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Author Topic: A Statement concerning the Entrance of the Theotokos Monastery  (Read 18860 times) Average Rating: 0
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FatherGiryus
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« Reply #360 on: September 18, 2012, 08:04:39 PM »

I think you have the best solution: go to Mount Athos and speak with the Fathers there directly.  It is best not to trust web-gossip and people you don't know and cannot see.

I think to understand the behaviour of Abbess Aemiliane and the DC nuns it could be very very important to find out who's their Elder Dionysios. Is he still a faithful and obedient monk to his Elder Aimilianos(who is still very paralysed) or not. I find in a blog a comment, which is a bit shocking:

"The problem is not the nuns themselves, but the “elder” of the nuns – Archimandrite Dionysios – a very charismatic but renegade monk who left his monastery on Mt. Athos without a blessing of his Abbot to start his “own” monasteries. He also got into some trouble awhile back in Jeruslaem and was kicked out of the patriarchate. I don’t know any details other than the monks of Simonopetra told me when I was there to stay away from him. That is enough me. Anyone who wants to know themselves can connect Simonopetra. We need solid and traditional monasticism here in the States, but not from someone with a questionable past."

http://www.monomakhos.com/is-the-tide-turning-for-the-oca/

"I can personally attest from the monks of Simonopetra themselves, including the current Abbot Gerontas Elysaios, that the so called “elder” Dionysios left Simonopetra – his place of repentance – without a blessing, has been traveling the world as a self-claimed “Elder”, was kicked out of the Jerusalem Patriarchate by the late Patriarch Diodoros of Blessed Memory for “improprieties”, and the only people he attracts to his monasteries are Westerners who are easily deceived and can’t distinguish real monasticism from charlatan.
And it’s not just Simonopetra, every monastery I’ve inquired about him after meeting him hear in the States told me to stay far away."

http://www.monomakhos.com/first-rule-of-holes-when-youre-in-one-stop-digging/


I'm not sure if I can trust this comments, because I cannot just accept as factual the second-hand information about Archimandrite Dionysios or his monasteries in Greece. Can somebody or severals persons confirm that, so that it can be more credible? Does somebody have contact with Simonopetra or their monks or with the Monastery Ormylia? I don't slander Archimandrite Dionysios,don't judge him, I had in Greece a personal encounter with him, but I really want to find out the truth so that I can trust him and his monks and nuns, including Abbess Aemiliane. But it's a risk to have confidence or slander him and his monks/nuns without knowing their real identity. So I'm still quite neutral.
My opinion from my encounter with him and his monks/ nuns is:  Either Archimandrite Dionysios is a holy man or a deceiver, soul-catcher.
If nobody knows here who he is and what his relation to Simonopetra,Ormylia and Elder Aimilianos in fact now really is, I'll go anyway to Athos next year to find that out.

If all these slanders aren't true so please forgive me that I mention it.

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« Reply #361 on: September 18, 2012, 08:09:54 PM »

Having visited 3 of his monasteries in Greece, I remain extremely sceptical about Elder Dionysios and his movement.
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« Reply #362 on: September 20, 2012, 07:33:24 PM »

A very good friend of mine recently visited Vatopedi on Athos and he asked for me one of the monks there about the monasteries of Archimandrite Dionysios. This monk said something that this monastic community has not really a good reputation and that the woman monasteries are questionable, because the novices there become very fast nuns.

That's not yet a clear statement, there's still no definite evidence, but I'm sure it will come. But I think at the end, you can just say with likelihood who Archimandrite Dionysios really is, not with 100 % doublessness. Just God can judge and know the answer and you can just, if the likelihood is high that this monastic community is not cinfidential, to distance yourself from it to be safe from it if it's dangerous.
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« Reply #363 on: October 06, 2012, 10:47:39 AM »

Any developments in regard to the canonical status of the "DC Nuns?"  Does anyone have knowledge of whether they are seeking canonical protection?
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« Reply #364 on: October 22, 2012, 10:28:44 AM »

The latest scuttle-butt is that they have been received by the Georgians.

