Monasteries of the Diocese of the West
Monasteries of the Diocese of the West

Monastery of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco (1996)
A monastery for men.

PO Box 439
Manton, CA 96059
Superior: Hieromonk Innocent


The Monastery of St. John is a community of Christians striving to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ, working out our salvation in discipleship to Christ in the Orthodox Church. We embrace the evangelical ideals of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability. We strive for unity of mind and heart with one another in a communion of love, having all things in common and living a shared life of prayer and work which consists of:

  • Candle making
  • Retreats and Seminars
  • Publishing
  • Monastery bookstore
  • Arranging and composing Liturgical Music
  • Missionary outreach

Our vision as a monastic brotherhood is to incarnate the Gospel in our lives through our work and prayer and love for one another. We strive to be faithful to holy tradition while adapting to the realities of contemporary America. The aim of our life is simple obedience to the commands of Christ in the Scriptures. We earn our living by candle-making, publishing, and operating a bookstore, and we also grow some of our own food. As God works in us His miracle of salvation, our hope is that our light will so shine forth that others may see our good works and glorify God in heaven. Read more on


St Barbara Monastery (1993)
A monastery for women.

15799 Ojai Rd.
Santa Paula, CA 93060

Abbess: Mother Victoria (Shnurer)


St Barbara Monastery was founded in 1992 with the blessing of His Grace, Tikhon, Bishop of San Francisco and the West.  First located in downtown Santa Barbara and then in Goleta, the Monastery relocated to its present Santa Paula location in late 2005.  A relic of the Monastery’s patron Saint, the Great-Martyr Barbara, taken from the principal relics which lie in Kiev, is in the Monastery’s chapel, as are relics of St Elizabeth the New Martyr; St James, the Son of Zebedee; St Herman; St Nektarios; St Anne, the Mother of the Theotokos; St Raphael of Brooklyn; St John of San Francisco; the Martyr Victoria of Carthage; and the Precious and Life-Giving Cross.  In 2009, when the County authorities notified the monastery that the trailers and RVs in which many of the sisters were living could not remain on the property, ten sisters relocated to Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga.  St. Barbara Monastery presently numbers four sisters, who are committed to rebuilding their community by building a proper monastery complex, starting with the church presently under construction. The sisters maintain a regular cycle of daily liturgical services and partly earn their living by growing and selling lavender and lavender products, making and selling caskets, giving retreats, and operating a small bookstore. Read more on…


Holy Assumption Monastery (1941)
A monastery for women.


1519 Washington St,
Calistoga, CA 94515-1501
Office: 707-942-6244
Abbess: Mother Victoria (Shnurer)

Acting Superior: Mother Melania (Salem)

The Holy Assumption Monastery has been a living testament to the legacy and spirit of the Orthodox Christian faith for nearly 70 years. From its home on the banks of the Napa River in Calistoga, CA, the monastery welcomes faithful pilgrims and visitors of all backgrounds. It stands as the heart of a strong, multi-cultural community in northern California, upholding the vision of Orthodox Christianity in America and reflecting the rich fullness of Christian life in the daily worship of God.

Holy Assumption Monastery was founded in 1941 by a small group of nuns who fled from Russia and China in search of freedom to practice their faith. Originally settling in San Francisco, they soon discovered the quiet town of Calistoga 80 miles north of the city and, with the blessing of the local church hierarchy, purchased an old two-story property by the Napa River. They were given permission to establish their new monastery and spiritual haven on the condition that they would finance and administer the community on their own and would dedicate themselves to the service of God with faith that He would take care of them. At first, the old building had to serve as both chapel and living quarters, but soon the nuns, with their own hands, built a separate small wooden chapel as their place of worship. They adorned it with their own icons and embroidered cloths and began to hold services, to which all those inside and outside their gates were welcome.

To this day, the monastery has relied solely on donations and charitable contributions for her support and financial livelihood. Her vision is to create the means for self-sufficiency and to become revitalized as a strong monastic community. Every part of this vision is to serve the faithful and to reflect the essence of Orthodox Christian spirituality. Read more on…


Our Lady of Kazan Skete (1979)
A monastery for women.

2735 Victoria Dr.
Santa Rosa CA 95407
Church hall: 707-542-7798
Superior: Mother Susanna


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Protection of the Holy Virgin Monastery (1993)
A monastery for women.

2343 County Rd 403
PO Box 416
Lake George CO 80827
Rectory phone: 719-748-3999
Acting Superior: Mother Cassiana (Petrow)

Protection of the Holy Virgin Monastery was established with the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Tikhon in October of 1993.  The changing demographics of the US led the sisters to feel that the Rocky Mountain region would not only be an area conducive to the life of prayer, but would also be fertile ground in which to plant a monastic community.  The sisterhood, having no funds of their own, first rented a small house in the prairie town of Calhan, located east of Colorado Springs, until they could raise enough material resources for a down payment on a piece of land. The search for a suitable site led the sisters to the mountains west of Pikes Peak where 10.3 acres with a 3000 square foot house was found for a price of $150,000.  This was purchased through a bank loan in 1995.  In 1999, an additional 3.5 acres of forest land was added to the monastery.

The Monastic Community is presently very small, however there is ample room in the buildings to house more sisters.  The somewhat rugged life and remote location is better suited to younger, rather than older, women seeking the monastic life.

The sisters strive to support themselves through mounting icon prints, making prayer ropes, speaking at retreats and conferences, as well as writing and publishing.  Published works to date include “Orthodox Prayer Book”, “Come, Follow Me”, “The Life of St Spiridon”, and “Edler Cleopa:  In the Tradition of St Paisius Velichkovsky”, and “The Tumbled Stone”, a childrens book written and illustrated by Claire Brandenburg.  The Monastery newsletter, “The Veil” is published three times a year.  The number of titles from other authors in the Monastery book/gift shop is growing daily.  A bookstore catalog is available upon request.
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Inquirer's Class

An introduction to the Orthodox faith is taught most Saturday afternoons at 5:00 p.m. Please check our calendar, and see what is being taught on the class syllabus, here.