Abbot Damascene of St Herman of Alaska Monastery – Video 2 of 6

In this second of a six-part video interview, “Father Damascene, abbot of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, talks to Pemptousia about the history of the brotherhood of the Monastery and how the brotherhood turned from missionary to monastic. He is mentioning some important spiritual words of Father Seraphim Rose and he is describing the situation of Orthodoxy in USA today.”

September 2 will mark the 35th anniversary of the repose of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina. In the weeks leading up to this date, I will be occasionally posting a variety of media and articles of interest.

 

Source: Pemptousia

 

OCA Monastic Synaxis looks to ‘Creative Methods’ to Nurture Vocations

Key Points of Convergence show how the Thebaid Project resonates with the Monastic Mission of the OCA.

The timing and topics of the Orthodox Church in America’s 2015 Monastic Synaxis could not have been more significant.

2015-1031-synaxis1

While His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of the Diocese of the West, and fourteen superiors from among the more than two-dozen monastic communities in the US, Canada and Mexico were meeting at the Monastery of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco in Manton CA, many of the foundational components of The North American Thebaid Photographic Pilgrimage Project were being finalized, including the budget, funding proposals, and itinerary.

At its core, the Synaxis affirmed the message which Metropolitan Tikhon delivered at his address to the AAC in July, that “the monastic life is a vital part of the mission of the church.”

But how to enhance and expand this “vital part of the mission?”

I believe it will take vision, hard work, sacrifice, and not a little creativity. As with any good work in Christ’s Church, it will also require what Elder Joseph the Hesychast would call patient endurance in suffering,” and, as St. Paisios of Mount Athos would say, philotimo. There will be challenges, setbacks, disappointments. Anyone who seeks to follow Christ, whatever his or her labors, will be taking up a cross in order to do so.

Most significant for the Thebaid Project are these three points of convergence with the Monastic Synaxis:

Continue reading “OCA Monastic Synaxis looks to ‘Creative Methods’ to Nurture Vocations”

Monasticism and the Church

This landmark address by the Abbot of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery is one of the primary motivators behind the effort to launch The Northern Thebaid Pilgrimage Project as quickly as possible. The Project can help foster a “culture of monasticism” in the Church, one which continually turns our hearts and minds towards prayer, pilgrimage, and the one thing needful.

***

“The health of the Church in a particular area can be measured by the health of monasticism in that area, and thus the relation of monastic life to the greater Orthodox Church in America is one that concerns all the faithful.”

Address of Abbot Schema-Archimandrite Sergius of St. Tikhon’s Monastery to the 18th OCA All-American Council

St Tikhon’s Monastery, July 26, 2015

FrSergiusBowyer-AACDuring the 6th Plenary Session of the 18th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, Archimandrite Sergius, the abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Waymart, PA addressed the delegates concerning monasticism and its role in the contemporary American Church.

His address is of interest to all the faithful for as he noted both monastics and married laity are “called to live 100% for our Lord 100% of the time,” and the monastic life has traditionally been accepted as the inspiration for the laity. As St. John of Climacus wrote: “Angels are a light to monks, and the monastic life is a light to men.” The health of the Church in a particular area can be measured by the health of monasticism in that area, and thus the relation of monastic life to the greater Orthodox Church in America is one that concerns all the faithful.  

In his practical talk Fr. Sergius gives three points for encouraging the growth of Orthodox monasticism in America which, like the Orthodox Church in general, is small in comparison to other ‘churches.’

The first and most important point is to “Never disdain or discourage any vocation” to monasticism, the priesthood or any clerical office. To do so will hinder the call of God in that person’s life.

Archimandrite Sergius secondly encourages pilgrimages to monasteries to benefit from the spiritual atmosphere there and, finally, to be inspired by the example of prayer that monasteries set for the Church.

Monasticism effects the entire Church:

We, as members of Christ’s body, can and must support the building and growth of monasteries and monastic vocations. By so doing, we invest in the well-being and preservation of the Church as well as in the “churching” of America. Through the monasteries, organic Orthodox life will grow and flourish, and acting like a catalyst, it will empower and inspire local parishioners to give more of their own hearts and lives to God and to prayer. The power that emanates from a monastery is not only real and tangible, it is intensely powerful, life-creating and life-changing.

PDF Version • Audio Version (MP3)

The full text of Fr. Sergius’ address is below:
Continue reading “Monasticism and the Church”