ABOUT THE ST. INNOCENT OF ALASKA MONASTIC COMMUNITY
The St. Innocent of Alaska Monastic Community was founded on November 15, 2003 and is under the Moscow Patriarchal Parishes. For almost 15 years it previously had been associated with and attached to the St. Innocent of Irkutsk Church in Redford, in the Metropolitan Detroit, Michigan area, since its founding until May 6, 2018. During that time it had been doing many things to assist in the life and ministry of the Parish and its former Pastor. However, since May 6, 2018, the Monastic Community is no longer associated with the St. Innocent of Irkutsk Church and its clergy, although it remains in the Moscow Patriarchal Parishes.
[Please note that although St. Innocent Monastery is a legal name with the State of Michgan, registered as a DBA (Doing Business As) of the St. Innocent Religious/Monastic Community, ecclesiastically, it is a "Monastic Community," (although initially it was called a "Religious" Community).
When Sister Ioanna moved into the St. Xenia House (photo to the right) on November 15, 2003, Mitered Archpriest Roman Star, then Dean of the Central States Deanery (now retired as Dean and Pastor), immediately officially declared the establishment of the St. Innocent of Alaska Religious/Monastic Community. The Monastic Community was originally based at the St. Xenia House, located ¾ of a long block from St. Innocent Church, from November 15, 2003 until December 23, 2012.
On November 14, 2008, in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the St. Innocent Monastic Community, a second nearby house — dedicated to St. Seraphim of Sarov (photo to the left) — was purchased. Since Christmas 2012 until the present, the home of the St. Innocent Monastic Community has been transferred down the street to this St. Seraphim House, at 9452 Hazelton, located diagonally across the street from the St. Innocent Church. The close proximity of the Monastic Community to the church had previously (until May 6th, 2018), facilitated in its being able to assist readily in various aspects of the parish ministry, including being able to offer more Divine Services, education, and hospitality. Since the monastery's founding, hospitality had originally frequently been offered to people who wished to have a spiritual family and "second home." In addition to hospitality, at both the St. Xenia House and the St. Seraphim House, previously there used to be an active ministry of offering general adult education and catechumen classes (until May, 2018). Initially, considerable effort was extended to attracting other potential nuns and grow the community; several prospective candidates came, but they were not suitable. After that, efforts were focused on Orthodox education, service and ministry at St. Innocent Church. Now, since May 2018, the ministry has been focused on education, primarily through writing and posting the over 100 essays and other articles on this website.
As of May 6, 2018, Sister Ioanna and the Monastic Community "retired" from doing all the extensive and time-consuming work at St. Innocent Church, and commencing a new chapter in the life of the St. Innocent Monastic Community. Now there is more time to return to fulfilling the broader Orthodox educational ministry of Firebird Videos, Audios & Books, which had slipped into the background due to the absorbing and time-consuming work at St. Innocent Church. To start off this revitalized chapter in the Orthodox educational ministry of Sister Ioanna and the St. Innocent of Alaska Monastic Community, the first step was to create this present new St. Innocent Monastery website, launched in May of 2018, which highlights the monastery's written educational ministry, by making available numerous Orthodox educational articles/ essays. Numerous additional articles have been added since May 2018. We are presently in the second step, where new articles are being written and posted on the website, and previously written articles are being added to the site to make them available to the general public. Plans are also in the works to compile Sister Ioanna's collected works, most of which are or will be posted on this website, and to publish them in two volumes to make them more accessible to the general reading public. In addition, it is planned to revise Sister Ioanna's doctoral dissertation for a more general reading public and to publish it too, in order to make available to the general public this pivotal study about a universal symbol that has never been identified before. The third step will be to revise, refine and develop the Firebird Videos website, adding the shopping cart and adding photos of each Firebird item. In order to accomplish this third step, new covers and labels for each exisitng DVD and CD must be made, a time-consuming and arduous task, (after the previous covers and labels were lost as a result of a ransomware invasion). After step three is completed, we will advance to the fourth step, when dedicated attention and time will be devoted to making new DVDs, while we also continue doing additional writing and publishing, as may be appropriate at the time.