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The Founding of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village

from The Word, September 2009

Thanks be to God, the Convent of Saint Thekla has been founded on the property of the Antiochian Village in July of 2009 by His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip. The Archbishop had long foreseen the establishment of a community of traditional nuns involved with pastoral ministry, withdrawing to pray and then returning to share their monastic life with the faithful. The plan is that the nuns will maintain a monastic schedule of services, private discipline and prayer, involve themselves in the many ministries at the Antiochian Village, and accept invitations from local parishes.

As Acting Superior of the Convent, I hit the ground running when I arrived, only unpacking some daily items, praying for the success of the seed the Lord has planted in His vineyard, and then walking over to the camp to greet the Staff and meet the campers. They have been eager for the presence of monastics and they came to me to introduce themselves and to ask for prayers. Many times I was told, “Welcome Home.” After only a couple of hours, I knew that I had met my newest, closest 250 friends. Over the next few days I had the opportunity to pray with our young faithful, to lead discussions, and to speak with them about our faith from the heart. Yes, there was the occasional football toss, the discussion of martial arts, our culture, and everything a person would ever want to know about nuns. We had a lot of fun, and it is meet and right that we should have enjoyed each other.

A Banquet to Benefit the Convent of St. Thekla in Houston, Texas

Mother Alexandra with Nijad and Zeina FaresMother Alexandra with Nijad and Zeina FaresOn Saturday, October 17, 2009, St George Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas presented a Special Banquet honoring His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP and the Archdiocese Board of Trustees to benefit the Convent of St Thekla.  His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP, His Grace, Bishop ANTOUN, His Grace, Bishop ALEXANDER, and members of the Board of Trustees were among the honored guests.  The Banquet was hosted at the Hilton Houston Post Oak where over 400 faithful enjoyed an evening of fellowship, fine food, and excellent music provided by the Lex Valk Trio.  Thank you to our beloved Hierarchs, Board Members, clergy and faithful for their continued support of the Convent.  Pictures taken by Judy Braun can be found at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/AOCAphotos by clicking on St George Houston Banquet.

Heartfelt gratitude is extended to Fr. John Salem and St. George in Houston; Nijad and Zeina Fares, who were the Banquet Chairpersons and Sponsors; Mr. Ralph Albercia and Mr. Elias Shaheen, who were the Honorary Chairpersons; and the following:

A First: The Convent of Saint Thekla Celebrates the Feast of Saint Thekla

After Sunday Liturgy, His Grace Bishop JOSEPH with Father Anthony Yazge, Mother Alexandra, Mother Miriamne and Father George AlbertsAfter Sunday Liturgy, His Grace Bishop JOSEPH with Father Anthony Yazge, Mother Alexandra, Mother Miriamne and Father George AlbertsOn September 24, 2009, His Grace Bishop THOMAS, led the Convent and many clergy, present at the Village for a clergy retreat, in celebration of Festal Vespers the evening prior, and Orthos and Divine Liturgy on the Feast at the Saint Peter and Paul Chapel.  His Grace was also able to be with us for the beginning of Pilgrimage.  We thank him for presiding at the Liturgy and for being with us.  Many years, Master!

During the September 25-27 weekend, the Convent celebrated the Saint Thekla Pilgrimage.  His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH, arrived on Friday for the Pilgrimage celebration which included daily Vespers, Orthros, and Divine Liturgy.  We thank all of the clergy and chanters who served.  After the Liturgy on Saturday morning, all processed to the Shrine of Saint Thekla where His Grace led us in a Supplication Service to Saint Thekla.  Later in the day, His Grace presided at an Unction Service.  Over the course of the Pilgrimage, His Grace presented three spiritually uplifting homilies on our theme, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” and led an “Ask Sayedna” panel.

September 2009 Issue of The Word Magazine Now Available Online

Click cover to download: 

The September 2009 issue contains the following articles:

Metropolitan PHILIP Addresses the Archdiocese Convention, pg. 4

The Founding of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village, pg. 12

The St. Thekla Pilgrimage, pg. 15
by H. Paul Finley

Homeschooling: The Encouragement and Challenge of St. Emmelia, pg. 20
by Fr. Noah Bushelli

Wrecking a Marriage, Pg. 21
by Fr. George Morelli

...and more!

His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP Announces the Establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village

It is with great joy that His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP announces the establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village.  The Acting Superior of the convent will be Mother Alexandra (Magan), and we welcome her with joy to the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.

Mother Alexandra will take up residency at the Antiochian Village during the first week of July, and will live in temporary housing until such time as the residence building is constructed on the proposed site for the convent, which is on the main property at the Antiochian Village. This will allow her to experience a good part of the camping season, and to interact with our children.

She also has plans to attend the Archdiocese Convention in late July, and to have a presence at the St. Thekla Pilgrimage which will be held at the Antiochian Village in September.

There will soon be a website established for the convent, where all important news and information will be posted.

Click here to read a brief biography of Mother Alexandra.