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After a recent conversation with one of the nicest of Catholic nuns (a diocesan hermitess) I am interested to discover the situation of monastic life in the United States among the Eastern and Oriental Catholics.

Irish Melike, are you the man with all the facts at his fingertips?


How many monasteries (male and female) exist?

What are their numbers like?

Do they have a retiring kind of traditional monastic life or are they out working in parishes, universities, missions, etc.?

I don't know anything about this so I cannot participate. I just want to learn.

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Irish Melike, are you the man with all the facts at his fingertips?


Bless, Father,

Not in this instance.

I can tell you that the Basilian Salvatorians (Melkite) have a single monastery in Methuen, MA, about 15 mi. from me. It is our only monastery at present in the US (and, I believe, in the diaspora overall).

If nothing has changed of late, there are 5 hieromonks there - 1 of whom is quite elderly and retired. I also heard recently that there are also two seminarians/novices. All of the other Salvatorian hieromonks in the US are presently assigned to parish work.

St Basil's was opened in the '50s through the generosity of then-Archbishop (later Cardinal) Cushing. At the time, it was both a monastery and the sole Melkite seminary in the diaspora. Until the eparchy was created in the '70s and a diocesan seminary established, St Basil's trained both Salvatorians and secular clergy. (The seminary alumni include 3 EC bishops - 1 each of the Melkite, Romanian, and Maronite Churches).

I'd have to do some serious counting to verify it but I believe that Salvatorian hieromonks constituted the major source of priests serving Melkite parishes in the US during the first 50 years of our presence here - likewise in Canada. So, there wasn't any opportunity to bring a communal monastic tradition with them until St Basil's was erected. However, even from its inception, the community provided 'coverage' for two nearby parish communities, one a mile down the road and the other in NH - both of which had been historically "Salvatorian" parishes. It also took an early interest in offering retreats, missions, etc - and still does.

I think the current effort is an attempt to revive a more traditional monastic environment. Whether it will be successful or not, I don't know. There are two other monastic communities within the Melkite Church, the Basilian Aleppines and Basilian Choeurites, but neither has any foundations in the diaspora (and it seems to me that there have not been any hieromonks of either community servibg in the US for about 15 years). Those present here in the past were involved in pastoral work.

A hermitage existed at one time, but the priests eventually went back to parish work.

There is a Maronite monastic community here in Massachusetts, but I don''t know a lot about it. I have a link, which I'll track down and post.

There is a former Ruthenian monastery that translated to the Romanians not long ago. A couple of the hieromonks from the community post here and there is a presently active thread regarding their pending relocation to a site which they'll share with a Benedictine monastery (if I remember correctly).

The Ruthenians and (I think) the Ukrainians both have female communities in the US, at least some of which are monastic, I believe.

There was a thread here, not very long ago, in which someone posed similar questions to yours. If I can locate it, I'll post a link to it.

Regarding the Oriental Churches, Armenian Mekhitarists have served in the US, but all in pastoral capacities. None of the other Oriental Churches has had a sufficient presence here to erect or support such.

The Chaldeans have recently erected a female religious order in one of their two eparchies; whether it is intended to be of a monastic nature or committed to pastoral/teaching work, I'm uncertain.

Many years,

Neil

Last edited by Irish Melkite; 03/13/09 07:55 AM. Reason: delete inaccurate info

"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I thought the Basilian Salvatorian Fathers are a congregations of priests and not monks at all. That they are in parishes all over the place is no surprise. That Latin clerical institute model was embraced by many Eastern Rite Churches.

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Here is the link to the Maronite monks of Petersham, Mass. (belonging to the Maronite Eparchy of St. Maron, Brooklyn, N.Y.) that Irish Melkite mentioned: http://www.maronitemonks.org/

Then there is Holy Resurrection Monastery, Newberry Springs, Calif. (belonging to the Romanian Byzantine Eparchy of St. George, Canton, Ohio) which Irish Melkite also refers to in his post: http://www.hrmonline.org/

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Originally Posted by Pavel Ivanovich
I thought the Basilian Salvatorian Fathers are a congregations of priests and not monks at all. That they are in parishes all over the place is no surprise. That Latin clerical institute model was embraced by many Eastern Rite Churches.


Paul,

The Salvatorians, Aleppines, and Chouerites are all 'monastic' orders, as the term is typically used in EC Churches. As is the case with most such orders, other than the Ukrainian Studites and a few others, their monastic heritage - in its historical form has been compromised, particularly in the diaspora. (I'm less certain as to how things are in the "Old Country".)

In the early years of Melkite emigration to the US, their monastic celibacy made all 3 bodies a ready and convenient source for clergy to be dispatched to the mission territory. With parish congregations that were typically very poor, the prospects for funding priests who had wives and families was dismal at best. It's likely that the nearly universally celibate Melkite presbyteral presence worked to our advantage in that, despite the more pronounced "foreignness" of our peoples (non-European, dark-skinned, etc), the Latin hierarchy were seemingly less outwardly hostile to us than to our Slav brethren.

