Monday, July 14, 2003

Hopefully a Visit Here Today

An Orthodox monastery in rural North Florida:

By the toils and labor of our spiritual father, Elder Ephraim, and with the blessing of our Bishop Alexios of Atlanta (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America), the monastery has been operating since March of 1999. Before our arrival and founding of the monastery here in Florida, we were living our monastic life in the Monastery of St. Anthony the Great in Phoenix, Arizona and before then in the monastery of Philotheou on the Holy Mount Athos , Greece.

Since our arrival in Florida, our life has been an intense sacrifice and struggle without pause. Firstly, we fought against much opposition to acquire zoning approval from the county authorities. After a much publicized ordeal and a seven hour defense before the county commissioners, by the grace of God and under the shelter of our Panagia's protection, permission was granted for the monastery to remain and to plan for future building projects. We fought for and permission was granted to begin a cemetery where our reposed Orthodox may be buried and commemorated in accordance with our most sacred Orthodox tradition.

Realizing the natural beauty of the property, we then commenced cleaning up the sorely neglected property; cutting down dead trees, removing old, rotted fences and clearing the overgrown brush. This project we have been working on for over a year and the property has finally acquired a well-kept park-like appearance. In the meantime we have remodeled a garage, which we are now using as a guest/coffee room. These are the exterior projects that we have been working on over the last two years.

Most importantly, however, we have been fulfilling our duties as monasteries; i.e. the daily liturgies and vesper services, memorial services, and especially the Sacraments of Holy Confession and Holy Unction. In a time when our Orthodox Christian Faith is besieged by much modernism and heresy, we are standing strong in the face of adversary and are presenting to you the faithful the pure and uncompromised truth of our Holy Orthodox Faith, the Faith and Tradition of the Apostles.