Our Holy Monastery of Virgin Mary the Consolatory, the first Greek Orthodox monastery in Quebec, has not been in existence for many years. It was founded in 1993, with a favorable agreement and under the auspicious care of his Eminence, Metropolitan Sotirios, head of the Greek Orthodox Church of Canada. A hierarch of those who take cognizance of the fact that in a given diocese, establishing monasteries allows for a fuller liturgical life.
The monastery was conceived, founded and guided by the Elder Ephraim, a spiritual offspring of the eminent Elder Joseph the Hesychast. Having conducted an ascetic struggle in various sketes of the Holy Mountain of Athos, the Elder Ephraim became abbot of the Holy Monastery of Philotheou and established several women’s monasteries in Greece.
Many years later, he set aside his mandate and with the blessing of the Church officials and the appeal of the Orthodox faithful gave himself up to the holy mission of confession and the establishment of numerous monasteries in North America under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Church of the United States and that of Canada.
Two nuns, who were under Elder Ephraim’s obedience, migrated from the ancient and historical Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner of Serres in central Macedonia to establish the monastery in Quebec in rather difficult conditions. An old farm once belonging to an English-speaking family was bought with the purpose of being converted into a monastery. It was an extensive landscape comprising of 235 acres of dense forest set on a hill in the breath-taking Laurentians, 16 km northwest of Lachute, in Brownsburg-Chatham. Grass and bramble had grown over the property and the house was in ruins and in general need of repair. A surfeit of love, sacrifice and arduous labor on the part of the increasing number of sisters and kind volunteers was required in order to transform the area into a garden of our Most Holy Mother of consolation to whom the monastery is dedicated.
The sisterhood composed of 22 nuns under the guidance of Abbess Thekla labors with great intensity in farm-agricultural work, cheese making and crafting various hand made items. Apart from their arduous work, they receive visitors daily diligently offering themselves wholeheartedly to their neighbor as Christ did himself.
Come and you shall see…