About Us

We are a Byzantine Catholic women’s monastery in the Eparchy of Parma, living in and drawing others into the spousal love of Christ through prayer and hospitality.

Our Typikon (Rule of Life)
Photo Albums

Why we are called "Christ the Bridegroom" Monastery:

About monastic life and our monastery:

Our History

In January of 2008, Bishop John Kudrick outlined his vision for the foundation of a monastery in the Eparchy of Parma as a response to St. John Paul II's call for the revitalization of Eastern Monasticism in his apostolic letter Orientale Lumen (Light of the East). We responded to that call. We were blessed with a house and property in Burton, Ohio, from the Social Mission Sisters who formerly resided there, and in the process of renovations undertaken with the help of many volunteers, we moved in on April 3, 2009. On March 29, 2010, Bishop John received our community into the eparchy. Mother Theodora was tonsured as our first stavrophore ("cross bearer"/life-professed) nun on November 20, 2011. On August 2, 2015, we were established by Bishop John as a Public Association of the Faithful. On September 27, 2019, Bishop Milan Lach completed the canonical process of the founding of our monastery, establishing us as a sui iuris monastery of eparchial right, and approved our typikon (rule of life). On September 29, 2019, Mother Theodora was elected hegumena (abbess), and on September 30, Bishop Milan publicly announced the canonical establishment and performed the liturgical institution of the hegumena.

Our Identity

We are a Byzantine Catholic monastic community of women in the Eparchy of Parma dedicated to a vigilant life of prayer and hospitality according to the traditions of the Christian East. Laying down our lives in imitation of the Bridegroom, we joyfully embrace the monastic virtues of poverty, chastity and obedience. We participate in the dynamic love of the Trinity by sharing a life of prayer, work and recreation at our monastery. Meditating on Scripture, especially the Song of Songs, and immersing ourselves in a life of personal and liturgical prayer, we enter into a spousal relationship with Christ the Bridegroom. Looking to the Theotokos as our model, we open ourselves to the Divine life of the Holy Spirit, bearing forth fruit for the Church and the world. Our monastery provides a spiritual garden and a bridal chamber in which we draw others into this same life-giving relationship with Christ the Bridegroom.

The Icon of Christ the Bridegroom

The icon of Christ the Bridegroom portrays the selfless love of Christ for His Bride, the Church (Isaiah 54). He is dressed in royal colors as the betrothed King, corresponding with Sacred Scripture’s account of His mockery by the Roman guards before His crucifixion. The crown is a symbol of His marriage to the Church; the rope, a symbol of the bondage to sin, death and corruption which Jesus untied by His death on the Cross; the reed, a symbol of His humility.

Our Typical Weekday Schedule (On a day without Divine Liturgy)

6:30 a.m.    Jesus prayer (in silence for 15 min.), Matins
8:00 a.m.    Exercise, an hour of personal silent prayer/spiritual reading, breakfast
10:00 a.m.  Work
12:00 p.m.  First, Third, Sixth or Ninth Hour, Epistle and Gospel readings of the day, intentions, followed by lunch on our own
1:00 p.m.    Work
3:45 p.m.    Personal free time
4:45 p.m.    Jesus prayer (in silence for 15 min.), Vespers 
6:15 p.m.    Dinner in community
7:15 p.m.    Recreation, studies or work
9:00 p.m.    Compline, followed by silence

Our work includes hospitality, housework, office work, gardening, iconography, cooking, baking, canning, making prayer ropes, etc. We welcome guests who would like to spend a day or more to pray, eat and work with us and to relax on our grounds and in our guest house. Guests are also welcome to stop in just to pray one of our services with us. Please call ahead before making a visit.

More About Us:

Monastic Life: In the Heart of the Church
St. John Paul II wrote, “The monastery is the prophetic place where creation becomes praise of God and the precept of concretely lived charity becomes the ideal of human coexistence; it is where the human being seeks God without limitation or impediment, becoming a reference point for all people, bearing them in his heart and helping them to seek God” (Orientale Lumen 9).  The following are some of the particular ways that the nuns of Christ the Bridegroom Monastery feel called to live as “reference points” in the heart of the Church:

A Spousal Relationship
We seek to reclaim the spousal language from the distortions of our culture, showing not only that monastic celibacy points to mankind’s union with God in heaven, but also that human sexuality is designed by God to lead men and women to this same union and to participate in the life of the Trinity.  Being vulnerable to the movement of the Holy Spirit, our monastery aspires to remind all baptized Christians of this personal invitation to union with Christ as their Bridegroom and to renew a healthy, integrated view of the human person, body and soul.

A Witness to Youth
We strive to be a joyful witness to young people, who are seeking an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ. By affirming their value in the eyes of God, we strive to help them open their hearts to God’s will for their lives.

Prayer for Priests
A crucial part of our communion with the Church is our spiritual sisterhood with priests, deacons, seminarians and monks. Holy familial relationships within the Church give meaning to our lives.  We support these brothers through our prayer, fasting and friendship.

A Desire for Unity
At the heart of each nun’s vocation is a desire for communion.  We pray with our whole beings for the unity of all Christians, especially for understanding and reconciliation between the Eastern and Western Churches.

A Witness to the Dignity of Human Life
Understanding the wisdom of the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, we desire to be an active witness to the sanctity of human life, promoting and praying for the protection of that life from conception to natural death.

Transforming Silence
The periods of exterior silence in the monastery serve to develop interior silence in the heart of the nun—a resting place for her Bridegroom. We each take a poustinia day (personal day of silent retreat) each month.

The Monastic Habit
The habit is a constant reminder of a life of joyful repentance and dying to self, in passionate pursuit of union with Christ the Bridegroom, and invites others into this relationship with Christ.

Byzantine Prayer
“...beauty, which in the East is one of the best loved names expressing the divine harmony and the model of humanity transfigured, appears everywhere: in the shape of the church, in the sounds, in the colors, in the lights, in the scents”  (Orientale Lumen 11).

Authentic Joy
Joy is the most important prophetic witness that we can give to the world today.   We strive to witness with our lives that  intimate union with Christ is the only source of true freedom and joy!

Our Newsletter
Our newsletter, "Pomegranate Blossoms," is mailed or emailed quarterly to those who request it, free of charge.

Spring/Summer 2020
Winter 2019/2020
Fall 2019
Spring/Summer 2019
Winter 2018/2019
Summer/Fall 2018
Spring 2018
Winter 2017/2018
Summer/Fall 2017
Spring 2017
Winter 2016/2017
Summer/Fall 2016