Christ the Savior Monastery (Niagara Falls, NY)

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Christ the Savior Monastery or Christminster
Jurisdiction Orthodox Archdiocese of America (noncanonical), Stavropegial
Type Male Monastery
Founded 1962
Superior Anthony Bondi
Approx. size unknown
Location Niagara Falls, New York
Liturgical language(s) English
Music used Gregorian
Calendar Julian
Feastdays celebrated unknown
Official website Official Website

Christminster or Christ the Savior Monastery was a Western Rite monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), established in Rhode Island in 1993 with the blessing of Archbishop Hilarion, then Bishop of Manhattan, who authorized Dom James M. Deschene (formerly the prior of the Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Royal) to continue the Western Rite mission of Mount Royal under the title of Christ the Saviour Monastery or Christminster. It was located in Niagara Falls, NY. It has since left ROCOR and joined the Orthodox Archdiocese of America, an Archdiocese not recognized by any canonical body.


Founded in 1910 as an Old Catholic monastery, Mount Royal's mission and work continued under Old Catholic auspices until 1962. In that year the community was received into the patriarchal Russian Orthodox Church by its American exarch, Bishop Dositheus (Ivanchenko) of New York. For several years, the monks of Mount Royal staffed a Western Rite chapel in the Russian Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Manhattan, later moving to Woodstock, New York. Bishop Dositheus' successor, Archbishop John (Wendland), blessed and confirmed the Western Rite observance and mission of Mount Royal and the leadership of its abbot, Dom Augustine Whitfield.

In 1975, under Abbot Augustine, the monastery was received into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia by Archbishop Nikon (Rklitzsky), who again authorized and blessed its mission and observances.

In 1993, upon the retirement of Abbot Augustine, Christminster was founded in Rhode Island with the blessing of Bishop Hilarion to carry on the work of Western Rite Orthodoxy in the ROCOR Synod.

In 2013, in an extraordinary session of the ROCOR Synod, several resolutions were passed as to limit the Western Rite. As a result of this, the monks associated with the monastery left ROCOR and returned to the jurisdiction they resided in prior to their union with ROCOR, which is currently not in communion with any canonical Orthodox jurisdiction.

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