Monastic Life in Montana

Monastic Life in Montana


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I was a younger man back then; in my early twenties I suppose. It must have been the third time I made my way through Montana within a few years. This was truly the beginning of my coming to know the Christ, who I had be baptized into since infancy. I was living in Alaska, after serving on one of the Many Orthodox Missions in the Southeastern part of the state, and I had made the trek from Colorado along the Rockies up through the Montana/Canada border, through Banff and Jasper and onto the Great Alaskan Highway. In my earlier writings I always likened Paradise to a ranch somewhere amongst the great blue sky of Montana.

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When I saw these images of the site for St. Peter’s Monastery in Harrison, MT my heart skipped a beat. I could feel our Christ very closely again. In 2011 a large wooden cross was placed on the land of David and Betsy Hicks, “West of the Moon Ranch”  where the monastery will be built. His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West, blessed the establishment of the Monastery where men can live the monastic life.

“At the end of September 2015, Father Innocent and Brother Ioann of the Orthodox Church in America’s Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco Monastery, Manton, CA and Brother Donald of the Serbian Western America Diocese’s Saint Herman Monastery, Platina, CA packed their bags and hopped into the Chevy pickup to head to Harrison, MT to begin work on the foundation of the new OCA Monatic Life in Montana 5monastery dedicated to Saint Peter the Apostle (for more information from the OCA click here).” This is truly something out of a country dream. The light of Christ shining from this beacon in a place so kindred to the truth.

“Please pray with us that God will provide a way for West of the Moon ranch to become St. Peter’s Monastery, a sequestered home for the prayer and worship of monastics and a source of spiritual strength and healing for faithful pilgrims and visitors.”


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About author

Dean Franck

Dean Franck is a first year student in the Master's of Divinity Program at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is also a participant of our Digital Disciples Program.