New abbot installed at St. Demetrios Romanian Orthodox Monastery in New York

Middletown, New York, October 30, 2020

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On Sunday, October 25, St. Demetrios the New Romanian Orthodox Monastery began a new phase in its spiritual life with the installation of a new abbot.

His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae of the Americas of the Romanian Orthodox Church arrived at the monastery in Middletown, New York, on Saturday to celebrate Great Vespers in honor of the monastery’s patron St. Demetrios the New. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated the next day with 9 priests and deacons from New York, New Jersey, and Virginia concelebrating with His Eminence and the monastery clergy, reports the site of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas.

In his homily, Met. Nicolae spoke about the life and virtue of the St. Demetrios the New and about the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing that it is not for us to know when this scourge will end. It is our duty to simply focus on what we as Christians can do to reach the Kingdom of Heaven.

“It is not according to our will, but according to the will of God. When God orders then we will pass from this life. What we have to do is prepare… On this day when we honor St. Demetrios, it is appropriate to remember and put more value on our soul than on this world that will not accompany us beyond, but remains here,” His Eminence preached.

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On the same day that the monastery celebrated its patron saint, “a new beginning was made” with the installation of Fr. Prostosinghel Jeremiah (Berbec) as abbot. Fr. Jeremiah was a monk of the famous Putna Monastery in Romania. Met. Nicolae celebrated the rite of installation at the end of the Divine Liturgy, endowing Fr. Jeremiah with a cross, symbolizing the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, as the only path in the Christian life, and his abbot’s staff, to help him keep the monastery in good order.

Fr. Jeremiah takes up his new role with the blessing of Archimandrite Melchizedek, the abbot of Putna Monastery, and His Eminence Metropolitan Calinic of Suceava.

In his word at the installation, Met. Nicolae instructed Fr. Jeremiah that his new mission is both noble and challenging at the same time, but also fulfilling. He assured him that he will always have his support and that of the priests and faithful from throughout the Metropolia, to help him nurture a flourishing monastery and to comfort the faithful who come seeking spiritual guidance.

In turn, the new abbot spoke of how he accepted the high calling and responsibility only with the awareness that all good things can be done only by relying wholly on God.

“We are very aware that … only the work of God can do anything here. So we are waiting for it. We have reason to hope that God will work, will bear fruit. He knows. We must be long-suffering, sacrifice ourselves, and be servants of the Lord,” Fr. Jeremiah said.

He expressed his desire to live in an authentic monastery, with all things being done in obedience and with a blessing. “This is what I want,” Fr. Jeremiah said, “to be in obedience and blessing.”

The new abbot also spoke of St. John (Maximovitch), who is greatly loved by Romanians at home and abroad. Two weeks prior, the monastery was blessed to receive a particle of St. John’s incorrupt relics, which the monastery had embedded in an icon that was placed for the veneration of the faithful on the feast of St. Demetrios the New.

“It was a Christian and Romanian feast, with a great spirit of communion and warmth given by the grace of the service and the blessing of the saints,” the Metropolia reports.

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Ioana10/12/2021 1:12 pm
The Monastery is located at 1572 Mountain Rd Otisville, NY 10940 United States
Walter Miclo7/18/2021 7:23 am
Is there still a Romanian Orthodox Monastery in Middletown, NY, and if so what is its address so that I may visit it? I'm not Romanian, but I live in NYC and I know people who are Romanian and we may wish to visit the monastery. Thanks! Walter Miclo 2061 St. Raymond Ave. 1F Bronx, NY 10462.
Abbot Stephen11/1/2020 8:14 am
"On the same day that the monastery celebrated its patron saint, “a new beginning was made” with the installation of Fr. Protosinghel Jeremiah Aries as abbot...." Please note that Father Jeremiah's surname is not "Aries", but "Berbec" (as it appears in the original, linked Romanian article). Years ago, while a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley pursuing his Ph.D. in mathematics, Father Jeremiah regularly attended Saturday night vespers and Sunday Liturgies here at Holy Cross Orthodox Monastery in Castro Valley, CA. At that time he was still a layman, known here as Ioan Berbec. After obtaining his Ph.D. he returned to Romania, where he later entered Putna Monastery and was given the name "Jeremiah" when he was tonsured into monasticism there. He was a wonderfully devout Orthodox Christian, when he attended services here in his youth. In Christ, Father Abbot Stephen, Holy Cross Monastery, Castro Valley, CA
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