Thursday, March 7, 2019

Tell me about monasteries in America

(AOB) - “Fast Questions and Fast Answers about American Orthodox Christian Monasteries” (PDF) is the third essay in a group of mini-reports about Orthodox Church life in America.

Not many people realize that there are eighty Orthodox Christian monasteries in the USA which represent great variety of ethnic and liturgical traditions. In fact, America is, probably, the only place in the world where - within the same country - one can visit Greek, Russian, Romanian, Serbian Orthodox monasteries and experience their different “ethnic” liturgical styles, worship practices, church architecture, musicology and iconography. Besides worship services, there are many other interesting aspects and facts related to the lives of American Orthodox monasteries. Here are some examples of the questions that are addressed in this report:

  • Are there any monasteries that are especially interesting to visit, because of their architecture or religious arts?
  • Are there any monasteries that offer some interesting educational programs or workshops?
  • Is there anything unique about “economies” of US Orthodox monasteries?
  • Are there any monasteries that have some interesting and unusual liturgical practices?
  • Are there any monasteries that offer opportunities to experience monastic life for a period of time first-hand?
The report is accompanied by four geographic maps and many photographs depicting every-day lives of US Orthodox monasteries. Read this story and if you have any follow-up questions, please feel free send your inquiries to Alexei Krindatch:

Report available here (PDF).


  1. what about the old calendar/quasi canonical monasteries -- we need accuracy - for example etna, holy apostles, hocna to name a few are out there and people know about them,,,,, part of our problem is being too myoptic

    1. They do. But you shouldn't be going there or receiving spiritual counsel from them and expecting things to be ok with your priest when you get back.

    2. Buy they exist and non orthodox and orthodox know about them subscribe to their journals buy their icons. Buy their books eg the holy apostles convents New testament and other books . We just can't snap our fingers and expect them to go away . The reality is that in a stroke of a pen they can, if we and they are so disposed, become one. And shouldn't that be our objective as Christian's also in the business world we always look at all of our competition those who are our friends and those who are not. Shouldn't we look at the whole picture and determine how it impacts us . What if 25 o/o of the monasteries are canonical? What is the impact of the others on us?

  2. I would not put Etna and the moderate Greek Old Calendar churches in the same category as HOCNA or that Colorado group. Those latter are cults.There might be argument about the former, but I would put them in the church before I would put Rome or the non-Chalcedonians.

  3. Tread carefully with the Old Calendrists. They aren't all nuts. But more than a few are. And even those who aren't nuts, are schismatics.

  4. Best guidance/permission from your parish or your Bishop before going to any of them.