New York - On Wednesday, May, May 11, 2005, on the occasion of the recent meeting of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the hierarchs of the Synod, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Demetrios, had the opportunity to meet for the first time, as a body, with the Abbots and Abbesses of the nineteen monasteries functioning presently under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese.

The main purpose of the gathering was threefold: a) to meet for the first time with the Abbots and Abbesses of our Monasteries, b) to exchange views and address questions about the development of the monastic life in the United States, and c) to distribute the recently approved General Regulations for the Founding and Operation of a Holy Monastery of the Holy Archdiocese of America.

After a preparation for more than three years, the above Regulations were sent by the Eparchial Synod to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, where they were reviewed and approved for implementation.

The Regulations, published in a 20 page booklet contain seventeen Articles formulated to help guide and regulate the life of the monastic communities, enabling them to be true centers of authentic Orthodox spirituality for all who choose to follow the monastic way of life.

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios welcomed the Abbots and Abbesses to the historic first gathering. Each Hierarch offered brief remarks, and several Abbots and Abbesses expressed gratitude for this opportunity to meet with the hierarchs and to voice their concerns.

According to statistics provided at the meeting, there are presently over 200 monks, nuns and novices at the 19 monasteries. They are located in seven of the Metropolises of the Archdiocese, and in sixteen states.