Author Topic: His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP Announces the Establishment of the Convent of S  (Read 3226 times)

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Offline kelfar

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Offline scamandrius

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Well, this is a good first step in the right direction for the AOCNA to begin building monasteries and convents for the faithful.  However, I'm confused as to why they want the superior to be involved with camping and interacting with the young.  This isn't monasticism in the tradtional Orthodox fashion. 
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Offline Aristobolus

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A safe move.  The real test will be whether male monasteries will be established from which future candidates for the Episcopacy will be nutured, or whether the desire will be to draw them from the "old country". 

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There are two other woman's monasteries in the area.  The largest being Holy Transfiguration.  The other is an Elder Ephraim convent.  Why the factionalism?  Why not just support Holy Transfiguration and strengthen the community?  There are so many monasteries (men/women) that consist of a two or so people.  Why not combine them into large strong monasteries that can pull their resources (money and talents)?  Why not start planting smaller monasteries after we have some larger strong monasteries in the USA?  It works for the Roman Catholics (think Gethsemane Trappist Monastery then its off-shoots in the USA).  Instead Orthodoxy has dozens of small monasteries all scrambling to survive and raise funds while trying to establish decent living quarters.  Combine the efforts so the monasteries can run well and be a strong beacon of hope for the emerging Orthodox Community in the USA.

editor's note:  in no way am I condemning the new convent or making light of the efforts to carry out the work of Christ by this new community.  May God bless them in their journey and may they be fruitful in their works and mission.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 02:15:23 AM by username! »

Offline Fr. George

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There are two other woman's monasteries in the area.  The largest being Holy Transfiguration.  The other is an Elder Ephraim convent.  Why the factionalism?  Why not just support Holy Transfiguration and strengthen the community?  There are so many monasteries (men/women) that consist of a two or so people.  Why not combine them into large strong monasteries that can pull their resources (money and talents)?  Why not start planting smaller monasteries after we have some larger strong monasteries in the USA?  It works for the Roman Catholics (think Gethsemane Trappist Monastery then its off-shoots in the USA).  Instead Orthodoxy has dozens of small monasteries all scrambling to survive and raise funds while trying to establish decent living quarters.  Combine the efforts so the monasteries can run well and be a strong beacon of hope for the emerging Orthodox Community in the USA.

editor's note:  in no way am I condemning the new convent or making light of the efforts to carry out the work of Christ by this new community.  May God bless them in their journey and may they be fruitful in their works and mission.

Eh, I actually for once don't have a problem with this setting-up-so-close-to-established Orthodox locations thing.  If they want to put 20 monasteries in Penn-Athos-vania, that's fine.  The close proximity won't be a drag on recruitment - only attitudes toward monasticism can do that.
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Offline ialmisry

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Well, this is a good first step in the right direction for the AOCNA to begin building monasteries and convents for the faithful.  However, I'm confused as to why they want the superior to be involved with camping and interacting with the young.  This isn't monasticism in the tradtional Orthodox fashion. 
I don't know about that: if you read the Desert Fathers, they are constantly talking about interacting with the people down in the Valley (monestaries were on the desert cliffs overhanging the Nile Valley), and the latter visiting the monks.  Camping out for feast days at monestaries is common enough in the Middle East, at least today, and indications lead me to believe always has been the case.
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Offline serb1389

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There are two other woman's monasteries in the area.  The largest being Holy Transfiguration.  The other is an Elder Ephraim convent.  Why the factionalism?  Why not just support Holy Transfiguration and strengthen the community?  There are so many monasteries (men/women) that consist of a two or so people.  Why not combine them into large strong monasteries that can pull their resources (money and talents)?  Why not start planting smaller monasteries after we have some larger strong monasteries in the USA?  It works for the Roman Catholics (think Gethsemane Trappist Monastery then its off-shoots in the USA).  Instead Orthodoxy has dozens of small monasteries all scrambling to survive and raise funds while trying to establish decent living quarters.  Combine the efforts so the monasteries can run well and be a strong beacon of hope for the emerging Orthodox Community in the USA.

editor's note:  in no way am I condemning the new convent or making light of the efforts to carry out the work of Christ by this new community.  May God bless them in their journey and may they be fruitful in their works and mission.

Eh, I actually for once don't have a problem with this setting-up-so-close-to-established Orthodox locations thing.  If they want to put 20 monasteries in Penn-Athos-vania, that's fine.  The close proximity won't be a drag on recruitment - only attitudes toward monasticism can do that.

