December 18, 2012
Metropolitan Hilarion: "Every Person who is part of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia needs to help Holy Trinity
First Hierarch of ROCOR, His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of
Eastern America & New York, expressed his deep concern over the
critical condition in which
Monastery in Jordanville, NY – the oldest monastery in the
Russian Church Abroad – finds itself. Holy Trinity Monastery is
facing serious financial difficulties as a result of necessary
renovations to the property, which will cost the monastery an
estimated three million dollars.
On Friday, December 14, Metropolitan Hilarion, accompanied by
several members of the Eastern American Diocesan Council, met with
the abbot of the Diasporan Lavra, Archimandrite Luke (Murianka),
with the stated goal of resolving these issues.
The Metropolitan was accompanied by diocesan secretary Archpriest
Serge Lukianov, Priest Alexandre Antchoutine, Deacon George Temidis,
Deacon Michael Wengrin, Reader Peter Lukianov, and George. N.
After meeting with Fr. Luke and Hieromonk Cyprian (Alexandrou),
Council members held a walk-through inspection of the monastery
complex. The monastery is in dire need of new wiring in the
cathedral, the construction of a new seminary dormitory,
construction of a new kitchen, bringing the whole complex into
compliance with NYSDEC standards, and replacing all of the plumbing
in the monastery building. The pipes are currently in such a
deteriorated condition that the monks are unable to use the washing
machines, while the seminary dormitory has begun to lean several
"It was absolutely painful to see how many repairs are needed," said
the Metropolitan. After the tour, Fr. Michael Wengrin was in a state
of shock: "What I’ve seen here is just deplorable. I don’t know how
the monks survive under these conditions. I wanted to cry."
Diocesan Council member Fr. Alexandre Antchoutine is a professional
builder who owns and operates his own construction company.
of the monastery buildings, from the main building and monastic
dormitory to the cathedral, are out of date," he said. "They built
them from the heart, with their bare hands, and using the materials
they had at the ready. Now everything is deteriorating at the same
time: wiring, plumbing – the entire infrastructure is in a severely
One of the monastery’s biggest problems is hard water, rich in
calcium and other minerals.
"The minerals are eating away at the pipes and plumbing," noted Fr.
Alexandre. "I think it will take two to three years to repair
everything here, and it will cost no less than three million."
According to diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov, the
reason the monastery’s problems have thus far remained out of the
spotlight can only be seen in the modesty of the brethren: "These
monks are extremely humble and because of this, they do not share
their problems with the rest of the world, and instead they bear
their crosses in silence," he explained. "But the time has come for
all of us to step up and help our monks."
In order to help the monastery, the Eastern American Diocesan
intends to launch an informational video campaign focusing on the
restoration work being done in the monastery, as well as
Jordanville’s significance for the entire Church Abroad.
"How many people know that Holy Trinity Monastery is home to a small
piece of the belt of the Mother of God? This is the same belt that
recently came to Russia and over a million people stood in lines for
upwards of 12 hours to venerate. This is just one example of the
thousands of sacred relics and holy objects that are housed in
Jordanville," said Reader Peter Lukianov.
Council members hope that a series of video reports on Jordanville
will not only assist in raising the required funds for the
monastery, but will also attached more pilgrims.
Fund for Assistance (FFA) to ROCOR already launched a fundraising
campaign to save the monastery from financial ruin back in
October. Until the end of the year, the FFA has pledged to match the
first $50,000 in donations. Over the past few years, the Eastern
American Diocesan has worked closely with the Fund for Assistance.
Together they hope to unite the faithful around the cause of helping
"The best way for people to help the monastery is to donate to the
Fund for Assistance. This is one of only a very few organizations
that charges no overhead on donations. Last year, they were able to
raise over $240,000 in a few short months to help Holy Cross
Monastery in West Virginia, and we are confident that together we
can double or even triple that aid for Jordanville," said Fr. Serge.
To raise such a significant amount as three million dollars will
require the united effort of all ROCOR parishes and individuals.
Metropolitan Hilarion hopes that the faithful can get proactive and
organize local fundraisers in support of Jordanville at the local
level. In the words of His Eminence, "Every person who is part of
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia needs to contribute to
help the monastery so that it may be preserved for years and
centuries to come."
Republication of materials must include a reference to:
"Eastern American Diocesewww.eadiocese.org."