Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, was the site of the fifth annual retreat/workshop of Orthodox Women in Healing Ministries. Some twenty-five women from many jurisdictions throughout the United States and Canada gathered from June 5th through 8th to pray, share, listen, and discover. This holy monastery has become our motherhouse.
In keeping with our vision of supporting each other in the journey of theosis, we invited Fr. Maxym Lysack, a Carpatho-Russian priest from Nepean, Canada, to address the topic of "The Spiritual Life of Orthodox Women in Healing Ministries." Fr. Maxym's presence throughout the gathering allowed for consistent opportunities for confession. Drawn by the witness of women saints, Sr. Elizabeth of Holy Transfiguration Monastery inspired us with her description of the life of the Holy New Martyr Elizabeth (grand duchess of Russia) and the lives of several other holy women.
A healing service of anointing was celebrated and we sang the akathist to the Holy Martyr Elizabeth. Later we joined in a pilgrimage led by Mother Christophora, the abbess of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, to the grave of Mother Alexandra, foundress of this monastery.
In an effort to welcome more women and respond to God's leading, we are opening regional gatherings of Orthodox Women in Healing Ministries. This year some forty women were on the waiting list. In the mid-west, Gerianne Coates has offered to be the contact person as we await the formation of a coordination team for a mid-western gathering. In the Washington, D.C. area, a monthly evening gathering of Orthodox Women in Healing Ministries is open to welcome those women who are interested. Please contact Daria Virvan. If you are interested in founding a regional gathering in your area and would like more background information and/or the assistance of experienced Orthodox Women in Healing Ministries, please contact Lyn Breck.
These regional gatherings will be in addition to rather than instead of the yearly retreat/workshop at Holy Transfiguration Monastery. In preparation for 1998, we are exploring housing near the monastery which will allow us to welcome up to forty women. The coordinators for the 1998 event are Lila Moses and Joan Kakascik. If you wish to be put on the mailing list to receive registration information, please contact either Joan or Lila.
We consider that a healing ministry can be as simple as praying for someone or listening to someone. While we have no formal organization, a fellowship of love and support has formed and continues to grow as we seek to live our lives as truly Orthodox women.
Editors' Note: Please contact the Quarterly for contact information.