Monastery of All Saints of North America (Dewdney, British Columbia)

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Monastery of All Saints of North America
Jurisdiction OCA, Archdiocese of Canada
Type Male Monastery
Founded 1968
Superior Archbishop Lazar (Puhalo)
Approx. size ~5
Location Dewdney, BC, Canada
Liturgical language(s) English and Slavonic
Music used Two-Part Obikhod
Calendar Julian
Feastdays celebrated Second Sunday after Pentecost
Official website Official Website

The Monastery of All Saints of North America was founded in 1968 by Archbishop Lazar and Bishop Varlaam. The monastery is under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America.


  • 1968: Visiting Mount Athos, Lev Puhalo and Vasili Novakshonoff discussed idea of founding a Canadian Orthodox monastery. Some monks on Mount Athos advise them not to delay. Struggle begins in a tiny hut with a dirt floor east of Rosedale, BC. Vasili continued employment at a library to finance both the monastery and missionary work.
  • 1969 ~Nov: Platform of scrap lumber built over half of the floor.
  • 1969-70: A damp and cold winter found the roof with many leaks, and the hut poorly constructed. Two sheets of plastic, stretched over a rope line, with a kerosene burner between them, because the first cells. Kitchen was on the dirt part of the hut, consisting of a Coleman stove and a tap with cold water.
  • Translations of books began, with the Life of St Theophil the Fool for Christ of the Kiev Caves, the Life of St Xenia of St Petersburg (published at Jordanville) and a significant portion of the History of Russian Imperial Coronations for the Russian Orthodox Youth Committee.
  • 1970: Symposium held by monastery at a local auditorium, entitled Forgotten Voices, Women in the Early Church.
  • 1972: Lev ordained to diaconate in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.
  • 1973: Deacon Lev assigned to serve a parish in the US.
Second monastery site found south of Chilliwack, BC. Monastery consists of an insulated four-room cabin in the mountains, with no plumbing or running water, but a good roof.
Synaxis Press founded. Publication of the Canadian Orthodox Missionary began.
  • 1974: First edition of the Synaxis Theological Journal published.
Dcn Lev installed a pipeline, bringing cold water into the monastery from a spring on the mountain above the monastery bulding.
  • 1976: Dcn Lev returns to resume development of monastery. He travels a lot, lecturing and giving talks to youth. During this time he develops a sympathy for those Orthodox who lived away from a church. He often travelled as much as 10,000 miles on buses in a year for those who are isolated or those who request talks.
  • 1980: A small group of Romanian-Canadians wished to workship in the monastery chapel.
  • 1981 Mar: In response to the above request, Dcn Lev - being Serbian - is ordained by Bishop Ireney of New Gracanica to the priesthood for the newly-formed parish of St. Tikhon and for the monastery, and tonsured with the name Lazar. Later, Fr. Lazar tonsures Vasili with the name Varlaam.
  • 1983: Fr. Lazar offers to help a group of Serbs found a parish in Los Angeles, with services conducted in Church Slavonic and English.
  • At some point, Fr. Lazar was called upon to help found St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Seminary for the New Gracanica Metropolitanate. Metr. Ireney ordains Monk Varlaam to the priesthood to serve the parish. Fr Lazar stays there for three years.
  • 1984: The feast of the Theotokos, Joy of Canada was established when Metr. Ireney of New Gracanica presented the Monastery with a small icon of the Theotokos as a blessing.
Makary Armstrong, a convert from Fr. Lazar's parish in Los Angeles, moves to the Monastery.
  • 1985: The parish of St Nicholas, Langley, BC, appealed to the monastery for help and for a priest, and so became the second English-language Orthodox parish in Western Canada.
  • Because of the unavailability of locally-obtainable pure beeswax candles, Fr. Varlaam built a small candle factory to produce hand-dipped, pure beeswax candles in the parishes and the monastery.
  • 1990: Fr. Lazar consecrated bishop.
A need was felt to develop the monastery. A search began for new property.
  • 1991 Nov: The Monastery was able to acquire a forty acre property with an 8000 square foot main building, divided into large rooms. The property was named New Ostrog, and the candle factory was dedicated to the protection of St. Vasili of Ostrog.
  • At some point, the Monastery moved under the omophorion of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate). Patriarch Volodymir elevated Bp. Lazar to Archbishop, and consecrated Fr. Varlaam as Bishop of Vancouver.
  • 2003: Monastery received into the Orthodox Church of America. Abp. Lazar accepted as a retired Archbishop, with the title of Ottawa. Although in retirement from active hierarchal duties, Archbishop Lazar currently serves the Orthodox Church in America as the Civil Liaison for the Archdiocese of Canada with the Government of Canada.