About Our Monastery

Committed to the Salvation of All.

Novi Kloštar Hermitage of St John the Divine is the premier Benedictine congregations in the Syracuse area. We are a vibrant congregation dedicated to serving the spiritual, educational, and cultural needs of the surrounding community.  The Hermitage’s major purpose is to pray for the salvation of all mankind; as is reflected in the hermitage’s motto (above). Our Hermitage is deeply rooted in the Orthodox Church and Her Holy Traditions (which include, Sacred Scriptures, Divine Worship and Unceasing Prayer).  Our doors are always open to the  Benedictine Oblate community members who are looking for a quiet place to worship. Contact us, or visit us by pre-arrangement,  to learn more about how to become a part of our Romualdian Congregation within the Orthodox Church. 

What’s In A Name?

Novi Kloštar  Kloštar is a city in County Istria, Croatia.  Our ancient founder, St Romuald (951 – + 19 June, c. 1027 AD) had spent 6 years in ascetic solitude in a cave by the Lim Bay. Once he left his reclusion St Romuald established one of his many monasteries —Samostan Arhanđela Sv. Mihovila— dedicated to Archangel Holy Michael on property owned by his family. The overlap of East & West in St Romuald’s life and spirituality we seek to emulate.  The ancient Dalmatia was under Byzantine influence during St Romuald’s life and there are signs he perhaps was not only Italian, having been born in Ravenna, also Slavic.  St Romuald was known as a hesychast; well aware of the Eastern Desert Fathers.  Disconcertedly but complementarily, he was trained by an old Irish Elder known as Marinus in the severe ascetic practices that Celtic Monasticism learned directly by missionaries from the pustinje of North Africa.  Ours is a monastic/eremitic house that is liturgically “western rite” while part of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR) we embrace the cultural and religious observance of both West & East.  However, our observance of western rite is dedicated to that which we have received from the era of Orthodox Europe (9th – 11th centuries).

Hermitage  One definition being, “A hermitage is any type of domestic dwelling in which a hermit lives1.  A monastery being a community of numerous monastics following the communal (coenobitic) form is in no manner a Hermitage.  Our co-religionist in Scotland, Hieromonk Michael has a good description of historical hermitages here. 

of St John the Divine  The Beloved Apostle of the Lord.  St John, one of the youngest of the Apostles, had been given the awesome responsibility to care for our Lord’s Mother, God’s Mother; likewise John becomes her son.  St John had moved to the port city of Ephesus to minister to the new Christians there. Proportedly, the Holy Theotokos (Mother of God) Marija settled just outside Ephesus around the years of 42 AD {read & see}  on Mount Koressos, located close to Ephesus.   It is known in our Orthodox Tradition there had been a Basilica dedicated to St John in Ephesus.  There is, according to Sacred Tradition, a direct connection from Ephesus of St John’s time to the Orthodox British Isles.  

Liturgically, there was an “Ephesian Rite” which passed to Smyrna by St John’s disciple St Polycarp; then to Lyon by St Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, and so on.  The Ephesian Rite developed into the Gallican Rite in Gaul (ancient France) and gave to the Iberian Peninsula (ancient Spain) the Mozarabic Rite.  Then to Ireland & Britain where it became the Celtic Rite (as given in the Stowe Missal) and the English Rite (precursor to the Sarum Use of the Roman Rite in Norman England). We, in fact, have the Divine Liturgy of St John the Divine (here) from the Orthodox British Isles. 

As we stated elsewhere, the liturgical observance at Novi Kloštar Hermitage of St John the Divine is Western Rite.  Specifically, it is what the English translator’s refer to as “Old Sarum Rite” (to gain its translators the attention it deserves).  We at Novi Kloštar Hermitage follow, specifically, this “Old Sarum” what we call Orthodox Anglo-Roman Rite. This Orthodox Anglo-Roman Rite might be said to be an anglicized Roman Rite after the Roman Rite had been brought to the Britans by St Augustine of Canterbury (who had been sent there by St Pope Gregory the Great). 

In his Gospel & Epistles St John’s theology reflected in his message is one of shared Divine Love. Love for mankind by God, love for God by creation and love between all creation while being in union with God. What did our Lord say about God’s Law?

He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets'”. (Matt. 22:37-40).

It just made sense to seek St John the Divine as the Hermitage’s heavenly patron.





© 2014 – 2017

Orthodox Congregation of St Benedict of Nursia—Romualdian Tradition (OCSB-R), Inc,
United States of America

℗ 2016 – 2017