St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina CA

One of the most significant and beloved monasteries in North America, St. Herman’s was founded as a missionary brotherhood in 1963 by Eugene Rose and Gleb Podmoshensky. In 1965 the Brotherhood, with the blessing of Archbishop John Maximovitch of San Francisco (who was glorified as a saint in 1994), began publishing a journal, The Orthodox Word (now in its 53rd year of operation), with their mission “to bring the richness of the Orthodox Faith and tradition to the English-speaking world.”

  • Part 1 of my extensive photo gallery from St Herman of Alaska Monastery is below. I hope to post Part 2 before the end of September 2018.

North American Thebaid Photographic Pilgrimage

Being at St. Herman’s is like being in another world, another time. The rustic accommodations and rigorous worship schedule of the monks, coupled with their warm hospitality and care for pilgrims and visitors, envelopes one in a healthy simplicity of essential, intentional Christian living.


From the Atlas of American Orthodox Monasteries:

The St. Herman brotherhood views itself as monastic community in the Russian tradition (with especially strong ties to traditions of monasticism in Northern Russia). At the same time, it is an entirely English speaking community, and all monks are American-born converts to Orthodoxy.

St. Herman Monastery is primarily known through its publications. The brotherhood prints original books, translates major Orthodox works into English, and publishes the bimonthly English-language periodical The Orthodox Word and the annual Saint Herman Church Calendar (the last is regarded as one of the most comprehensive listings of saints associated with each day of the year).

The monastery was founded in 1963 by two laymen, Gleb Podmoshensky (later Fr. Herman) and Eugene Rose (later Fr. Seraphim), with the blessing of St. John (Maximovitch), archbishop of San Francisco (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia). Originally it was a lay brotherhood, dedicated to spreading the Orthodox Christian faith to American seekers. In 1969, with a vision of establishing a missionary monastery, the brotherhood acquired land near the town of Platina in the mountains of Northern California and moved there.

The writings of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose)—one of the brotherhood’s cofounders—are greatly respected in Orthodox Churches throughout the world (especially his books The Soul after Death and Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future) and have been translated into twelve languages.

Unlike most US Orthodox monasteries, St. Herman is a truly “rustic” and intentionally austere place. The only electricity source is solar batteries, and electric lights are installed only in the church and trapeza (dining hall). It is twenty-five miles from the nearest cell phone signal, and there is no Internet access. St. Herman of Alaska attracts significant number of Orthodox pilgrims and other visitors.


St Herman’s Gallery, Part 1: