Monks anticipate return to monastery after “Ponderosa Fire”
MANTON, CA [OCA]
In a message signed by the Fathers and Brothers of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco Monastery here relates that, while the monks have yet to return to the monastery, they are grateful for prayers offered by so many during the “Ponderosa Fire,” from which the monastery buildings were spared.
The text of their message reads as follows.
“The Brotherhood of St. John would like to thank everyone sincerely for all of the prayers and gracious support we have received in our time of difficulty. The monastery was evacuated safely before the fires arrived, and we have been lodging with friends until the fire department considers it safe for us to return. The last few days have been a valuable chance for us to strengthen relationships with area parishes, see old friends, and also to experience being the Brotherhood while outside the walls of the monastery, as we strive to maintain the same attitude of prayer that we keep while we are at home.
“We will be returning very soon to inspect the property. As far as we know, all the buildings were saved, and the facility has provided a good place for the fire department to use as a base while they continue their heroic and much appreciated efforts for the larger community. We wish to extend especial thanks to the many firefighters who have risked their safety in this effort, and we are glad that the monastery grounds could be of service. The fires continue to travel other places and threaten other homes and lives, so please continue to pray for all who are affected by this. There are still many who are in danger.
“The Brotherhood also wishes to express sincere condolences to all of our neighbors who have lost buildings and other property to this fire. We will be of service in any way we can. As yet we have limited information about when we will be allowed to return and resume our normal schedule, and what our capacity will be for hosting visitors and guests, but we will be sure to keep everyone posted as to how things turn out.
“Glory to God for His benevolence and care for us in all things, teaching us the path of salvation in every circumstance! We ask for the continued prayers of all our friends and supporters, and may the prayers of the Theotokos and all the Saints be with all of us.”