“Nathanael said to Jesus, ‘How do You know me?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’” John 1:48
Nathanael House is a Byzantine Catholic Community for men ages eighteen to thirty-five* seeking to live together to support one another in discerning God’s call for their lives through corporate prayer, reflection, work, and service.
Discover how our discernment community for men, contributes to vocations throughout the Eparchy of Parma, by assisting men to actively and prayerfully consider God’s call to diaconate, priesthood, monasticism, married life and other ecclesial vocations.
*Interested candidates over the age of thirty-five also may apply on a case-by-case basis after an initial conversation with the Director of Community Life.
Discernment means “to separate.” I constantly must separate what is from God and what is not from God; what I am to do with my life and what I should not do.
The basic “discernment” question is: “What path in life will allow me to make the greatest gift of myself for the sake of love of God and love of others?”
There are many paths to God; many avenues to holiness: marriage; celibacy; a single consecrated life; holy orders – diaconate or priesthood; and religious life or monasticism. Discernment means separating those paths and discovering the path God prepared to lead you to holiness. Nathanael House enables men to walk that path together, to ask questions, and to seek answers and direction.
Life at Nathanael House includes three integral aspects: LITURGIA (WORSHIP), DIAKONIA (SERVICE), and KOINONIA (COMMUNITY).
“…Having that time of serious prayer, serious reflection, and asking God, ‘What am I doing here?’ I don’t know if I would be in the seminary if I didn’t have that experience of being here.”
Seminarian Bryan Scotton
The most important element in a Byzantine Catholic’s life is the worship of the Church. Therefore, the discernment community’s spiritual life includes daily liturgical services, as well as weekend services (Vespers, Matins, Divine Liturgy), days of precept (a.k.a. Holy Days of Obligation), days of reflection, and quarterly weekend spiritual conferences, to assist individuals in their personal discernment. Personal prayer in our Byzantine Tradition is linked closely to liturgical prayer. Whether at home or in church, we celebrate and receive the same life, the life in Christ. It is this life in Christ that we embrace at Nathanael House.
“I like the phrase of Saint Basil: ‘If you live alone, whose feet will you wash?’ because we are called to do what Jesus did, to gird ourselves with a towel and to wash the feet of one another. So we have to put people in front of us to remind ourselves that we’re not alone in this; there are others, – icons, living icons.”
Rt. Rev. Mitred Archpriest Dennis Hrubiak
Spiritual Father / Director of Community Life
Since a vocation is a call to personal holiness and to serve God’s people, in order to further the discernment process, the community provides residents regular opportunities for service, through the work of the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center. Resident share in the ongoing ministry of the Cultural Center on a daily basis and gradually undertake a leadership role in a specific area. To this end, a resident must be flexible and able to adjust to the everyday demands of ministry. A key element of this work is the ability to respond to the needs of the persons and programs whom the Center serves.
“You know that God is inviting you to something, and this community kind of allows you in a very loving, in a very prayerful, in a very God-centered setting to be attentive and to be attuned to your role…and to find joy in that.”
The Byzantine Catholic Church recognizes that God saves a community, His people, the Church. Through our common Baptism and our sharing in the Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, we collectively participate in that community saved by God. To live out that salvation day-by-day, residents live together in their own community house. They work in the community that exists in the residence and with the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center. Community life consists of liturgical prayer, days of reflection, spiritual conferences, house conferences, communal work and house chores, community meals, and social opportunities / group travel.
Nathanael House offers three types of residency opportunities: Full-Time Residency, Short-Term Residency, and Weekend Immersion Residency.
Full-Time Residency normally will last for one complete calendar-year. A full year of residency allows the individual to experience all the “seasons” of community life, work, and mission, as the needs, opportunities and demands vary throughout the year.
Full-time residents should expect a weekly day-off and regular time for recreation and personal social engagements. Full-time residents may pursue academic work or employment while participating in the discernment year. Residents should expect some time outside the City of Cleveland, working with the Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center on various programs or initiatives throughout the Eparchy of Parma’s twelve-state region.
Short-term Residency is intended for those who are able to come only for shorter periods of time (e.g. during summer or other vacations). These residents nevertheless will experience all aspects of community life during your time with us. This is an ideal summer option for college students studying at institutions outside of the Greater Cleveland Area.
Weekend Immersion Residency
Weekend Immersion Residency is available to those who live in the Greater Cleveland Area or others who wish to participate in the community life, but whose schedules or current life circumstances preclude short-term or full-time residency at this time. The extent of participation will be by mutual agreement between the individual and the Director of Community Life.
Become Part of the Discernment Community.
If you are interested in becoming part of the discernment community, please complete this Initial Inquiry Form
Upon receipt and review of this form, the Director of Community Life or his representative will contact you for a brief telephone conversation. After that brief telephone conversation, you may request an
May the Lord guide and protect you as you walk your discernment path. We hope to have the opportunity to journey along with you!
NOTE: Acceptance remains contingent upon an applicant’s compliance with the Eparchy of Parma Safe Environment Policy, including a criminal background check. Nathanael House, its residents, affiliates, and all house programs, comply with this policy.