Author Topic: Visits to monasteries  (Read 2063 times)

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Offline Anastasios

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Visits to monasteries
« on: October 10, 2005, 01:29:54 AM »
In another thread, Robert mentioned our trip to a monastery this weekend. I was wondering if we could all share some of our memories of spiritually uplifting visits to monasteries.

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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism and may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.

Offline Robert

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Re: Visits to monasteries
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2005, 01:32:23 AM »
Well, at the GOC monastery that we visited in NY, I got a good taste of true Orthodoxy and monasticism.

Offline Donna Rose

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Re: Visits to monasteries
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2005, 09:18:44 AM »
sounds like you guys had's funny you started this thread caz i wrote a lil something about my trip to the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery this August - it was basically an email to my priest thanking him for the blessing to go, but here's the gyst of it:

I just wanted to drop you a note telling you a bit about how my trip up to the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery went this past weekend. It was so wonderful - a much needed break from my urban/suburban life. Mother Rapheala and the sisters were so incredibly kind, generous, hospitable, and accomodating to me and my friend Kimberly. On the first day (Friday), Kim and I explored the farm with all of its trails and things, which was a lot of fun - we made some new friends of the animals there, the cats, dogs, sheep and goats! Throughout the day on Friday we prayed the hours and then vespers with the sisters, which was so nice - to be called to prayer by the sound of a bell throughout the day. Their chapel there is beautiful, by the way! Friday night we were able to see more stars out than we had ever seen - NYC, White Plains and Albany have far too much light from buildings and streets to see the stars well, and we were shocked and overwhelmed because we saw for the first time in our lives the Milky Way arching across the night sky from horizon to horizon! It is beautiful and really reminded me how awesome God is and how small I am in comparison to Him. Then on Saturday they took us to the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, which was a blast! Sister Eugenia was there at a workshop where she was learning to plow with a big metal plow that was dragged by two oxen that were bigger than she was! It was truly impressive and humbling to watch her work so hard and succeed at such a task, in long denim habit and headcovering no less! When we returned to the monastery that afternoon Sister Eugenia let us help her feed the sheep and goats while she did the milking, which was a lot of fun and a practice in patience, since we didn't know our way around the barns and we had to ask a lot of questions. I am grateful for that afternoon. The sisters allowed us to eat dinner with them both nights, and stocked the kitchen in the guest house with so much food so we could make our own meals for breakfast and lunch. Over dinner Mother Raphaela read from The Handmaiden and we also talked a bit about mine and Kim's backgrounds, after which on Saturday there was vespers (since Mother Raphaela was just a bit too exhausted to do a full vigil - although she did say this week was the first that she feels a lot better after her treatments for cancer, which was wonderful news!). At dinner Saturday night we ate cheese made fresh from sheep's and goat's milk, and made right before our eyes just before the meal began! Then on Sunday we went to liturgy at the OCA mission in Oneonta, which was again a great experience - living in the metropolis Tri-State area I forget how lucky I am to have my choice of churches to attend each week. It was humbling to witness and join in worshipping in the basement of a Lutheran church set up to be an Orthodox church - it really is a thriving parish, a tight-knit community, and Father Timm was extremely welcoming to Kim and me. After that we said our goodbyes and drove back to Albany. It was a wonderful weekend, and I am so grateful I went.

so there ya go - Holy Myrrhbearers is a great monastery. I recommend it highly.

In Christ,
Donna Mary

Offline MaryCecilia

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Re: Visits to monasteries
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2005, 04:46:33 PM »
Thankyou for sharing with us about your trip to HolyMyhrbearers this past weekend Donna :)
Unfortunatly I haven't been able to visit any monastery for a few years due to many circumstances out of our control.  I do hope to be able to return to the monastery that I did visit a couple times the first year that I was Chrismated in the Orthodox Church.  I went to the Orthodox Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ in Ellwood City PA.  The Abbess and the other Nuns there were wonderful, and if I would not have met my husband, chances would be that I would most likely be a monastic at that monastery, but that wasn't God's will for me at the time and now that I have a wonderful baby girl, I am very happy that I chose married life :)  It is definetly true that being an Orthodox layperson out in the world is a lot harder than being a monastic in a Monastery because you're constantly bombarded with temptations everywhere you turn. 

Sorry for rambling on there :)  I really enjoyed my retreat to the Ellwood city monastery though when I went there, and I hope to return sometime, maybe in a couple years or so once our daughter is alil older so she can see the monastery and experience it for herself as well. :) 

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Mary Cecilia passed into eternal life on Jan 2, 2010.  May her memory be eternal!

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Re: Visits to monasteries
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2005, 05:57:54 PM »
I have only been to a few monasteries thus far in my journey, all of which I've spoken of before on a few different discussion boards, so I won't bore you all again. St. Gregory Palamas Monastery (GOA) in Ohio probably impressed me the most, though admittedly it was also (by far) the place I stayed the least amount of time at. Holy Transfiguration in Ellwood City is very, very nice as well; they also have a lot of ground for expansion and a very unique and beautiful small church (a picture of it can be found here).


It is definetly true that being an Orthodox layperson out in the world is a lot harder

I think that it varies from person to person. You only say this because you have the type of personality and life-experience that would make monastic life easier than secular life. Though I once thought about being a monastic as well, I must nonetheless admit that I am the complete opposite of you and would unfortunately have a very rough time in a monastery. I don't think it does any good to talk about which is harder, since it varies from person to person according to how God has made us and graced us, and what we have lived through and are willing and able to do. :)