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Holy Assumption Monastery Plans Building Project - 10/21/19

by Cynthia Sweeney
Reprinted with permission by the Napa Valley Register

The date, Oct. 22 will mark 10 years that the Sisters of Holy Assumption Monastery have been an active part of the Calistoga community. Now, the sisters are looking for a little help from the community as they plan to replace The St. Nicholas House that “has seen better times.” The house was built on the Washington Street property in the 1970s, and was originally intended to be a handicap-accessible residence for elderly and infirm sisters. After adding an accessible bathroom several years ago, contractors found that the house was not built to high-quality standards, and replacing it is a better use of resources than continuing to renovate, or attempting to expand, said Mother Melania. “We have to think ahead. We’re stewards and caretakers of this property for the next generations, and to provide what the community will need,” said Mother Macrina.

Plans are already underway. Local general contractor Paul Coates, a generous friend of the monastery, and architect Thomas Stimpert, have committed to the project, donating planning input and guidance.
The sisters have begun a fundraising campaign with a goal of $1 million for the new St. Nicholas House. About $20,000 has been raised so far. Neither demolition nor construction can begin until the bulk of the money has been raised. Several factors contribute to the cost of the new building including elevation of the building due to the proximity to the Napa River, and the addition of a sprinkler system. (See details at

Diocese of the West Priest in Russia - 09/11/19

An icon with particles of the relics of the Russian New Martyrs Sts. Nikolai Chernishev and his daughter Barbara from Votkinsk was ceremoniously gifted to a parish of the Orthodox Church in America in California on Sunday.The solemn event took place following the Divine Liturgy at the Archangel Michael Cathedral in Izhevsk. The relics were given to Fr. Edward Henderson, rector of the Church of St. John the Baptist in Berkeley, California (OCA Western American Diocese), who was visiting the area for several days, by Izhevsk Dean Archpriest Roman Voskresensky, reports the press service of the Izhevsk and Udmurtia Diocese.

Handing him the icon with the relics, Fr. Roman asked Fr. Edward to tell about the life of his parish in Berkeley, where there are many parishioners from Votkinsk, who preserved the memory of Sts. Nikolai and Barbara throughout the past century.

Our Youth Becoming Athletes in Christ. - 08/09/19

by Father Stephen Osburn

What an amazing time we all had this year at the Rocky Mountain Orthodox Youth Camp! By far one of the best camp experiences one could have. Now myself, I had the pleasure of being the speaker for this year’s camp and as such, my topic was on how to become a good Athlete in Christ. For those who don’t know, I am a huge sports fan (“Go Knights Go!”) and when I was asked to give the talks, I knew exactly what topic to pick for a couple reasons: One, in our faith, especially through Parables, relating to things within the world helps expand our understanding of what we believe. It makes us better Christians. It makes us better Orthodox. It helps us spread the Gospel. Two, St. Paul when first preaching the Gospel used sports as his allegory both from a deep admiration for sports but also because sports and faith are interconnected. They both come from the same model. You see, when someone wants to be a good athlete they have to train. They have to practice. They have to hone their craft. If they don’t, they won’t win, they won’t be very good. They will struggle. Same goes with our faith. If we don’t learn to pray - if we don’t practice praying - if we don’t come to church - if we don’t fast - we won’t be much of a Christian. So St. Paul uses the imagery of sports because of its deep rooted connection with our daily struggles as Christians. 

Diocesan Pilgrimage to Spruce Island and Alaska - 08/01/19

Join your fellow Orthodox believers in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of St. Herman of Alaska’s glorification and the 50th Anniversary of the OCA’s autocephaly in 2020. There will be weekly trips to Alaska over the summer of 2020 sponsored by each of the dioceses of the OCA. The Diocese of the West will sponsor their trip July 8-14, 2020. This will be a special trip for all Orthodox believers. Sign up early and reserve your space. Final cost to be determined.

Core package includes:

*          7 days/6 nights accommodation

*          Round trip air fare to Kodiak from Anchorage

*          Excursion to Spruce Island

*          Touring and sightseeing as listed in itinerary

For terms and conditions, passports, visas, baggage fees, air, additional taxes and travel insurance information visit email 713-688-6793.

Download the flyer here.

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