Author Topic: Visiting Monasteries Abroad  (Read 243 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 190
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« on: December 05, 2018, 05:48:34 PM »
Has anyone visited any monasteries abroad, particularly those in Romania or Russia? If so, what was the context of the trip (ie. did you spend an extended period of time at one, or visit several as part of a larger trip? How accessible were they - especially to outsiders - and in general, how did you find the experience?

Offline Iconodule

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,482
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Johnstown
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 06:00:11 PM »
My experience is very limited but I visited the Novodevichy Convent in Moscow and St. Sergius' Holy Trinity Monastery (about 2 hours' train ride from Moscow). They are both big tourist destinations and open to the public, so it was very easy to visit. I found the latter monastery particularly astonishing to visit, with a gorgeous church and with the relics of some giants among the saints out for veneration. I imagine if someone wanted to stay a night or two, you could contact them and ask if beds are available. Overall I found the area around Moscow very easy to get around after I learned the alphabet.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline augustin717

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,746
  • Faith: Higher Criticism
  • Jurisdiction: Dutch
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 08:21:27 PM »
I have in Romania because I was born and lived there until I was 22.  Small monasteries were ok, those Tăut Fender to attract pious people though were kinda nuts. I don’t just say that in retrospective,  I used to think so at that time too. I’m especially thinking about a monastery called Oașa  I visited in ‘05. It continues to attract all sorts of right-wingers.
On the other hand the little convent across the hill from my hometown that I visited in the ‘90’ς and early ‘00’s was nice but people didn’t go there to find gurus.
"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 6,146
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Patriarchate/POC
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2018, 03:24:37 AM »
I suppose by "abroad" you mean not USA?

Of course I have. As for the countries you mentioned, only in Romania.

I was with my mum there for 15 or 16 days, travelling and spening nights in different places. It was turisti-pilgrimage spirit of the trip.
We went by bus and foot to monastery Floresti from Cluj Napoca - the nuns were friendly, we were at Divine Liturgy, receive wooden crosses in Romanian typical shape from the nuns.

We've been to some monasteries in Bucharest - Stavropoleos is an amazing church and the Vespers were grate, the only bad experience was that one of the sisters said me to not take a video (well, I could have asked about it, but I'm used to the fact it's allowed especially for Orthodox foreigners that want to promote other traditions); st. Antim - it was crowded on Saturday morning; Radu Voda - even on Sunday afternoon crowded by ill people, a holy place with relics of st. Nectarios (intesting story, because the saint himself wanted this).

Well, sometimes parishional churches are reallly full of spirit, so it's worth of visitng them, especially that many e.g in Romania, Cyprus have relics too and good priests to talk with. So, I'm not concentrating on the monasteries only.

Generally, priests/monks/nuns are amazed by hearing "Polish Orthodox". In Serbia (ok, I'm also Serbian, but I've been a few times with Polish Orthodox groups) we were invited also to a meal with monks, in Cyprus we were shown amazing holy places, in Lebanon again together meal plus guiding the monastery and so on. In USA I've also got blessings, questions, icons, invitation to coffee hour, being welcomed warmly in Scotland, Moldovia (meals, wine!) etc.

So, usually it's a very nice experience, feeling the union, relation with Orthodox, that we're one despite so different cultures and languages.
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 190
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2018, 09:56:43 AM »
Thank you for the responses. The reason I ask is that I'm essentially rebuilding my life at this point and desperately want a change of scenery for a while, and have been thinking a lot about a "pilgrimage" type of trip and have long wanted to visits these sites anyway. I don't know if it would be more appropriate or beneficial to spend an extended time at one and do some voluntary work in some capacity, or visit a succession of them and speak to the monks and nuns. This past Saturday I went to Liturgy at St. Kosmas Aitolos Monastery outside of Toronto  - part of the network founded by Elder Ephraim. It just happened that an area Greek language school was doing a field trip and retreat to the monastery that day, so the church was suddenly inundated with about 100 children who monopolised the nuns. I did have a brief conversation with one as I purchased some icons. She was very friendly and asked about my background, how I came to Orthodoxy, etc., and told me to come back on a day when there wasn't an event so I could speak to the sisters and the Abbess.

Do the three of you feel that an English speaker would be "ok" at these places? I can get by in Russian, probably not as far as a deep conversation with someone on spiritual matters though, and certainly not Romanian.