Any developments in regard to the canonical status of the "DC Nuns?"  Does anyone have knowledge of whether they are seeking canonical protection?
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« Reply #365 on: October 22, 2012, 07:32:08 PM »

They are now the first Georgian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery in the Americas.

http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/

 Grin   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them. Which is partly because Georgian society under communism was ravaged by the terror of abortion more than any other region of the USSR. For them the full range of the "culture of death" is grasped more acutely. May they teach us all this truth.
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"and for all who are Orthodox, and who hold the Catholic and Apostolic Faith, remember, O Lord, thy servants" - yet the post-conciliar RC hierarchy is tolerant of everyone and everything... except Catholic Tradition, for modernists are as salt with no taste, to be “thrown out and trampled under foot
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« Reply #366 on: October 22, 2012, 09:47:02 PM »

They are now the first Georgian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery in the Americas.

http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/

 Grin   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them. Which is partly because Georgian society under communism was ravaged by the terror of abortion more than any other region of the USSR. For them the full range of the "culture of death" is grasped more acutely. May they teach us all this truth.

I don't know exactly how to respond, but those who are new to the church at a minimum ought not to insult the rest of the body of the Church of Christ with statements such as the one highlighted above.

The situation regarding this monastery, these nuns and their unique view of ecclesiology and obedience to hierarchical norms is hardly a beacon of Orthodox clarity, nor is their relationship with the Dionysians of Greece a harbinger of a way in which to support future order within American Orthodoxy. Factor in the political difficulties between the Russian and Georgian Republics in the Caucasus and how that impacts Church unity on a macro-scale..... So, I guess it would be fair to say that I for one don't share your joy.
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« Reply #367 on: October 22, 2012, 10:59:50 PM »

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, from the book 'Our Thoughts Determine our Lives'....

'I often find that I want to defend justice, but always seem to end up having injustice done to me...We can defend justice, but will justice be done? The Lord knows why He has permitted injustice to happen. We will not prevent injustice by our words. With words we can only offend someone and make him hurt the person even more. We think we are defending someone, but we are, in fact, only making matters worse.

If a person is in the power of the spirits of evil, such a person breeds evil. Are we going to prevent this with our words? Quite the contrary. Even if we say something while trying to defend someone from injustice, we are not doing that person a favor. The best we can do is turn to the One Who alone gives justice.

Once, at a certain gathering of Christians where there were representatives of many religious groups present, there was a Chinese man participating in one of the meetings. Every representative presented his arguments and beliefs, but the Chinese man just sat there without saying a word. When the meeting was over, they asked him, "Why didn't you give a suggestion or argument  in favor or against some of the other suggestions? Why didn't you at least say something? And he answered: "I was praying to God all the time. I was asking Him to solve the problem Himself in the best possible manner. I was praying to arrive at one decision, a decision that would benefit everyone."

Now this is how one should defend justice. NOT with words--words will only irritate someone and cause him to hurt others even more. We must turn to the Almighty, to Him Who is Master of all minds and hearts, and everything will be well."

May our Lord God have mercy on us all!



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« Reply #368 on: October 23, 2012, 01:54:08 AM »

Georgian immigrants make a sizable up part of the congregation of the OCA's St. Nicholas Cathedral and War Memorial in D.C.  I wonder of someone there facilitated this union.  I also wonder if the "DC Nuns" will commemorate one of the Georgian bishops.
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« Reply #369 on: October 23, 2012, 02:25:28 PM »

Georgian immigrants make a sizable up part of the congregation of the OCA's St. Nicholas Cathedral and War Memorial in D.C.  I wonder of someone there facilitated this union.  I also wonder if the "DC Nuns" will commemorate one of the Georgian bishops.

The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.  According to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops website, the Georgians have a female monastic community in PA.

Patriarchate of Georgia

St. King David the Builder Monastery
62 Charles St.
Hanover, PA 18706
Patriarchate of Georgia

Somehow, I don't expect the St. Nina Monastic Community to appear on any listing hosted by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.
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« Reply #370 on: October 23, 2012, 02:32:25 PM »

They are now the first Georgian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery in the Americas.

http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/

 Grin   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

What qualifies you to say that the Georgian Church maintains a unrivaled purity of true teaching if you call yourself a cathecumen under Western Rite ROCOR?
 
No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them. Which is partly because Georgian society under communism was ravaged by the terror of abortion more than any other region of the USSR. For them the full range of the "culture of death" is grasped more acutely. May they teach us all this truth.

What does this have to do with the thread?

I believe you violated the Elder Thaddeus' directives by speaking in this thread.   Grin
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« Reply #371 on: October 23, 2012, 03:15:31 PM »

Meaning no disrespect, but I disagree with the passage from Elder Thaddeus.  People should not speak out or take action in defense of another person because the one responsible for the ill-treatment, the one is is being unjust will get upset?!  

The Abolitionists should not have spoken out against chattel slavery in England and the Americas?  Others should not have worked to counter bad treatment of the poor or employees in terrible conditions?  We should just pray and leave all to God?

