New Kursk-Root Icon Hermitage
The cloister of New Kursk-Root Icon Hermitage is located in Mahopac, 25 miles from New York.
It was founded over 50 years ago. Princes Beloselsky-Belozerskys gave a support for that because they had a farmstead near Mahopac. In 1949 the Holy Synod was intended to move to USA together with the wonderworking icon of Our Lady of the Sign. Princes decided to offer their property as a gift to ROCA. At the same time according to a blessing of Metropolitan Anastasius (Gribanovsky) here was founded the stauropegial monastic town residence.
Bishop Seraphim (Ivanov) became a founder and first Administrator of it, and for remembrance of the monastery, which was destroyed in Kursk, that monastery was called «New Kursk-Root Hermitage». In January 1950 church of monastic house was consecrated and celebrated the first Liturgy.
One year after the Icon of Our Lady of the Sign was brought to the monastery. In 1952 the Holy Synod moved to New York and the Icon was translated to the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign.
There were at most ten inhabitants in the monastery at that time, half of them were monks. A few living rooms were prepared for pilgrims because a lot of Orthodox people visited the cloister during summer time, and many came with their families for the summer. Over time, a real hotel was built.
To the middle of 90s a monastic life became to extinct – there were no monks, buildings and territory were neglected. A fire damaged hardly the church of Nativity of Virgin Mary. In the beginning of 2000s almost all buildings were in desolation. It was necessary to repair solidly the main building with the church. Somebody even thought to demolish buildings and the land put up for sale or rent.
Thanking to initiative of parishioners the monastic place was preserved. People received a support of First Hierarch Metropolitan Laurus, who visited the cloister in 2004.
Repair-and-renewal operations were started in 2009; at the same year the committee for development of New Kursk-Root Hermitage had its first meeting.
The Primate of ROCOR, Metropolitan Hilarion expressed his attention to the restoration of the monastery.
One of monastic buildings, which never stopped its activity and is in a nice condition, is a small Synodal plant for the production of candles.
A small monastic cemetery is located nearby the cloister; there are about 500 graves now. In 2012, it is partially damaged due to the hurricane, but was restored by the community. In the cemetery are buried several prominent figures of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
The monastery operates a large library. In 2011 it was consecrated by Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese Bishop Jerome.