Alaska’s annual St. Herman Pilgrimage includes Liturgy on Spruce Island

Alaska. St Herman. Pilgrimage. How I yearn for this!

Here is a great video of a recent St Herman Pilgrimage. Scroll down for the news announcement from the OCA website.

Alaska’s 47th annual St. Herman Pilgrimage to be held August 7-9

OCA.org, June 22, 2017:

Hundreds of faithful are expected to participate in the 47th annual Saint Herman Pilgrimage to Spruce Island, home of North America’s first saint, August 7-9, 2017.

Continue reading “Alaska’s annual St. Herman Pilgrimage includes Liturgy on Spruce Island”

‘Atlas of American Orthodox Monasteries’ now available in digital format for free

I have been using this outstanding book as a resource in planning my travels for the North American Thebaid Photographic Pilgrimage since the Atlas’s publication at the start of 2016, and downloaded this digital edition onto my iPad immediately after it was announced. The linked table of contents makes navigation a delight, and the ability to search the text likewise makes this an even more powerful tool than the already excellent print edition. Once you download the PDF file, you can easily import it into your Kindle or iBooks library, or most other ebook readers.

I have always felt the timing of the Atlas to be uncanny, as I had begun planning the NA Thebaid Project almost a full year before Krindatch’s Atlas was published. Now this digital edition comes out just as I am resuming travel and photography after a brief hiatus.

Our twin efforts clearly herald a growing vibrancy in and awareness of Orthodox Christian monasticism in the USA and Canada, and my hope is that the Atlas, the North American Thebaid Project (and the finished Thebaid book, due in Autumn 2018), and similar future efforts, will help inspire Orthodox monastic vocations, as well as draw spiritual seekers to the Orthodox Church, inviting them to “come and see” the ancient and timeless Christian Faith, which was “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Atlas of American Orthodox Monasteries Electronic Edition is Now Available

Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, June 12, 2017:

The electronic version of the widely popular Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Monasteries has been released by the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA and made available free of charge to everyone. The PDF file with the Atlas can be downloaded free of charge here. The hard copy of the Atlas can be purchased directly from the publisher, Holy Cross Orthodox Press.

Drawing on extensive research, as well as fascinating stories and insider information, the Atlas offers readers:

  • A scholarly introduction into traditions of Eastern Christian monasticism and a history of Orthodox monasteries in America
  • A full and comprehensive directory of 80 American Orthodox Christian monasteries
  • An enticing travel guide for those seeking to visit American monasteries and to “sample” monastic life.

In addition, twenty-two featured monasteries share their personal stories and offer a glimpse into the surprising spiritual appeal of monastic life in 21st century America.

Edited by Alexei Krindatch. 150 pages of text are accompanied by four sets of color maps and more than one hundred photographs depicting everyday life in US Orthodox monasteries. The full table of contents is provided below. Continue reading “‘Atlas of American Orthodox Monasteries’ now available in digital format for free”

Upcoming Monastery Visits

The North American Thebaid Pilgrimage continues, with visits confirmed at Hermitage of the Holy Cross (ROCOR) in Wayne WV, Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery (OCA) in Otego NY, and Holy Trinity Monastery (ROCOR) in Jordanville NY. A brief return visit to the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City PA is also planned.

I’m busy with continued scheduling for monasteries, and for parish presentations, so watch for more news soon.

You can see the upcoming dates in the right hand panel here at Thebaid.org. I would appreciate your prayers both for safe travel and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

As a special treat, here is the outstanding film on Orthodox Monasticism produced by the Hermitage of the Holy Cross several years ago, From the Little Mountain:

 

To view more videos on Orthodox Monasticism in North America and around the globe, visit the Thebaid Video page…

 

First Photo Gallery: St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery

The first gallery of photographs from the North American Thebaid Project is online, featuring some four dozen images taken at St Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan PA.

img_0095Captions to follow, but you can get nearly a virtual tour of the monastery, and a real inside look at monastic life, including the divine services, veneration of icons and relics of saints, the monks living quarters and dining room (trapeza) and more.

Also featured are links to learn more about St Tikhon’s Monastery, including videos and helpful instructions for visitors.

