My trip to Boston, July 2003
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In July 2003 I had the opportunity to see the Holy Transfiguration monastery in Boston, the largest True Orthodox monastery in the USA. I heard many bad things and many good things about it, but "one seeing is better then one hundred hearings".

This is how the Monastery looks from outside. It was once a house of one rich man, then it was a Catholic monastery, then the Greeks founded an Orthodox monastery there.

And here is one of the monks, Father Nicholas. He is an American, but he speaks Russian perfectly (and he knows many other languages, including Georgian). There are only three monks there who know Russian, but the monastery has a definite affection for Russia. They have the "Russian corner" there with the things connected with Russian church, and at some parts of the Liturgy they use some Russian with a nice "liturgical" English accent.

I knew Father Nicholas before. Once I had some sad events in my life, and I wrote Father Nicholas a letter asking him to pray for two things. And he answered: "Da, pomolimsja" -- "We shall pray". And the next day both of the things were unexpectedly and mysteriously settled. Not that I count him a wonderworker, but I believe that a prayer of a diligent monk can make miracles.

This picture and some other ones I found on this Web-site. Father Nicholas is the only monk there, who closed his face with the icon.

These are the hangers in the monastery. Several dosen monks live there, and their life is very serious, both is general routine and especially in the details, those many details that cannot be imitated. (I wrote several of them here, but then I decided not to uncover them, they are unusual and sometimes crazy for the world, but unavoidable in serious monasticism).

The daily routine in the monastery is very wise. Actually, there were so many things that really impressed me there, but I just cannot write them here. I can say only that I have not seen such a serious approach neither in Jordanville nor in many Russian monasteries where I had been.

This is the main icon of the Holy Nativity Convent in Boston, where I stayed at night. This is the sister-convent of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery. To be honest, this is just the convent where I would like to live... Actually, this is an unbelievable convent. Can you imagine a bunch of about 30 young woman, religious, smart and well up, being able to pray at long monastic services, and WITHOUT any exhalation / guruism / zombies /etc? Just real and pious ones? With the same kind sense of humor to me, a guest, than the monks of the HTM.

I always show this picture to the kids that come to our church in St.Petersburg. They like all the details here.

Such parks surround both the monastery and the convent. They have a number of "icon corners" there where one can sit and pray with the prayer rope.

This is the famous Archimandret Panteleimon. Both of the monasteries are the fruits of his activity. I saw the real fruits of him, and the fruits are really great. Father Panteleimon is also great. He is definitely a historical figure. And any historical figure is really attacked.

Metropolitan Ephraim. He is very smart, and very real. Recently he had a small stroke, but now he is recovering very quicly. Here is what he told about his illness:

One of the Fathers came to visit me on my second day in the hospital. He took one look at me and said, "Despota, you're in bad shape." (Always a kind word) I thought for a moment, and then I said "No, I'm not in bad shape. I'm in the same shape I was before my stroke. It's just that now, half the shape doesn't work."

Metropolitan Ephraim, Father Panteleimon and me. They were very kind to me. And it was very encouraging to meet real True Orthodox pillars at the land of America.

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