That All May Be One!

IMG_1004Last week we had the joy of meeting Mother Eufrosinia,  a Russian Orthodox nun of the Monastery of Lesna, outside of Paris, France. Divine Providence brother BROUGHT Mother Eufronsinia and our Sr. Mary Catharine together several years ago when Mother ordered a copy of Amata Means Beloved. Sr. Mary Catharine recognized her name because she had read and was impressed by an article on monasticism by Mother Eufronsinia. They exchanged Christmas greetings over the years and Mother expressed a hope that someday when she was visiting her family in New York she might come to Summit.

Although there are distinct differences between our monastic life and Russian orthodox monasticism, there are many more similarities! We share the same foundations of the Fathers of the Desert, the Conferences of John Cassian (called St. Dominic's "bedside book") and the understanding that monastic life is for us who are sinners who come to the monastery to be cured by the Divine Physician.

Mother Eufronsinia visited our Seignadou Soap workroom, saw some of the monastery and joined us for Rosary, Sext and dinner. Following she presented us with an engaging presentation on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, monasticism and the beautiful story of her monastery of the Mother of God of Lesna, now located outside of /Paris. Mother told us that the original monastery of Lesna is now owned by the Catholic Church and our Lady continues to be venerated there. She proudly told us that the nuns at her monastery have the original icon of the Mother of God of Lesna and her story of how venerated this icon is by the nuns reminded us of our own first nuns of Rome who continue to treasure the "San Sisto Madonna" which has been in their care for centuries. We had a wonderful, all-too short visit and hope that someday Mother Eufronsinia will visit again. We now share a spiritual bond between our two monasteries. May we always pray for each other!