Winter in these parts has been, by Texas standards, pretty brutal this year. But, as I told Gerontissa Paraskevi: “The weather is always beautiful when I come here.”
“You should come more often,” she replied.
Today I had the blessing of taking Bishop THOMAS of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic (Antiochian Archdiocese) to the women’s Monastery of St Paraskevi, Washington, Texas.
We also brought along St George parishioner, George Katrib. Gerontissa gave us a tour of the property — what a blessing!
Mama Goat had three babies during the first Friday Akathist (Pure Week).
As we were walking toward mom & kids, Gerontissa was gathering dried leaves from the ground — she said, “Like chips”, and had George to help Mama to a snack.
The kids started jumping — capriciously, wildly, delightfully; I tried to catch them in midair, to little avail.
The monastics are working on remodeling this barn for monastic cells and work rooms …
As ever, the windmill and water tower serve to remind one that though it’s Orthodox and it’s Greek, it’s still … the Republic of Texas.
Bishop THOMAS used to work and serve at St George during the 80’s & 90’s — George grew up there. It was the first visit to the monastery for both of them.
[This week is also The Week of the Cross.]
Speaking of growing up, Gerontissa commented that these colorful windows help the [human] kids behave. That is, when children at services may need a break, bringing them out to the Narthex under this colorful display helps to allay the fidgeting.
Ah … do not be afraid! Looks are deceiving. Lunch at St Paraskevi Monastery on the Feast Day of the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste [main course – here] was DELICIOUS!
St Paraskevi & Holy Forty Martyrs, pray to God for us!
Pics from previous visits to St Paraskevi Monastery may be found here, here, and here.