Monastic Communities

The myrrhbearers’s witness to deep faith and fortitude is honored at the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego, New York.  Founded in 1977, this women’s monastic community describes itself as:

Inspired by the desert mothers and fathers, we model our lives as fully as possible on their life and witness, their martyria.  We are called to be Orthodox Christian monastics in our own time and place as surely as they were.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.  We are aware that the world around us is very different from the one they knew.  We have the responsibility to balance our obligations to this world of noise and technology with our calling to choose to grow into the greater silence and simplicity of their lives….Within the monastery’s framework of daily liturgical and personal prayer, we work as farmers, artists and craftsmen.

The sisters’ deliberate way of living and praying, so different from the ways of other modern Americans, is worth contemplating:

Q: Why would a monastery have a web site?

A: When we first set up this web site, this seemed to be a burning question to a number of people.  Now several years later, just about every monastery has a web site!  Still, our reasons remain the same:  As monastics, we struggle with planting a monastery in a country where there is no local village of Orthodox ready to support us; no nearby visible means of support.   For us, the internet has been a God-send — His way of helping us “bridge the gap.”  We do not have to take sisters from their quiet work to lead tour groups or run a store.  We can live in physical solitude.   By not having television or radio or using the sound option for our computers, we do not find our silence violated.  In addition, we can easily check up on crisis news such as approaching blizzards and tornadoes.  We can share our lives with others through publishing and correspondence as monastics have for centuries, and we can find a market for our products without sending sisters to the local bazaar (a duty that has plagued monastics for millennia).  In many ways, it is the best of both worlds.

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