Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:51 a.m.
Wild Fires threaten Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery
in Platina, California
His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese urges all of our Orthodox faithful to offer prayers for the protection of the St. Herman of Alaska Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Platina, California. Wild fires are quickly approaching the Monastery grounds and the Monastery is in great danger of being burned down. The Monastic Community has been evacuated and are seeking refuge in the neighboring parish of Redding, California.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 – 5:37 p.m.
Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters,
The Monks have evacuated from Platina and are now in Redding with us (St. Andrew’s). They brought down all of their vehicles loaded with possessions of the Monastery. They are collected at one parishioners home right now and we will be finding them accommodations this evening. The fires are still raging. The forest Service just set a back fire on Noble Ridge (the winds were favorable) as a mans of cutting out fuel for the main fire to go over the Ridge. The smoke at Platina was so thick you could barely see or breathe. We will be having Vespers and Compline at St. Andrews tonight.
The nuns at St. Xenia Skete are still there and have not had to evacuate yet, but are on high alert. Two of our parishioners went up today with trucks to bring down Monastery possessions to Redding We still are awaiting to see what they will be doing.
The Monastics will probably be staying in Redding for a while, secondary to the extreme fire conditions (over 875 fires are going in Northern California from a Saturday lightening strike) and the smoke is quite thick. The sky in Redding is like overcast with ash falling.
Please keep them all in your prayers. We ask God’s help to send relief to the Monastics, the fire fighters and others made homeless.
Thank you for your prayers and blessings to all of you,
Fr. Michael Boyle, Parish Priest
St. Andrew Fool-for-Christ Serbian Orthodox Mission Parish Redding, California