fire

The terrible fires on here in the West continue. Several families have experienced the loss of their homes in Oregon, Washington, and California. Of special concern today is the Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga, California. It is the oldest Orthodox women’s monastery in the Western Hemisphere, having been established by refugees from China. Calistoga is situated in the northern part of the Napa Valley. The Glass Fire continues to rage through Napa and Sonoma Counties and is, at this writing, about 2% contained.

The sisters from the Calistoga monastery evacuated Sunday evening and have taken refuge at the Monastery of St. John of Shanghai in Manton, CA. I have been receiving updates from Mother Melania, the Superior throughout the day. The fire has not yet entered the city proper, but high winds and high temperatures will make for a very unsettling night as we pray the monastery and city will remain untouched.

We are very grateful to the many parishes and faithful who responded to the disaster that befell the people of Southern Oregon. Your generosity has been crucial in helping not only our own parishioners who suffered loss, but also our neighbors. Many of those who lost their homes were low-income families who were unprepared for such devastation.

For more information, visit the Diocese of the West’s website. Donations for fire relief may be sent to Diocese of the West, 1520 Green St., San Francisco, CA 94123

+Benjamin
Archbishop of San Francisco and the West
Diocese of the West