A visit to Christ the Bridegroom Monastery

The Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholic Young Adult group traveled Aug. 26 to Christ the Bridegroom Monastery in Burton,
Ohio to meet the Sisters and tour the Monastery. Natalia Wohar, a student from Duquesne University, graciously
organized the trip. One man came all the way from Western Ohio, a three-hour(!) car drive. One family came from Beaver County. A group from Pittsburgh carpooled and squeezed into Natalia’s car.

Upon arriving, we were greeted with a hugs from the sisters. I certainly felt that we were truly at home and that we truly were all brothers and sisters in Christ. After a quick tour of the Monastery and their library collections, we gathered in their Chapel across the street from the Monastery to prepare our souls and hearts for 9:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy. It was celebrated by Father Peter Borza, who was visiting from Slovakia. One of the little ones assisted Father by altar serving.

After Divine Liturgy concluded, we went back over to the monastery for a delicious breakfast. The menu included baked oatmeal, breakfast casserole, aussie bites, bread, coffee, tea, and milk. Natalia and Sister Natalia celebrated together their patron feast day of the Holy Martyr Natalia. Sister Natalia also bonded with one woman over a mutual love for podcasts and Blessed Pior Giorgio Frassati. The kids played Jenga and the sisters were amazingly unphased by the occasional screaming. Mother Theodora told us the story about the founding of the Monastery. Additionally, one of the sisters gave us a good recommendation for a Holy Land pilgrimage.

After we concluded breakfast with “It is Truly Proper”, Sister Natalia gave us a tour of the poustinia (Russian for “desert”) retreat houses, where retreatants can spend a day or a few days for some quiet and alone time with the Lord. I think a few people got ideas for the site of their next personal retreat. We got a group picture and then went our own ways at around 12:30 p.m., thanking the sisters again for hosting us. Additionally, we bought some of their apple butter — absolutely delicious! I think the secret must be the monastic life.

The Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholic Young Adult group is open to any young adult, regardless if he/she is Byzantine. Families and children are welcome, as well. We seek to grow in our love of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ and for the Byzantine faith through community and monthly events.

For more information, email Abby Kreckel at abby.kreckel@ gmail.com or “like” us on Facebook at “Pittsburgh Byzantine Catholic Young Adults.”