Offline Iconodule

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,482
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Johnstown
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2018, 10:15:11 AM »
If you can do it, I would do a guided monastery tour. I know John Graham, who does tours of Georgia (including monastery-focused tours) has a good reputation: http://www.johngrahamtours.com/

If I were single and had the money, this would be my dream trip!
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline WPM

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,299
  • Faith: Lutheran
  • Jurisdiction: Texas
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 10:44:38 AM »
I'm familiar with a certain kind of Chinese Buddhist monastery that is like Zen.
For questions about the history of the Lutheran faith see the Book of Concord available from Pastor's office.

Formula of Concord 1577

A restatement of some teachings in the Augsburg Confession over which Lutherans had become divided. The Solid Declaration is the unabridged version. The Epitome is an abridged version intended for congregations to study. Over 8,100 pastors and theologians signed it, as well as over 50 government leaders.



WELS/ELCA/LCMS Church Pastor's Word

Offline Saxon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 190
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 11:07:06 AM »
If you can do it, I would do a guided monastery tour. I know John Graham, who does tours of Georgia (including monastery-focused tours) has a good reputation: http://www.johngrahamtours.com/

If I were single and had the money, this would be my dream trip!

The ancient Christianity tour of Georgia and Armenia looks incredible. Those trips are pricey, though.

I'm familiar with a certain kind of Chinese Buddhist monastery that is like Zen.

I don't know whether your contributions are deliberate trolling or if there's something else at play, but either way, take it somewhere else, please.

Offline WPM

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,299
  • Faith: Lutheran
  • Jurisdiction: Texas
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 11:15:12 AM »
Quote

I don't know whether your contributions are deliberate trolling or if there's something else at play, but either way, take it somewhere else, please.

Sorry but I think you have to share this forum with others on the Internet.
For questions about the history of the Lutheran faith see the Book of Concord available from Pastor's office.

Formula of Concord 1577

A restatement of some teachings in the Augsburg Confession over which Lutherans had become divided. The Solid Declaration is the unabridged version. The Epitome is an abridged version intended for congregations to study. Over 8,100 pastors and theologians signed it, as well as over 50 government leaders.



WELS/ELCA/LCMS Church Pastor's Word

Offline Iconodule

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,482
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Johnstown
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2018, 11:23:32 AM »
Quote

I don't know whether your contributions are deliberate trolling or if there's something else at play, but either way, take it somewhere else, please.

Sorry but I think you have to share this forum with others on the Internet.

Sure, but when he asks about visiting Orthodox monasteries, and you talk about a Chinese Buddhist monastery, it's off topic and unhelpful.
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline Iconodule

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 15,482
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Johnstown
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2018, 11:29:14 AM »
If you can do it, I would do a guided monastery tour. I know John Graham, who does tours of Georgia (including monastery-focused tours) has a good reputation: http://www.johngrahamtours.com/

If I were single and had the money, this would be my dream trip!

The ancient Christianity tour of Georgia and Armenia looks incredible. Those trips are pricey, though.

Yes, they are. I suspect if you did a tour entirely focused on, and staying at, monasteries, it would be a lot cheaper. Maybe contact these folks: http://orthodoxtours.com/ They have two Russia tours in the summer. From what I could tell, even in Moscow, English is not widely spoken, so you would either want a guide or local acquaintance to guide you around, or make sure your Russian is serviceable.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 11:31:52 AM by Iconodule »
Mencius said, “Instruction makes use of many techniques. When I do not deign to instruct someone, that too is a form of instruction.”

Come look at my lame blog

Offline Alpha60

  • Pray without ceasing!
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,994
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 01:50:03 PM »
I suppose by "abroad" you mean not USA?

Of course I have. As for the countries you mentioned, only in Romania.

I was with my mum there for 15 or 16 days, travelling and spening nights in different places. It was turisti-pilgrimage spirit of the trip.
We went by bus and foot to monastery Floresti from Cluj Napoca - the nuns were friendly, we were at Divine Liturgy, receive wooden crosses in Romanian typical shape from the nuns.

We've been to some monasteries in Bucharest - Stavropoleos is an amazing church and the Vespers were grate, the only bad experience was that one of the sisters said me to not take a video (well, I could have asked about it, but I'm used to the fact it's allowed especially for Orthodox foreigners that want to promote other traditions); st. Antim - it was crowded on Saturday morning; Radu Voda - even on Sunday afternoon crowded by ill people, a holy place with relics of st. Nectarios (intesting story, because the saint himself wanted this).

Well, sometimes parishional churches are reallly full of spirit, so it's worth of visitng them, especially that many e.g in Romania, Cyprus have relics too and good priests to talk with. So, I'm not concentrating on the monasteries only.

