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On Thursday, April 11, and Friday, April 12, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon traveled to upstate New York, where he made archpastoral visits to the Monasteries of New Skete in Cambridge, NY, and Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego, NY.

new skete

On Thursday, His Beatitude was welcomed to the Monasteries of New Skete by Igumen Christopher (Savage), the male monastery’s superior. New Skete, which is made up of both male and female monastic communities, is well known for breeding of German shepherd dogs, world-renowned dog training, and popular cheesecakes.

Prior to lunch with both the monks and nuns, Fr. Christopher led a tour of the male monastic quarters, where an extensive renovation was recently completed. The project, necessary due to water infiltration of the aging structure, allowed the monastery to update monastic cells, adding individual heating and air conditioning units, new bathroom facilities, and wheelchair accessibility.

The Sixth Hour was chanted in the Church of the Transfiguration before His Beatitude met with Sister Cecelia (Harvey), superior of the nun’s community. His Beatitude then met with all the monastics together, spending much of the afternoon informally discussing a broad range of topics with the community.


On Friday, His Beatitude’s visit to Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery began with the celebration of the Ninth Hour, Typika, and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Concelebrating with His Beatitude was Archpriest Jason Vansuch, rector of St. George Church in Buffalo, NY, and monastery board member. The responses were sung by the monastics.

Following a lenten meal, His Beatitude toured the monastery property and received updates on the animals cared for by the sisterhood and the condition of the structures. He also met with Mother Raphaela (Wilkinson), the monastery’s abbess, for a general report on the state of the community.

As part of his emphasis on the nurturing of monastic vocations within the Church, His Beatitude encourages men and women to prayerfully discern their potential calling to the monastic life and asks that our parishes and communities consider supporting the many monasteries of the Orthodox Church in America by undertaking pilgrimages and providing financial support.