Wednesday, January 4, 2012

History of the Mission

The seeds of Saint Brendan Monastery Mission began with a small group of Orthodox Christians in Tulsa, Oklahoma who were seeking to form a Sarum rite Western Orthodox mission with ROCOR in 2004. When the core of the group moved to another diocese in 2005, an Orthodox Study Society was set up in Lynn Haven, FL under the patronage of Saint Petroc Monastery (Hieromonk Michael (Wood), and in contact with Holyrood House (Dom David (Pierce)which was in the process of seeking reception to ROCOR under the direction of Dom Augustine (Whitfield) of blessed memory, at the Chapel of the Holy Virgin, Dormition of Our Lady of Mount Royal Monastery in Jacksonville, FL.

Weekly Mattins and Vespers began in Lynn Haven, FL in July 2005 using the Saint Colman Prayer Book - containing the Sarum Liturgy in English, and the Day Office of Sarum in English. In 2007 a member of the Society participated in the St. Eanswythe Pilgrimage in Folkestone Kent and retreat at Capel-Le-Ferne led by Fr. Hiermonk Michael of Saint Petroc Monastery. In 2008 the Society was reorganized as a Monastery Mission with the elevation of Metropolitan Hilarion of New York City as First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. In 2009 Saint Brendan held their first Paschal Triduum services according to the Sarum Rite at a borrowed Anglican Catholic parish. Dom David (Pierce) of Holyrood House, having been formally received into ROCOR in the previous year, was the celebrant - along with Brother George assisting at the altar, and Ari Adams chanting. We had guests from the Antiochians and Anglican Catholics. Later in the year, the convener of Saint Brendan met with Metropolitan Hilarion at a Pastoral Conference in Atlanta, GA to begin discussions towards ordination.

In 2010 Dom David (Pierce) was elevated to Abbot of Our Lady of Mount Royal - the oldest Western Rite Orthodox monastery - at the retirement of Abbot Augustine. Metropolitan Hilarion in response to a question of whether the community was in the Eastern Archdiocese advised our community on March 28th, 2010 that we were directly under the Metropolitan. The 2010 Paschal Triduum was again served by Abbot David at a borrowed Anglican Catholic parish in Panama City, FL, with Ari Adams assisting with chant and in the altar. We had guests from the OCA and the Anglican Catholics, as well at Saint Brendan's seven Orthodox members, one catechumen, and two inquirers. Deputy Joseph McQuillan of Walton County Sheriff's Office was chrismated on Holy Saturday. Saint Brendan's later sent two candidates to an Ordination Conference at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV at the Metropolitan's direction. In July Dom Augustine Whitfield reposed, followed in September by the servant of God Joseph McQuillan of Saint Brendan's Monastery Mission. Graveside services were said by Abbot David of Mount Royal at Whistler Cemetery in Alabama. In October, at the Metropolitan's suggestion, the convener flew to the UK to visit the ROCOR WRITE English Mission and was made an altar server while assisting at liturgies in Devon, Dorset, and in London.

In 2011 the members of the Mission traveled for the Paschal Triduum at Our Lady of Mount Royal Monastery in Jacksonville, FL. A visit was also made to Dom Augustine (Whitfield's) grave, and to St. Photios National Shrine in St. Augustine, FL.

In 2012, members of the Mission will be traveling to Our Lady of Mount Royal Monastery for Christmas services.