More Galleries coming soon! Seven more, and then some…

I wish to thank everyone for your patience with my erratic gallery posting during this amazing period of travels.

North American Thebaid Photographic Pilgrimage
Very soon I’ll post a gallery which will take you through this entrance into another world…

Since July 1 alone, I have traveled to ten monasteries (in Arizona and California), and am literally getting in the car immediately after posting this to head to #11 this month, All-Merciful Saviour (Men’s, ROCOR), on Vashon Island WA. After that, I’ll be flying to Alaska, where I hope to take a boat to Archangel Michael and St Nilus sketes on Spruce Island, as well as visit Protecting Veil in Anchorage.

So, I am striving to do some quick edits and post galleries from seven monasteries, with another 3 or 4 following in early August. Coming up, in the order in which they were visited:

  • St Barbara Monastery, Santa Paula CA
  • St Silouan Monastery, Sonora CA
  • Holy Cross Monastery, Castro Valley CA
  • Holy Assumption Monastery, Calistoga CA
  • Monastery of St John of San Francisco, Manton CA
  • St Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina CA
  • St Xenia Skete, Wildwood CA
  • All-Merciful Savior Monastery, Vashon Island WA

I should add that I had a wonderful visit at Annunciation Orthodox Church in Milwaukie OR for early morning Matins today, July 27, and hope to visit there again either before or immediately after my Alaska trip, and share more with the parish about the Thebaid Project.

I’m also trying to add a few other monasteries to my return trip, which may see me cross Washington State over to Spokane, then back south to Colorado and Arizona, and east across Texas on my way back to Birmingham AL.

If you have yet to pre-order the North American Thebaid book, doing so now helps me enormously with travel costs, and guarantees you will receive your copy before general distribution begins later this Autumn. There will be both a Standard Hardcover, Clothbound Edition, and a Deluxe Limited Edition in Bonded Leather, which will be signed and numbered and will have a special acknowledgments page listing supporters who pre-ordered the Deluxe Ltd. Ed. book.

Thank you all for your prayers and support!

 

Thebaid Update: July is Scheduled!

And more galleries coming soon…

The last few days have been a whirlwind of emails and phone calls as I’ve reached out to numerous Orthodox monasteries in California and beyond, and I am very happy to report that I’ve got a full schedule for the remainder of July, covering eight monasteries.

North American Thebaid Photographic Pilgrimage
St Anthony’s Monastery, Florence AZ

Due to travel considerations, and the facilities of some of the monasteries, a few of these will be “day trips,” but that is the nature of a true pilgrimage, which this has become since I set out in early June. At that time, I only had one monastery scheduled, but worked on contacting other monasteries from the road, which worked very well.

There have been some blessed surprises along the way. I had been unable to get an answer on the phone at St Anthony’s in Florence AZ, and had not seen a reply to my email s either, but as I left New Mexico I decided I could at least make a day trip to St Anthony’s, the crown of the Greek Orthodox monasteries planted by Elder Ephraim, the Athonite disciple of Elder Joseph the Hesychast and former Abbot of Philotheou Monastery on the Holy Mountain.

North American Thebaid Photographic Pilgrimage
Veneration of the Icons, St Anthony’s Monastery, Florence AZ

Imagine my surprise when, on my arrival shortly before Vespers, I was warmly welcomed by the monks. So much so that I asked if I could stay for a few days. Happily, they had plenty of room, and an important door opened up. The next day, I was able to meet with Abbot Paisios and receive his blessing to make some photographs during the divine services.

Watch for a new gallery of images from St Anthony’s coming soon, and further updates as the pilgrimage continues…

 

The Itinerary

The height and breadth of North America takes away one’s breath, when one considers it all. Even more breathtaking is the breadth of places where Orthodox monasticism is taking root.

Below is my proposed itinerary, to give you an idea of the many monasteries planted across the USA and Canada, from Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.

Someone recently asked me if I will be “following the seasons.” Great question, and  I certainly am! I plan to include Alberta, Canada and Alaska in the Summer months, the Southwest and Southeast in the Winter, and so forth.

There are already changes being made — including additions and deletions — and some sections will be broken up into several excursions. But the general idea is here.

I hope also to schedule parish presentations along the way, and am already off to a good start in that regard, as you can see from the Thebaid Calendar in the right side bar. If you are interested in having me give a slide show & presentation on the Thebaid Project at your parish, please contact Orthodox Speakers Bureau, who are kindly handling all my booking arrangements.

I hope you enjoy this look at one of the guiding documents of the Thebaid Project, which has been updated several times since I first began preparing it almost a year ago.

Northeast: PA/NY/Nova Scotia/Ontario:

Northeast-PA-NY-NovaScotia-Ontario-new

1. Monastery of the Transfiguration (OCA), Ellwood City PA; ~ 310 mi, 5 hrs, from Cincinnati

2. Nativity of the Theotokos (GOA), Saxonburg PA; ~ 40 mi, 50 min, from #1

3. St Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery (OCA), Waymart PA; ~ 300 mi, 5 hrs, from #2

4. New Diveyevo Monastery (ROCOR), Nanuet NY; ~ 110 mi, 2 hrs from #3

5. Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery (OCA), Otego NY; ~ 140 mi, 2.5 hrs, from #4

6. Holy Trinity Monastery (ROCOR), Jordanville NY; ~45 mi, 1 hour from #5

7. New Skete (OCA), Cambridge NY; ~ 95 mi, 2 hrs from #6

8. Hermitage of the Annunciation (OCA), Watford, Nova Scotia, Canada; ~ 660 mi, 13 hrs from #7

9. Hermitage of St Anthony the Great (OCA), Westport, Ontario, Canada; ~ 1020 mi, 16 hours from #8

11. St Kosmas Aitolos Monastery (GOA), Bolton, Ont. CA; ~ 211 mi, 3.5 hrs from #10

TOTAL MILES: ~ 2800 mi. one-way 

Continue reading “The Itinerary”