8/31/2013 Parish Visit to Saint Barbara’s Monastery, Santa Paula, CA

On a warm Saturday morning several of us got into our cars and made the hour and a half drive to Saint Barbara’s Monastery. As we crossed over the bridge from the main road we could feel the immediate sense of other-worldliness. The surroundings were at once brighter as we went from the shade into the bright sunlight. When we got out of our cars and took a deep breath of the pine and lavender scented air there was a palpable calm that enveloped us. Stepping through the front door into the Chapel we felt at home. There to greet us were the familiar faces of Our Lord and Saviour, His Mother, Our Dear St. Anne and many others.

Then there were the Sisters, women who have left the world behind to serve Our Lord, His Church and His People, waiting to greet us, attend to any needs we may have, share their home, their lives and a homemade meal with us. Time passed as the blink of an eye as we listened to Mother Victoria share with us how they came to be in possession of primary relics of Saint Barbara and Saint Anne. We were honored to pray the Midday Hours with their community. It was a joy to share a simple lunch and listen to some of the sisters tell the personal journeys which led them to the monastic community. We had a chance to visit the Bookstore and bring home treasures to further our own Spiritual journey or to share with others.

At the end of the afternoon we gathered back into our cars and headed home with a new appreciation of Mother Victoria, the Sisters, the prayers they pray on behalf of the world and every one of us. Knowing that it is those prayers that have been said for thousands of years in monasteries all over the world that are in part responsible for the fact that The Church is still here today and that we have the privelege of calling ourselves members.

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