The Abbey of the Holy Name (West Milford, New Jersey)
The Abbey of the Holy Name is a Western Rite monastery of the Old Calendarist Holy Synod of Milan established in West Milford, New Jersey with the blessing of Metropolitan William in 1973 and Metropolitan Joseph prior to his repose in 1990. The abbey was the continuing monastic institution which succeeded St. Dunstan's Priory in Woodstock, New York, following its destruction by fire in 1948, and its temporary relocation thereafter to Overlook Mountain, which is still the present site of the Milan Synod Western Rite Orthodox Parish of the Holy Transfiguration.
St. Dunstan's had been moved to Woodstock, New York, in 1940 by Metropolitan William when he transferred the priory and his see from Waukegan, Illinois. In 1973, Schema-Abbot John (LoBue) was elected by the St. Dunstan community to replace Abbot Augustine Whitfield when the latter established the Monastery of Mount Royal in Jacksonville, Florida. Schema-Abbot John was assigned to find a new location for the abbey, which was moved later that year to West Milford, New Jersey. In 1978, the name of the abbey was changed to Abbey of the Holy Name and, on September 21, 1980, Schema-Abbot John was consecrated Bishop of the Northeast (USA) by First Hierarch Metropolitan Joseph and Archbishop Hilarion of Texas. Since then the abbey has housed the diocesan offices and the St. Gregory Orthodox Liturgical Press. Many ecclesiastical dignitaries have visited the abbey during its existence, including Archbishop Hilarion of Australia (ROCOR) and Bishop Germaine of Paris (ECOF). The Blessed Elder (Schema-Bishop) Theodore (Irtel) of Old Valaam lived the last 7 years of his life at the abbey and reposed there on November 21, 1997.
The abbey is within the Old Calendar jurisdiction of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe and the Americas (AOMWEA) since 1997, which is more commonly known as the Holy Synod of Milan. Prior to that date, these churches connected with the abbey constituted the Western Rite Exarchate of the Russian Patriarchal Church under Exarch William. Due to alleged manipulations of KGB interference they left the Moscow Patriarchate and came into communion with the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church in Exile under Archbishop Palladios, one of the founders of SCOBA. Under Palladios' leadership permission was granted to establish this Western Rite church on its own as the Synod of Orthodox Bishops of the Western Rite with parishes and monasteries in America, Great Britain and Yugoslavia. In 1972, after the repose of Abp. Palladios, these churches severed all relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate due to latter's extensive involvement in Ecumenism. In 1997, the bishops of the Milan Synod, which had by then received a second Tomos of Autonomy in connection with the Ukrainian Patriachate by Patriarch Voldymir of Kiev, received the bishops of the Western Rite Synod into the Milan Synod by a new granting of cheirothesia. At the same time Bishop John, who had served as locum tenens for First Hierarch after the repose of Metropolitan Joseph in 1990, was given the position of Archbishop of New York and New Jersey.