Sredneuralsk, Sverdlovsk Province, Russia, February 8, 2024
The Monastery of the She Who Ripens the Grain Icon of the Mother of God in Sredneuralsk has reopened, three years after it was closed amidst a controversy surrounding its founder and spiritual father, the former Schema-Igumen Sergei Romanov.
The monastery is now a dependency of the Holy Trinity-St. Seraphim Monastery in Diveyevo, reports His Eminence Metropolitan Evgeny of Ekaterinburg.
“Well, when, when?” For several years now I’ve been hearing this question from all kinds of people. When will life resume in the Ural monastery, tragically closed three years ago? Today [February 6], the answer finally came.
With the blessing of His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod, the first service was held… A new page in the history of the monastery begins.
The sisters now face the task of establishing the daily life and the routine of monastic life… I entreat your prayers. Glory to God for all things!
The former Schema-Igumen Sergei, who founded the convent and served as its spiritual father for many years, was defrocked in 2020, found guilty of violating his priestly oath and monastic vows. He had long been a controversial figure, often issuing bold, sometimes extreme statements on a number of issues. Leading up to his defrocking, he made a number of statements about the COVID pandemic, the closure of churches, and vaccines. He was also sentenced to several years in prison for inciting hatred or enmity.