- Rules for Family visits:
As in the traveling rules, we repeat that when an Orthodox monk takes solemn vows he rejects the world allurements and everything that belongs to it, he has died to his former self and abandons all that identified him in the world; he takes off the old man and puts on the new man in Christ Jesus. He is spiritually reborn in Christ akin to a second baptism. In general he will have little or no contact with the outside world unless in cases of extreme necessity or emergency such as (illness or death in the immediate family). Please See “Important Note“ Below for further explanation.
Therefore as a semi-cloistered community, an orthodox monk according to the following rules applies according to either, Canon Law, the Benedictine Rule or House Guidelines:
A). solemnly professed monks have NO unnecessary or unexpected visitors, phone calls or emails except in cases dire emergency or during usual visiting times (Christmas, Pascha/Easter, Name-Day, etc..) Phone calls may be allowed for emergency notifications.
B). Visitors should contact the Abbot first and get a blessing to visit or to speak, to their monastic relative.
C). According to the Monastic Rule for semi-cloistered monasteries, a senior monk is usually present during visits.
D). According to the Rule of Saint Benedict, if a monk is given a present, he must first get a blessing from the Abbot before accepting it.
E). Family should limit their Letters and emails to twice a year, their phone calls (if necessary) to 10 minutes and their visits to two hours a year and should begin no earlier than 10:00 am and be concluded no later than 12:00 Noon.
F). Monks who receive emails, letters and packages are to get a blessing from the abbot first before receiving them.
G). Visitors should be properly attired – No Tank tops or shorts.
H). Note: these rules apply mostly to solemnly professed Stavrophore and Schemamonks only and not candidates Ryassophore or Oblates, though we do ask them to follow these rules as closely as possible.
I). The Bishop and/or Abbot have relatively basic use of emails and other forms of contact with the outside world for necessary church use.
Important note: Though these most basic rules – found in most Orthodox Monasteries – appear difficult to many in the secular world, please remember that we are a semi-cloistered orthodox community with monks who have voluntarily given up contact with the outside world in order to seek God in SILENCE and to pray for those in the world without the uproar and confusion of the outside world distracting us.
We ask family and friends to try and understand that as Orthodox Monks we voluntarily isolate ourselves as much as we can from the outside world. When we were professed we died to our former selves and were reborn in Christ, and the belief of true Orthodox monasticism is for us as monks to let go of all memories of our past lives.