What if the actions of human beings are His ways of bringing about Justice and righting wrongs?  

Action and prayer.

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« Reply #372 on: October 23, 2012, 03:16:49 PM »

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

Do you mean being Miaphysite for 3  hundred years or so?
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« Reply #373 on: October 23, 2012, 03:27:00 PM »

Meaning no disrespect, but I disagree with the passage from Elder Thaddeus.  People should not speak out or take action in defense of another person because the one resonsible for the ill-treatment will get upset?! 

The Abolitionists should not have spoken out against chattel slavery in England and the Americas?  Others should not have worked to counter bad treatment of the poor or employees in terrible conditions?  We should just pray and leave all to God?

What if the actions of human beings are His ways of bringing about Justice and righting wrongs? 

Action and prayer.

Ebor

I agree.  I've read several of these types of books (including this one quoted) and in each case it seems to me that the elder is giving advice to a specific person for a particular situation.  They should not be taken as advice for all Orthodox Christians everywhere and in every situation.  It would be as if the advice or counsel that my priest gives to me during confession should apply to everyone else too.
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« Reply #374 on: October 23, 2012, 04:45:49 PM »

Thank you for this, PrincessMommy.  I had meant to also ask about just what the context was for the quote and what was the time and place and situation at the time of the writing.  That can make a difference.

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« Reply #375 on: October 23, 2012, 04:54:14 PM »

Georgian immigrants make a sizable up part of the congregation of the OCA's St. Nicholas Cathedral and War Memorial in D.C.  I wonder of someone there facilitated this union.  I also wonder if the "DC Nuns" will commemorate one of the Georgian bishops.

The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.  According to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops website, the Georgians have a female monastic community in PA.

Patriarchate of Georgia

St. King David the Builder Monastery
62 Charles St.
Hanover, PA 18706
Patriarchate of Georgia

Somehow, I don't expect the St. Nina Monastic Community to appear on any listing hosted by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops.

Thank you for reminding me of the ACOB directories. I checked them for male monasteries and did not find one under the Patriarchate of Georgia. I had expected to find one as the priest assigned to the new Monastery of St Nina is Archimandrite Serapheim, Abbot of the Sacred Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Burnsville, North Carolina. Must be a new one as a Google search did not find this male monastery either.
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« Reply #376 on: October 23, 2012, 05:00:19 PM »

I have believed this for many many years and I will reiterate it - one should not give special credence to anyone just because he is identified as an Elder. Just because an Elder said this or that does not give his words any special credence per se. His words may be wise, they may just as well not be so - particularly if taken out of context.  

As to the nuns, I would remind all here that true monastics are obedient as well for since the times of St. Ignatius and St. Cyprian we believe that "The bishop in each Church presides in place of God. Let no one do any of the things which concern the Church without the bishop… Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Church." Shopping around for Elders of preference and Bishops of one's own choosing is not part of the apostolic, ante-Nicean tradition.
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« Reply #377 on: October 23, 2012, 10:39:37 PM »

I have believed this for many many years and I will reiterate it - one should not give special credence to anyone just because he is identified as an Elder. Just because an Elder said this or that does not give his words any special credence per se. His words may be wise, they may just as well not be so - particularly if taken out of context.  

As to the nuns, I would remind all here that true monastics are obedient as well for since the times of St. Ignatius and St. Cyprian we believe that "The bishop in each Church presides in place of God. Let no one do any of the things which concern the Church without the bishop… Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be, just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Church." Shopping around for Elders of preference and Bishops of one's own choosing is not part of the apostolic, ante-Nicean tradition.

The Abbess was made an Igumenia by His Holiness Patriarch Ilyas and allowed to wear a cross.  What does it say for a monastic to receive different orders from different Orthodox Jurisdictions?  If I were tonsured a monk in the Jerusalem Patriarchate, ordained a deacon in the OCA, ordained a Priest in the Moscow Patriarchate, consecrated a Bishop in the Church of Poland and became Ecumenical Patriarch, could someone call me an opportunist?
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« Reply #378 on: October 24, 2012, 08:03:29 AM »

The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.

So, they went with the jurisdiction with the least possible episcopal oversight in this country and the least possible episcopal accountability?  That sounds like a good match considering the history, but it doesn't inspire much confidence.  Neither does their association with Elder Dionysios.  Hopefully more information will come out regarding the reputation of Elder Dionysios from the Holy Mountain and from other reputable monasteries, as this relationship has the most significant influence on the monastery's character.
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« Reply #379 on: October 24, 2012, 11:27:12 PM »

The Georgian Metropolitan assigned to North America and Canada is a member of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops even though he is physically located in Georgia.

