Who we are….
By grace, Holy Transfiguration Monastery is a monastery of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of the eparchy of Chicago. While small in our self-estimation, we are conscious of the vital place of monasteries in the life of the Church, and the importance of our charism as an Eastern Catholic monastery in the Church universal.
Existentially, we are poor sinners in need of salvation, who form an imperfect monastic brotherhood. Forgive us and pray for us. Nevertheless, in His condescension our Lord Jesus Christ has deigned to call us, each one and all together, unto Himself. A call to repentance. A call to salvation. A call to become like unto Christ, like unto God: a call to deification.
If you are wondering about the possibility of your vocation at our monastery, the following are some essential aspects of what would constitute your regular monastic life:
+ Singing daily the praises of our God who has created us, who in the economy of His Love has deigned to save us, and who intends nothing less than to fully sanctify us in his Church, Body of His Incarnate Son. Begging forgiveness for our sins. Prostrating ourselves and repenting before Him. Thanking Him. Communing with Him. Glorifying Him. Such is our work in the Divine Office and the Divine Liturgy, the most important work which the Church entrusts to and expects from us as monastics. A work both divine and human. A work unto mercy, salvation and Life for the Church, for humanity, for ourselves.
+ Receiving daily obediences (tasks) in service to our Lord and our brotherhood. Doing so in the humble spirit of a disciple of Jesus Christ, seeking to know Him, to love Him, and to make oneself the servant of all for His sake.
+ Praying daily in one’s cell. Prostrating oneself before God in repentance and adoration, begging His forgiveness and mercy, asking His help, thanking Him, striving for living union with His will.
+ Meditating daily upon the Gospel of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Reading daily the Word of God. Having daily spiritual reading from our holy Fathers, contemporary saints and monastics, or other spiritual readings. Engaging in daily study topics relevant to monastic or Eastern Christian/Catholic formation.
+ Engaging in all of this in obedience and under the direction of a monk entrusted with formation. In our brotherhood, formation, while comprising certain basic and common elements, is undertaken in a personalistic framework within our cenobitic life.
+ Living all of this within a cenobitic monastic community with an engaged and demanding fraternal life, seeking to live by our Lord’s double Commandment of Love. And doing so by a rather hidden monastic witness — for while hospitality is an important part of our monastery’s apostolate (we receive not a few guests and visitors), it is a constitutive element of our life that we have no apostolates outside the monastery, or any apostolates within the monastery that would detract us from our monastic life.
The first step in considering whether to contact us should be prayer for the Lord’s guidance — and seeking sound spiritual guidance, if possible. The next step would be to reach out to us (by letter or email, for example). After communication, it will be mutually discerned whether our Lord is inviting you to make a come and see visit to our monastery. Here are the basic stages of life at our monastery:
Observership is around a 2 week visit (can be more or less, and can entail multiple visits) for mutual discernment in which one has an initial experience of life at our monastery.
Postulancy is a 6 month period (or longer) of mutual discernment. For those whom the Lord is inviting to continue at our monastery, this leads to monastic investiture in which a man receives the monastic tunic, becoming a novice-monk.
Noviciate is a 3 year (or longer) trial period in monastic life and continued formation. Finally comes:
Monastic consecration by which a man is consecrated for life a monk of the Church and receives the monastic “schema” or habit.
You who seek our Lord, by His grace may you find His will, may you accomplish it, and may He Bless you.