Mother Justina is the Abbess of the Convent. She and Sister Katharina form the community of nuns at present. The Very Reverend Mark Sahady is the Chaplain for the Convent. Mother Justina is a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and raised in the Antiochian Orthodox Church. She received her monastic formation in the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Kaftoun, Lebanon, where she was in residence for 18 years.
Sister Kathrina is a native of Homs, Syria, and raised in the Antiochian Orthodox Church. She received her monastic formation at the Convent of St. Thekla in Maaloula, Syria, where she was in residence for 15 years
Father Mark Sahady is a native of the area an hour South of Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in the Antiochian Orthodox Church of St Ellien in Brownsville, PA. He is a graduate of St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY, in the class of 1989. His wife’s name is Barbara. He served as the pastor of the Church of St. Mary in Wilkes-Barre, PA, from 1989-1994 while serving as a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. He became a full-time active duty chaplain in the Air Force in 1994 and after having served at various bases in the U.S., in Ramstein, Germany and Tokyo, Japan, he retired in 2014 to serve at the monastery.
St Thekla Convent is a place for prayer through personal prayer and community worship. Visitors are welcome, however, please call 717-630-8298 and speak with the Abbess to make such arrangements. Prayer is to the Christian what food is to the hungry. Without prayer our spirits die. We become carnal and spiritually dead without nourishment for our soul. Without prayer, we belong to the earth instead of heaven; we lose not only our communication but also our communion with God. Prayer begins when we open our hearts to God and proceeds into silence, the language of heaven. It is in silence that we learn to hear and know God. God is not far away that we need to strain to hear or know Him. God lives within our heart of hearts or the spirit within the spirit, what the Church fathers call the nous. Only with a quiet mind and a quiet heart can one begin to hear the ‘still, small voice’ of God. (Joy Corey, from her book, The Tools of Spiritual Warfare)
Please, keep the monastery, Mother Justina, her sisterhood and Fr Mark in your prayers.