Holy Cross Monastery

Castro Valley, California

Holy Cross Monastery

Founded 2006

Diocese: Bulgarian Diocese

Deanery: Bulgarian Diocese Chancery

Address

34580 Palomares Rd
Castro Valley, California 94552-9622

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

http://www.holycrossmonastery.org

Office: 510-581-2778

Fax: 510-581-3836

Parish Contacts

Archimandrite Theodor (Micka)
[Abbot]
Rev. Hieromonk Stephen (Scott)
[Acting Abbot]
Rev. Hieromonk Peter (Didun)
[Priest]
Rev. John Beal
[Attached]

Directions

General Location
Holy Cross Monastery is located about one hour southeast of San Francisco, California and about a half hour northeast of Silicon Valley. For maps and detailed directions from different areas, please see: http://www.holycrossmonastery.org/about-us/directions/directio.htm

From San Francisco
Cross the Bay Bridge and take 580 Freeway south through Oakland (toward Castro Valley and Tracy/Stockton). After passing through Oakland, stay in the left lanes as you follow 580 Freeway through San Leandro toward Tracy/Stockton. Continue on 580 Freeway through Castro Valley until you are out of town and into the country. Take the Eden Canyon\Palomares Road Exit. (This is the first exit after the Center Street exit and there is only one off ramp). As you come down the off ramp you will come to a stop sign. Turn right (away from Freeway), cross one road, and then turn left onto Palomares Road. (There is an old barn on the corner with the words “SPARK STOVES” painted on its side). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will begin with “0.00” and gradually increase. The Monastery is opposite the “6.58” marker, about a mile past the summit. Watch for our high walls and large (brown and white) vertical address sign on the left hand side: 34580. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

From San Francisco Airport and the Northern Peninsula
Take 101 Freeway south toward San Jose. In San Mateo, take 92 Freeway Exit to San Mateo/Hayward Bridge east toward Hayward. After crossing the bridge into Hayward, take 880 Freeway south toward San Jose. In Union City (just a few exits south) take the Alvarado-Niles Road exit. Turn left (over the freeway) at the light at the end of the off ramp onto Alvarado-Niles Road. Continue on Alvarado-Niles Road through Union City into Fremont. After passing through the old Niles district, the road will turn sharply leftward under a railroad bridge. Move into the left lane and cross Mission Blvd. After crossing Mission Blvd, Alvarado-Niles Road becomes Niles Canyon Road (Highway 84). Continue on Niles Canyon Road (Highway 84) for about 2 miles, with the river to your right. You will go under one railroad bridge and soon thereafter will see two flashing yellow lights overhead with a yellow sign that indicates a road to the left. Immediately put on your left-hand turn signal and turn left onto Palomares Road (just before a railroad bridge). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will start around “9.6” and gradually decrease, as will the address numbers on the mailboxes. The Monastery is near just before the “6.58” marker, about 3 miles into the canyon. Watch for high walls and our large (brown and white) vertical address sign “34580” on the right hand side. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

From Palo Alto
Take Dumbarton Bridge east toward Union City. After crossing the Bay, the Freeway becomes Decoto Road. Continue on Decoto Road (toward hills) over 880 Freeway and through Union City until you come to Alvarado-Niles Road (a major intersection with 2 gas stations and a Taco Bell on the corners) and turn right. Continue on Alvarado-Niles Road through Union City into Fremont. After passing through the old Niles district, the road will turn sharply leftward under a railroad bridge. Move into the left lane and cross Mission Blvd. After crossing Mission Blvd, Alvarado-Niles Road becomes Niles Canyon Road (Highway 84). Continue on Niles Canyon Road (Highway 84) for about 2 miles, with the river to your right. You will go under one railroad bridge and soon thereafter will see two flashing yellow lights overhead with a yellow sign that indicates a road to the left. Immediately put on your left-hand turn signal and turn left onto Palomares Road (just before a railroad bridge). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will start around “9.6” and gradually decrease, as will the address numbers on the mailboxes. The Monastery is just before the “6.58” marker, about 3 miles into the canyon. Watch for high walls and our large (brown and white) vertical address sign “34580” on the right hand side. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

