By the mercy of God, over the past decade our monastery has experienced tremendous growth. The brotherhood has more than doubled in size, and the flow of pilgrims is now much greater than at any time in our past. We have far outgrown the small chapel we built when we moved to West Virginia. and desperately need a new temple to accommodate both our countless visitors as well as the many men waiting to enter the monastery once room is built for them.
As a community of monastics we have always striven to live by the work of our hands, but in order to accomplish a God-pleasing work of this scale we need your help. To date, we raised enough money to begin the excavation and foundation work for our new church. However we need your financial support to raise the remaining funds to finish building our new monastery church.
This year, please consider giving the gift of prayer to yourself, your friends, family and loved ones by making a tax-deductible contribution to the church fundraising effort. We realize that many people have limited means to contribute to a project like this, so we have created different ways for donors to participate in the founding of our new monastery church. Click on one of the links below to learn about our new giving options.
An English-speaking community of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, Holy Cross has grown prolifically in recent years. An influx of young American converts seeking the monastic life requires the monastery to construct new buildings almost continually. The time has come for us to build our most important structure – a permanent Temple.
• Capacity in the nave for 50 monks and 150 laypeople
• Multiple sets of doors opening onto a spacious wraparound porch for large crowds on feast days
• Masonry bell tower to house the full set of Russian bells recently donated to the monastery
• Lower level will become the new monastic trapeza, with full kitchen and seating capacity of 225
Currently we are unable to accept new novices since we lack not only cells, but also the space in church and trapeza for additional community members. This new temple building will allow us to once again focus on constructing additional dormitory space to allow our brotherhood to continue to grow.
In designing the new church, Andrew Gould has, in a sense, adapted the construction system of a basilica, but applied it to a cruciform plan with a central dome. This makes for a church that is recognizably Orthodox, but with a hint of the open airy architecture of Italy. Most importantly, it gives a sense of good vertical proportions to the interior spaces without actually rising to impractical heights, and without using an excessive volume of masonry.
On the exterior, he has sculpted the church with great simplicity. The forms are completely understandable, obviously rational. This is important in America, with our history of simple farmhouses and earnest Colonial architecture. Many of the people who will see this church will have no experience of Russian churches, whose exotic forms and baroque elaboration are immensely distant from our cultural heritage. It is his hope that they will see this church, and the monastic life of the community, and they will say “I understand this – it looks natural to my eyes; it feels almost inevitable in my heart.”
The interior is carefully designed to provide a degree of privacy and separation for the monks, without isolating the lay visitors from the iconostasis, kiots, and reliquaries. The large altar and sacristy can accommodate many visiting clergy for festal services. The basement level will provide space for a new monastic trapeza (dining hall) along with a full kitchen and pantry. This is extremely necessary since our existing trapeza is currently on the brink of collapse.
As of November 2020, we have finished excavation and have raised enough funds to complete the foundation and masonry shell of the new temple, but we still need your help to be able to finish the building and begin performing in it the daily monastic cycle of prayer and worship on behalf of the whole world.
Our budget for this project is $3.5 million. Please prayerfully consider supporting this God-pleasing work, so necessary not only for the monks and pilgrims of Holy Cross Monastery, but also for the entire world which suffers so profoundly from the need for God and for the fullness of Christian life and prayer which monasticism strives to incarnate to the highest degree possible.