Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City PA

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Updated Nov. 29, 2016 (most recent at top).

The Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration is a monastery for women under the jurisdiction of The Orthodox Church in America. Next year (2017) will mark the fiftieth anniversary of its founding in 1967 by Mother Alexandra (the former Princess Ileana of Romania) whose dream it was to provide a place where American Orthodox women from all ethnic backgrounds could come to live the monastic life and benefit from a liturgical cycle in English.

Since that time, Mother Alexandra’s vision has been fulfilled. The nuns, many of whom are converts to Orthodoxy, as well as the monastery’s many visitors, span a variety of backgrounds, and the monastery attracts a great number of non-Orthodox visitors as well.

I enjoyed a unique weekend, especially quiet as I was the only guest, and was treated to the Sisterhood’s renowned hospitality.

Learn more through these links:

October 2016:

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September 2016:

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The Sisterhood, Afterfeast of the Nativity of the Mother of God

 

 

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The Monastic Choir
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Censing the Ellwood City Mother of God icon

 

 

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Monastery entrance at dusk

 

 

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Visitors immediately feel welcomed upon entering…
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Candles and prayer commemorations at left, with the main chapel entrance directly ahead.

 

 

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Synaxis of the Healing Saints, with the Monastery’s reliquary.
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Detail of the Reliquary

 

 

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Diesis Fresco in the extended nave, main chapel…
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An especially beautiful Extreme Humility Icon Fresco, main chapel.
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St Mary of Egypt, with Scenes from her Life.

 

 

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The new chapel, especially for the nuns for special services. When a nun is tonsured, she remains in the chapel for a week…
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Right kliros and chanter’s stand in the new chapel.
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Visitors are anointed following the Divine Liturgy.
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Mother Abbess Christophora and the Sisters ask and exchange forgiveness following the Vigil.

 

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The extended nave of the main chapel. Wide view.
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Another view, with close-up view of the stasidi (monastic stalls), with seats that tilt up, out of the way for standing, or lower for a seated position.
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This special alcove dedicated to the memory of the Monastery’s foundress, Mother Alexandra, features her staff, chair, and photos.
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Bright and open sitting areas invite guests to peaceful reflection…
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The extensive library offers a wide range of reading material. This is one of the older portions of the monastery complex.
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A collection of bright, unique Romanian icons in the library.

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