Thursday, June 28, 2007

MD gets a monastery?

Every now and then I check online to see if I can find any information about an Orthodox monastery nearby. By "nearby" I mean, closer than three hours away. There's none in DC, none in DE, a couple in WV, but too far away to be of much use, a schismatic one in NJ (still pretty far, though), and another in VA. MD appears to have one women's monastery in Baltimore that receives no visitors--nice to have their prayers, but otherwise not of much immediate use. There are monasteries in PA and NY--some in NYC might be a touch closer (and now that I think about it, perhaps easier to get to by train), but otherwise the closest and most accessible are three (women's) to four (men's) hours away in PA. St. Tikhon's falls in this category, and with its long heritage and prominence in America, it's probably the best candidate for any kind of visit (it happens to be where we have our men's retreat each year during Lent), but a four-hour drive does tend to make prohibitive anything more than a once-a-year pilgrimage.

Well, yesterday I checked the usual listings and saw nothing encouraging. As a last attempt, I Googled "orthodox monastery md" and ran across a very brief news item about a monastery ground-breaking. A bit more specific searching brought up a longer piece, but still without much detail. The GOA Metropolitan of NJ broke ground barely two months ago on a monastery and retreat center in Emmitsburg, MD--a little over an hour away! The article talks mainly about the retreat center aspect of it, so I have no idea who's starting the monastic community or when. There are some good Greek monasteries around the country, though, so one can hope that this new establishment will follow a high standard.

1 comment:

Trevor said...

I tried contacting the Met's office to see if I could get more info (like, who's starting the monastic community, and when do they expect it to be ready for visitors). It took a while to get an e-mail back, which was fairly unhelpful when it came. It confirmed what I already knew and offered no new information. Well, at least I made the attempt . . .