It didn't ward off the imposition of latinizations, but there were decidedly fewer instances of outright rejection and we were generally allowed to erect our parishes, etc. (It also helped that there wasn't a convenient "parallel" ethnic body to whose parish we could be directed, as was the case with the Slavs, often dismissed with the instruction that they could as easily attend national parishes of the Polish, Slovak, or Lithuanian Latins.)

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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I thank my Norwegian brother for supplying those links. A sudden onset of chills and general malaise drove me from the keyboard last night before I could dredge them up.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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There is a Ukrainian monastery in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which is contemplative. Also, there is one in California, the name of which I cannot remember, in Redwood City...

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The Monks make some delicious fruit preserves from their local forests.

http://www.societystjohn.com/

Originally Posted by iconophile
There is a Ukrainian monastery in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which is contemplative. Also, there is one in California, the name of which I cannot remember, in Redwood City...



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You're very welcome smile

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Holy Transfiguration Monastery is located in Northern California. http://byzantines.net/monastery/

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Romanian

Holy Resurrection Monastery
http://www.hrmonline.org/

Holy Theophany Monastery
http://www.hrmonline.org/HTM

Melkite

Our Lady of Solitude Cloister
http://cloistericons.com/index.html

Basilian Salvatorian Order
http://saintbasils.org/html/about_bso.asp#History

Community of the Mother of God of Tenderness
http://www.stanndanbury.org/parishnuns/index.htm

Ukrainian

Holy Transfiguration Monastery
http://www.byzantines.net/monastery/

Holy Transfiguration Skete
http://www.societystjohn.com/ourlife/ourlife.html

Monastery of the Holy Cross
http://rumkatkilise.org/stmhc.htm

Order of St. Basil the Great
http://www.stbasils.com/provincial%20welcome.html

Sacred Heart Monastery, Order of St. Basil the Great
http://www.basiliannuns.org.ar/

Missionary Sisters of the Mother of God
http://www.ukrarcheparchy.us/index.php?categoryid=22

Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate
http://ssmi-us.org/

Ruthenian

Mt. St. Macrina Monastery, Order of St. Basil the Great
http://www.sistersofstbasil.org/index.jsp

Queen of Heaven Monastery, Order of St. Benedict
http://www.benedictinebyzantine.org/

Holy Annunciation Monastery, Order of Carmelites Discalced
http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/

Holy Dormition Friary, Order of Friars Minor
http://www.rpmwebworx.com/holydorm/

Holy Trinity Monastery

Basilian Fathers of Mariapoch

Holy Protection Monastery, Poor Clares

Social Mission Sisters

Monastery of St. Francis

Maronites

Most Holy Trinity Monastery,
http://www.maronitemonks.org/

Antonine Sisters
http://www.antoninesisters.com/

Armenians

Armenian Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
http://www.asaphila.org/schoolinformation.htm




My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
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We should also mention the new foundation blessed by Bishop John Kudrick. It is to be a monastery of nuns attached to the eparchial Mariapoch Shrine in Burton, Ohio. Sr. Celeste Strohmeyer is undertaking this podvig. I'm not sure whether there's a website yet. This is very new.

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There is also St George's Chaldean Monastery in CA, as well as two Chaldean orders of women. One in its very formative stages - Chaldean Convent of Our Lady of the Fields (Workers of the Vineyard); the other (Chaldean Sisters, Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception) operates a senior citizen facility

http://www.kaldaya.net/2007/2_DailyNews_Feb2007/Feb01_07_E1.html

http://www.goodsamaritan.signonsandiego.com/


Deacon Lance,

Nice collection of info and links!


Many years,

Neil (embarressed to have forgotten the Melkite cloister in PA)


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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Originally Posted by Fr. Deacon Lance
Ruthenian

Mt. St. Macrina Monastery, Order of St. Basil the Great
http://www.sistersofstbasil.org/index.jsp

Queen of Heaven Monastery, Order of St. Benedict
http://www.benedictinebyzantine.org/

Holy Annunciation Monastery, Order of Carmelites Discalced
http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/

Holy Dormition Friary, Order of Friars Minor
http://www.rpmwebworx.com/holydorm/

Holy Trinity Monastery

Basilian Fathers of Mariapoch

Holy Protection Monastery, Poor Clares

Social Mission Sisters

Monastery of St. Francis



I looked at the websites and the Benedictine nuns are selling their monastery because they don't have vocations, while the Franciscan friary is the last of what used to be 3 Ruthenian Franciscan monasteries in the USA (also because of lack of vocations). Quite sad.

According to the Annuario Pontificio, there are currently 32 male religious (of whom 26 are priests) and 121 female religious in the BCCA.

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Dear Neil,

In the melkite diaspora, I also know the "Instituto dos Filhos Misericordiosos da Cruz", here in Brazil, with two monasteries each one in a branch, male and female ( http://www.splaghynia.com/ ), and the "Abbaye d'Aubazin", in France, of nuns.

And who is the melkite bishop from St. Basil Seminary? Moutran Samra?

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