Generally, priests/monks/nuns are amazed by hearing "Polish Orthodox". In Serbia (ok, I'm also Serbian, but I've been a few times with Polish Orthodox groups) we were invited also to a meal with monks, in Cyprus we were shown amazing holy places, in Lebanon again together meal plus guiding the monastery and so on. In USA I've also got blessings, questions, icons, invitation to coffee hour, being welcomed warmly in Scotland, Moldovia (meals, wine!) etc.

So, usually it's a very nice experience, feeling the union, relation with Orthodox, that we're one despite so different cultures and languages.

I suppose from your perspective “abroad” could be the very exotic experience of visiting some of the American Orthodox monasteries.  I particularly like St. Anthony’s in Florence, with its beautiful gardens, the blend of architectural styles including Southwestern architecture in the main entrance, the giant gravel parking lot (with a shade for the cars owned by the monks), the pervasive air conditioning, and the beautiful surrounding landscape.   Florence itself is a creepy town; it has an excellent Greek restaurant, a nice but overpriced hotel for those who don’t want to rough it in the monastery, and a massive array of privately run prisons which are rather intimidating.  There is also a large open air store called the “PRISON OUTLET.”  There is another Florence in the US in Colorado which is also reknowned for prisons, in this case, the terrifying Supermax facility, where people like the Unabomber are held in solitary confinement.  I think there is an Old Calendarist monastery not too far from that other Florence.

~

Are there any Orthodox monasteries near the original Florence, Italy?

~

I suppose based on that reflection probably the main difference between American monasteries and those in Eastern Europe and the rest of the Old Country (Egypt, Siberia, Ethiopia, the Levant, Iraq, Iran, the Caucasian region, Turkey and India) is that one is rather more likely to find air conditioning in American monasteries.   The monastery in Northern California founded by the venerable Seraphim Rose is an exception; its guesthouse has no air conditioning or heating.  This effectively means it will be as hot as Egypt in the summer, and as cold as Siberia in the winter.   You also have to walk uphill to get to it from what I understand.   I haven’t been myself but I hear the monks there are very nice.   I was going to go there but the destruction of Paradise has me so depressed I don’t feel like going anywhere near Northern California right now, although if the survivors of Paradise make a miraculous recovery, and I hope they do, then I will go.  That raises one other concern: the mountains in Northern California remain on the verge of ignition; if you go there any time after early June you should be prepared for emergency evacuation.
"It is logical that the actions of the human race over time will lead to its destruction.  I, Alpha 60, am merely the agent of this destruction."

- The computer Alpha 60, from Alphaville (1964) by Jean Luc Godard, the obvious inspiration for HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

This signature is not intended to offend any user, nor the relatives of Discovery 1 deputy commander Dr. Frank Poole,  and crew members Dr. Victor Kaminsky, Dr. Jack Kimball, and Dr. Charles Hunter.

Offline Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Taxiarches
  • ******
  • Posts: 6,146
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Patriarchate/POC
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 05:39:04 PM »
Do the three of you feel that an English speaker would be "ok" at these places? I can get by in Russian, probably not as far as a deep conversation with someone on spiritual matters though, and certainly not Romanian.

Sure. I don't know Russian and didn't know anything of Romanian (now very little) when i visited these places.

I suppose from your perspective “abroad” could be the very exotic experience of visiting some of the American Orthodox monasteries. 

Yeah, I've visited only the ones in cities when I was in USA, so that's a difference.

I suppose based on that reflection probably the main difference between American monasteries and those in Eastern Europe and the rest of the Old Country (Egypt, Siberia, Ethiopia, the Levant, Iraq, Iran, the Caucasian region, Turkey and India) is that one is rather more likely to find air conditioning in American monasteries.   
Not true.
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline WPM

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,299
  • Faith: Lutheran
  • Jurisdiction: Texas
Re: Visiting Monasteries Abroad
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 05:51:17 PM »
Quote

I don't know whether your contributions are deliberate trolling or if there's something else at play, but either way, take it somewhere else, please.

Sorry but I think you have to share this forum with others on the Internet.

Sure, but when he asks about visiting Orthodox monasteries, and you talk about a Chinese Buddhist monastery, it's off topic and unhelpful.

A-OK
For questions about the history of the Lutheran faith see the Book of Concord available from Pastor's office.

Formula of Concord 1577

A restatement of some teachings in the Augsburg Confession over which Lutherans had become divided. The Solid Declaration is the unabridged version. The Epitome is an abridged version intended for congregations to study. Over 8,100 pastors and theologians signed it, as well as over 50 government leaders.



WELS/ELCA/LCMS Church Pastor's Word