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A MESSAGE FROM ABBESS MELANIA (November 26, 2020)
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we are reminded that, even in difficult times, there are endless reasons to thank God.  Personally, we are very aware of the blessing of still having a monastery after the recent fires and of staying healthy in these times of COVID.  Even more so, we are grateful to God for you our friends, who are always there for us, even in these tough times.  And yes, these are tough times, but Christ’s light shines brighter in darkness.  As we journey towards the Nativity, may we all let His light confront and banish the darkness in our own souls so that we, along with the Christmas star, may be lights leading others to our Incarnate God!
Orthodox Christian Monasticism
Monasticism (from the Greek word "monachos", a solitary person) is the ancient Christian practice of withdrawal from the world to a life of prayer and simmplicity, seeking union with Jesus Christ in love of God and neighbor. We strive to live by the rule of obedience, chastity, poverty, and stability; while such a rule of life is difficult, it is also joyful.
Prayer and Hospitality
Loving God and neighbor means that the twin principles of the monastery are prayer and hospitality. The sisters pray alone in their cells, but also gather multiple times a day in the church for services. We extend hospitality by welcoming visitors to the garden and livestreaming our services so others can participate in our worship.
Connected to Community
With its unique location in the heart of Calistoga, Holy Assumption Monastery embraces its ministry of serving and sharing in the life of its neighbors. Many of the sisters have tutored children at the local elementary school; regularly visit the ill and infirm; take in shelter animals as space allows; and provide support to individuals and families in crisis with temporary housing, food, gas, and additional resources.
Labors of Love
Holy Assumption Monastery maintains its life of prayer and hospitality by means of the sisters' labors and the donation of our benefactors and friends. The sisters' activities include Monastery Books & Gifts, Calistoga Orthodox Caskets, Calistoga Orthodox Wines, and commissioned icons.

About Orthodoxy

It is not unusual for the monastery to be the first encounter our visitors have with Eastern Orthodoxy. Some may have heard before of the Church as Russian Orthodoxy or Greek Orthodoxy, but Orthodox Christians do not have to be Greek or Russian. Our community is part of the Russian Orthodox tradition, but our sisters come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds: Slavic, Greek, Syrian, and European. All of our sisters are American, and many are converts to the Orthodox Church. What is it about this faith tradition that draws people from so many walks of life?

Our History

Holy Assumption Monastery was established at 1519 Washington Street in Calistoga in 1943. The original group of nuns were refugees from the Soviet Union, and they built the community with love and prayers. However, the community dwindled in the 1980s until there were no nuns left, and the property fell into disrepair. Only in 2009 did nuns return, to reestablish monastic life in Calistoga.

Our Feast Day

Holy Assumption Monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, or Theotokos, which means "God-bearer." We celebrate our altar feast on August 15th, the Feast of the Dormition ("Falling Asleep") of the Mother of God. This feast is also known as the Assumption of the Virgin Mary among English-speakers, and the early nuns gave the monastery the name "Holy Assumption."

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Holy Assumption Monastery
1519 Washington St, Calistoga, CA 94515

(707) 942-6244