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.