I have just received an email from Usha and she has received her visa for Greece. Glory to God. She will fly to Thessaloniki on 4 April and will spend time in a nearby monastery until her return to Nepal 21st of May. Please remember her in your prayers. May The Lord illumine her heart and mind about the truth of Orthodoxy. – Fr. S.
My home for Great Lent and Pascha. St. Sergius Holy Trinity Lavra
This blog has been resurrected as a place for me to post updates and photos during my time here in Russia. I have just arrived at the Holy Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and will be staying here throughout Great Lent and Pascha. Afterwards I hope to visit Diveyevo monastery and venerate the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov. May God grant the blessing.
Meanwhile here at the Lavra of St. Sergius I am blessed to begin getting to know some of the monastic fathers. There are some 200 monks now in the monastery. With the hundreds of visitors, workers, students, and teachers, it is like living in a small village, but with the most beautiful cathedrals and choirs.
The view from the window in the hallway outside my room
Winter is still with us. There is snow on the ground and there was a light snow in the early morning. Now it is grey, cold, and wet as the snow begins to melt. Whatever the weather, the Lavra is beautiful and full of the grace of God through the prayers of the people and the relics and intercessions of the saints within these walls. It is such a blessing to be able to venerate St. Sergius’ relics on a daily basis. Another gift of grace is found in the relic of the right hand of St. Stephen, the Proto-martyr and Deacon. I feel this very personally as the first church that I planted many years ago (in Cupertino, CA) is dedicated to St. Stephen. May we all have his blessing. — Fr. Seraphim
Those of you who have been so supportive of my mission in Nepal will be happy to know that there is some promising news. A few weeks ago, Dr. Usha Maharjan contacted me and asked me how one becomes an Orthodox nun and whether or not I had a monastery in Nepal. It was a bittersweet email for me since I had been forced to leave Nepal due to poor health. But I rejoiced at her desire to learn more about Orthodoxy. Through friends in Greece, we have arranged for an invitation for her to spend a couple of months at a convent in that country. The Abbess has invited her to stay at the monastery, to study in the library and to speak with the nuns, many of whom speak English, as does Usha. Please pray that the necessary visa is extended to Usha and that The Lord will open the doors for her to go to Greece and to learn about the Orthodox Faith. I will keep you updated as the situation develops. May God give his blessing. -Fr.S.