Dance, O Isaiah, and taking up the word of God, prophecy to the Maiden Mary: The bush shall burn, yet shall not be consumed by the radiance of the Godhead! Adorn thyself well, O Bethlehem! Open wide thy gates, O Eden! Ye magi, come and behold Salvation wrapped and lying in a manger, to Whom the star hath pointed, shining above the cave: the Lord and Bestower of life, Who saveth our generation!

(From little Vespers of the Forefeast of the Nativity)

A personal message and thanks from His Eminence Damianos, the Archbishop of Sinai and Abbot of St. Catherine’s.

Dear Friends of the Monastery,

Your donations during 2018 were indispensable in helping St. Catherine’s deal with various expenses they had to face. As of Dec 10, 2018, FMSM had received $43,056 in donations for the calendar year. We have transferred most of this entire amount, plus donations received late in 2017 – an amount totaling $50,120 – to the bank account of St. Catherine's Monastery. Your full donations are sent to the Monastery, since FMSM's staff is volunteer and all expenses are paid for by board members.

Prior drainage work in the first phase of the project, on a different portion of the main church.

Prior drainage work in the first phase of the project, on a different portion of the main church.

The $50,120 has been sent for the following:

-$15,000 gift by a single donor to complete construction of a drainage system around the Monastery’s main ancient basilica, which the monks needed to prioritize ahead of ongoing cell restorations.

-$10,700 for further work on the cell restoration project. So far in the project, three cells have been completed, in addition to general repair or replacement of infrastructure like plumbing (with leaks into the rooms and walls) and stone mortar joints, as we have noted before.

-$14,000 gift by a single donor and $10,420 from other donations for medical care for the serious health conditions of the Monastery’s elderly monks. The Fathers are most grateful for this support, as they lacked the means to provide this care.

Work on the remaining cell restoration will cost between $40,000 to $45,000 to complete. Progress has been slow due to limited funds.

Restoration work on one of the cells

Restoration work on one of the cells

St. Catherine’s Monastery is a massive structure. Much work is needed to maintain it and keep its spiritual and cultural treasures open to the public, especially while previous support from Greek pilgrimage remains curtailed.

As a bastion of ancient Orthodox spirituality, the Monastery is also an example to the global community of how peace can be achieved with those of other cultures, values, and beliefs.

In light of that, we commend to you a recent article (link) in the New York Times, together with the attached readers’ comments, on what to consider in choosing a charity.


FMSM spends nothing of your donations on advertising. While this ensures that 100% of your gifts go to the Monastery, it makes it difficult to reach potential donors. So please tell your friends about St. Catherine's and FMSM. One way to bring the news of our work to a wider audience is by liking/sharing our posts on Facebook. Our goal is to build a base of regular donors to support the ancient Monastery which continues so responsive to the needs of others.

If you are not a regular donor already, perhaps you may consider becoming one. You will be a part of preserving Saint Catherine’s beauty and legacy, a part of its silent touch upon an aching world.

With best wishes to all for a very joyous and blessed celebration of the Nativity of Christ!