Monks of New Skete

Cambridge, New York

Monks of New Skete

Founded 1966

Diocese: Stavropegial Institutions

Deanery: Stavropegial Chapels


250 New Skete Lane
PO Box 128
Cambridge, New York 12816-0128

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

Office: 518-677-3928

Fax: 518-677-2373

Parish Contacts


From NY City and points south
Take the Triboro Bridge to the Bruckner Expressway to Hutchinson Parkway to Rt 684 and 22 north; OR Henry Hudson Parkway to Saw Mill Parkway to Taconic Parkway to 295 east and then 22 north into Cambridge.  Then follow local directions ** below.

From the north
Take the NY State Adirondack Northway, Rt 87, south to exit 14 and east on Rt 29 to Schuylerville and Greenwich, then Rt 372 from Greenwick to Cambridge.  Follow local directions ** below.

From the west
Take Rt 90 east to 87 north and at exit 7 take Rt 7 to Rt 22 north into Cambridge.  Follow Local Directions ** below.

From Vermont
Take Rt 7A to Rt 313 at Arlington and west to Cambridge, then left (east) away from Cambridge on E Main.  See local directions ** below.

From Boston
Take the Mass. Pike to exit 83 in New York State (just after Mass exit 1) for 22 north into Cambridge.  Follow local directions below.

Fromm New Hampshire
Take Rt 9 west to Bennington, then right on 7 to Rt 67A to Rt 22 north, into Cambridge.  Follow local directions ** below.

** Local Directions
In Cambridge, from Rt 22, at the traffic light, head east out of the village on E Main St (Ash Grove Rd).  Nuns are a half mile on the left.  Monks are about 3 miles to Chestnut Hill Rd, turn right for a half mile to New Skete Ln on left, and go a quarter mile up the dirt road.

Schedule of Services

The following services are held in the larger Church (See Directions to “Monks”).

7:15 AM Matins.

5:00 PM Vespers.

5:00 PM Vigil.
Saturday Evening

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy followed by coffee hour and discussion forum (on alternate weeks).
Sunday Morning

9:00 AM Matins.
Sunday Morning

Closed on Mondays.

8:00 AM Matins.
Saturday Morning

5:00 PM Liturgy of the Presanctified Liturgy.  On Wednesday evenings following the Presanctified, simple soup and bread meal with a collection for the local food bank.
Wednesday & Friday Evenings During Great Lent

Vigil is held the night before the feast at tbe usual Vespers time.
Eves of Great Feasts

Feast Days are scheduled as on Sundays.
Mornings of Great Feasts

Confessions are heard upon request, following Vespers on any evening.

Call for Christmas, Theophany and Holy Week Schedules.  You may phone 518-677-3928, fax 518-677-2373, email at or visit our web page at

For group tours of the churches, please contact Brother Stavros; to arrange for overnight accomodations in the guesthouse contact Brother Ambrose. 

Parish Background

Visitors are welcome at the Church services.  During the day they may visit the small temple and gift shops (for food products and religious items).  New Skete provides a setting for the following of the Monastic life of quiet, prayer, work and solitude in a context of permanent religious community.  Visitors are asked to respect the peaceful atmosphere of this rural setting, with its churches and cemetary, and to dress respectfully when attending the church services.  Except for Sunday Liturgy, the monastery is closed to visitors for retreat periods:  the last weeks of February, and from after the Feast of Dormition (Aug 15) to the feast of the Elevation of the Cross (Sept 14).  Please call the monk guestmaster for reservations.  Catalogues are available for Liturgical books and music tapes, and for New Skete Farms food products, including the cheesecakes from New Skete Kitchens, which can be shipped year round.

The New Skete Communities are comprised of the Monks of New Skete and the Nuns of New Skete (Our Lady of the Sign), and belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church under the omophorion of His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman, primate of the Orthodox Church in America.  The Monks of New Skete were founded in 1966.  At that time the followed the Byzantine Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.  The Nuns of New Skete began in 1969.  In 1979, after many years living and studying Orthodox theology, liturgy and spirituality in their monastic life, New Skete joined the Orthodox Church in America (along with many lay people who regularly attend church services at the monastery).

As a result of the growing demand for advice on dogs, the Monks wrote How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend in 1978, now available in a new expanded edition, and The Art of Raising a Puppy in 1991 (both published by Little Brown) and available in bookstores everywhere.

In 1968, when they were raising cattle and other domestic animals to support themselves, the Monks began preparing smoked hams, sausages, and gourmet foods for sale (New Skete Farms).  They also began breeding German Shepherd Dogs in 1968 after they lost their canine companion “Kyr”.

Since the monks originally sang the services in Church Slavonic, they began doing translations of the Church texts into dignified modern English as early as 1965.  They have been publishing books of liturgical services and music ever since, based on years of study and research.  A catalog is available listing their liturgical texts and music.  [see listing or call New Skete]

Though the Nuns began by doing upholstery and slip-cover work and liturgical vestments, they now support themselves primarily through baking and marketing their famous gourmet cheesecakes and confections.  Several members of the communities paint icons, in egg tempera or in acrylics.  In the effort to survive in today’s economy, members of New Skete produce a variety of religious and art items and are constantly expanding the listings in their catalogues.

Besides articles printed in their occasional newsletters and for magazines, the monks have written the book, In the Spirit of Happiness, published by Little Brown and Co., which explains how the elements of a monk’s life—self-discipline, solitude, prayer, acts of love and forgiveness—are pathways that anyone can follow to achieve true happiness and spiritual fulfillment.  It is available at bookstores or can be ordered from the Monks.  The monks have two new publications by Yorkville Press:  Rise Up, a book of meditations on the theme of resurrection in everyday life with photographs to complement each meditation; and I & Dog, a similar set of meditations paired with the beautiful photographs dealing with the spiritual dimension of the dog-human relationship.  These, too, can be found in bookstores or ordered from the monks’ website.

A new CD, the Liturgy of St James, was released this year in the series of liturgical music “Chant from the Communities of New Skete”.  It is a live recording of this ancient Eucharistic Liturgy as celebrated in the Holy Wisdom temple sung in contemporary chant by the monastic choir expanded by friends in the lay community.  It is available only from New Skete.

Ever since the founding of New Skete in 1966, seekers and believers have gravitated to the monastery for spiritual nourishment.  A stable group of families and individuals from the nearby towns and over the mountains of Vermont and even from Albany have made Holy Wisdom their de facto parish.  Recently, Metropolitan Herman blessed a formal recognition of them as constituting a Chapel Community.  They currently number 25 households.  The monastics provide instruction for the children and guidance for the adults along with any visitors and guests from greater distances who gather during the coffee hour twice monthly for a forum for spiritual sharing and to organize charitable and evangelical outreach projects.