As of December, 2009, this blog is inactive at this location. All posts have been transferred to the new location here. You are very welcome to read and comment.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Christ the Saviour Monastery in Rhode Island, perhaps more commonly referred to as Christminster, is a Benedictine Monastery under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Its Abbot, Dom James (Deschene) was the Prior of the community of Our Lady of Mount Royal, under the pioneer of the Western Rite, Abbot Augustine (Whitfield), under whose observance the Mount Royal tradition continues as much as possible.

Christminster is a small community, in keeping with the reality of much of Orthodox monasticism in the West. However, strength of spirituality and success of monastic purpose do not reside in numbers. They enrich the spirituality of many by being one of only a handful of Orthodox monasteries to support Oblates which, by its nature, is not an activity that is very high profile, but which is the source of great spiritual benefit to many on their journeys of salvation.

The community also has plans to found a humble means for assisting in the training of Orthodox clergy to serve in our Western Rite communities, which is one area where, sadly, our existing seminaries fail us, despite their exceptionally good work in other areas.

I am pleased to learn that some parishes under the Patriarchate of Antioch have begun to run Oblate programmes but I must admit that it seems a little out of place detached from any sort of monastic foundation. Time will tell how this will develop.

Please remember Christminster in your prayers.


john said...

thanks excellent blog, enhoyed the mention of Christminster as myself western Rite Orthodox monk, hermit, for 35 years.
have an ecumenical monastic list at

ionanes hermit

Michael Astley said...

Thank you johannes, for your kind words, and welcome.

If I may ask, who is your bishop, and to which Synod does he belong? Many thanks.

Ian said...

Prayers for Christminster.

Ian said...

Oh, and a blessed New Calendar Feast of St Benedict to you and all this day.
[I'll come back in two weeks to say it again. :)]

Michael Astley said...

Thanks for flagging that up, Ian. I'll perhaps get a post together for the occasion.