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Glory be to Jesus Christ!

Dear all,

I have been wondering about the state of monasticism in the Eastern Catholic Churches of North America. It doesn't seem like we have any...!

Noting that the Catholic Church has called upon the Eastern Churches to restore monastic life in its fullness, I wonder what chances of monastic life taking off here are.

I know of various Eastern Catholics who have joined Latin Catholic orders because there was nothing (or very little) for them in our Churches in North America.

Has anyone here considered monasticism/religious life in the Eastern Catholic Churches in North America? Has anyone, maybe, been discouraged because of the lack of monastic or religious communities? Are our bishops interested in the restoration of monastic and religious life at all?

I'd be interested to hear everyone's opinion on this.
God bless!

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P.S. I wanted to say that we have very few monastic and religious communities, as opposed to 'It doesn't seem like we have any...!'

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Did you see & explore the Holy Resurrection Monastery link in Church News ?

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Yes I've been on their website. They seem to be one of the few truly 'Eastern' Greek-Catholic monasteries in North America.

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then there's a start. remember the EC population in the US is pretty low compared to the Latins. I'd say that while they may be few in number, EC monastics are alive and well.
Much Love,
Jonn

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Bishop John of Parma wrote a Pastoral letter on Monasticism and His goal of establishing a truly Eastern Monastery in the Eparchy. See his letter at http://www.parma.org/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=25&z=5

It is also worth noting that Sr. Celeste, has been given a temporary leave from the Sisters of St Basil the Great (Uniontown Province) to establish a women's monastery in the Eparchy.

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At its core Eastern catholicism is more catholic than eastern ,so monasticism isn't as important and so, a la west,is seperated off into it's own comparment in spite of the fact that it is fundamental to Eastern Christianity. I get the impression that many of our past bishops actually discouraged eastern style monasticism for western style orders. ISn't that a sign right there that even they are not eastern minded at the core.

It's telling that as soon as Coptics arrive in an area they focus on getting a monastery established in a relatively short time. Besides financial factors, they obviously understand that eastern chrisitanity and monasticism are inseperable, otherwise they'd do other things with the money rather than send for monastics.
Of course, I'm glad HR found a place, but I do wonder if they will eventually morph into another one of those weird western eastern monastic hybrids like fransciscan byzantines which results in ,at the very least, the most disconcerting hybrid chant tone I've ever heard. Holy Theophany may be an exception,but I really think that truly eastern monasticism will come from the Orthodox churches.

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Indigo, I certainly agree with you that there has been until recently (e.g. Parma) a lack of enthusiasm for monasticism by the hierarchs of the Ukrainian/Ruthenian Churches. Does that mean that it will always be so or that the seeds of authentic Eastern monasticism can only be sown by the Orthodox? I'm not convinced of that. Historical events (political and theological ) play their part, but the will of the clergy and faithful today would seem to be the determining factor.

To quote from the monastery's website:

"The monks of Holy Resurrection Monastery have been invited by the Benedictine monks of St. Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo in northern Los Angeles County, California, to enjoy their hospitality for the next three years. We understand that with this invitation also comes an opportunity to explore possible ways to make this relationship even more durable for the building up of both communities.

Above all, this invitation makes possible a way of carrying out every one of our Anastasis Project goals even as we continue to seek out the Lord's will for out permanent home, and to do so in a way in which even our living situation is itself a witness to what the Anastasis Project is all about, namely the possibility that the Church really can (to use Pope John Paul's famous phrase) "breathe with both lungs." While we were searching out ways to do this in the Midwest or on the East Coast, the Lord was preparing us to see that what we were looking for could be found right here in Southern California!

Turning to the specifics of the arrangement, I want to stress that it will not affect the legal, financial or canonical status of either community. There may be people who fear either that we are "becoming Benedictine" or that they are "going Byzantine"! Nothing could be further from the truth. The whole point of this arrangement is to celebrate the possibility that monastic communities of distinctive Churches can live together, work together, "breathe" together, without either being absorbed by the other.