Proceed to the St Tikhon’s Gallery, and watch for posting soon of my photographs from Holy Transfiguration in Ellwood City PA, as well as upcoming itinerary…

First Monastery Photographs

My first two monastery visits went very well, with moments of quiet and wonder, and some good photographs to begin the North American Thebaid collection.

Apologies for the lapse in postings, but my internet access has been greatly limited while traveling, and I am only now set up wth my new home-base wifi solution in Cincinnati.

I’m including some select images with this post, but promise to have actual galleries up very soon as I finish some initial editing and uploading.

Heartfelt thanks for all the prayers and support. Watch for more updates tomorrow and forward…

St Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery, South Canaan PA

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Continue reading “First Monastery Photographs”

The Itinerary

The height and breadth of North America takes away one’s breath, when one considers it all. Even more breathtaking is the breadth of places where Orthodox monasticism is taking root.

Below is my proposed itinerary, to give you an idea of the many monasteries planted across the USA and Canada, from Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans.

Someone recently asked me if I will be “following the seasons.” Great question, and  I certainly am! I plan to include Alberta, Canada and Alaska in the Summer months, the Southwest and Southeast in the Winter, and so forth.

There are already changes being made — including additions and deletions — and some sections will be broken up into several excursions. But the general idea is here.

I hope also to schedule parish presentations along the way, and am already off to a good start in that regard, as you can see from the Thebaid Calendar in the right side bar. If you are interested in having me give a slide show & presentation on the Thebaid Project at your parish, please contact Orthodox Speakers Bureau, who are kindly handling all my booking arrangements.

I hope you enjoy this look at one of the guiding documents of the Thebaid Project, which has been updated several times since I first began preparing it almost a year ago.

Northeast: PA/NY/Nova Scotia/Ontario:

Northeast-PA-NY-NovaScotia-Ontario-new

1. Monastery of the Transfiguration (OCA), Ellwood City PA; ~ 310 mi, 5 hrs, from Cincinnati

2. Nativity of the Theotokos (GOA), Saxonburg PA; ~ 40 mi, 50 min, from #1

3. St Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery (OCA), Waymart PA; ~ 300 mi, 5 hrs, from #2

4. New Diveyevo Monastery (ROCOR), Nanuet NY; ~ 110 mi, 2 hrs from #3

5. Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery (OCA), Otego NY; ~ 140 mi, 2.5 hrs, from #4

6. Holy Trinity Monastery (ROCOR), Jordanville NY; ~45 mi, 1 hour from #5

7. New Skete (OCA), Cambridge NY; ~ 95 mi, 2 hrs from #6

8. Hermitage of the Annunciation (OCA), Watford, Nova Scotia, Canada; ~ 660 mi, 13 hrs from #7

9. Hermitage of St Anthony the Great (OCA), Westport, Ontario, Canada; ~ 1020 mi, 16 hours from #8

11. St Kosmas Aitolos Monastery (GOA), Bolton, Ont. CA; ~ 211 mi, 3.5 hrs from #10

TOTAL MILES: ~ 2800 mi. one-way 

Continue reading “The Itinerary”

Preparing for Pilgrimage: St Tikhon’s Monastery, Part 1

With real joy and thanksgiving, but also with not a little fear and trembling, I realized today that I leave for the first leg of the North American Thebaid Pilgrimage in less than a week and a half…

This is a powerful awareness. I feel as if my life may change forever through this venture. I certainly hope it does, that as a pilgrim first, I may grow closer to the Lord, repent more, pray well, and, God willing, make some good photographs for the Thebaid Project.

The first monastery I am visiting is St Tikhon’s, in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, from September 6-8. Below is a look at America’s oldest monastery, featuring an interview done with Fr. Abbot Sergius in 2009.

I ask your prayers and support as I prepare to begin my pilgrimage…

 

First Monastery Visits Scheduled for September

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Patronal Feast of St Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery, August 2013 (photo from St Tikhon’s website).

The actual travel and photography for the North American Thebaid Project is set to begin in early September, three weeks ahead of schedule. So far, this first leg of the pilgrimage includes:

Continue reading “First Monastery Visits Scheduled for September”