Yah I agree with Cleveland.  Also, it is a VERY good thing to have a diversification of monasticisim in the US because a lot of people see Elder Ephraim's monasteries as the only authentic monasticism.  there are so many types of monasticisms, and local colorings of it, and etc. that to have authentic monasticism from Antioch would be INVALUABLE! 

Plus, people have been BEGGING Met. Phillip to establish monasticism from Antioch for YEARS, and I think that those people's spiritual needs should be considered as well. 
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Offline Thomas

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Anyone who reads without prejudice some of the actual writings of Metropolitan Philip will know that the monastic model he wishes the Antiochian Church to follow is the Balamond Monastery in Lebanon which has as one of its mission the spiritual mission to the children of the Church. Some of his writing noted in both Father Joseph Allen's book and Father Peter Gilquists' book that he would not start a monastery in the US until one was established at the Antiochian Village modelled after the Balamond Monastic mission.

One must remember that while the Athonite model of monasticism is currently the most dominant monastic model but not forget that there have been many models with specific missions through out Church History---some provided hostels for women who were abused or former prostitutes, some ran public hospitals, some ran orphanages. In the past century St Elizabeth (Romanov) the New Martyr established the Monastery of May and Martha which provided a hospital and services to the poor---this model had periods of time which the nuns were interns (contemplative and cloistered) and times when the nuns were externs (active with the hospital and its active charity mission) the a portion of the nuns were continuously rotated through these roles.

Let us pray that this is the doorway through which further monasteries may be developed for the growth of the Church in North America.

Thomas
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True not every monastery has to be the same.  And I think I agree that we should welcome some monastic communities with a different work focus.  Obviously the prayer rule and concentration on theosis would be the same. 

Offline arimethea

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One monastic does not make a community. This is the third attempt to bring in one or two monks to start a monastery at The Village.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 11:22:46 AM by arimethea »
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Offline stashko

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The monasterys mentioned are they old tradititional or new calendar....And also the new one mentioned ,,will it be old traditional or new...curious
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Offline mike

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That new Antiochian one follows revised-Julian for sure. I think that the Greek ones also do.
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Offline pensateomnia

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 ;D Yeah. New Calendar. Had to laugh about the thought of an Old Calendar monastery in the Antiochian Archdiocese, located at the Antiochian Village.

Elder Ephraim's monasteries are also on the New Calendar. Other than that, they follow an Athonite rule -- specifically in the style of Philotheou/Elder Joseph the Hesychast.
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Offline BasilCan

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What I want to know is who is this Mother Alexandra? What is her history?  Who is her Abbess? For monasteries to succeed, ragardless of the "type", is for a a  group, not a single individual, to begin praying together. There have been lots of OCA monasteries founded by one convert who thought he/she was a monk and they have not been successful. We must be very careful, rabbit.

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^The biography provided on Antiochian.org seems to indicate that she is still very young and she was originally baptized a Roman Catholic.  Other than that, it gives some detail about her education.  However, I can't say I'm confident with a convert (no offense to converts, I'm one myself) being a superior in a monastic setting that young.  Surely, there are some other choices.  But, then again, since Metropolitan PHILIP doesn't exactly care for monasteries, perhaps this is the best choice.  Though I wonder why one can't be brought over from another jurisdiction.
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Offline pensateomnia

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What I want to know is who is this Mother Alexandra? What is her history?  Who is her Abbess?

I met Mother Alexandra about 12 or 13 years ago at Holy Dormition Monastery. At that time, she wasn't an Orthodox monastic, just a pilgrim, who, before converting to Orthodoxy, spent several years in traditional Trappist-style Roman Catholic convent.

Other than those years as a Roman Catholic nun, I believe she's spent the last 2 or 3 years at Holy Myrrhbearers, the OCA convent in New York.
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What I want to know is who is this Mother Alexandra? What is her history?  Who is her Abbess?

I met Mother Alexandra about 12 or 13 years ago at Holy Dormition Monastery. At that time, she wasn't an Orthodox monastic, just a pilgrim, who, before converting to Orthodoxy, spent several years in traditional Trappist-style Roman Catholic convent.

Other than those years as a Roman Catholic nun, I believe she's spent the last 2 or 3 years at Holy Myrrhbearers, the OCA convent in New York.


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His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP Announces the Establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at Antiochian Village

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It is with great joy that His Eminence Metropolitan PHILIP announces the establishment of the Convent of St. Thekla at the Antiochian Village.  The Acting Superior of the convent will be Mother Alexandra (Magan), and we welcome her with joy to the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America.

