My name is Basil Hopke, and I was born on March 22, 1999. Growing up I was influenced greatly by what is my Orthodox Faith today. Going to church every Sunday with my family was a set routine, and starting at about three or four years old I started visiting our Church’s Convent up in Stanwood with my mother and sister. Making many good memories there, and visiting and watching the nuns practice their faith, was truly something different from what I was used to seeing every day. As I grew up into my teens I started volunteering more, helping with chores around the convent, as well as working in their candle-making room and giftshop. This is the point where I started learning more about the candles and how special they are.
The candles made at Quiet Light candle shop weren’t just unique because the nuns were using 100% pure beeswax, but because of everything around it. The care, the love from family and friends volunteering, and most importantly prayer, made everything so special. The business is as old as I am, and I consider myself very blessed to have grown up being a part of something so truly special and unique. I am currently studying business at EVCC in Everett, and hope to complete my degree within the next year and a half. The Sisters recently got to the point where they could no longer do the candles full time, and since the business is so much a part of my heart, I asked them if I could carry on this wonderful tradition. With their prayers and guidance, I hope to continue and uphold these very special and unique traits that this business has, of handcrafting high quality pure candles, made with care and prayer, to continue bringing a quiet light into your hearts and homes.
Metropolitan Ihnat of Seattle and Basil
Basil and St. Nectarios parishioner Nektaryos Xenos
- Our History -
In the summer of 1999, a small group of Orthodox Christian nuns were sent from Holy Nativity Convent in Boston, to Stanwood, Washington, to found a Convent. The reason for this was to be a spiritual support for the parish of St. Nectarios American Orthodox Church in Seattle.
In keeping with Orthodox monastic tradition, the Sisters were expected to start an income- producing cottage industry, laboring with their hands in a prayerful environment. Since the Sisters had experience in hand dipping pure beeswax tapers from their prior monastic obediences, they built on this knowledge, but took it in a slightly diﬀerent direction.
Although the ﬁrst sisters here were told that it is not possible to make votive candles with beeswax, they persevered. After six months of praying and experimenting, they found the wicks with the qualities they were looking for, and began to hand-pour beautifully burning beeswax votives and tealights.
The Convent of the Meeting of the Lord then opened up a little gift shop, and Quiet Light Candles became part of the Stanwood tradition. Every year at Christmas time the Sisters would decorate the shop, and thousands of local people would come in order to see the Nativity Cave, enjoy the smell of beeswax, munch on home-baked cookies, and ﬁnd wonderful unique gifts, in addition to the beautiful candles. Years later there are young adults remembering “pouring their own tealight” as a child, and many customers, who became friends, remembering a shop that focused on Christ’s love year round.
Eighteen years later, as the sisters got a bit fewer and older, and found that their prayer life could not keep up with also care-taking the property, making candles and running the shop, they earnestly asked God for guidance. In the summer of 2017 He sent a family, who wanted to fulﬁll their dream of homesteading, to purchase the ten acre property, and the Sisters then downsized to a small Hermitage not far away. Still not sure of what God’s plan was for their beloved Quiet Light Candles, they continued to ask Him to show His will. With the blessing of Metropolitan Ihnat, a young man from St. Nectarios Parish named Basil, who had grown up coming to the Convent, approached the Sisters with the idea that he and his mother Katherine would like to help and carry on this beloved tradition. Knowing that Katherine and Basil loved the Convent and had always been a part of Quiet Light Candles for all of these years, the Sisters felt conﬁdent that all of their high standards would continue to be maintained. They also felt gratiﬁed knowing that Quiet Light Candles would continue, still being made with care and prayer, and would also serve as an anchor for the next generation of young Christians.
Quiet Light Candles has always been a business focused on love for God and neighbor, and Katherine and Basil feel blessed to be able to carry on such a unique and important tradition in today’s world, and to keep that quiet light burning. The Sisters feel blessed to have them in their lives as well, and to know that all of their beloved customers will be treated with love and care.
The Sisters continue to be involved in Quiet Light Candles in prayerful and encouraging ways, and your purchase of candles continues to help and bless them in their life of prayer, as well as help all those carrying the quiet light forward. While Katherine and Basil are working hard to make candles and fulﬁll orders, the Sisters are able to carry on their work of prayer with more attention, and they especially ask God each night to bless and help all of their customers.