Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

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Barbara
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Re: Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

Postby Barbara » Tue 29 May 2018 2:22 am

That's a good question. It seemed to have been stated in a vague way elsewhere a few months ago, so I looked to see if there is any update or amplification on St Paisius' website. The About Us description skirts around the question by saying that the Monastery :

"lives out its monastic life with the blessing of His Eminence KYRILL of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR) and His Grace Bishop MAXIM of the Western American Diocese (Serbian Church)"

[ Note the OCA-style capitalization of Bishops' names. That always looks odd to me : it was never done by Rocor. Even Metropolitans never signed their names in all caps. It doesn't seem humble to shout out a hierarch's name like it's the most important thing the eye should catch on a page.
Not sure whether the Serbian Patriarchate employs this capitalization ; maybe so. ]

I will be writing more in a few days about this Safford Arizona Monastery's predecessor, the St Paisius Convent in the famous apple growing area of Forestville, California [ that is, if anyone is interested ].

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Nuns process amongst tasteful landscaping, all done by their own efforts, according to the St Paisius website

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Re: Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

Postby Barbara » Sun 24 March 2019 10:08 pm

While putting together thoughts about the project alluded to above, I came across this rave review of St Paisius by the frequent Monomachos blog poster, ChristineFevronia. The OCA member wrote enthusiastically August 17, 2018 :


"About a year ago I discovered a beautiful treasure of Orthodoxy, truly one of the most special places on earth. It is the St. Paisius Orthodox Monastery in Stafford [sic], Arizona. Would you believe it...
The nuns who live there are incredible and this holy Monastery is flourishing! They host guests, and all their services are in English (and I can highly recommend the purchase of their amazing All Night Vigil CD, found on their website..."

Checking the Convent's website, I see that a major change has been made since the remarks were written. The Arizona community is no longer under partial Serbian administration.

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"St. Paisius Monastery is an English-speaking monastery which lives out its monastic life with the blessing of His Eminence KYRILL of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR)."

Meanwhile, another woman visitor in 2017 created this short video which, if the music is turned off, gives a peaceful sense of the layout of the Monastery and grounds. Scenes abound of marvelous cacti and the wonderfully named "Sky Blue Road" sign which is the Convent's street address. Interior scenes are mainly of the visitors' quarters, so any prospective guest can get the idea of what their rooming situation would be.

This pilgrim went during Great Lent so it seems timely to post it during Great Lent 2019. 3 minutes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlew130Kffw

***************************************************

Overall, the pickings of youtube clips of this Rocor-MP monastery are rather slim. It seems time for a thoroughgoing video introducing the Convent, both for attracting prospective nuns and for visitors seeking spiritual purification in the physical desert [ a good place to dry out soggy emotions ! ]

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and in the environment of the spiritual desert so well described by many great Orthodox Saints.

And, of course, for the edification of armchair travelers like some readers of this forum !

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Barbara
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Re: Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

Postby Barbara » Fri 29 March 2019 1:03 am

From what is written on the internet, the strict rules for visitors don't put off any who are devoted to a deep Orthodox spiritual life. It seems that many pilgrims are hearing about the hidden jewel of the Southwest and making the effort to travel there, despite the Monastery's remoteness.

Report from a month ago :


"Olga Faison is feeling blessed at St. Paisius Monastery - Safford,az.
February 27 · Safford, AZ ·

I traveled a lot. But I think it's fair that this is one of the most beautiful and holy places in the world."

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Re: Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

Postby Barbara » Sat 6 April 2019 12:24 am

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An Archpriest at the Holy Virgin Protection Church in Los Angeles, Rocor-Mp, likewise had the highest praise for this Monastery --

Christopher Horsley recommends St. Paisius Monastery - Safford,az.
October 18, 2018 ·
If you are looking for Heaven on earth, Saint Paisius Monastery is the closest you will get. My family and I have been coming here for a year now and
have never been in a more peaceful place. May God continue to bless this holy monastery!

-- while a pilgrim from 2017 wrote from the heart :

Maria L. Valentine reviewed St. Paisius Monastery - Safford,az — 5 star
July 5, 2017 ·
Oh most certainly I love it here!! � It is worth the long drive!"

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Barbara
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Re: Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

Postby Barbara » Fri 12 April 2019 5:14 pm

It is none of my business whatsoever. But now that they are longer under Serbian jurisdiction, I hope that the nuns would revert to the Russian klobouk style monastic headcovering that they used to wear when the Convent was at Forestville, California, where it started.

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Re: Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

Postby JHunt777 » Mon 13 May 2019 5:31 pm

I don't think this has been said already, but the monastery is under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Paisios, the abbot of St. Anthony's Monastery under Elder Ephraim. As such, the dress requirements at St. Paisius are pretty much the same as for St. Anthony's and the other monasteries under Elder Ephraim, though St. Paisios' monastery does included additional details regarding piercings and such.

From St. Anthony's Monastery
Proper Attire

Visitors must be properly attired to enter the Monastery grounds. In general, clothing should be modest and loose-fitting, and include the following:

Orthodox clergy must wear a cassock (raso) in the Monastery and an outer cassock (exoraso) in the services.
Men must wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts
Women must wear long skirts, long-sleeved blouses, and scarves. (Please, no pants/slacks (unless worn under skirt), no tight-fitting clothing, no skirts with slits, hats, low-cut blouses, or sheer or small scarves)
Shoes/sandals must be worn with socks at all times. Please do not wear sheer stockings. Please wear practical and comfortable flat shoes while at the Monastery as it is desert terrain and the pathways are of rough flagstone. Please wear flat shoes— No high heels, platform shoes or open-toed sandals.
Pilgrims staying at the Monastery and all those attending church services must observe the order of the Monastery.

If you are not properly attired, please go directly to the Bookstore, where there is a limited supply of clothing for your use. In the guest houses, we ask that you remain properly dressed when outside your room, since the fathers often have need to enter the common areas.

https://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/visitorguide.php

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Re: Strict rules for St Paisius Convent, Arizona pilgrims

Postby Barbara » Mon 13 May 2019 11:15 pm

Thank you so much for telling us, JHunt777 ! I had no idea. I had assumed the spiritual father was Archimandrite Dorotheos, who came with the nuns from Forestville, where he was probably Abbot [ I think so, not 100% sure of his title at that time ].
What a surprise for perhaps the largest women's monastery in the U.S. - which started life as entirely Russian - to be directed by the Greeks.

I wonder whether this was planned from the beginning, hence St Paisius' move to Arizona. Or whether the arrangement evolved over time due to relative proximity. Do you happen to know, JHunt ? If not, that's OK. Thanks for the helpful contribution.



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