Former Byzantine Catholic Monastery received into Orthodox Faith

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, received two monastic priests and three novices from the former Eastern Rite Catholic Monastery of the Holy Cross here into the Orthodox Faith during a visit October 27 and 28, 2003.

With the acceptance of the monastery and its brotherhood into the Orthodox Faith, the monastery was rededicated in honor of the Protection of the Virgin Mary.

In March 2003, Metropolitan Herman received a letter from Archimandrite Gregory [Wendt], the monastery’s abbot, requesting that the brotherhood be received into the Orthodox Church and that the monastery be accepted as a monastery of the Orthodox Church in America. For a number of years, the monastery was within the Ruthenian Byzantine Rite Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, NJ. In response to the petition, and with the concurrance of His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, Metropolitan Herman directed Protopresbyter Robert S. Kondratick and the Very Rev. David Brum to visit the monastery in April. They also visited Holy Cross Academy, a school serving over 300 students operated by the brotherhood, of which Archimandrite Gregory serves as headmaster and president. After conducting a thorough investigation of the monastery, its history, and its brotherhood, Fathers Kondratick and Brum reported that they saw no obstacles to accepting the community into the Orthodox Faith.

After careful scrutiny and further contact with Metropolitan Herman and members of the OCA’s Synodal Administration, members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, at their fall 2003 session, decided to receive the monastery and its brotherhood into the Orthodox Faith.

On October 27, Metropolitan Herman and His Grace, Bishop Mark, retired Bishop of Boston, were welcomed at the monastery by Archimandrite Gregory and the community. After a tour of the monastery grounds and a visit to the academy, the Very Rev. Philip Reese, rector of Miami’s Christ the Savior Cathedral, celebrated Vespers in the monastery chapel, which is adorned with unique frescoes depicting many of Christ’s miracles. During the following morning’s Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Herman received Archimandrite Gregory and the Priestmonk Damian into the Orthodox Faith and tonsured two of the community’s three novices. Clergy and faithful from across the state participated in the Liturgy and reception and warmly welcomed the monastic brotherhood into the Faith.

Photos of Metropolitan Herman’s visit to the monastery may be found on the OCA web site.