Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monasteries in America

This is some fascinating reading. Parts that leapt out at me...

  1. Most monasteries are female.
  2. Most of US monasteries are relatively ʺyoung.ʺ Indeed, an absolute majority of them (39 out of 71) were founded after 1990. All the old ones are Slavic. Among all currently functioning monasteries, the oldest Greek Orthodox monastic community was founded only in 1983.
  3. If you put ALL THE MONASTICS in the US together you get 512. The average monastery has 7 people. Greek monasteries are by far the largest.
  4. In services the OCA monasteries speak the most English (83%). The Greeks speak English the least (11%). 50% of the monasteries in the US are English speaking.
  5. 73% of US monasteries use email. 51 out of 71 monasteries have a website.
  6. Old calendar to New is essentially even.
  7. All US monasteries combined own 5,806 acres of land (largest Jordanville with 700 acres).

(AOB) - The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has released a new research report, Orthodox Monastic Communities in the United States.

There are more than 70 Orthodox monastic communities in the United States today, with significant diversity in terms of size, liturgical practices, openness to outside visitors, and educational programs. The Assembly’s Committee for Monastic Communities is tasked with studying and comparing Orthodox monastic communities in the US; this study was designed as a first step toward that goal. The report's findings are based on a survey that was conducted of all Orthodox monastic communities in the United States in late 2013 and early 2014.

Read the full report here (PDF).

Access summaries and links to all of the Assembly's research reports here.


  1. Oh, fascinating. Thank you!

  2. And I believe that oldest Greek Orthodox monastery is my home state Ohio's very own St. Gregory Palamas monastery in Hayesville. I have fond memories of studying iconography with the late Fr. Nathanael there fifteen or twenty years ago.

    Nice post.