On Saturday, October 26th, the HRSOC Youth Group visited St. John Chrysostom, Greek Women’s Monastery, in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
We have been warmly welcomed by gerontissa (abbess) Melanie who has also taken the time out of her active monastic life in order to have a conversation with the group. Among other topics, mother Melanie spoke about marriage and relationships between young people today. She has also mentioned that the young people need to start thinking about planning their family in future and, most importantly, choosing the right person for the marriage since the focus should not be based on outward appearance solely. She has also made a beautiful connection between the young people and the St. Demetrious who was very young when he confessed Christ and because of this confession was tortured and executed (since the Orthodox Christians were persecuted at that time in history). In addition, our orthodox church celebrates him as a Great-martyr. Also, the monastery was celebrating St. Demetrious on this day and we have all been blessed to venerate his relics.
The group also visited their main church built in the graceful but mysterious Byzantine style. The delicious and hearty lunch was served at the monastery’s lunch hall located next to their smaller church. Some of the teens had to go back early to Chicago but the once who stayed took a 10 minute drive to Scoops Ice Cream in downtown Kenosha for a taste of an array of delicious sweet treats. Soon after, the group was back for a vesper service at the Monastery. The perfect ending to a perfect day, contemplating the beauty of life in a small, only candle lit church, alongside the beautiful and uplifting chanting of the monastery nuns.