So, they went with the jurisdiction with the least possible episcopal oversight in this country and the least possible episcopal accountability?

When receiving this monastic organization, the Church of Georgia can be seen as out of touch with the rest of Orthodox Christianity or the Church of Georgia thinks it practices true Orthodox Christianity.  The Georgians have been affected by more enemies (e.g. Russians, Mongols, Turks, Armenians, et al) than other Orthodox Christian Churches.  If 100 (random number) Georgian-Americans can hijack an Orthodox Church and foment schism (e.g. OCA), that is quite troubling.

That sounds like a good match considering the history, but it doesn't inspire much confidence.  Neither does their association with Elder Dionysios.  Hopefully more information will come out regarding the reputation of Elder Dionysios from the Holy Mountain and from other reputable monasteries, as this relationship has the most significant influence on the monastery's character.

There seems to be a "code of silence" where no one wishes to speak ill of a monastic.
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« Reply #380 on: October 25, 2012, 01:02:23 PM »

A very good friend of mine recently visited Vatopedi on Athos and he asked for me one of the monks there about the monasteries of Archimandrite Dionysios. This monk said something that this monastic community has not really a good reputation and that the woman monasteries are questionable, because the novices there become very fast nuns.

That's not yet a clear statement, there's still no definite evidence, but I'm sure it will come. But I think at the end, you can just say with likelihood who Archimandrite Dionysios really is, not with 100 % doublessness. Just God can judge and know the answer and you can just, if the likelihood is high that this monastic community is not cinfidential, to distance yourself from it to be safe from it if it's dangerous.
I am not surprised that you found out that the mother monastery in Greece does not have a good reputation because the women were tonsured nuns too quickly.
Their abbess was a convert and from reading their old website it looks like all or most of the sisters of this monastery were converts too.  That could be a problem for stability:
1. The abbess is a convert who became a leader too quickly.  And I wonder if she spend any time or how much time as a novice in an established venerable women’s monastery in Greece before being assigned as the leader of a new monastery?   Was her spiritual education or spiritual direction formed by only this one person: the elder?
2.  Then a convert (the abbess) without the proper spiritual foundation in put in charge of a whole monastery of recent converts.  Who do these sisters learn from?  Is this a healthy situation for spiritual formation and growth in Orthodoxy?
3.  Wouldn’t it have been better for the present abbess in Greece to have spent years in another well establish monastery before being assigned as a leader of a totally new monastery?  Is she or was she able to assist in the spiritual foundation of other new converts?  Would it not have been better to let all of the individual convert-sisters spend time in different established monasteries in Greece all benefiting from the wisdom of the older sisters and their leaders?  Why is there this desire to isolate a small group of converts from the mainstream of Orthodox monasticism in Greece?  It could be mutually beneficial for the two groups to learn from each other? 

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« Reply #381 on: October 25, 2012, 04:06:02 PM »

Quote
I am not surprised that you found out that the mother monastery in Greece does not have a good reputation because the women were tonsured nuns too quickly.
Their abbess was a convert and from reading their old website it looks like all or most of the sisters of this monastery were converts too.  That could be a problem for stability:
1. The abbess is a convert who became a leader too quickly.  And I wonder if she spend any time or how much time as a novice in an established venerable women’s monastery in Greece before being assigned as the leader of a new monastery?   Was her spiritual education or spiritual direction formed by only this one person: the elder?
2.  Then a convert (the abbess) without the proper spiritual foundation in put in charge of a whole monastery of recent converts.  Who do these sisters learn from?  Is this a healthy situation for spiritual formation and growth in Orthodoxy?
3.  Wouldn’t it have been better for the present abbess in Greece to have spent years in another well establish monastery before being assigned as a leader of a totally new monastery?  Is she or was she able to assist in the spiritual foundation of other new converts?  Would it not have been better to let all of the individual convert-sisters spend time in different established monasteries in Greece all benefiting from the wisdom of the older sisters and their leaders?  Why is there this desire to isolate a small group of converts from the mainstream of Orthodox monasticism in Greece?  It could be mutually beneficial for the two groups to learn from each other? 

Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.
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« Reply #382 on: October 25, 2012, 05:08:19 PM »

And this abbess is a good abbess.
Opinions on that may differ. One thing is clear though: She is completely subservient to elder Dionysios.


As for the DC nuns:
If they are under the Georgians, shouldn't they at least saint "Saint Nino" instead of "Nina"? All Georgians I know have been strongly insisting on that.
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« Reply #383 on: October 25, 2012, 08:19:04 PM »

Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.

