From 21st – 23rd October 2019 (n.s.), clergy from across the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will assemble at the Holy Women’s Monastery of St Paisius in Safford, Arizona, for a Clergy Pastoral Conference that will have as its centrepiece the consecration of the Monastery’s katholikon (principal monastery Church), dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos. The ruling bishop of our Diocese, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, was previously Bishop of Sacramento and vicar of the Western American Diocese, which is headed by His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, at whose gracious invitation Bishop Irenei will be travelling to Arizona to take part in the pastoral conference and consecration.

St Paisius Monastery, which is under the spiritual care of Abbess Michaila, is home to more than twenty sisters, thus constituting one of the larger monasteries in the Church Abroad. Its life is governed by a traditional ‘Russo-Athonite’ typikon focussed on the liturgical life of communal prayer and work — the full cycle of Divine Services served daily by the Monastery’s three resident chaplains and confessors. Situated on a large territory, the Monastery has extensive farms producing olives and olive oil, pomegranates, wines, chicken and duck eggs, and a host of vegetables; while the sisters also support themselves through an extensive production of prayer ropes and published materials.

The Abbess and Sisterhood of St Paisius Monastery on a visit of Bishop Irenei in early 2019.

St Paisius Monastery is under the omofor of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, who will preside over the consecration services for the katholikon, together with His Grace Bishop Irenei and His Grace Bishop Theodosy of Seattle, Vicar Bishop of the Western American Diocese. During his time in that Diocese, Bishop Irenei served as Dean for Monastics and thus developed close ties to the Monastery and its sisterhood. In addition to taking part in the consecration, Bishop Irenei will also address the Pastoral Conference with a talk entitled ‘Consecrated Temples, Consecrated Lives,’ as well as interacting with the sisterhood through customary spiritual talks.

St Paisius Monastery is a women’s monastery, though welcomes both male and female pilgrims, and pilgrimages there are highly encouraged. It has a helpful website with contact details and further information.

His Grace Bishop Irenei will return to London at the end of the week, following these sacred events.