The sisterhood had its beginnings in northern California in the early 1990s. At the newly established St. Paisius Monastery, many young women began to gather around our Abbess, who was then joined by other nuns seeking a traditional coenobitic life.
When the sisterhood numbered almost 20, the need for a permanent location became paramount. The sisters found suitable property in Arizona, and at the same time petitioned the ruling bishop of the Serbian Western American Diocese to receive them. With the blessing of Patriarch PAVLE of blessed memory, and of all the bishops, they were received in October of 2000 by Bishop JOVAN and the current Patriarch, IRINEJ, then Bishop of Nis.
The sisters found the desert terrain to require much hard labor to subdue and cultivate. Now, by the grace of God, a new catholicon stands as the jewel of the monastery, hundreds of visitors are received each month, and an extensive olive orchard and fruit orchards have been planted, along with a vegetable garden to feed the sisters and the many guests. In addition, many acres of land around the main buildings are adorned with beautiful desert landscaping, the work of the sisters’ hands.
To support themselves, the sisters make prayer ropes and maintain a well-stocked bookstore, and in the future will sell olive oil and pomegranates from their orchards. From its inception, the sisters have maintained numerous publishing efforts, concentrating primarily on themes chosen to support the Christian home and the struggles of Christians living in the world. With this aim, over 50,000 copies of akathists have been printed.
The Abbess of the monastery is Nun Michaila. The monastery is served by two chaplains, Archimandrite Dorotheos and Priest David. Liturgy is served several times a week, along with the full cycle of church services.