Romanian Church reopens monastery founded by St. Stephen the Great and closed by Habsburg Monarchy

Șcheia, Suceava County, Bukovina, Romania, July 21, 2022

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Yet another monastery that was closed more than 230 years ago by the Habsburg Monarchy has been reestablished and reopened in the Romanian Church.

His Eminence Archbishop Calinic of Suceava and Rădăuţi and his vicar His Grace Bishop Damaschin of Dorneni celebrated the reconsecration of the church at St. Elijah Monastery in Șcheia, Suceava County, which was founded by the beloved St. Stephen the Great in 1488.

At least three other such monasteries have been reopened since last year. Another had already been reopened in the 90s and celebrated the 30th anniversary of its revival last year.

The hierarchs also celebrated on Wednesday the installation of the first abbot since the closure of the monastery 237 years ago after the Habsburg Monarchy occupied Bukovina in 1775, reports the Basilica News Agency.

“Through its consecration, the church is given to God and it becomes God’s property. Through consecration, the church was recorded in the annals of the Kingdom of God, made available to believers,” emphasized Abp. Calinic.

“Neither I, nor the town hall, nor the Archdiocese have the right of ownership, but God. We are managing God’s work here,” the hierarch preached.

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Abp. Calinic and Bp. Damaschin then celebrated the Divine Liturgy on an outdoor altar. At the end of the service, Protosinghel Elisha Preutu from the Monastery of St. John the New was installed as abbot of the newly established monastery.

The monastery has seen various periods of flourishing in its history, being not far from the seat of the Suceava Archdiocese. The monastery was closed on April 29, 1785. The cells were demolished and the church was transformed into a parish church.

The monastery underwent extensive restoration from 2019 to this year.

Last summer, the Archdiocese of Suceava also reestablished a hermitage built by St. Stephen the Great, and in January of this year, a church that dates to the time of St. Stephen was converted into a monastery.

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