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2011 Monastery Pilgrimage

On Saturday, January 22, 2011, five intrepid families, many who included three generations (yiayia, mamma, and grandkids), braved the near-zero temperatures, and embarked on the second annual Monastery Pilgrimage. This year, our parishioners were guests of (Gr. Igumeni) Abbess Fotini at All Saints Monastery at 1676 Middle Road, in Calverton, Long Island (phone: 631-727-8505).
Our families, grandparents, parents, and children alike, look forward to these pilgrimages, to edify their Faith, to learn and gather insights on how to grow closer to Christ, and to strengthen the bonds of our community.
Prayer is Central to the Monastic Life of a Greek Orthodox Monk or Nun. Because they live the monastic life, the nuns are expected to pray around the clock. Formal prayer sessions are scheduled every three hours of every day, including midnight and 3 am. 

2011 Monastery Pilgrimage

We joined the sisters for Vespers on Saturday night, and then retired to their hall for dinner. Abbess Fotini welcomed us, and talked with us briefly about the monastic life. During dinner, the abbess read homilies for our edification while we ate in silence as do the sisters every night. After dinner, we returned to the chapel for Compline before retiring for bed at a nearby hotel. Overnight, while we were tucked snuggly in our beds fast asleep, the sisters would awake again at midnight, and then at 3AM to gather in prayer in the chapel. The following morning, we returned to the Chapel for Orthros (Matins) and the Divine Liturgy, which was followed by another meal, at which the

There's an interesting story regarding All Satins monastery from a few years ago. A 92 year old woman who's life long desire was to live "the angelic life," was finally tonsured as a Nun there. A brief history of the monastery and the story of Chrystalla Petropoulou appears below.  

Interestingly, Fr Nathanael attended seminary with two of the sisters. 

History of All Saints Monastery

Greek-born Chrystalla Petropoulou, of Long Island, NY fulfilled a lifelong dream. At the age of 92, she became a nun in the Greek Orthodox Church.

Petropoulou became a nun on April 17, 2010 at the new All Saints Greek Orthodox Monastery in Calverton, Long Island. Along with Elizabeth Brandenburg, aged 28, and Maria Kallis, aged 27, Petropoulou was tonsured, receiving a new religious name and a new black habit. The three women each had hair cross ceremonially snipped from their heads.

Petropoulou a Driving Force Behind the All Saints Greek Orthodox Monastery

Aided by her relatives and the Greek Orthdox population in Calverton, Petropoulou was one of the leaders in the community effort to build this monastery. In 1997, Petropoulou herself deposited $13.00 in a special bank account. This $13.00 became the basis of the fund-raising effort to get the monastery built. Petropoulou later donated thousands more, and some of her relatives did the same. The largest donation received, in the amount of $125,000.00, was given anonymously.

A Monastery Minus Nuns

In 2005, when the monastery was completed, Sunday services began. But the monastery lacked nuns. Unfortunately Petropoulou, who had dreamt of this since childhood, was now too sick and frail to do it alone. All of that changed when Brandenburg (of St. Louis) and Kallis (of Detroit) agreed to move into the Calverton monastery last August. Petropoulou followed on their heels in September. In all, five women currently live at the Calverton Monastery, and two others are expected soon.

Last year's trip (2010) to Holy Protection Monastery

Below are some photographs from last year's pilgrimage to Holy Protection Monastery in White Haven, PA

2010 Monastery Pilgrimage


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