I made my first pilgrimage to this newly established monastery in the Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese on September 26-29, and felt very much at home in the beautiful and peaceful natural surroundings, and in their healthy balance of prayer, work, stillness, and quiet fellowship.
Founded in 2014 in the rural countryside of northwest Missouri, Holy Archangel Michael Skete is a convenient drive from numerous cities across Midwestern America, and already has established strong relationships with parishes and monasteries in several Orthodox jurisdictions in the region.
From the Skete’s website:
Thanks to the mercies of our Kind Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, the prayers and sacrificial gifts of many, we acquired a property that included a total of 80-acres, with 15-acres of farmable pasture, 65-acres of forest, trails, and ponds, and 7 well-built structures. Since closing on the property on October 14, 2014, our mortgage has gone from $387,000 to $268,301 (as of 4/18/17), thanks to the assistance of many with down payment and monthly donations.
At the monastery, we have:
Daily cycle of Church Services, praying for benefactors and many in need
St. Gabriel Orthodox Cemetery on one acre of monastery land with four buried here.
Pilgrims visiting each month (mostly from the Greater Kansas City area, but others from Des Moines, Omaha, Lincoln, St. Louis, Denver, Idaho, Alaska, and as far away as Eritrea, Ethiopia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, and Russia).
Retreats from parish groups.
Prayer walks though the trails
Prayer ropes, and wooden prayer beads made from monastery trees (made by the sisters)
Additionally, with the help of volunteers and some contract labor, we have:
Added a new barn/shed, and a new greenhouse
Cleared and prepared a two-acre vineyard (Vines will be planted in May!)
Started a new beehive
Planted ancient emmer wheat (supposedly gluten intolerant diets are able to eat it!)
Discovered wonderful morel mushrooms!
So, “slowly, slowly” things are growing! For regular updates, see our Featured Posts. We continue to look for those who would like to join us in prayer, farming, woodworking, herbal remedies, and to volunteer in helping to build the monastery! Our prayer is that by visiting this website, you can catch a glimpse of a new beginning. Perhaps what you will take away is simply to do your part “not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good” (St. Paul to the Romans 12:21). Peace to you and yours.
The Superior, Hieromonk Alexii, has set the tone for this “new beginning” through special emphasis on life in harmony with nature, and in active ways of reconciling all things in Christ, such as through participation in the annual St Moses the Black Conference. Explore the Skete website for more info, and consider purchasing Fr Alexii’s book, Reflections on Nature in These Times.
Another excerpt from the website:
We’re honored that you’ve visited the website for Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete located in Weatherby, Missouri! Take your time to discover beauty, goodness, and truth. We believe that these trails ultimately will lead you to the most wonderful of human experiences: inner freedom!
Surrounded by the beauty of nature, the music of the trees, the songs of the birds, and the presence of our Creator in nature, our souls have a chance to catch their breath.
We are two communities serving God as one, Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete (led by Hieromonk Alexii) and St. Xenia Sisterhood (led by Abbess Brigid). The brotherhood has two monks and one novice; and the sisterhood has three nuns and one novice.
Scroll down for a photo gallery from my blessed visit at this haven of peace and inner healing.
Trails and Gardens
Work and Prayer