My first visit to the Hermitage of the Holy Cross was in late October 2016. The images I made during that brief stay reflect my “get acquainted” purpose, as I was given a tour of the grounds, entered into the rhythm of life at the monastery, and looked for general views to photograph. I plan to return during different seasons to more fully explore life at this thriving monastery.
From the Holy Cross website:
Holy Cross Monastery is an English-speaking monastery under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the Diocese of Eastern America & New York. The abbot and confessor of the monastery is Archimandrite Seraphim.
Holy Cross is a growing monastery consisting of more than two dozen monks, novices, candidates and layworkers, many of whom are converts to the Orthodox Faith. The monastery community is comprised of both seasoned monks, who have lived very full monastic lives for decades, and many younger monks who have brought to the monastery a youthful vigor and energy. The average age of the monks at the Hermitage is 39.
Holy Cross Monastery is located on 180 acres of land in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. The surrounding hills and forests provide the monastery with seclusion from the distractions and temptations of the world, as well as a daily reminder of the beauty of God’s creation. These two aspects of our physical setting help to lead us to prayer.
Photographs from my first pilgrimage to the Hermitage of the Holy Cross, October 2016: