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In the spirit of the early Celtic Saint St. Ninian (c. 360 - c. 432) the monastery seeks to become a center of Christian life, prayer, and education by offering time away for prayer as well as the [[Orthodox Center for Church Growth and Evangelism]] that will be part of the monastic foundation.
In 2009, two Orthodox Priests, V. Rev. Fr. Peter-Michael Preble from [ St. Michael Orthodox Christian Church] in Southbridge, Massachusetts and [ The Rev. Fr. Kenneth M. DeVoie] from [ Emmanuel Orthodox Catholic Church] (a parish of the [[Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate]]) in Warren, Massachusetts met to share a common vision to establish a Pan-Orthodox Monastic community in the heart of Central Massachusetts (New England). The vision took flight. Fr. Peter petitioned and received permission from Archbishop Nicolae to proceed; he was soon tonsured as a monk at [[St. Dumitru Retreat and Monastic Center (Middletown, New York)]] by Archbishop Nicolae . Simultaneously, Fr. Ken petitioned Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese, who also granted him permission to proceed.
The monastery, along with the [[Orthodox Center for Church Growth & Evangelism]] is still in the early stages of formation. All those interested in partnering to establish the monastery and center, should contact the Monastery directly.
==Patron Saint==
The monastery is under the patronage of Our venerable and God-bearing Father [[Columba of Iona]], Enlightener of Scotland ([[December 7]], 521 - [[June 9]], 597) (also known as Columcille, meaning "Dove of the Church") was an Irish missionary who helped re-introduce Christianity to Scotland and the north of England.
===Life of St. Columba===
He was born to Fedhlimidh and Eithne of the Ui Neill clan in Gartan, near Lough Gartan, Donegal. On his father's side he was great-great-grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish king of the fourth century. He became a [[monasticism|monk]] and soon rose in the church hierarchy to the rank of [[priest]]. Tradition asserts that, sometime around 560, he became involved in a copyright wrangle with St. [[Finnian of Moville]] over a [[psalter]]. The dispute eventually led to the pitched Battle of Cul Dremhe in 561, during which many men were killed. (Columba's copy of the psalter has been traditionally associated with the [[Cathach of St. Columba]].) As [[penance]] for these deaths, Columba was ordered to make the same number of new [[convert]]s as had been killed. He was also ordered to leave Ireland and move such that he could not see his native country.
[[Image:Columba_Bay.jpg|left|thumb|300px|St. Columba's Bay, where the saint first landed on [[Iona]]]]
He travelled to Scotland, where it is reputed he first landed at the southern tip of the Kintyre peninsula, near Southend. However, being still in sight of his native land he moved further north up the west coast of Scotland. In 563 he founded a [[monastery]] on the island of [[Iona]] off the west coast of Scotland which became the centre of his evangelising mission to Scotland. There are many stories of miracles which he performed during his mission to convert the Picts.
Columba is also the source of the first known reference to the Loch Ness Monster. According to the story, in 565 he came across a group of Picts who were burying a man killed by the monster, and brought the man back to life. In another version, he is said to have saved the man while the man was being attacked, driving away the monster with the [[sign of the cross]].
St. Columba's [[feast day]] is [[June 9]], and with St. [[Patrick of Ireland]] ([[March 17]]) and St. [[Brigid of Kildaire]] ([[February 1]]) is one of the three [[patron saint]]s of Ireland. The three are buried together in Downpatrick in County Down, deep within the famous Hill of Down.
Columba is not to be confused with his disciple, St. [[Columbanus]].
==External Links==
*[ Official Site]
*[ Becoming a Monk]
*[!/group.php?gid=109980255705637 Facebook Site]
*[ Hieromonk Peter's Blog]
*[ St. Michael Orthodox Chrsitian Church]
*[ Emmanuel Orthodox Catholic Church]
===In the News===
*[ Home for prayer, contemplation and work]
[[Category:American Monasteries]]
[[Category:Featured Articles]]
[[Category:Romanian Monasteries]]

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