With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Mitrophan, Popadija Tatiana Katanic, (wife of Protonamesnik Rev. Milovan Katanic, Hermitage,) organized a lenten pilgrimage to the Serbian and Greek monasteries in Arizona. A group of nine women from all over the country met to make the pilgrimage to the St. Paisius Serbian Orthodox Women's Monastery in Safford, AZ and to St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, AZ, over the weekend of April 11-13.
At St. Paisius they were warmly welcomed by Abbess Mother Mihaila and the sisterhood, who went out of their way to make the visitors feel right at home. They were able to participate in the Divine Services and also spend some true quality time with Mother Mihaila, who gave them wonderful, strengthening advice. The monastery has been in Safford for seven years and the sisterhood is now close to completing their main church. Donations are currently being accepted for the various adornments needed for the sanctuary. You can contact them through their website for more information.
On their way back to the airport, the group stopped by St. Anthony's for a brief tour, Vespers, followed by Trapeza, and then Compline. “The grounds are beautifully maintained and truly spiritually edifying,” said Popadija Tatiana. “Our group was also blessed to have seen and receive a blessing from Elder Ephraim, the famous Athonite elder who started that (and 16 other) Greek men's and women's monasteries around the United States within the last twelve years.”
All the women taking part in the pilgrimage agreed with Popadija Tatiana who said, “This was an excellent opportunity to take time out of our hectic schedules, especially during Great Lent, to appreciate the monastic lifestyle and participate in the prescribed services which most parishes are incapable of holding. It was even more special that we were able to celebrate St. Mary of Egypt Sunday in the desert.” They hope this to be only the first of a series of planned pilgrimages to holy sites all over the world. More photos...