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Antiochian Women Project 2011-2012: The Convent of St. Thekla

NAB 2011-2012 Project Poster: Click to download PDFNAB 2011-2012 Project Poster: Click to download PDFYour Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP, Venerable Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy and Dear Sisters in Christ:

Christ is in our midst!

I am honored and humbled to introduce myself as the newly-elected Vice-President & Project Coordinator of the North American Board of the Antiochian Women. It is with a great deal of excitement that we journey together over the next two years, and I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.

Having served as the Recording Secretary and Religious Coordinator for the North American Board, many of you already know me. However, for those that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, a brief introduction is in order. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, part of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest, and am a member of St. Michael the Archangel Church. I am a convert to the faith, having been raised as a Roman Catholic, and came to Orthodoxy over 16 years ago.

Those who were able to attend the Antiochian Women’s luncheon at the Archdiocese Convention in Chicago last July were able to witness the presentation of a check in the amount of $104,830.79 from the Antiochian Women to His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP towards the 2010-2011 NAB Project of “The Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village.” The women of our beloved Archdiocese – through their hard work and abundant blessings – have raised $217,659.33 since 2009 when Metropolitan PHILIP first asked us to raise funds to assist with the building of a monastic community.

At the last Archdiocese Convention, His Eminence asked the Antiochian Women to – again – step forward to make the Convent of St. Thekla a reality. Over the past two years, we have seen events move quickly – from the implementation of Metropolitan PHILIP’s early vision of a monastery for the Antiochian Archdiocese, to Mother Alexandra being asked to serve as the abbess, to the selection of a site, to the retention of an architect, Doug Shoop, and, most recently, Doug’s magnificent renderings of the Convent, one of which graces our 2011-2012 Project poster. Additional information and photographs are located on the Convent's website, here.

I urge all of the Diocesan Project Coordinators to distribute the poster pictured here, as well as a cover letter, to the contact person in each of the chapters. Please ask the women to put the posters in a prominent place and to start planning events that will highlight the Project. Everyone in the parish – men, women and children – should know about the Project, and be reminded that every woman in the Archdiocese is an “Antiochian Woman.” Please check with your chapters on a regular basis – not only as “gentle reminders,” but to offer suggestions or to discover what plans are in place.

Please direct the chapters to mail all monies collected for the Project to the Diocesan Treasurer no later than May 1, 2012. The deadline for each Diocese to forward the funds to the NAB Treasurer, Sherry Abraham Morrow, is May 15, 2012. Sherry’s address follows below:

Mrs. Sherry Abraham Morrow
4738 Cobblestone
Wichita, KS 67204

As we have seen from the 2,000-plus year history of our beloved Orthodox Church, monasteries are centers of prayer that play an important role in our spiritual lives, as well as in our societies. They are common-place in other parts of the Orthodox world, but it has only been recently that they have “caught hold” in America. Monasteries are places where God looks to find spiritual life among his children on earth, and where we – as God’s children – may be transformed for the life that is to come. A spiritual oasis, the Convent of St. Thekla will be a place where all Orthodox Christians are welcomed on their spiritual path in life, finding within its walls prayer and hospitality.

I look forward to meeting and getting to know each of you. You will be hearing a lot from me over the next two years – in my service to the North American Board, and also as your sister in Christ. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or just to say “hello.”

Yours in Christ,

Dianne M. O’Regan
Vice President/NAB Project Coordinator
North American Board of the Antiochian Women

NAB 2011-2012 Project Poster (PDF)145.67 KB