You link to a website that hasn't been updated since 1999.  Is this part of Internet silence?   Huh  Does the Elder Dionysios believe the world ended in 1999?
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« Reply #384 on: October 25, 2012, 08:20:54 PM »

And this abbess is a good abbess.
Opinions on that may differ. One thing is clear though: She is completely subservient to elder Dionysios.


As for the DC nuns:
If they are under the Georgians, shouldn't they at least saint "Saint Nino" instead of "Nina"? All Georgians I know have been strongly insisting on that.

Nino and Nina are interchangeable to the Georgians.
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« Reply #385 on: October 25, 2012, 09:19:20 PM »

Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.

You link to a website that hasn't been updated since 1999.  Is this part of Internet silence?   Huh  Does the Elder Dionysios believe the world ended in 1999?

y2k maybe???
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« Reply #386 on: October 26, 2012, 01:45:04 AM »

Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.

You link to a website that hasn't been updated since 1999.  Is this part of Internet silence?   Huh  Does the Elder Dionysios believe the world ended in 1999?

y2k maybe???

Not following....
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« Reply #387 on: October 26, 2012, 06:19:44 AM »

Nino and Nina are interchangeable to the Georgians.
No, Nino is Georgian, and Nina is Russian (and used in Greek). The Russian language has a tendency to pronounce unstressed o as a, and in this case, it was also adopted in spelling.
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« Reply #388 on: October 26, 2012, 08:49:16 AM »

Quote
I am not surprised that you found out that the mother monastery in Greece does not have a good reputation because the women were tonsured nuns too quickly.
Their abbess was a convert and from reading their old website it looks like all or most of the sisters of this monastery were converts too.  That could be a problem for stability:
1. The abbess is a convert who became a leader too quickly.  And I wonder if she spend any time or how much time as a novice in an established venerable women’s monastery in Greece before being assigned as the leader of a new monastery?   Was her spiritual education or spiritual direction formed by only this one person: the elder?
2.  Then a convert (the abbess) without the proper spiritual foundation in put in charge of a whole monastery of recent converts.  Who do these sisters learn from?  Is this a healthy situation for spiritual formation and growth in Orthodoxy?
3.  Wouldn’t it have been better for the present abbess in Greece to have spent years in another well establish monastery before being assigned as a leader of a totally new monastery?  Is she or was she able to assist in the spiritual foundation of other new converts?  Would it not have been better to let all of the individual convert-sisters spend time in different established monasteries in Greece all benefiting from the wisdom of the older sisters and their leaders?  Why is there this desire to isolate a small group of converts from the mainstream of Orthodox monasticism in Greece?  It could be mutually beneficial for the two groups to learn from each other? 

Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.

This all happened too quickly and without the people involved undergoing spiritual formation in an established monastery  with the benefit of spiritual direction of seasoned mature monastics and living and worshipping every day in a monastery of mature Orthodox monastics.

Thank you for providing that web site which provides proof for everyone to see of my points above:
1987 the abbess converted to the Orthodox Church
1992: she was tonsured a nun but did she actually live in a monastery as a novice.  Usually that happens for a number of years.
1994: she was a founding member of a monastery make up of converts like herself.
1995: she was elected an abbesses of a monastery made up of converts.
This all happened too quickly and without the people involved undergoing spiritual formation in an established monastery with the benefit of spiritual direction of seasoned mature monastics and living and worshipping every day in a monastery of mature Orthodox monastics.
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« Reply #389 on: October 26, 2012, 11:06:29 AM »

I read this link and found an odd timeline:

26.09.1987
Through the Sacrament of Confession entered into a spiritual bond with her Elder, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Dionysios, Simonopetrite, at the Sacred Monastery of St. John Chrysostom, Naxos, Greece, wherein he was called as Confessor by the Metropolitan of Paronaxias Epiphanios.
17.12.1987
Became an Orthodox Catechumen at the Sacred Monastery of St. George, Vrana, Attica, at the hand of her Elder, receiving the name Dionysia.
05.04.1988
Baptised an Orthodox Christian in the Jordan River in the Holy Land.


How does one receive the Sacrament of Confession before one is even a catechumen?


Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.
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« Reply #390 on: October 26, 2012, 11:10:48 AM »

Unfortunately, this happens all too often here in the US, and it rarily works out well.  Even those who are very intelligent and talented find being a leading monastic without foundation to be an impossible task.

Just having returned from Romania, where I got a chance to visit a number of monasteries, it is interesting to note the difference in how the abbots and monks behave there versus the instability we have here.


