Photo: – 26/1/17

With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, plans are underway to open a new Western Rite monastery in Louisiana.

As Archpriest Mark Rowe, Dean of ROCOR Western Rite communities, writes, the monastery will be in the Benedictine tradition, under the patronage of Our Lady and St. John the Forerunner and Baptist, and under the abbacy of Hieromonk Ezekiel (Vieages), tonsured by Met. Hilarion in December, 2014.

Monastery plans include monastic housing, guest cells, a full chapel and refectory and cemetery. There is to be a convent-metochion attached as well, named in honor of St. Mary Magdalene. There are currently two nuns, Mother Barbara and Mother Cecilia.

Hopes are to develop a place of spiritual renewal, and a location for ordinations, retreats, seminars, etc.

ROCOR’s Western Rite aims to respond to the desire of those Western Christians seeking to re-establish the pre-schism Western Church, and who may not otherwise unite themselves to the Orthodox Church due to the uniqueness of the Eastern Rite or ethnic cultures. Currently there are twenty-five parishes and eight monasteries within the Western Rite communites.

Fr. Mark writes: “This is a huge project, and we ask you undergird this project with prayer, fasting and almsgiving to reach its potential… Please, of your Christian Charity, consider a gift today to start the building fund.”

Donations earmarked for the monastery can be made via Paypal at the ROCOR Western Rite site.