From the Silicon Valley
Take 101 Freeway south toward San Jose. In San Mateo, take 92 Freeway Exit to San Mateo/Hayward Bridge east toward Hayward. After crossing the bridge into Hayward, take 880 Freeway south toward San Jose. In Union City (just a few exits south) take the Alvarado-Niles Road exit. Turn left (over the freeway) at the light at the end of the off ramp onto Alvarado-Niles Road. Continue on Alvarado-Niles Road through Union City into Fremont. After passing through the old Niles district, the road will turn sharply leftward under a railroad bridge. Move into the left lane and cross Mission Blvd. After crossing Mission Blvd, Alvarado-Niles Road becomes Niles Canyon Road (Highway 84). Continue on Niles Canyon Road (Highway 84) for about 2 miles, with the river to your right. You will go under one railroad bridge and soon thereafter will see two flashing yellow lights overhead with a yellow sign that indicates a road to the left. Immediately put on your left-hand turn signal and turn left onto Palomares Road (just before a railroad bridge). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will start around “9.6” and gradually decrease, as will the address numbers on the mailboxes. The Monastery is near just before the “6.58” marker, about 3 miles into the canyon. Watch for high walls and our large (brown and white) vertical address sign “34580” on the right hand side. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

From Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro
Take 580 Freeway south (toward Castro Valley and Tracy/Stockton). Stay in left lanes as you follow 580 Freeway through San Leandro toward Tracy/Stockton. Continue on 580 Freeway through Castro Valley until you are out of town and into the country. Take the Eden Canyon\Palomares Road Exit. (This is the first exit after the Center Street exit and there is only one off ramp). As you come down the off ramp you will come to a stop sign. Turn right (away from Freeway), cross one road, and then turn left onto Palomares Road. (There is an old barn on the corner with the words “SPARK STOVES” painted on its side). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will begin with “0.00” and gradually increase. The Monastery is opposite the “6.58” marker, about a mile past the summit. Watch for our high walls and large (brown and white) vertical address sign on the left hand side: 34580. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

From the Oakland Airport and Alameda
Take 880 Freeway south (toward San Jose). Stay in right lanes as you follow Freeway until you see the exit sign for 580 Freeway toward Castro Valley and Tracy/Stockton. Continue on 580 Freeway through Castro Valley until you are out of town and into the country. Take the Eden Canyon\Palomares Road Exit. (This is the first exit after the Center Street exit and there is only one off ramp). As you come down the off ramp you will come to a stop sign. Turn right (away from Freeway), cross one road, and then turn left onto Palomares Road. (There is an old barn on the corner with the words “SPARK STOVES” painted on its side). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will begin with “0.00” and gradually increase. The Monastery is opposite the “6.58” marker, about a mile past the summit. Watch for our high walls and large (brown and white) vertical address sign on the left hand side: 34580. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

From Pleasanton, Livermore and Tracy
From Tracy or Livermore, take 580 Freeway west (toward Castro Valley, Oakland and San Francisco). After the 580/680 interchange in Dublin, continue to follow 580 Freeway past one more exit and over the summit. After a few miles, you will come to the next exit: Eden Canyon/Palomares Road. As you come down the off ramp you will come to a stop sign. Turn left (under Freeway). After passing under the Freeway and coming to a stop sign, cross one road travel a short distance, and then turn left onto Palomares Road. (There is an old barn on the corner with the words “SPARK STOVES” painted on its side). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will begin with “0.00” and gradually increase. The Monastery is opposite the “6.58” marker, about a mile past the summit. Watch for our high walls and large (brown and white) vertical address sign on the left hand side: 34580. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

From Walnut Creek and Sacramento
From Sacramento, take 80 Freeway toward San Francisco and, after passing through Vacaville, take 680 Freeway south (toward Walnut Creek, Pleasanton and San Jose). From Walnut Creek, take 680 Freeway south (toward Pleasanton and San Jose). At the 680/580 interchange in Dublin, take 580 Freeway west (toward Castro Valley and Oakland/San Francisco). Stay in right lanes as you follow 580 Freeway past one exit and over the summit. After a few miles, you will come to the next exit: Eden Canyon/Palomares Road. As you come down the off ramp you will come to a stop sign. Turn left (under Freeway). After passing under the Freeway and coming to a stop sign, cross one road travel a short distance, and then turn left onto Palomares Road. (There is an old barn on the corner with the words “SPARK STOVES” painted on its side). As you drive on Palomares Road, watch the little white mileage markers on the right hand side of the road. They will begin with “0.00” and gradually increase. The Monastery is opposite the “6.58” marker, about a mile past the summit. Watch for our high walls and large (brown and white) vertical address sign on the left hand side: 34580. Come down the asphalt driveway to the bottom and make a sharp right, turning up toward the Monastery (white stucco with clay tile roof). Do not cross the bridges over the creek.

