Panagia Parigoritissa Greek Orthodox (Women’s) Monastery — Brownsburg-Chatham, Quebec, Canada
Recent Parish Spiritual Pilgrimage
February 3-9, 2013 — Recently, Father Theodore C. Roupas (our parish priest) led a group of parishioners from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church of Nassau, Bahamas on a six-day (winter) pilgrimage to Panagia Parigoritissa Greek Orthodox Monastery (located in Brownsburg-Chatham, Quebec, Canada). The pilgrimage was conducted for the sake of being able to withdraw from the world (temporarily) and engage further in one’s own prayer life.
The daily schedule of the monastery was -and is- more-or-less as follows… Small Paraclesis Service: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Breakfast: 9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., Lunch: 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Snack: 2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Dinner: 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Small Vespers Service: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Small Compline Service: 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Snack: 7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Bedtime: 9:00 p.m.
Amidst the constant snowfall and frigid temperatures, our parishioners had the chance to participate in the daily activities of the monastery, which included attending church services and helping with basic chores, all of which provided them with the opportunity to interact with the nuns and ask them questions, especially regarding cooking because they can cook quite well, as was discovered!
Furthermore, of great benefit was the fact that our parishioners had the opportunity to meet with Gerontissa Thekla, both as a group and individually. She was someone who was able to help shed much spiritual insight/wisdom on the challenges that we all experience in the world and the role that they can and do play in God’s plan of salvation for us. She is the abbess of the monastery, the spiritual mother of twenty-two nuns/sisters as well as many pilgrims abroad.
Combined with the pilgrimage was the reading of a short spiritual book called “The Return” by Archimandrite Nektarios Antonopoulos (a book that analyzes the story of the Prodigal Son and the need for repentance), which our parishioners both read and discussed while there. Meetings were held in the evenings and allowed everyone to engage in a lively spiritual discussion.
The monastics that reside at this monastery have many plans for further expansion. But their primary purpose for residing there is to continue serving the local community and providing a haven for all those seek spiritual nourishment, healing, etc. Hence, we hope to return soon and wish the nuns many prayers in their mission to help us save humanity from the fallen world.