The official opening and consecration of the Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery for Monastic Sisters, located in Richmond, IL, was celebrated on the holy day of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 28, 2021, according to the Julian Calendar.
The spiritual segment of the program started with the Akathist to the Mother of God, served by the monastery spiritual leader, Hiermonk, Illia Mamchak, of the Studite Order. Following this service, the program continued with the blessing of the monastery and the Hierarchical Liturgy headed by the Most Reverend Bishop Benedict (Aleksiychuk) who was joined by priests from other deaneries as co-celebrants. The faithful, which numbered approximately 500, not only representing parishes located in several states of the St. Nicholas Eparchy, but also included representatives of the Romanian Church, who all joined together to share this joyous occasion in common prayer. The Most Reverend Bishop Benedict, in his statements to the participants of the pilgrimage to the monastery, explained the importance of the monastic sisters in their sincere and continuous prayers for the entire eparchy.
Following the Liturgy, the clergy and representatives of various organizations warmly greeted the sisters at their newly blessed monastery. The sisters expressed their gratitude to everyone for their help in preparation for the pilgrimage and their generosity in the renovation of the monastery church and buildings.
The cultural part of the program consisted of a variety of performances prepared by the various eparchial parishes. During the concert the participants of the pilgrimage were able to share together a tasty meal that was prepared by the various parish groups and others of good will. This wonderfully attended pilgrimage became yet another means of celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the St. Nicholas Eparchy.
At present, The Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery consists of five monastic sisters. The sisters along with the Hiermonk, Illia Mamchak, came to the United States a short time ago from Ukraine. The mission of their service consists of the renewal of the Eastern Monastic life and traditions of the Church during the time of Kyivan Rus.
The Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery is the third monastery under the auspices of the St. Nicholas Eparchy. The five monastic sisters that make up this newest monastery are namely, Sister Yefrosynia, Sister Makryna, Sister Varvara, Sister Fevronia and Sister Olimpia. The foundation of their spiritual and liturgical lives is prayer, which is accompanied by spiritual practice of silence, reading of the Holy Scriptures, reading of the Holy Father’s books, the Jesus’ Prayer, prayers to the Blessed Mother of God and vigils. This spiritual way of life is complimented by other works the sisters do such as sewing and embroidering of vestments for clergy and knotting and beading hand-made rosaries. In addition, the sisters are very fond of participating in church service singing. The sisters extend an invitation to all to join in the Sunday and weekday Liturgy and prayers which are held at 9:00am. The monastery is located at 5700 Hill Rd., Richmond, IL.