In order to take advantage of the available light during Fall and Winter, we will use the following schedule for Vespers, Dinner and Compline:

Vespers: 4:30PM
Dinner: Immediately following Vespers...usually at 5:30PM or so
Compline: Follows dinner and will usually begin at 6:30PM

Abbot Damian and Fr. Mark Shuey

Abbot Damian and Fr. Mark Shuey

The Monastery enjoyed a recent visit from longtime Mt. Tabor supporter, Fr. Mark Shuey, the current pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Raleigh, NC.  Fr. Mark (who is also a California native) lived in Ukiah for several years in the 90’s, during which he was active at the monastery while helping to found St. Peter’s Mission in Ukiah.  As a matter of fact, it’s impossible to talk about Fr. Mark’s many accomplishments (and current responsibilities) without using the word, “mission,” because this key area of growth for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the US is not only his passion, but has become his specialty as well.  To date, Fr. Mark has founded two missions in Raleigh, two in Charlotte, two in Tennessee and a “station chapel” in Youngville, NC, and so he doesn’t get to have all the fun, he’s working on a “Missionology” document that will contain the framework to train others to form these crucial ‘ventures,’ which can serve as precursors to parishes.

As is often the case in religious life, Fr. Mark “just kind of fell” into this work and feels the Lord has guided him ever since.  He first moved to North Carolina on business and though he didn’t have a job initially, he had lots of family, so when he found out about the opportunities for growing the Church in the Piedmont (which has been a beneficiary of the large, internal migration out of the once bustling industrial towns in the Northeast) he simply began opening new missions.  At first, this meant organizing the liturgical services, gathering the people and celebrating Christmas and Pascha, but in the early stages, all these budding institutions really have is people.  There are few if any vestments, chalices or even candles, so all necessities are borrowed, but to Fr. Mark, these fleeting material challenges are just details.  The important thing is fulfilling one’s responsibility to serve all the Ukrainian Catholics in the Diaspora, and the work is paying off.  St. Volodymyr & Olha (Garner, NC) own property and are ready to build their first church, St. Thomas the Apostle owns property, and in his words, “over the last 10 years, it’s just domino-ed.”  

Another sign of the growth and the need are the parishioners who make long drives from cities like Hickory (NC) and Columbia (SC) to Charlotte for weddings and baptisms.  Fr. Mark has seen this before and knows that seeds are being planted in these outlying communities, which will one day bear fruit.  He knows that all one needs to do is, A) find several families who are motivated for this type of work, B) find a place to worship and, C) bring the people together.  “And it just goes from there,” he says.  

If all this isn’t enough to keep a priest and father of 7 busy, Fr. Mark is also the Director of the Parma Eparchy’s Diaconate program, which currently has 14 men (8 from Parma, 3 from Chicago and 1 from the Ruthenian Eparchy of Phoenix) in formation for the four-year program.  As part of the Eparchy’s clergy retreat in early October, he met with Bishop Bohdon Danylo to discuss this successful program, get all its files up to date and recommend those candidates who are qualified for minor orders.  Due to the demands on his time, though, Fr. Mark is transitioning to the role of Associate Director so he’ll have more free time for what else?  Mission Development!  The transition will be seamless, though, as the current Associate Director, Fr. Deacon Kevin Bezner, PhD. from St. Basil’s, Charlotte (who is himself a graduate of the program) will step into the Director spot.  

So please keep Fr. Mark, his family, parishioners, missions (and those who do a fair amount of driving to service them) in your prayers.  And speaking of prayers, below is a one that Fr. Mark shared with the monks…which we in turn would like to share with all of you:

"Lord, I offer this day in all righteousness as a living sacrifice of praise, that all day and all the things I do will give you glory.  Amen.”

