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Entering The Convent, The Orthodox Way


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I was thinking about how to start this topic, and kept running into things that would need to be explained to a (mostly) Roman Catholic audience. And I thought that there was no way to cover all the d

Reason #193 why Mother is the best Abbess EVER: [i]Dear Marigold,[/i] [i]I feel as if there is a ghost in chapel these days -- I go in and it seems someone should be there only I don't see them

I can't find the words to thank you all individually, so THANK YOU and know that I'm praying for all of us here. Feeling a bit more human today. I slept for about 13hrs, woke up to an unexpected le

[quote name='Clareni' timestamp='1332383301' post='2405052']
This is unbelievable. The world is full of crazed fanatics trying to kill people and they're investigating an Orthodox Monastery. I feel safer already. This deserves an emoticon and I hate emoticons. :crazy:
[/quote]
Ok after some thought I realized why they would need to do a site visit in cases like this. Imagine this scenario. Someone (with bad intentions) wants to enter the US but can't get a normal visa for obvious reasons.So they see the religious visa (or whatever they call it) as an easier way to get in. Thus they get someone over here to "start" a "religious community" that the person is supposedly joining. Someone (who is not familiar with these communities) looking over the visa might see that it is an application so one can join a "religious community" and ok it. The person then gets through and it ends up being a major security breach. Thus in a effort to prevent this type of scenario they require a site visit to make sure that it is a legit convent.
So as twisted and warped that it might seem for someone to even think of doing that I guarantee someone has tried it in the past.
It may be frustrating for those who are trying to go through the process honestly, Homeland Security is just trying to do their job, making sure bad people don't slip through.

On a side note I really want to know how you get a job doing site visits to Monasteries. That sounds like a razzle dazzle job to me, getting paid to go visit communities.

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[quote name='TheresaThoma' timestamp='1332444359' post='2405475']
Ok after some thought I realized why they would need to do a site visit in cases like this. Imagine this scenario. Someone (with bad intentions) wants to enter the US but can't get a normal visa for obvious reasons.So they see the religious visa (or whatever they call it) as an easier way to get in. [/quote]

TT is quite right in that and at least they are not just targeting Islamic religious institutions and communities for in depth scrutiny. Their concern (and painfully slow procedures) are here being applied regardless of religious affiliation. However, it would not take long to ascertain that this community is under the authority of a recognized church body,(and registered as such with some state official), and then calling a bishop whose biography could easily be checked would clear up 99% of their concerns. The other 1% could then be farmed out to their crack monastery visitation squad (a very good job indeed) and they could visit Marigold at any time after she arrived to make sure she wasn't was engaged in weapons training after compline.

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Indwelling Trinity

I am more suspicious than all of you.... When something very good is going to happen to give glory to God Satan often likes to get his thumbs into everything.... Your vocation and that of your sisters will wrest many souls from his hands,, and it just drives Satan wild!

Just Laugh at him...in the end he will lose as he always does..... In the hermitage i saw clearly how much Satan is busy trying to destroy our work in bringing souls to Christ....Our Chaplain was an Exorcist , Canon Lawyer, and former Trappist abbot turned hermit. However the Bishop made him the exorcist for the diocese... Let it suffice to say that we saw plenty.. and in a fervent religious house, Satan has his work cut out for him. In a complacent religious house he does not need to work so hard as often the members will lose site of God of their own accord.... Read the lives of some of the saints, especially the desert Fathers and you will see this to be true.

So If Satan is busy blocking things for you and your sisters, you can be sure something good is happening... You don' have to believe this and you can also chalk this up to only natural causes (but often he uses human vehicles to accomplish his work).... But i think better of it. after so many years in religious life.

But then again,this is just my two cents.... Satan is real and I think we don't give him enough credit.. perhaps more prayer and penance is is needed. Jesus Himself tells us this. :paperbag:

Edited by Indwelling Trinity
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[quote name='TheresaThoma' timestamp='1332444359' post='2405475']
Ok after some thought I realized why they would need to do a site visit in cases like this. Imagine this scenario. Someone (with bad intentions) wants to enter the US but can't get a normal visa for obvious reasons.So they see the religious visa (or whatever they call it) as an easier way to get in.
[/quote]

Site visits are actually intended to speed up a process that has caused some religious communities to loose their members. Immigration was behind at least 3 years with applications (a big problem because temporary visas are usually for 3 year periods and you aren't technically supposed to apply for a renewal until just before your visa is due). If Immigration can approve the monastery or convent as official, then any applications that come through that particular monastery can then be immediately approved with less red-tape.