Quote
I am not surprised that you found out that the mother monastery in Greece does not have a good reputation because the women were tonsured nuns too quickly.
Their abbess was a convert and from reading their old website it looks like all or most of the sisters of this monastery were converts too.  That could be a problem for stability:
1. The abbess is a convert who became a leader too quickly.  And I wonder if she spend any time or how much time as a novice in an established venerable women’s monastery in Greece before being assigned as the leader of a new monastery?   Was her spiritual education or spiritual direction formed by only this one person: the elder?
2.  Then a convert (the abbess) without the proper spiritual foundation in put in charge of a whole monastery of recent converts.  Who do these sisters learn from?  Is this a healthy situation for spiritual formation and growth in Orthodoxy?
3.  Wouldn’t it have been better for the present abbess in Greece to have spent years in another well establish monastery before being assigned as a leader of a totally new monastery?  Is she or was she able to assist in the spiritual foundation of other new converts?  Would it not have been better to let all of the individual convert-sisters spend time in different established monasteries in Greece all benefiting from the wisdom of the older sisters and their leaders?  Why is there this desire to isolate a small group of converts from the mainstream of Orthodox monasticism in Greece?  It could be mutually beneficial for the two groups to learn from each other? 

Sorry, but I have just informations about another abbess of Greece, who is a convert as well and a disciple of Elder Dionysios: http://www.fhc.org/ypsosis/holycrossmonastery/en/abbess.html. And in her monastery there're monastics from more than 15 different nations. And this abbess is a good abbess. And abbess Aemiliane who is in America was tonsured before this abbess Diodora who is in Greece. And think that the people weren't tonsured by Elder Dionysios so quickly 20 years ago.

This all happened too quickly and without the people involved undergoing spiritual formation in an established monastery  with the benefit of spiritual direction of seasoned mature monastics and living and worshipping every day in a monastery of mature Orthodox monastics.

Thank you for providing that web site which provides proof for everyone to see of my points above:
1987 the abbess converted to the Orthodox Church
1992: she was tonsured a nun but did she actually live in a monastery as a novice.  Usually that happens for a number of years.
1994: she was a founding member of a monastery make up of converts like herself.
1995: she was elected an abbesses of a monastery made up of converts.
This all happened too quickly and without the people involved undergoing spiritual formation in an established monastery with the benefit of spiritual direction of seasoned mature monastics and living and worshipping every day in a monastery of mature Orthodox monastics.

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« Reply #391 on: October 26, 2012, 11:52:41 AM »

Father G - there are certainly exceptions here in the USA. For example, the OCA  - no - make that THE Orthodox Church - has been blessed with a stable community of nuns for the last thirty years or so under the omophorion of the OCA's Bishop of NY/NJ in the community of the Holy Myrrhbearers in rural, upstate Otego, NY. (About fifty miles or so from my home.)  Under the steady leadership of Mother Raphaella they have been a beacon of truth,light, love, charity and good humor for the world (and their neighbors)  to see as unswerving witnesses to the true mission of our Church and her people. We need to remember that not every Abbess, not every Elder and not every community seeks to bring notice to themselves as seems to be the case with some who are out there.
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« Reply #392 on: October 26, 2012, 09:55:29 PM »

Part of the stability of this monastery is that it has always been well-supervised.

Father G - there are certainly exceptions here in the USA. For example, the OCA  - no - make that THE Orthodox Church - has been blessed with a stable community of nuns for the last thirty years or so under the omophorion of the OCA's Bishop of NY/NJ in the community of the Holy Myrrhbearers in rural, upstate Otego, NY. (About fifty miles or so from my home.)  Under the steady leadership of Mother Raphaella they have been a beacon of truth,light, love, charity and good humor for the world (and their neighbors)  to see as unswerving witnesses to the true mission of our Church and her people. We need to remember that not every Abbess, not every Elder and not every community seeks to bring notice to themselves as seems to be the case with some who are out there.
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« Reply #393 on: October 26, 2012, 11:59:37 PM »

They are now the first Georgian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery in the Americas.

http://www.saintnina-monastery.org/

 Grin   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them. Which is partly because Georgian society under communism was ravaged by the terror of abortion more than any other region of the USSR. For them the full range of the "culture of death" is grasped more acutely. May they teach us all this truth.

