Allegan, Michigan, June 26, 2019
On Monday, June 17, the Day of the Holy Spirit, also known as the feast of the All-Holy Trinity, was called down in a special way upon the foundation of a new church to be built at the new Protection of the Mother of God Romanian Orthodox Monastery in Michigan.
The monastery, under the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas, headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae, recently moved from Ellenville, New York to Allegan, Michigan, and five months from the beginning of monastic life in the holy habitation’s new site, the cornerstone was placed for a new building that will encompass both a chapel and cells for the sisters of the community, reports the Metropolia website.
The rite of the laying of the cornerstone was celebrated by Met. Nicolae, who arrived the evening before to pray the Kneeling Vespers of Pentecost together with the monastic community. On Monday morning, His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy together with Hieromonk Atanasie Popescu, the spiritual father of the monastery, and Deacon Aurel Para, after which everyone processed to the place of the future church, where the cornerstone was placed and blessed.
At the end of the service, Met. Nicolae blessed the sisters and offered them an icon of St. Irodion of Lainici Monastery in Romania.
The new church will be dedicated to St. John Jacob of Neamt, who was glorified by the Romanian Orthodox Church in 1992 and is considered the patron saint of the Romanian diaspora, having himself labored in Jerusalem, far from his homeland. He was also chosen as the second patron of the Protection Monastery after Hieroschemamonk Iacob Barsan, the spiritual “grandson” of St. John Jacob, visited the monastery at its New York location and left the saint’s priestly belt as a blessing.
As the Metropolia reports, St. John Jacob’s protection was felt even more when Hieromonk Atanasie discovered several letters from the saint to the late Archbishop Victorin Ursache in the Metropolia’s archives, along with numerous letters of St. John Jacob’s disciple, Monk Ioanichie Paraiala.
The second patron was already celebrated on the grounds of the monastery, when a youth gathering honored his memory last August at the Faith and Heritage Center, which had already been chosen at the site for the future monastery. The young people from America and Canada had the blessing to hear some of St. John Jacob’s own works being read aloud, from the original manuscripts, and to venerate his holy belt, and celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
The future site of the monastery has also been used for the Metropolia’s various camps and for spiritual retreats.
The sisters of the monastery invite all to participate in the erection of the new church and cells by your prayers and donations offered via Paypal. Please see their donation page here.
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