A Traditional Orthodox Women's Monastery
Orthodox Church in AmericaDiocese of the South

Saint Seraphim of SarovAbout Monasticism

The monastery is a place set apart from the life of the world, yet located in the world. A place where monastics gather that have dedicated their life to the love and service of God and their neighbor.

In the daily cycle of prayer, work, and service to God and man, the monk attracts and seeks to acquire the grace of God. In simplicity and silence, living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the monastery becomes a spiritual haven for others to receive "a drink of water" in the name of Jesus Christ.

As visitors come and are renewed by stepping away from their world for a short time, they in turn take the grace they have received into the world they live and share this blessing from God.

Elder Paisios

"The monk flees far from the world, not because he detests the world, but because he loves the world and in this way he is better able to help the world through his prayer, in things that don't happen humanly but only through divine intervention. In this way God saves the world."

St. Seraphim on Monastacism

"Lay people must also honour monasticism in heart and in deed, so as to be able at least in some measure to partake of the grace of monasticism through others. To this end Father Seraphim advised people to give alms to Monasteries or to work for them."

(St. Seraphim of Sarov - A Spiritual Biography, Archimandrite Lazarus Moore, New Sarov Press, 1994, p. 261.)

St. John Crysostom on Monastacism

"For even one dwelling in a city may imitate the self-denial of the monks; yea, one who has a wife, and is busied in a household, may pray, and fast, and learn compunction. Since they also, who at the first were instructed by the apostles, though they dwelt in cities, yet showed forth the piety of the occupiers of the deserts: and others again who had to rule over workshops, as Priscilla and Aquila."

(St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew, Homily 55.)

Becoming A Monastic

A Home For Monastics

The Ladder of Divine AscentThe monastery is a place set apart from the life of the world, yet located in the world.  A place where monastics gather that have dedicated their life to the love and service of God and their neighbor.  In the daily cycle of prayer, work, and service to God and man, the monk attracts and seeks to acquire the grace of God.  In simplicity and silence, living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the monastery becomes a spiritual haven for others to receive "a drink of water" in the name of Jesus Christ.  As visitors come and are renewed by stepping away from their world for a short time, they in turn take the grace they have received into the world they live and share this blessing from God.

May the Lord direct your steps... As you read these very thought provoking articles in this area of the website. Several pieces are taken from the website at St. Seraphim Cathedral located in Dallas Texas. Others are excerpts from Holy men of the Orthodox faith at St. Tikhons Monastery, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah, and Archpriest Steven Kosthoff. For many who have for years been interested in finding out more about Monasticism in the Holy Orthodox Faith, this will provide an excellent academic portrayal of history, words from many of the Holy Orthodox Fathers, and explanations about different types of Monasteries found in the Tradition of our faith, and may help to provide a foundation to consider the role of the Monastic.

We must make note that in Orthodoxy monasticism embraces both men and women. The general rules for the organization of monastic life, the Monastic Grades, Tonsure, Habit, and the like,  are the same for all monastics, and the goals and aspirations of monastic life likewise are the same for both men and women. Customarily, female monastics are styled Nuns and their monasteries Convents, and as the Monks are addressed as Brother or Father, so too, the Nuns are addressed as Sister or Mother. The Superior of a Convent is entitled Abbess (Igumena in Russian)

If you have questions regarding becoming a Monk/Nun, or if you are interested in arranging a personal retreat to the Nativity Of Our Lord Jesus Christ Monastery, please contact Father John Anderson Rector at St. Seraphim Cathedral for suggestions and guidance. You may also complete the Contact Us Form Here.

The nuns here encourage you to first speak with your parish priest if you are interested in finding out more about the Monastic lifestyle. Together with your Bishop, priest, and through your own personal prayers, our hope is that you will clearly hear the direction of the Lord for your life.

The monastic call and vocation is seen to be a radical embracing of Christ's words, "Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, and follow Me" (Mt 19:21). The monk or nun takes lifelong vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Monastic communities, while made up of those who have renounced the world, open their enclosure to those from the world who seek peace, spiritual counsel, and 'times of refreshing from the Lord'. The virtue of Hospitality is taken very seriously by monasteries, which are often known for their inviting guest houses and for feeding their guests. One can seek spiritual guidance from the elders or eldresses at a monastery, as well as be renewed through the sacraments of confession and communion. Thus the ties of a parish to one or more nearby monasteries often says something about the makeup of the parish, and its overall spiritual tone and vibrancy.


References :

Archpriest Steven Kosthoff

Excerpt taken from "These Truths We Hold - The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teachings". Compiled and Edited by A Monk of St. Tikhon's Monastery. Copyright 1986 by the St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, South Canaan, Pennsylvania 18459. 

Building Orthodox Monastacism In Modern America 2012, His Beatitude Metropolitan Jonah