Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, March 24, 2023
Abbess Christophora and the sisterhood of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration (OCA Romanian Episcopate) in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, published a video appeal yesterday, interceding on behalf of the monks and students who labor at the Kiev Caves Lavra.
In her address, Mother Christophora recalls how edified the sisterhood was by their visit to the Lavra in 2010, and emphasizes that the monks and students serve both the Lord and their country.
The video appeal was published by the Kiev Theological Academy:
I’m Mother Christophora from the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Pennsylvania. We were very blessed to visit Ukraine in 2010. We received such beautiful hospitality from the monastics there, and learned so much observing the monastics of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, receiving their hospitality, getting to know them. And at the Kievan Caves, we never saw something like that—to have such beautiful surroundings and then beneath the earth to find the holy saints, their relics there, was so impressive to us. Please, we beseech you, let those dedicated monks remain, those in the Academy to remain to serve the Lord well, but to serve also the country and the people who come. Here in America, we exist in freedom, and we can exist together well. May it be so for Ukraine. God bless and protect you.
The Monastery of the Transfiguration thus joins hierarchs, clergy, and faithful from around the world who have begun raising their voices in defense of the persecuted Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Kiev Caves Lavra.
The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration was founded in 1967 by Mother Alexandra—the former Princess Ileana of Romania, who was driven from her homeland by the Communist authorities in 1947—“whose dream it was to provide a place where American Orthodox women from all ethnic backgrounds could come to live the monastic life and benefit from a liturgical cycle in English. The desire of her heart was to provide a fountain of spiritual refreshment to the people of the country that gave her a home after her exile.”
Mother Alexandra reposed in the Lord on January 21, 1991, and is buried in the monastery cemetery.
Mother Christophora, the third and current abbess, has been guiding the monastery since 1987. Learn more about the monastery at their official website.