STM Summer Newsletter

Beloved of God,

We greet you with the joy of the feast of Pentecost and the renewal of creation through the coming of spring! The monastery has been gradually reopening over the course of May and we are hopeful that by the end of June all remaining mask and attendance restrictions will be lifted in Pennsylvania. Currently the bookstore and cemetery are open for regular hours and we look forward to welcoming more walk-in visitors to services at the Monastery Church soon. If you wish to visit now or later please email us at monasteryguesthouse@gmail.com to schedule your pilgrimage.

The Divine Liturgy and services continue daily with prayers being offered on behalf of all and for all. If you have requests for prayer, please submit them online at www.sttikhonsmonastery.org/ molebenform

The primary task of a monastery is personal and corporate prayer for the world, but our other activities have continued throughout the pandemic. One of the greatest achievements this year has been the completion of St. Nicholas House for our expanded monastic residence. Several monks moved in to the new house on January 1. We thank everyone who has helped support this project, and we continue to take donations to help with mortgage payments.

In order to stay in touch with our wider community, we continue to live-stream divine services on Saturday evenings, Sunday mornings, and feast days. If you’d like to tune in please check our monastery website, Facebook page, or YouTube channel in order to watch live or archived services.

By the mercy of God, we have been healthy and well and have not had any in-house cases of Covid-19. The brotherhood continues to grow and even with the new house we have only two rooms left. We welcome Igumen Cyprian who has recently joined us from the OCA’s Diocese of the South. Fr. Cyprian’s long years of priesthood and pastoral experience will enhance the brotherhood and its mission.

Our monastery-sponsored professional choral ensemble, the St. Tikhon Choir, has had a fruitful year. The Kastalsky Requiem recording was nominated for a Grammy this year. And the recording of director Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy was released at the end of last year. This Summer, his Vespers will be recorded and available for purchase by year’s end. The St. Tikhon Choir strives for excellence and the highest level of professional artistry, functioning as a vehicle for the Gospel and spreading the beauty of Orthodox Christianity to the world.

This Fall, the Monastery will be partnering with St. Tikhon’s Seminary to launch a pilot program for training and forming new choir directors. God willing, concurrent with this program we will be hosting a monthly weekend seminar for choir directors to visit for a couple days and be enriched by our music faculty and staff. If you’d like to know more about the program or get information about attending a weekend intensive, please send an email to sttikhonsmusic@gmail.com. We hope the music program will aid the Church by providing parishes across America with much-needed musicians. We ask your prayers for God’s blessing on this important mission.

We continue to beautify the Monastery Church here knowing that God “sanctifies those who love the beauty of His house.” Last year, the church was freshly painted, and this year it will receive a new roof. We’ve also been renovating and restoring various items in the church, among them the main icon of Christ placed near the ambo for veneration. The icon had been repainted three times during the twentieth century, but has now been restored to its original state. The restoration was undertaken by one of our local iconographers, Ivan Rumiantsev, who studied icon restoration in Moscow. The original icon, now visible once again, dates from the late 1700s and is a beautiful example of Orthodox theology in iconographic form—a true blessing from God!

We’d like to offer special thanks to all those who helped the Society of the Friends of St. Tikhon’s to restore and weather-proof the outdoor mosaic of the Mother of God, work finally completed this Spring.

We’re hoping to break ground to begin building our new iconography school at the end of the summer, a major project made possible entirely through a restricted endowment set up by the late Frank and Victoria Kulik for the sole purpose of training iconographers. May their memory be eternal! Fall 2023 is the prospective opening date, if, with God’s grace and blessing, all goes well.

So many good things are happening here at St. Tikhon’s in spite of all our pandemic challenges, and it is all because of your support! We thank you and pray for you always. Our gratitude is endless for your kindness and support of the mission and ministry here. May the Lord bless and keep you all safe, healthy, and in every spiritual comfort this Summer!

In Christ,

The Brotherhood of St. Tikhon’s Monastery