For the second time in the past year, Mother Cassiana and the sisterhood at the Protection of the Holy Virgin Monastery here are keeping a close watch on raging fires which, having already claimed hundreds of acres, are within four miles of their otherwise peaceful community.
“During the summer of 2002, the nuns evacuated the monastery as a result of rapidly spreading fires,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Department. “Fortunately, the monastery was spared and the extended drought which fueled the fires came to an end—at least temporarily.”
Despite record rainfall last spring, a less severe drought sparked this year’s fires which, according to the Rev. Anthony Karbo of Colorado Springs, CO, are not as widespread as last year’s.
While the nuns have not been ordered to evacuate the monastery, located approximately one hour southwest of Colorado Springs, by Wednesday evening, July 10, they were ready to do so on a moment’s notice.
“His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco and the West, in whose diocese the monastery falls, once again asks for the prayers of the faithful throughout the Orthodox Church in America, that the monastery will once again be spared,” Father Matusiak added.
Further updates on the situation will be posted on the OCA web site as they are received.