About the Monastery

 

Front of Monastery

ORTHODOX MONKS PRAYING ALL DAY and EVERYDAY

FOR

EL PASO AND THE WORLD

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TIMES FOR DIVINE LITURGY of the MASS:

SUNDAY @ 10:30 am – All Welcome

MONDAY- FRIDAY @ 8:30 am

VESERS:

SATURDAY @ 6:00 pm 

Call 915.213.3738 or 915.422.4108 to Confirm Times

Click see our Schedule

WELCOME… to begin with, and we cannot make this any clearer, we are Western Orthodox Monks who observe the Rule of Saint Benedict, though we consider them our Brothers in Christ, the Roman Catholic Benedictine are NOT in union with us.

St Benedict lived during the 5th & 6th centuries and therefore was part of the original Christian Church and is honored in the Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and some Lutheran Churches.

St. Benedict did not, strictly speaking, found an order; there is no evidence that Saint Benedict ever contemplated the spread of his Rule to any monasteries besides those which he had himself established. (Ref: New Advent Roman Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02443a.htm

So intimately connected with domestic life is the whole framework and teaching of the Rule that a Benedictine may be more truly said to enter or join a particular house than to join an order.

A Benedictine community is a community that lives under the Rule of St. Benedict and unlike the Roman Catholic Church the Orthodox Benedictine have no general or common superior over the whole order other, than a Spiritual Father known as the Archabbot.

The Benedictine “order” consists, so to speak, of what are practically a number of independent houses, called “congregations”, each of which is self-governing; all are united by the spiritual bond of allegiance to the same Rule.

“According to Saint Benedict the monastery constituted a separate, independent, autonomous family, the members of which elected their own superior.” Each Benedictine monastery is unique in so far as they take upon themselves whatever work is necessary for the well-being of their community and of the Church. 

ABOUT US:

The Latin Orthodox Benedictine Fathers also known as the Order of the Amalfian are semi-cloistered Orthodox monks who follow the Benedictine Rule and spend the day praying for the world. We pray seven times a day plus the Liturgy of the Mass.

We receive prayer requests from all over the world via our webpage, direct e-mail, and sometimes postal letters – asking prayers for those who are sick, suffering, have addictions, need jobs, food, more income or housing. We remain mostly with in the confines of the monastery except for necessary trips to the doctor or grocery shopping.

We are located in El Paso Texas, about 75 minutes from the New Mexico Organ Mountains & White Sands National Monuments.

Our monastery was established by three monks with the blessing of our Metropolitan.

We observance the monastic life of complete dedication to God according to the earliest interpretation of the Primitive Holy Rule of Saint Benedict in conjunction with the teachings of the Apostles as handed down to them by Jesus the Christ.

What is a monastery?

The definition of a monastery is;

  1. monks’ residence: a building or buildings with grounds in which a group of people observing religious vows, especially monks, live together,
  2. community of monks: a group of people, especially monks, living together and observing religious vows.

The building, or complex of buildings, comprising the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in communities or alone (hermits). The monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church or temple, and may also serve as an oratory.

How big are most monasteries?

Monasteries may vary greatly in size, comprising a small dwelling accommodating only a single hermit, or in the case of communities, anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds.

Our Monastery is a humble building which houses four monks ranging in age from 36 to 62. 

Our living room was converted into a humble chapel where we hold our daily monastic Liturgy of the Mass and pray the Divine Office seven times a day.

Our Humble Chapel

The monastery holds to the teachings of the Traditional Orthodox Christian Church – a continuation of the original “Catholic” Church, established by Jesus Christ, as found in the pages of the New Testament more than 2,000 years ago. We have remained faithful to what was given to us by Jesus and His Apostles.

We are subject to the primitive Rule of Saint Benedict..

The Monks rarely speak to anyone, eat only one meal a day with a snack during leisure time. We go barefoot indoors year round, but do wear sandals or other foot wear to perform appropriate work outdoors and when shopping.

NOTE: Religiously, people remove their shoes as a sign of respect when standing on ground that is believed to be holy e.g. Moses was instructed to remove his sandals when in the presence of God. Not only some Orthodox jurisdictions, but people of other faiths removed their footwear when praying as a sign of humility and respect. Joshua, the commander of the Lord’s army was also commanded; “Take off your footwear, for the place where you are standing is Holy Ground”. (Joshua 5:15).

We are Discalced Orthodox Monks obeying our Lord Jesus when he said to his Apostles; “Do not take a purse or bag or SANDALS. (Luke 10:4)

Discalced is a term applied to those strict religious of men (and women) monastic, the members of which go barefoot or wear sandals. In house we go barefoot whereas we wear sandals when going to the doctor, store or mailbox.

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Our work inside the monastery includes gardening, housework, office work, youth ministry, cooking, baking, canning, etc.

In the Orthodox monastic tradition there are three types of ascetic life. The first is a large community consisting of many monks. This type of establishment is generally called a monastery. The second type is called a skete; a skete is a small monastic community, which consists of a few monks, and they usually live in more isolated areas and have a more austere life. They live outside the bustle of the world, in the wilderness, and are under the shepherding eye of the Abbot. The third is the retirement of a hermit who lives in solitude, seeking the Lord with the greatest of zeal.

We are Catholic, but not Roman, Evangelical, but not Protestant, Orthodox, but not Jewish. We are not Non-Denominational – we are Pre-Denominational. The Orthodox Christian Church has believed, taught, defended and died for the faith of the Apostles for over 2000 years.

We speak English, however we are seeking a Spanish speaking individual willing to assist us in the local community.

A Special Note to Our Visitors: All are welcome for Mass on Saturday Night and Sunday morning. However, we are semi-cloistered and a blessing of the Abbot is usually required before visiting outside of regular services. We communicate mostly by email, rather than telephone; we use the telephone mostly for emergencies and rare communication with the outside world.

Those who would like to learn more about the ancient Christian faith please contact us.

We gather in Chapel as a community united in the ancient faith for a single purpose – the worship and glorification of God. For this reason, we ask visitors to please refrain from any unusual or disrespectful behavior while you are in our place of worship as this distracts the monks from our purpose. Bizarre clothing, smoking, standing with hands in pockets, unwarranted conversation and any other behaviors that draw attention to oneself are discouraged.  We glorify God in humility, inner peace and reverence through our thoughts, prayers, appearance and behavior.