Author Topic: How to Start a Monastery?  (Read 360 times)

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Offline peacenprayer

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How to Start a Monastery?
« on: January 07, 2017, 10:30:59 AM »
Hi, all!
I was looking online and found no information. I'm wondering; if you had a group of folks who were serious about becoming monks, how would they go about starting a monastery?
What needs to come together?
Blessing from the bishop, a home, a way of self-efficiancy, etc? Is there a general order of getting things done? Where does one kidnap a starets from?
I know some folks back home who want a monastery there, and I'm curious. What do?
Thanks!
And a Blessed Theophany and/or Nativity!
"...I'm just a simple dude."
~Finn the Human

Offline IXOYE

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 11:16:01 AM »
After some time as a monastic at a monastery one might be able to get a blessing both from the monastery's abbot and the local bishop to start a monastery.

Monasteries usually start small.  A handicraft and a home would be needed as well.

Offline Arachne

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 11:16:35 AM »
The bishop's blessing is essential, and if the people in question are still lay, they're likely to be advised to try the monastic life somewhere established first.

Beyond that, here is someone who is doing just this at the moment - raising funds to build a monastery from scratch. It's an interesting case to follow.
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Offline peacenprayer

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 11:32:06 AM »
Father Saraphim! I'm a fan of his podcast.
That makes sense. It would definetly be a good idea. Would be a lot of time wasted if you got everything off the ground and decided it wasn't for you.
"...I'm just a simple dude."
~Finn the Human

Offline Ainnir

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 06:35:39 PM »
Thank you for the link, Arachne.  :)

Offline Fr. George

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 08:49:09 PM »
Hi, all!
I was looking online and found no information. I'm wondering; if you had a group of folks who were serious about becoming monks, how would they go about starting a monastery?
What needs to come together?
Blessing from the bishop, a home, a way of self-efficiancy, etc? Is there a general order of getting things done? Where does one kidnap a starets from?
I know some folks back home who want a monastery there, and I'm curious. What do?
Thanks!
And a Blessed Theophany and/or Nativity! 

Two most important "items" to begin a monastery:

1. An experienced monk/nun who is able to serve as abbot/abbess (with the local hierarch's blessing).
2. A place where those who live in the community can be separated from the world.

For 1: The life path of the monks living in community has to be carefully supervised - it's not enough to live alone, one must have a guide in how to approach the spiritual life, and that guide must give specific instructions unique to the individual monk/nun.  The person giving such instruction must be further advanced in the spiritual life than the one beginning it - must have discernment to probe the hearts of the brother/sisterhood, stability to manage their own path (with the help of their own spiritual father), and acumen for the management of the monastery through its formative years.

For 2: Monastic communities are to be outside of the sphere of the world.  This separation can happen in a city (it is admittedly more difficult this way), or in a more remote location.  They are to have space set aside for the monks/nuns that are only for communal use (i.e. not for visitors/pilgrims), and space for prayer and the welcoming of visitors.  This can usually be done in a converted house or other type of building (i.e. you don't have to use a purpose-built facility to begin).  It is a plus if the location allows the monks/nuns to work for their sustenance - growing their own fruit / veggies / crops, harvesting for sale (honey, timber, grapes, etc.), space for workshops (candle making, woodcarving, icon making, baking, etc.).

If you have to prioritize one item over the others, I would choose #1.  (My $0.02)
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Offline peacenprayer

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 08:33:36 AM »
Thanks, Fr George!
For being seperated from the world, is that a total break away or more a place for the community to find some quiet for prayer? What if they'er modeled after something like Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy in Moscow, with focus on serving the poor in the world?
I agree if you had to pick one, #1 would be best choice!
"...I'm just a simple dude."
~Finn the Human

Offline Tom

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 12:01:36 PM »
Why don't you write to Abbot Tryphon and ask how he started his monastery?  All Merciful Saviour Monastery

Offline peacenprayer

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 10:03:20 PM »
You know, I didn't think to write someone and ask! Thanks!
"...I'm just a simple dude."
~Finn the Human

Offline hecma925

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 01:58:42 AM »
What's wrong with parish life?
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Offline hecma925

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 01:42:54 AM »
In the Krindatch report on monastic communities, Section VII (╩║Personal Stories╩║ of US Orthodox Monasteries) has good info on how those monasteries that participated in the study started out.

http://www.assemblyofbishops.org/news/2015/assembly-publishes-new-report-on-monastic-communities
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

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Offline peacenprayer

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 07:50:03 PM »
Theres just conversation about wanying a monastery back in my home region, and I was curious about the process outside of an elder or bishop saying "go and do."

Thanks for the link!
"...I'm just a simple dude."
~Finn the Human

Offline Fr. George

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Re: How to Start a Monastery?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2017, 04:23:40 PM »
Thanks, Fr George!
For being seperated from the world, is that a total break away or more a place for the community to find some quiet for prayer? What if they'er modeled after something like Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy in Moscow, with focus on serving the poor in the world?
I agree if you had to pick one, #1 would be best choice!

Some have totally broken away, as they see fit.  Having quiet space for living and praying is a must - even monasteries in the middle of cities must have at least the cloister, space for the monks to retreat to for personal prayer, reflection, and the life of the brother/sisterhood. 
I don't typically presume to speak for Mor
You can presume to speak for Mor.