Thursday, August 10, 2006

East meets West, near Rome

Well, the near East, if not the far East. The Abbey of St. Mary of Grottoferrata. Check out their photo gallery. I can't find any current photos of the monastery interior or of their chapel, so I don't know if it is Latin or Byzantine in style. This photo, of Paul VI visiting the abbey on 18 August 1963 makes me think it is more Byzantine than Latin:

I've never been to Grottoferrata; I first learned of it from "Dr." Pinto while we were at Christendom. He told us that when he was there, an Orthodox Christian woman happened to come across the monastery and asked if they were Orthodox, and the one who answered the door said "we are in communion with the pope." She asked the question again, and received the same answer, and walked away confused. It is a Basilian monastery founded by St. Nilus the Younger. The abbey was built on the spot where the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Nilus and requested that he build a church there. "Dr." Pinto says they celebrate the Byzantine liturgy in Greek at the monastery; I don't know if it is in unadulterated form. Still, if I go back to Italy I would like to visit the abbey.

CE entry on the abbey.

( from the Inn at the End of the World

From "The Consecration of the Church of St. Mary of Grottaferrata":

The Pontifical Oriental Institute is located next to the Church of St. Anthony the Great; on the other side of the church is the Russian College, or the Russicum. All are located near St. Mary Major (some pics of Santa Maria Maggiore--which is the home of a regular Maronite liturgy, iirc). I visited there with Chris Smith (now Fr. Chris Smith, parochial vicar at St. Mary's in Greenville -- news of his ordination last year here) the last time I was in Rome, I believe. We happened to come upon a divine liturgy in process, and stayed for some of it.

St. Michael's page on the Russicum.

The College itself known as the Russian College, or the 'Russicum', but its official title remains the 'College of St. Therese', and in the chapel used for the daily Liturgy there is a powerful icon of her on the Iconostasis in the place reserved for the patron of the place. It is a remarkable icon which conveys something quite extraordinary of her spiritual vision.

From the iconostasis.

Diak posts at the Byzantine Forum:

The Russicum has a nice chapel, located at Pontificio Collegio Russo (Russicum)

Via Carlo Cattaneo, 2A, 00185 Rome, Italy

Tel: (39–06) 446–5609

They used to have Saturday Vespers at 6 PM and Sunday Divine Liturgy at 10 AM,

Also not to far from the Piazza San Pietro in Rome is the nice little Russian Catholic convent of the Dormition. Their info: Monastero Russo Uspenskijvia della Pisana, 346, 00163 Rome, ItalyTel.: (39–06) 6615–2344

E-Mail: Sister Maria used to be the Hegumena (Prioress)

If you are ever near Milano Archpriest Romano Scalfi has the very nice Russia Cristiana mission:Fondazione Russia CristianaVia Ponzio, 44, 20133 Milan, Italy

Tel: (39–02) 266–3432Fax: (39–02) 236–5011

They have an Italian website at

Andreas writes in the same thread:

I have heard about a Church in Milan where the Bizantine Lithurgy is regularly celebrated every Sunday (at 10.30 am). It is the Church of S. Maurizio, Corso Magenta, 15; the website of the Abbey of Grottaferrata ( gives even a phone number to require further informations: +39.348.78.13.356.

Another Byzantine Catholic Church is in Turin: S. Michele Arcangelo; they have a website:; Sunday lithurgy is
at 10 am; it is more distant from the location of your studies than Milan.In Rome there is the Church of S. Atanasio; Sunday lithurgy 10.30 am; I think it is in Via del Corso.At the same latitude than Rome there is a BC Church in Villa Badessa, a little village near the towns of Chieti and Pescara (

"Monasticism in the Christian East" (unofficial homepage of the Society of St. John Chrysostom.)

St. Theodore the Studite

another icon
"Reform Rules"
A Catechetical Homily
Catecheses to his monks

St. Theodore House

St. John Damascene

(from University of Balamand)
University of Balamand page
De Fide Orthodoxa
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church version ( version (incomplete)
Unfortunately, not many of their writings are available online. I can't find a copy of the Rule of St. Basil either.

I did find this, The Crossroads Initative (Dr. Marcellino d'Ambrosio).

More on Orthodoxy and Hesychasm
The Orthodox Church by Kallistos Ware (his "How to Read the Bible")
The Basic Sources of the Teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church
"Saying the Jesus Prayer"Merton and Hesychasm
Hesychasm library
The Orthodox World-View by Father Seraphim Rose of Platina
A page on Seraphim Rose
Fr. Seraphim Rose Foundation
"The Future of Russia and the End of the World"


Fr. Alexander Men (other links)

Something about Fr. Taft, S.J. at the website for the Orthodox Institute at the GTU. Fr. Taft gives a lot of lectures for the Orthodox, and has frequent contact with them--I wonder what his opinion is of hesychasm.

I didn't know of the existence of the Orthodox Institute until I did the search on the Pontifical Oriental Institute. A place to check out if I ever return to Berkeley; is there a chapel? If there is, I hope it is open to the public. How do the Orthodox remain orthodox in Berkeley? haha

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