The Mothers of Holy Theophany Monastery (Romanian) and their chaplain, Right Reverend Archpriest Lawrence Gosselin (Melkite) hosted the 3rd Annual Eastern Catholic Monastic Sobor at the Mothers' beautifully manicured facility on the outskirts of Olympia, Washington.  Participants included the Holy Theophany Mothers, Fr. Lawrence, the fledgling community of Duchovny Dom (Ruthenian) from Warren, Oregon, Hegumen Fr. Theodosii Krychuk from the the Exaltation of the Most Holy, Precious, and Life Giving Cross Monastery in northern Alberta on the Canadian prairie, and the Monks of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Redwood Valley, California.  Unfortunately, Fr. Jonathan and the Brothers of Sacred Heart Monastery (Maronite), also in Washington state, were unable to attend this year due to scheduling conflicts.

     After a casual gathering the evening of August 16th at Fr. Lawrence's Holy Martyrs Skete just down the road from Holy Theophany, we all prayed Orthros of the Greek tradition on Wednesday morning in Holy Theophany's Katholikon and shared a fasting breakfast prepared by Mother Irene, who continued to provide beautiful and nourishing meals throughout the duration of the sobor in the Mothers' trapeza with animated conversations after supper in the adjoining library.

     There were morning and afternoon sessions with the 6th Hour and lunch in between on both Wednesday and Thursday with discussions about several articles that had been recommended by the various communities, articles dealing with diverse monastic concerns and experiences, from the profoundly spiritual to the seemingly mundane everyday details of community life.

     Sister Teresa Jackson, O.S.B., from St. Gertrude Monastery (Latin) in Cottonwood, Idaho was serendipitously on retreat at Holy Theophany and was kind enough to share her insights into the challenges of growing old in monastic life - her large (huge by Byzantine standards) community of sisters includes many very elderly consecrated virgins, all still living in the community, and also described a number of possible resources available to most Americans (and Canadians, too, with slight differences). Plans for next year's gathering were also bandied about. There are rumors of a new Chaldean monastery being established somewhere in southern California, perhaps they will be represented at the sobor next year. We also discussed the possibility of inviting representatives of certain other monastic communities from outside our far-flung geographical area.

     The opportunity to enjoy the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in monastic life, to experience the different liturgical practices and customs of another community from another tradition, to pray together with brothers and sisters normally scattered here and there in small, isolated monastic families across the western edge of the continent, was certainly more than worth the 12-hour drive from Mt. Tabor, energized as we were from the Great feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos.

     According to the schedule as it is at this moment, next year's sobor will (or may) return to Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Redwood Valley, California, which will involve absolutely no travel time for us here at Mt. Tabor, a welcome change.

Article by Another Monk of the Eastern Church
Photos by Fr Theodosii


What's so funny?  Watch the YouTube clip of Fr. Damian's speech from this past June's 20 Year Anniversary at neighboring Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery and find out.  Many thanks to our Buddhist brothers for inviting us to their big day, as well as the ordination on the following day.


Слава Ісусу Христу!  (Glory to Jesus Christ!)

NEWS! (Updated Sept. 3, 2016)

Schedule for Divine Liturgy

Mon - Friday - 6:30AM
Saturday - 7AM
Sunday - 10AM

New Icon Workshop/Retreat from Fr. Damian!  November 7th - 12th at the Monastery  (Call 707-485-8959 for more details) Egg tempera technique used, no art experience necessary. More advanced students will be allowed to further their experience with complex techniques.  We only have a few spots left, so please reserve your place immediately.

New Icon Mounting Workshop!  October 4th - 6th (Call 707-485-8959 for more details)  

*Questions or Comments?  Please call or email Br. Gideon @ (707) 485-4162 or brgideon@monksofmttabor.com

Holy Transfiguration Monastery is a contemplative, Eastern Catholic monastery, part of the worldwide Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church under the leadership of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk.  Eastern Catholics are Orthodox Catholics who live in full and visible communion with the Holy See of Rome, and we pray for the Pope as our "Holy Ecumenical Hierarch."  One does not need to be ethnically Ukrainian to join our monastery or attend Ukrainian church services.  The Ukrainian Catholic Church comes from the Ukrainian people but it is open for all peoples…so Welcome!