The Abbey of the Holy Name (West Milford, New Jersey)

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The Abbey of The Holy Name
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 (Brothers) 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. 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). 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 Calendarist 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. 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 allegedly 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 Church of Ukraine (Kiev Patriarchate) by Patriarch Voldymir of Kiev, received the bishops of the Western Rite Synod into the Milan Synod by a new granting of ordination. 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.

Western Rite work and Services

The monastery has been Western Rite for virtually the whole of its existence. Originally using the Tridentine liturgy with Overbeck's modifications (which combined forms the basis of the Liturgy of St Gregory,) the monastery began the pioneering work of translating the services of the Sarum Rite, a process that took over two decades. In 1993, the Medieval Monastic Psalter was published in a series of over thirty volumes, employing the traditional language used in the West for centuries in an Orthodox text. The texts contain all the parts needed to employ the full cycle of services and Divine Liturgy used in the pre-schism Sarum Rite, thus making the texts the first completely translated pre-schism Western liturgies in centuries.

The monastery continues to sponsor Western rite initiatives and missions in the Archdiocese through the provision of texts and translations provided on the basis of need, and also guides the Western Rite missions of the Milan Synod and assists with those who seek information about the ancient Western rite. The monastery itself still uses the Sarum rite for the daily cycle of services.

In 2008, the texts of the Medieval Monastic Psalter were approved for use in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

External link