How exactly is contraception part of the "culture of death?"
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« Reply #394 on: October 27, 2012, 08:19:07 AM »

How does one receive the Sacrament of Confession before one is even a catechumen?
Well, with elder Dionysios, I have heard so many strange things, I wouldnt be surprised if he gave the Holy Mysteries to non-Orthodox...
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« Reply #395 on: October 27, 2012, 08:41:11 AM »

Part of the stability of this monastery is that it has always been well-supervised.

Father G - there are certainly exceptions here in the USA. For example, the OCA  - no - make that THE Orthodox Church - has been blessed with a stable community of nuns for the last thirty years or so under the omophorion of the OCA's Bishop of NY/NJ in the community of the Holy Myrrhbearers in rural, upstate Otego, NY. (About fifty miles or so from my home.)  Under the steady leadership of Mother Raphaella they have been a beacon of truth,light, love, charity and good humor for the world (and their neighbors)  to see as unswerving witnesses to the true mission of our Church and her people. We need to remember that not every Abbess, not every Elder and not every community seeks to bring notice to themselves as seems to be the case with some who are out there.

You are quite correct. The nuns maintain a close relationship with ALL of the regional Orthodox faithful and clergy and are welcomed across the region. They even do school and local children's museum programs about their lifestyle, agriculture and animal husbandry. They usually have had either a retired parish priest assigned to attempt to organize a mission in the Oneonta, NY area or a newly ordained priest to be their confessor.

They have never fallen prey to the siren song of a guru type Elder of free lancing 'spiritual father' which seems to be the source of disaffection and disobedience of many American monastic communities and among many American converts.
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« Reply #396 on: October 27, 2012, 01:03:57 PM »

If most Americans--even most American converts--don't "get" the spirit of Orthodoxy as described in the several preceeding posts, it is predominently because of historical American geopolitics and the fact that Orthodoxy never evangelized this country in the proper way (except, perhaps, for the Russians in Alaska).  As a result, America (and, indeed, the rest of the non-Orthodox world) is treated as open country and fair game for ecclesiastical colonialism and imperialism, where every autocephalous Church seems to plant it flag, establish its satellite jurisdiction, and the Devil take the hindmost.  The results are going to be eminently predictable; just look at what has happened to the remnants of the European colonial empires of the 19th century.
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« Reply #397 on: October 27, 2012, 01:39:50 PM »

Grin   I long dreamed of a Georgian church coming to exist in the USA near where I live, now my dreams are true.

Of all Orthodox local churches they maintain as a living witness, purity of true teaching which is unrivaled !

No other local Orthodox Church condemns as strongly contraception as them.

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« Reply #398 on: October 27, 2012, 02:57:25 PM »

If most Americans--even most American converts--don't "get" the spirit of Orthodoxy as described in the several preceeding posts, it is predominently because of historical American geopolitics and the fact that Orthodoxy never evangelized this country in the proper way (except, perhaps, for the Russians in Alaska).  As a result, America (and, indeed, the rest of the non-Orthodox world) is treated as open country and fair game for ecclesiastical colonialism and imperialism, where every autocephalous Church seems to plant it flag, establish its satellite jurisdiction, and the Devil take the hindmost.  The results are going to be eminently predictable; just look at what has happened to the remnants of the European colonial empires of the 19th century.

I think that is an unfair and harsh assessment. Much is made of the jurisdictional situation among academics, seminarians and folks online. However, in your average, neighborhood Orthodox parish, regular Church life is unaffected by all of this stuff. We tend to obsess on it, fret about it and get angry about it from time to time, but honestly, I suspect most of us really don't think about such as we wake up on Sunday morning, dress for liturgy, pray etc....
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« Reply #399 on: October 27, 2012, 03:12:02 PM »

Nino and Nina are interchangeable to the Georgians.
No, Nino is Georgian, and Nina is Russian (and used in Greek). The Russian language has a tendency to pronounce unstressed o as a, and in this case, it was also adopted in spelling.

OK, thanks for the clarification.

The documents posted on the St. Nina website from the Metropolitan of Batumi refer to St. Nino.  The Abbess uses St. Nina.  There's already one example of disobedience to a foreign Bishop.   Undecided
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« Reply #400 on: October 28, 2012, 01:43:27 AM »

It's true that, on a practical, everyday level, we don't obsess over ecclesiastical colonialism, but the truth of existence needs to be spoken--and heeded--at certain levels.
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« Reply #401 on: October 28, 2012, 01:26:04 PM »

The documents posted on the St. Nina website from the Metropolitan of Batumi refer to St. Nino.  The Abbess uses St. Nina.  There's already one example of disobedience to a foreign Bishop.   Undecided

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« Reply #402 on: October 29, 2012, 10:48:04 AM »

I do not blame the Georgians for this, they are wonderful people and many Georgians, especially Patriarch Ilya himself, are sincere and deep Orthodox Christians. In fact, I would speculate that the DC nuns and/or Elder Dionysios contacted the Georgian Patriarchate  and presented themselves as innocent victims of Church politics. The Georgians were merciful and took them in.