Mother Alexandra will take up residency at the Antiochian Village during the first week of July, and will live in temporary housing until such time as the residence building is constructed on the proposed site for the convent, which is on the main property at the Antiochian Village. This will allow her to experience a good part of the camping season, and to interact with our children.

She also has plans to attend the Archdiocese Convention in late July, and to have a presence at the St. Thekla Pilgrimage which will be held at the Antiochian Village in September.

There will soon be a website established for the convent, where all important news and information will be posted.

A brief biography of Mother Alexandra follows below.

Biography of Mother Alexandra

Mother Alexandra was born on October 11, 1965 in New Bedford, MA and is oldest of two surviving children.  She was baptized in Saint James Roman Catholic Church and confirmed at the age of 13 at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. She attended public schools in her home town, graduating from New Bedford High School in 1983.  After a short attendance at the University of Massachusetts in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, she left the world and entered a Cistercian or Trappistine Convent where her introduction to Orthodoxy occurred.  In 1990, she left primarily to pursue her education, working at several jobs to finance her education and attending Orthodox parishes.  In 1994, she was granted a Bachelor of Arts equivalency from Saint Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado.  When that school closed, she moved and restarted her theological education at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota.  In 1997, she was awarded Masters of Arts Degrees in Systematic Theology and Church History.  While in graduate school, she served as the Assistant Director at the Episcopal House of Prayer in Collegeville.  After graduating, she accepted a position at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Illinois, where she served as Campus Minister, retreat director, instructor of Theology and Chairperson of the Theology Department for eight of her nine years at the school.  After her move to Illinois, she attended Holy Transfiguration Antiochian Church in Wheaton, Illinois where she was formally received into the Orthodox faith and chrismated on Theophany 1998.  When the parish moved, she attended Saint Joseph Church in Wheaton, Illinois.  Having paid her school loans, she resigned her position at the high school in 2006 to return to a normative monastic life at Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego, New York.  In May of 2008 Bishop Tikhon of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania received Mother Alexandra as a schemanun.

Mother Alexandra is named after Alexander, one of the Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste and her name's day is March 9.

She can also be reached by email at motheralexandra at gmail.com.

http://www.antiochian.org/node/19946

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Offline SDMPNS

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Does one nun make a monastery? What about community?

Offline ag_vn

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A comment about Metropolitan Philip and the Future of Monasticism in the Antiochian Archdiocese

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...Many have claimed that the reason the Antiochian Archdiocese lacks a monastic presence in America is because Metropolitan Philip is anti-monastic. I don't think this is entirely true. I believe that Metropolitan Philip comes from the old school of Orthodoxy in the 1950's and 1960's America where the priority of the Church in America was to establish missions and parishes and ordain as many clergy as possible, leaving monasteries to be established in the future. This was the same attitude of Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Archdiocese. The two also had a fear of extremist attitudes arising within their jurisdiction with the presence of monastics. This fear, however, has always proved to be an unhealthy symptom of being an over-controlling hierarch..."

Offline SbdcnDavid

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A comment about Metropolitan Philip and the Future of Monasticism in the Antiochian Archdiocese

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...Many have claimed that the reason the Antiochian Archdiocese lacks a monastic presence in America is because Metropolitan Philip is anti-monastic. I don't think this is entirely true. I believe that Metropolitan Philip comes from the old school of Orthodoxy in the 1950's and 1960's America where the priority of the Church in America was to establish missions and parishes and ordain as many clergy as possible, leaving monasteries to be established in the future. This was the same attitude of Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Archdiocese. The two also had a fear of extremist attitudes arising within their jurisdiction with the presence of monastics. This fear, however, has always proved to be an unhealthy symptom of being an over-controlling hierarch..."

Met. Philip has opposed the establishment of any monasteries until there was one at Antiochian Village.  Because of this, the Archdiocese lost a chance to establish a men's monastery in Kansas when the Monk Paul, who would have preferred seeing a monastic foundation in Kansas decamped to Athos.

I have serious doubts about the wisdom of siting a monastery at a summer camp and convention center, and have always regarded the insistence that there be a monastery there as a form of covert anti-monasticism.  We shall see whether the new Convent of St. Thekla manages to attract any more professions.

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Does one nun make a monastery? What about community?

Maybe she's a hermit!

Offline arimethea

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Does one nun make a monastery? What about community?

Maybe she's a hermit!

Even a hermit is part of a greater community. Just call me pessimistic about this since I have known the other monastics who have tried to start the monastery at the Antiochian Village. I pray for Mother Alexandra but I am also aware of the challenges she will have to face to make it succeed.
Joseph