Schedule of Services

The clergy of our monastery serve under the omophorion of Archbishop Kyrill, who shepherds the OCA Archdiocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio. Services are usually conducted in the languages best understood by those worshipping with the Fathers, who can conduct services in Romanian, Slavonic (“Old Bulgarian”), Greek, or English as the need arises.

6:00 PM Great Vespers.  (The time for Vespers is subject to change. Please call ahead at 510-581-2778)
Saturday Evening

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy (preceded at 9:30 AM by the recitation of the First and Third Hours)
Sunday Morning

Please respect the sacred solitude and quietude of the cloister and contact the Fathers before visiting at other times.  Liturgical offices are reserved for the monks and may be attended by special arrangement.  Services which are open to the general public are listed above.
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Parish Background

The Orthodox Church traces its history back to the original Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Church of the apostles, of the martyrs, and of the early Christians. Orthodoxia is a Greek word meaning “correct praise” or “correct teaching” and the Orthodox Church considers itself to be the bearer of ancient Christian Tradition.

Monasticism itself arose out of this spiritual fervor and devotion of the early Christian Church. The monastic life has always been an honored path for men and women to “deny themselves, take up their cross” and follow the Lord by devoting their lives to Him and becoming monks or nuns. (cf. Matthew 16:24). Taking vows of personal poverty, chastity, obedience and stability, they seek spiritual perfection by leading lives pleasing to Christ. In their imperfect way, they strive to serve him with a three-fold service of prayer, work and study. (For more on the origins of monasticism, see Come, Follow Me.)

Holy Cross Monastery began with our Abbot. He always dreamed of founding a Monastery one day for the greater glory of God. In 1965, while he was very young and after he had been ordained as a priest for just one year, his devout mother suddenly and unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord. He was an only son, so his mother left her inheritance to him; since she knew of his holy intention to build a Monastery one day.

This legacy from his mother was the seed from which Holy Cross Monastery would one day take root, but it was not enough to acquire property suitable for a monastery. So he labored in the Lord’s vineyard as a parish priest until he met his first disciple in 1970.

When he heard this young man talk about his interest in pursuing the monastic life, he asked him if he would be interested in helping him build a monastery. “The days when emperors, tsars, or kings will build monasteries for us are past,” he said. “If we want a monastery, we shall have to build one ourselves.” It was then, in 1970, that they made their holy vow that one day, by the grace of God, they would build a monastery together dedicated to the Holy Cross.

It took the monks nine additional years to save enough money to buy property suitable for a monastery, and then, in 1979, with the blessing of their diocesan bishop, they purchased a rural estate that would eventually be consecrated as Holy Cross Monastery. The monks themselves have performed most of the labor that has transfigured this rustic property into a frontier of Paradise. They have also stacked every stone in our retaining walls and planted the trees in the cloister precincts. The majestic Redwood trees that tower behind our cross shrine were planted by the Fathers themselves from one-gallon cans in 1980, during the first summer following their arrival here.

Holy Cross Monastery exists by the grace of God and through the hard work and professional employment of its monks. Although friends and supporters have given and continue to give donations to help further the Fathers’ holy work, the Monastery is self-supporting. The monks have never sent out appeals for donations and have never even passed a collection plate in their Monastery chapel. Whatever friends, supporters, and visitors have ever given of their own free will has been gratefully and humbly accepted and used for the greater glory of God by the monks.

Holy Cross Monastery serves Orthodox Christians of all ethnic backgrounds and all cultural traditions. Services are predominantly celebrated in English, but are often also heard in Romanian, Slavonic (Old Bulgarian), and Greek. Many Romanian and Bulgarian Orthodox Christians regularly attend services at the monastery. Orthodox faithful of all backgrounds come here for weddings, baptisms, and other sacramental blessings. Elegant dining space and a covered portico are available for receptions. The Fathers do their utmost to make every visitor feel that their monastic dwelling is a spiritual home to anyone who comes to them for spiritual nourishment.

Holy Cross Monastery exists as a haven of spiritual tranquility, tolerance and kindness, not only for the local owls, deer, foxes, and raccoons, but for all who come to partake of the Monastery’s peace and befriend the Fathers. The beauty and harmony of the Monastery and its environs speak for themselves and speak to the soul and heart of anyone who loves God, humankind, and nature.

Our Lord said: “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). In this tumultuous and tempestuous world, the Lord has few places in which to lay His holy head. Monasteries provide the Lord with sanctuaries of calm and quietude, where He can rest His holy head and where those who seek Him and love Him can embrace Him. God resides and dwells among us here at Holy Cross Monastery, where the monks strive and struggle in their imperfect way to serve His every need.