March 3, 2011
|His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, in Sretensky Monastery.|
Before the beginning of the session, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill visited the Cathedral dedicated to the Meeting of the Vladimir icon of the Mother of God, where His Holiness was met by the Superior of the Monastery, Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), the brothers of the monastery, the members of the Patronage Council, and students of the Sretensky Theological Seminary. The Patriarch of the Russian Church venerated the holy relics of Hieromartyr Hilarion (Troitsky).
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill gave the opening speech. As His Holiness emphasized, during the seventeen years since its reopening, Sretensky Monastery has become "an important spiritual and cultural center in the nation's capital, of significance to the whole Church."
The Patriarch noted that the "limiting external conditions" pose a serious obstacle to the development of monastery life. In the words of His Holiness, the space within the monastery's sole remaining church is far from adequate to provide for the number of people who attend the services. "During the twenties and thirties of the last century, many buildings belonging to the monastery were destroyed, and there is no possibility of restoring a significant portion of them, because they were situated on the carriageway of what is now the Lubyanka," noted the Patriarch.
"A present need has ripened to reconstruct the territory, expand the seminary's possibilities to run, and the construction of a new church—at least one," he emphasized.
In the words of His Holiness, one of the monastery's goals is to preserve the memory of the new martyrs and confessors of the twentieth century. "The best thing would be to built here, on this land washed by blood, a church which would be dedicated to the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia," said Patriarch Kirill. "This would be a truly worthy event, which would immortalize the heroism of a huge number of people who gave their lives for their Motherland, for the life of our people, and for their faithfulness to God and the Church."
A film was then displayed about the history, reconstruction, and development project for Sretensky Monastery.
Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) presented the "Concept for the development of the Moscow Sretensky Stavropegic Monastery." As is noted in the document, Sretensky Monastery is the smallest monastery in Moscow in terms of space, yet the most populated: there are forty permanently residing monks and 150 seminarians. In connection with this, the need for constructing a new church complex has long ripened.
During the discussion following, the possibility of building the Church of the Lubyanka New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia-on-the-Blood was reviewed. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill remarked that the new church should be built in the traditional Russian style. It was proposed that the church's consecration take place in the year 2017, in honor of the 100-year anniversary of the tragic revolution and civil war in Russia.
The creation of a museum of New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia and an Orthodox enlightenment center on the monastery territory was also discussed.
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His Holiness Patriarch Kirill with Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov).
Within the monastery walls are located the Patriarchal Cultural Council, the Church and social council for defense against the threat of alcoholism, and the Sretensky Theological Seminary. The Sretensky publishing house is one of the largest Orthodox publishers in modern Russia. The internet site of Sretensky Monastery, Pravoslavie.ru, has been the number one site for ten years now, according to the ratings of major search engines. [OrthoChristian.com is the English project of Pravoslavie.ru.] The monastery has a skete dedicated to St. Seraphim of Sarov, and an agricultural cooperative called, "Voskresenie" (Resurrection) in Ryazan Province. Not far from the skete is a children's home also run by the monastery, caring for up to 100 children.