when we will be allowed to return to the Monastery, but we do know that there are many, many people less fortunate than ourselves.  We pray for them, we pray for ourselves, and we pray in thanksgiving for all those who have been praying for us.  We thank all of you for your concern and will provide updates on our--and the monastery's--well being once we know more.

May God have mercy on the souls our brothers and sisters who have been killed in this tragedy, may He comfort their families, friends & all those who love them, may He assist the evacuees with their current and future needs, may He bless all the rescue and safety personnel with wisdom, courage, strength and compassion, and may all those affected by this ongoing ordeal find healing, peace and greater faith.  Amen.  

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