The Monastery of Our Lady and Saint Laurence
A Western Rite Monastery of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
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The Monastery of Our Lady and Saint Laurence belongs to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese's Western-rite Vicariate, under the omophorion of His Grace, Bishop John, Vicar Bishop.
Founded on Holy Cross Day, 2013, the monastery strives to model its life on the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia (d. 547 A.D.), modified by its own Constitutions, under the guidance of its elected Abbot (superior). The community was granted canonical status on July 16, 2015, by His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH.
We invite you to participate in our life and ministry by making a tax-deductible donation to the monastery using the Paypal button below. Thank you!
The Orthodox West, released in 2017, is part one in a part one in a documentary series about the Western Rite.
Ladyminster, part two in the Orthodox West series, was released in 2018. This 45-minute documentary follows the first visit of Fr. Patrick Cardine to the community.
Who Are We?
Father Abbot, formerly a monastic in the Roman Catholic Church and subsequently a deacon and monastic in the Episcopal Church, entered the Orthodox Church in 2002.
After several years as a novice monk living in the world under obedience to an elder monk, he was tonsured rasophore monk in 2007 by Bishop (Now Metropolitan) JOSEPH. The year before, he graduated from the Antiochian St Stephen's Program and House of Studies.
During 2008 - 2010, Father spent time at two small Orthodox monasteries (one Eastern, one Western). Then, in early 2010, he accepted an invitation to move to Ohio and pursue his vocation there in a Greek Orthodox monastery whose observance was modeled on the Rule of St Benedict.
In August of 2010, Father was tonsured to the Great Schema (Habit) by His Eminence Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh, receiving the name "Theodore" (after St Theodore of Tarsus, Abp. of Canterbury). In February of 2012, he was ordained subdeacon by His Eminence Metropolitan Savas. Tragically, later that year the monastery became unable to sustain itself and voluntarily closed.
In November of 2012 Father arrived at the Retreat Center as a "refugee" and, soon after, he became the Guest Master at the Retreat Center. Shortly after the foundation of the monastic community in 2013, he was elected as the first Prior (superior).
Father was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on September 27, 2015, by His Grace Bishop JOHN, at St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and officially assigned to the Monastery by His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH. Father was elevated to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan JOSEPH at the 2018 Western Rite Conference of the Antiochian Archdiocese, which was hosted by St. Peter's Orthodox Church in Ft. Worth, TX.
On February 1st, 2018, Metropolitan JOSEPH made his first visitation to the monastery and installed Fr. Theodore as the Abbot.
“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ."
Chapter 53: The Reception of Guests
The Rule of St. Benedict
Widely venerated as the "Father of Western Monasticism," St. Benedict of Nursia wrote a monastic rule that has been followed continuously by monks in the West since his repose in the sixth century. His life was first recorded by St. Gregory the Dialogist, pope of Rome, in his famous Dialogues. He is commemorated by the Church on March 14.
St. Benedict was born at Nursia, in Italy, around 470 A.D. Sent to school in Rome, he soon fled the worldliness of life in the city, abandoning his secular studies to become a monk. Although he first lived with a "company of virtuous men," soon a miracle the holy man performed, fixing a broken vessel, attracted attention. He fled once again and took up residence in a mountain cave at Subiaco, near the site of a villa built by Nero. Here St. Benedict lived in continual prayer and asceticism for three years. Eventually, God allowed his fame to spread once again, and he was asked by a nearby community of monks to become their abbot. The saint reluctantly agreed. However, the men rebelled against his ascetic directions and attempted to poison him. St. Benedict was unharmed, because as he made the sign of the cross over the poisoned drink, the cup shattered. He returned to his cave. Gradually individuals began to come to live near him at Subiaco, and in the end St. Benedict built twelve monasteries for these spiritual children, living himself at a thirteenth, Monte Cassino. St. Gregory notes a tradition that St. Benedict had a sister, St. Scholastica, who became a nun at one of his communities, and a famous story has her praying for a rainstorm on one occasion so as to enjoy more time in spiritual fellowship with her brother. Three days later, she died. St. Benedict saw her soul rising to heaven "in the likeness of a dove," and had her buried in his own tomb. (St. Scholastica is remembered on February 10.) After receiving the Eucharist, St. Benedict reposed in the oratory of his monastery, his arms lifted in prayer, in the year 543.
O God, who dist vouchsafe to fill thy most blessed Confessor Benedict with the spirit of all th erighteous: grant unto us thy servants who celebrate his Solemnity that, being filled with the same spirit, we may faithfully accomplish that which thou hast enabled us to promise. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, One God, ever world without end. Amen.
Antiphon on Magnificat, II Vespers:
O thou pattern of life celestial, our Teacher and Leader Benedict, whose spirit now rejoices with Christ in the heavens: preserve thy flock, kindly Shepherd; strengthen them by thy holy prayer; and on a way made clear by thee their guide, make them enter into heaven.
By your ascetic labors, God-bearing Benedict,
You were proven to be true to your name.
For you were the son of benediction,
And became a rule and model for all who emulate your life and cry:
"Glory to Him who gave you strength!
Glory to Him who granted you a crown!
Glory to Him who through you grants healing to all!"
Kontakion - Tone 6
You were enriched with God's grace;
Your works agreed with your name,
O Benedict, helpful servant of Christ God.
Through prayer and fasting you were revealed to be filled with the gifts of the Spirit of God!
You are a healer of the sick, the banisher of demons and speedy defender of our souls!