Of course, I hope that this solution will be a blessing for the Church and the whole world... but I also remain sceptical. Will the monastery be obedient to the Georgian Patriarchate, or will Elder Dionysios be able to use the situation to do whatever he wants?

The fact that they use "Nina" rather than "Nino" is not necessarily disobedience though, it is rather complete unfamiliarity with Georgian culture and tradition.
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« Reply #403 on: October 29, 2012, 10:59:17 AM »

I find the whole proposition ludicrous.

Will the monastery have to change its constitution once Fr. Dionysios reposes?  What then?

Things that are built to last are made to go on without a specific person.  A monastery built around an 'elder' will not last because that elder is a human, and all humans eventually taste death.  What then?  Will they finally obey only yhr local bishop, or will this dual-obedience pass to his 'dharma heir'?

What will the myriad of jurisdictions do here when there are no more of 'their people' to minister to?  The day is already upon us when most European nations are well below replacement birth-rates, so immigration will be drying up as it has been.  There will be no large influx, unless there is a war with massive dispossession, and then you will have another problem altogether.

Frankly, I'm willing to be patient and out-wait these problems.  The Church has enough Americans now in all the larger jurisdictions to sustain itself even if we were all simultaneously expelled and the OCA collapsed.  I think we are at the tipping point here.  Bring the Georgians and the Albanian Patriarchals here.  How about some Abkhazis?  Isn't there some obscure Turkish Orthodox communities around that can send a priest and chase after a dozen or so immigrants?  Bring them here, too!

I'm no longer concerned about 'ecclesial colonialism.'  The damage has been done and the judgment is being meted out.  What will survive is what is faithful to God's will.

I think we know enough about these nuns, and there is really nothing worth saying after this.  They have been revealed, and there are no secrets.  If people choose to go there, then this is there own decision and they can choose to make it either in an informed way or not.
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« Reply #404 on: October 29, 2012, 11:48:20 AM »

I find the whole proposition ludicrous.

Will the monastery have to change its constitution once Fr. Dionysios reposes?  What then?

Things that are built to last are made to go on without a specific person.  A monastery built around an 'elder' will not last because that elder is a human, and all humans eventually taste death.  What then?  Will they finally obey only yhr local bishop, or will this dual-obedience pass to his 'dharma heir'?

What will the myriad of jurisdictions do here when there are no more of 'their people' to minister to?  The day is already upon us when most European nations are well below replacement birth-rates, so immigration will be drying up as it has been.  There will be no large influx, unless there is a war with massive dispossession, and then you will have another problem altogether

Frankly, I'm willing to be patient and out-wait these problems.  The Church has enough Americans now in all the larger jurisdictions to sustain itself even if we were all simultaneously expelled and the OCA collapsed.  I think we are at the tipping point here.  Bring the Georgians and the Albanian Patriarchals here.  How about some Abkhazis?  Isn't there some obscure Turkish Orthodox communities around that can send a priest and chase after a dozen or so immigrants?  Bring them here, too!

I'm no longer concerned about 'ecclesial colonialism.'  The damage has been done and the judgment is being meted out.  What will survive is what is faithful to God's will.

I think we know enough about these nuns, and there is really nothing worth saying after this.  They have been revealed, and there are no secrets.  If people choose to go there, then this is there own decision and they can choose to make it either in an informed way or not.


Truth be told none of the main 'ethnic' jurisdictions have had significant immigration since the 'reforms' the 1920's cut off the influx of European immigrants from traditionally Orthodox lands into the USA - with the exception of a few 'sputters' following World War 2 and later at the fall of the USSR and to some extent in recent years from the Mideast.  Some, like the Greeks and the Ukrainians, have held onto their cultural identity with more vigor than others, but even that is a stereotypical generalization. ACROD has not had a foreign born Bishop since the election of its first bishop, +Orestes - in 1938. He died in 1977 but was not really 'in charge' since the early 1960's. All bishops since 1966 are American born. I think this is true elsewhere as well. At least five, perhaps more, of the current ruling Metropolitans of the Greek Archdiocese are American born as well. We have been nearly 100% English for most of my life and I am nearing 60 years old. (A pinch of OS for flavor from time to time, but that's about it.)
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