St. Andrew's will provide living and office space for the monks of Holy Resurrection. The communities will share most meals, with due regard made for the fasting regime of the Byzantine tradition. We will contribute to the support of St. Andrew's both by money rent and our own labor. Most importantly, the old Youth Center chapel will be adapted for the Byzantine Rite and will enable the monks of Holy Resurrection to continue to serve publicly the full round of services according to the Typikon as we have always done."

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Originally Posted by indigo
Of course, I'm glad HR found a place, but I do wonder if they will eventually morph into another one of those weird western eastern monastic hybrids....

Feel free to wonder. It won't happen.

Straining as I am on the edge of the Fast to avoid getting controversial, I really feel compelled to complain about this kind of pseudonymous carping. There are a few of us--very few--who instead of talking about monasticism in the Eastern Catholic Churches are actually trying to do it. Support is what's needed, not casual barbs.

Forgive me for being blunt.

Fr Maximos


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I will echo Fr. Maximos' remarks and ask that people keep their snide comments to themselves as we prepare to begin the Great Fast. The only thing those attempting Eastern monasticism need are our support and prayers. I would also add that monasticism is fundamental to Christianity period but the mendicant and clerical orders also have their place East and West.

Fr. Deacon Lance, moderator


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Originally Posted by Fr Maximos
Feel free to wonder. It won't happen.

Straining as I am on the edge of the Fast to avoid getting controversial, I really feel compelled to complain about this kind of pseudonymous carping. There are a few of us--very few--who instead of talking about monasticism in the Eastern Catholic Churches are actually trying to do it. Support is what's needed, not casual barbs.

Forgive me for being blunt.

Fr Maximos

Dear Father Maximos, Holy Reurrection Monastery is dear to my heart and I would like to pray for you. Please pray for me a sinner.

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Thanks for that, Father Deacon.

I should clarify that I have no problem with a fair-minded critique. But it is a bit much to be criticized for something we haven't done yet, and have taken great pains to say we don't want to do! :-)

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There is a lovely Maronite Rite Monastery in my home state of Massachusetts.

Most Holy Trinity Monastery in Petersham, Massachusetts.

There web site is www.MaroniteMonks.org [maronitemonks.org]




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Fr. Maximos and Fr. Deacon Lance,I wasn't being snide or casting barbs,sorry if you took it that way,but in all truth so far my experience of Byzantine Catholic monks and priests have been east-west hybrids.
I wish Holy Resurrection the best of luck.May both communities flourish and grow.


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Byzantine Latino,

As you know, monks are called by God. In my strictly personal opinion I don't believe that one can make monks by instituting a program. They are called by God to give up everything - to crucify themselves! - for the kingdom of heaven. The 2007 report of the Friends of Mount Athos (obviously available from them on request - see their website) has an excellent article about the renewal of the Monastery of Simonopetra of the past 35-some years, and is very appropriate for this subject. I personally believe that if we truly live the "new life" given to us by our baptism and manifested in our Christian lives and in the life of the Church - from which our liturgy, our theology, our spiritual lives, icons, our work in the world all spring from and are evidence of - then God will call monks and organize them when He wants to.

From this perspective, Holy Resurrection monastery (among others), or of the Orthodox monasteries here in North America, is a wonderful gift to us and we should pray for our monastics (and do in various litanies!).

As for me, I could see myself living as an eremetic monk (or possibly in a community) and think this would be very cool. But God hasn't called me to either right now and it would be incredibly presumptuous and dangerous for me to pursue this further (and I fear the temptations and difficulties that lurk there!). But if He did I think the only one who could stop me (or anyone else) is myself. And if I wanted to but was unable to, then I would wonder if it was truly my calling. In my personal opinion, I think He would give me the will and a way - probably a hard one - to do so if He truly was to call me.

Sorry for the rant, I hope it's helpful in some way.

Markos

Last edited by MarkosC; 03/19/09 03:32 AM.

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