Michigan hermitage converting old barn into monastic chapel

Willamston, Michigan, March 27, 2024

Photo: stromanos.org Photo: stromanos.org     

A male hermitage in central Michigan is in the midst of a project to convert an old barn into a monastic chapel.

St. Romanos Orthodox Hermitage in Willamston, Michigan (Bulgarian Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America) began in 2015 “as a small monastic brotherhood that provides a simple ascetic life of prayer and fasting with daily monastic services.”

The hermitage “incorporates Eastern Orthodox monastic liturgical practices and the ‘Royal Way’ of monasticism—the preferred form of monasticism advocated by St. Paisios, St. Peter of Damascus, and Fr. Seraphim Rose.”

Photo: stromanos.org Photo: stromanos.org     

Named in honor of one of the Church’s foremost hymnographers, St. Romanos Hermitage is also known for its musical offerings.

The hermitage consists of two houses, and since 2021, the brotherhood has been working to convert a 100-year-old carriage house into a chapel. The building is 20x30 feet with a 30-foot ceiling.

The hermitage reports: “In 2021 we removed the upper floor and a contractor installed steel posts and I-beams to both reinforce the walls and hold the future 4-peaked roof with a cupola on top.”

Photo: stromanos.org Photo: stromanos.org     

Phase 2, replacing the roof and installing an 8-foot wide, 16-foot tall gold cupola, was initially intended to take place in the summer of 2023. The latest report notes that the steel for the new roof was delivered on March 14, and the framing of the new roof will begin soon.

The hermitage website also shows pictures of the delivery of the cupola.

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