Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fieldtrip: Jordanville, NY

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Laurus, was buried yesterday at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, near Cooperstown and Utica in central New York State.

The highlight of his career was perhaps his leadership in
reunifying the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia with the Patriarchate in Moscow last year.

Holy Trinity Monastery has an interesting story itself. Holy Trinity Monastery was founded in 1928 by Russian emigres living in Jordanville. The community was helped by another Russian emigre, Igor Sikorsky, of aviation fame.

A second strand of the monastery’s history traces its beginnings to a group of monks who fled the Pochaev Monastery in Ukraine in the face of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. They ended up in the Carpatho-Rusyn village of
Ladomirova (Ladomyorova), today in Slovakia.

Metropolitan Laurus, then known as Vasyl’ Shkurla, was born in
Ladomirova on 1 January 1928, and was active in the monastic community at an early age. He later joined the community, and fled with it when the Soviets occupied Czechoslovakia in World War II. The community ended up at the monastery in Jordanville, where it remains today. The current monastery church is a replica of the one at the Ladomirova monastery.

An interesting side note is that when the monks fled Slovakia and landed in New York they brought with them a Cyrillic printing press originally donated by the Carpathian Student Union in Prague with the help of Rusyn émigrés in the United States. The press printed a major inter-war newspaper aimed at Carpatho-Rusyns in Czechoslovakia and Poland, Pravoslavnaia Karpatskaia Rus’(Orthodox Carpatho-Rus’, 1928-1944) that continues to this day as Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Rus’, 1947-present).

Printing remains a major activity at the monastery. Elsewhere on the monastery grounds is the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary.

Holy Trinity Monastery was named one of the “Seven to Save” by the Preservation League of New York State in the face of a large-scale wind power project that would see the surrounding area planted with nearly 50 wind turbines.

A full history of the monastery can be found in three parts on the ROCOR website:
one, two, three. And a video report about Metropolian Laurus, as well as about the funeral, can be found on the website of Russia Today.
More photos:


Yakima_Gulag said...

I have a friend who did not know she had Rusyn people in her family tree! It was very exciting for her to find this out. As well there is a tiny Rusyn minority in BiH.

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