Recently during the Sept 2018 Salish Brotherhood retreat the young men on retreat transformed our unused Saint John Chapel, where we celebrated the services before the construction of the Protection of the Holy Virgin Monastic Church, into a shrine to our patron saint, John the Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco.
The icon of Saint John now in the renewed chapel was painted by our dear friend, Eleni Schumacher, of Post Falls, Idaho.
The intent for the renewed chapel is a simple and quiet place where pilgrims (and the monastics, of course!) could come, sit, concentrate and pray in a holy space, and it has already begun to be used for exactly this purpose by pilgrims who visited the monastery the day after the retreat was over! Glory be to God for all things!
By God’s grace the large cross that marked the entrance to our monastery property was able to be raised again, and on a much more long term and stable foundation.
We recently had a new sign placed over the entrance to our monastery! Reader Edward Pierson made the sign, and Kaj Wyn Berry, a 91 year old woman who also lives on the island, did the calligraphy. We thank them both for their generosity and kindness.
God has blessed us with five wonderful icons for the further beautification of our Church, which is dedicated to the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God (celebrated October 1/14).
Two of these icons were painted by Matushka Anne Margitich of St. John the Baptist and a “close-up” of the Theotokos holding her omophorion of protection and supplicating Christ taken from the icon of the Feast of the Protection itself. Matushka Margitich has also painted the other icons on the Church’s iconostasis and in the high place of the altar.
Another icon was painted by John Shayne Swenson of St. Gregory the Theologian, upon which a relic of that saint has been placed.
Two other icons were painted by Barbara Orsborn – one depicting the arrival of the Valaam Monastery monks who first evangelized the native peoples of Alaska, and the other of St. Tryphon of Vyatka.
After many days of difficult work it looks like we have finally completed the newest versions of the monastery’s online blog and online store. It is possible that there may still be a few bugs to work out, but glory be to God that the main part of the work seems to be in place and was ready to go on the feast of Mid Pentecost!
Glory be to God for all things!