The years 2020 and 2021 have presented many challenges to churches around the world. One of the ways it presented an opportunity to our parish was that we had the idea to bring in a real monastic (who otherwise would not be able to join us) to speak to our community virtually. On Saturday, April 10, St. Athanasius welcomed Mother Abbess Christophora (Matychak) of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, PA who led our Lenten Retreat via Zoom. (You can learn about Mother Christophora’s path as abbess here.)
In Mother Christophora’s first talk, she spoke to the theme “Serve the Lord with Gladness,” and addressed both the manner of our service to God and ways we might concretely undertake this work.
In Mother Christophora’s second talk, she spoke directly to the challenges of pandemic and the great grief many of us have felt over the past year, as church life (and the ways of living which are traditional to people) has been disrupted. Mother shares both her notes and offers this video to help us process our grief.
Here are some photos of our small in-person gathering. (Most of our participants were virtual.)