Tag Archives: Holy Resurrection Monastery

Vocations Boom at Holy Resurrection Monastery

Holy Resurrection Monastery is sui juris (self-governing) monastic community of monks located in Saint Nazianz, Wisconsin. Founded in 1995, they are under the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St George’s in Canton, Ohio. They are committed to the revival of traditional Eastern Christian monastic life, following the liturgical and fasting regulations of the Byzantine tradition.

There are four monks in solemn vows, four novice monks, and one postulant. They also have serious discerners in contact with them. “With the rampant secularism in our society, it is a difficult time for monastic life,” says Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis. “However, given the small size of the Eastern Catholic Churches and the newness of more traditional monastic foundations, I believe, by God’s mercy, Holy Resurrection Monastery is doing quite well!”

People in the Roman Catholic Church, numbering about 1 billion members, often do not realize that about 20 million Catholics belong to the 21 Eastern Catholic Churches. The monks believe that the Eastern Churches have a lot to contribute to the New Evangelization. “The New Evangelization must offer many things – including sound catechesis, moral guidance, social action, and reverent worship. All of these things, however, must be put into their proper context. They are ultimately not ends in themselves, but aspects of the path to union with God.”

The monks in Saint Nazianz:

  • Pray, for their own holiness, the Church and all the world. They receive hundreds of prayer intention requests a month, writing each name entrusted to them in their remembrance books known as “Dyptichs.
  • Offer hospitality through their retreat house. Spiritual direction is available.
  • Evangelize by going out to parishes, prayer groups, Bible Studies and other organizations. They also give parish missions, write online articles, and work ecumenically.
  • On most days they have the custom of sitting together silently as part of the morning and afternoon services to pray the Jesus Prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It was the highlight of my retreat with these wonderful monks!

“The closeness of the transcendent God is not a theoretical abstraction. It is a fact – the most important fact there is. The divine presence must become the basis of the believer’s whole life, through that harmony of liturgical and contemplative prayer which is the foundation of Christian mysticism.” (Click here to read the whole article)

During this Lent, a generous benefactor has offered the monastery a matching fund grant of up to $50,000. Which means that every $1 donation will be matched up to $50,000. If you would like to support this growing monastery, please visit their website.

East Meets West

At the 2013 IRL National Meeting this year we were blessed to have the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis of Holy Resurrection Monastery in Saint Nazianz, Wisconsin, on Friday night. Graced with the choir from Fr. Thomas Loya’s parish, Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, Illinois, it was truly a memorable and inspiring opening to the weekend.

Here is the link to the homily given by Abbot Nicholas courtesy of the Byzantine Forum in which he describes what the “Eastern” tradition can offer to the “Western” or “Latin” tradition, particularly in this time of crisis for Western Civilization when secularism and a do-it-yourself spirituality has infected society to such a large degree.

From my experience, the Eastern-Rite liturgy is dramatic; the words are clear, the sense of mystery is over-powering. The heart and mind can sense and see heavenly realities. Abbot Nicholas said, “Mystery for us is not just what we do in church! It’s how we see everything! Every Christian is part of the hidden life of the Sacred Trinity. Every Christian is a mystic. Being a mystic means being a liturgical being, nothing more. Everything we do is (or ought to be at least!) wrapped in the mystery of the direct experience of God.”

“Let’s think specifically about the Byzantine Liturgy. This liturgy is long, not because we think God begrudges us our time, but because in time we already begin to experience the first inkling of eternity. It is rich in ceremony, not because God wants to dictate our movements, but because our natural human yearning for beauty—whether in color, movement, the scent of incense or whatever—finds fulfillment in our experience of God in the Divine Services.”

Abbot Nicholas believes that the East and West united are essential to the success of the New Evangelization. He concludes, “What is it that we offer? A reminder, perhaps, that mystery, transcendence and the experience of God are not for a few Christians, but for all….Let’s unloose the bonds that hold us back, let’s get to know one another’s strengths, and just see what the Spirit can do!”

Visitors are welcome to Holy Resurrection Monastery. Please visit their website for information and directions.