Unfortunately people who have no scruples have tried to pretend to be religious in order to do all sorts of illegal things. Sad, sad, sad. Hence all the extra security.

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Mantellata, I'd never thought of it that way.

I am reassured that they do things properly - logically I know that the delay isn't personal. Bureaucracy is horrible, but I'd rather have that than the situation described in [i]Journey Back To Eden [/i]where Fr. Mark is able to obtain a visa for an acquaintance simply because the officer at the Egyptian authorities took a shine to him and offered him a drink in his office.

Clareni, your comment about not just targeting Islamic communities reminded me of a couple of incidents related to the monastery. The nuns sometimes get pulled over on the highway because they are mistaken for Islamist terrorists (well the outfit is basically the same... guess where the Muslims got their ideas) and one of those times, the cop nearly wet himself when he realised he'd pulled over a nun. It turned out he was a long-ago product of parochial school - Mother still laughs her head off when she tells about the look on his face when he saw the pectoral cross and realised he'd pulled over the Abbess! :smile2: You can take the boy out of parochial school...

The other less amusing one was when Mother and a novice were travelling recently and had to go through airport security (what is with with these security anecdotes?). They both got taken aside, patted down and I think even had to strip off. When they returned to the main line they saw a group of women in full niqab go through no problem. It's the sort of situation where you want to think, ok, they probably just had to fulfil a quota of people to take aside every day, it probably wasn't deliberate... but to the sister who told the story (the novice) it certainly smacked of a kind of 'positive discrimination'. Letting the Muslim women pass to prove that they don't think all Muslims are terrorists, and taking the Christian nuns aside to prove that they're not blatantly pro-Christian.

Well, anyway. The site visit is on Tuesday, so watch this space.

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[quote name='marigold' timestamp='1332534168' post='2406490']
The nuns sometimes get pulled over on the highway because they are mistaken for Islamist terrorists (well the outfit is basically the same... guess where the Muslims got their ideas) and one of those times, the cop nearly wet himself when he realised he'd pulled over a nun. It turned out he was a long-ago product of parochial school - Mother still laughs her head off when she tells about the look on his face when he saw the pectoral cross and realised he'd pulled over the Abbess! :smile2: You can take the boy out of parochial school...
[/quote]

This would have put the fear of God in me even sans parochial school. The only way for that cop to have gracefully recovered from that encounter would have been to come to attention, salute smartly, and wish everyone God speed. Do nuns realize how much they intimidate men?

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I despise pat downs. So annoying and invasive. They are worse though if you ask for a private screening. I now simply go through the radiation detectors where some remote person sees you naked. In the end it's less invasive.

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[quote name='marigold' timestamp='1333055354' post='2410366']
The site visit 'went well'. They talked with the officer and she couldn't see any reason why the visa would be denied. They say 45 days after the visit but she reckoned it would be less than that. Here's hoping!

:dance:
[/quote]


Ooooh Marigold, I'm just now seeing this. Absolutely wonderful news.

Keeping you in prayers,
HB

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Marigold,

Thank you for that beautiful clip from the Great and Holy Friday matins service!

I believe this year (2012) the Orthodox are one week behind the Roman Church, which means it isGood Friday for you... and Pascua is coming this weekend!

We will hold you in prayer in a special way today.

I know that the services during the night leading into Easter are incredibly beautiful... you will have to tell us all about it.

I wish every grace and blessing on you in this holy, special time.

Blessings,

AnneLine
(P.S.... my first boyfriend, long ago, now gone to be with God, was Orthodox.... so I do know a bit about this!)

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HB & AnneLine, thank you so much. Your prayers along with the grace of the holy days must be extra efficacious, because we JUST got home, exhausted, from the Holy Friday service and I decided to check my email before hitting the sack - only to find an email from Mother Abbess saying the petition has been approved! I screamed and dropped my teacup when I saw the message :blush: So I am filling out my bit right now, and excitedly remembering what my friend who works at the embassy said about visas going through really quickly at the moment ... there's no way I'm sleeping any time soon! I am so excited!

:nun2:

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