The Monastic Communities and the chapel community members of New Skete held their annual summer Pilgrimage festivities on Saturday, August 11, 2012. Despite clouds and rain, pilgrims enjoyed the events of the day.
Following the celebration of Matins and the Divine Liturgy, a group tour of the churches was conducted, during which New Skete’s history and iconography were highlighted. The tour was conducted by Brother Marc, one of the founding monks.
The food court, serving ethnic and traditional fare, prepared by New Skete Chapel Community and volunteers was very busy and popular with guests.
Other activities throughout the day included a photo exhibit of New Skete life and a variety of children’s activities, including a “scavenger hunt,” during which children were given photos of specific things found at New Skete—signs, icons, trees, etc.—and were challenged to locate them. Other events included a hike, a puppy socialization demonstration, and a dog training demonstration.
This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, a theologian, licensed psychologist, noted author and lecturer on Orthodox spirituality, and founder and coordinator of Saint Catherine’s Vision, an association of Orthodox women theologians. Dr. Karidoyanes FitzGerald spoke on the topic of her recent book, Persons in Communion: A Theology of Authentic Relationships. It was followed by a book signing.
A Healing Service with Anointing and Vespers brought the day to a close.
The New Skete monastic community was originally established in 1966 by a small group of Byzantine Rite Catholic Franciscan monks. In 1969, seven Poor Clare nuns from Indiana settled near the monks and joined New Skete. Shortly thereafter, New Skete was received into Orthodox Christianity. In 1983, a third community was added when eight dedicated parish members expressed their desire to live in accordance with the monastic way of life and formed the companions.
The monks’ monastery and gift shop is located at 250 New Skete Lane, Cambridge, NY. The nuns’ monastery and gift shop is located at 343 Ashgrove Road, Cambridge, NY. For more information on New Skete Communities, including future events, tours and retreats, please visit their web site or their Facebook page.