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Inaugural Edition of St. Thekla Convent Newsletter: Into The Rock + Spring 2012

Download Into the Rock Spring 2012 (PDF)

Christ is Risen!

Spring finally arrived after a long bout of fluctuating weather, represented here by a late, heavy snow in April. The storm was definitely beautiful, yet it presented other problems. As the large, pristine flakes of snow dropped and veiled the monastery in brilliant white, I thought and prayed about the newly installed package of bees, the garden that was half dug, and the enormous rhododendrons I had pruned, still in a preflower stage. Recalling Psalm 148, I trusted that everything would be all right: “frosts and snow” and “all flying and creeping things” praising the Lord together. On a hive check, I pressed my ear against the cold wood and could hear the buzzing of the community within the hive working together to maintain a comfortable temperature. In fact, they were probably warmer than I was as I made my way around the property with a snow shovel attempting to relieve the trees of their unwanted burden. Within a few days the weather was warmer and I returned to the garden to plant lettuce, corn, carrots, onions, herbs, and sunflowers. Some soil waits, prepared for the planting of the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, peas and company in June.....

To read more, download the complete newsletter (PDF)!

Finding Refreshment at the Annual St. Thekla Pilgrimage

From September 23-25, faithful traveled to the St Thekla Pilgrimage for the Patronal Feast of the St Thekla Monastery at the Antiochian Village for a weekend of prayer, refreshment, focus and fellowship. As pilgrims trickled in on Friday evening after busy weeks of work and the demands of daily life, they were offered hospitality and a time to unwind and transition in prayer at Vespers and then in fellowship and discussion following a movie. Saturday was a full day that began with Orthros and the Divine Liturgy, followed by brunch and workshops on Orthodox Family Life, Living Faithfully Though Crisis, the Sacraments, and a discussion of the book Miles to Go. After a break, we convened at the Shrine of St Thekla, located at the Village Camp and prayed the Supplication to St Thekla and were anointed with the miraculous oil from the lampada that burns in the Shrine of St Thekla in Ma’aloula, Syria.

Annual St. Thekla Pilgrimage, September 23-25

Please join us at the Antiochian Village from September 23-25, 2011 for the Patronal Feast of St. Thekla Convent. This is the 33rd Annual Pilgrimage at the Village and the 3rd since the founding of the monastery.

As Orthodox Christians, our lives are a type of pilgrimage, so why set time aside to attend the St. Thekla Pilgrimage? The key is in "setting aside." We invite you "to set aside all earthly cares" and to join us in refocusing and refreshing ourselves in our Orthodox life. Like St. Thekla, Protomartyr and Equal to the Apostles, together we will pray at the Divine Liturgy and services, obtain guidance and direction from the Gospels for our lives at home, and enjoy fellowship with other pilgrims.

Through the intercession of Saint Thekla, may this Pilgrimage be blessed!

Speakers and Workshops

The speakers for the weekend are His Grace, Bishop Thomas, who is our guest Hierarch and Mother Alexandra, who will offer a talk on prayer.

There will be four workshop sessions offered concurrently:

Orthodox Family Life

This session will discuss the daily Pilgrimage of Orthodox life in our homes, how faith directs us and how the love of God binds us.

New Rendering Pictures for Convent of St. Thekla

On Thursday, May 5, 2011, His Eminence Metropolitan Philip met with Mother Alexandra and Douglas Shoop of DSA Architects at the Archdiocese office in Englewood, New Jersey.  They presented to His Eminence the schematics and renderings for the new Convent on which they had been collaborating since October.

View a gallery of renderings

A video walkthrough is available below:

Mother Alexandra Teaches Children about St. Thekla on AFR

"Let the Children Come Unto Me," a regular podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, is featuring guest homilist Mother Alexandra, the Abbess of the St. Thekla Convent at Antiochian Village. In the podcast, Mother Alexandra speaks to a group of young children about the life and icon of Saint Thekla. Listen to the talk here.

Mother Alexandra Interviewed on Come Receive the Light

Recently, Mother Alexandra was interviewed by Come Receive the Light about her pilgrimage to Syria and Lebanon.  That interview, which also includes thoughts on monasticism and the spiritual life, is now available.

Click here to listen.

Antiochian Women Project 2011-2012: The Convent of St. Thekla

NAB 2011-2012 Project Poster: Click to download PDFNAB 2011-2012 Project Poster: Click to download PDFYour Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy and Dear Sisters in Christ:

Christ is in our midst!

I am honored and humbled to introduce myself as the newly-elected Vice-President & Project Coordinator of the North American Board of the Antiochian Women. It is with a great deal of excitement that we journey together over the next two years, and I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.

Having served as the Recording Secretary and Religious Coordinator for the North American Board, many of you already know me. However, for those that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, a brief introduction is in order. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, part of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and am a member of St. Michael the Archangel Church. I am a convert to the faith, having been raised as a Roman Catholic, and came to Orthodoxy over 16 years ago.

Those who were able to attend the Antiochian Women’s luncheon at the Archdiocese Convention in Chicago last July were able to witness the presentation of a check in the amount of $104,830.79 from the Antiochian Women to His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP towards the 2010-2011 NAB Project of “The Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village.” The women of our beloved Archdiocese – through their hard work and abundant blessings – have raised $217,659.33 since 2009 when Metropolitan PHILIP first asked us to raise funds to assist with the building of a monastic community.

Mother Alexandra's Pilgrimage to Syria and Lebanon

Many more photos are available on Mother Alexandra's Facebook pages:

Syria and Lebanon Gallery

Lebanon Gallery


Recently, I returned from a pilgrimage to Syria and Lebanon. When embarking on such a journey, we often have expectations. My expectations were simple: I wanted to visit the holy Shrine of St. Thekla and monasteries, gleaning information and experience to provide consistency and to ensure the transmission of the Antiochian ethos within the life of the Convent of St. Thekla in Pennsylvania.

Metropolitan Philip Meets with Mother Alexandra

On Tuesday, December 7, 2010, His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip met with Mother Alexandra at the Archdiocese office in Englewood, New Jersey to discuss Mother’s recent trip to Syria and Lebanon and important future developments regarding the progress of the plans for the new buildings and candidates for the Convent of St. Thekla in Bolivar, Pennsylvania.