St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Convent (Mohawk, New York)

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Saint Elizabeth Skete
Jurisdiction ROCOR
Type Female Monastery
Founded 1987
Superior Abbess Elisabeth (Czwikla)‎
Approx. size 6 monastics
Location Mohawk, New York
Liturgical language(s) Slavonic, English
Music used Russian Chant
Calendar Julian
Feastdays celebrated New Martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara
Official website Official Website

Saint Elizabeth Skete is a female monastic community in the jurisdiction of Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, located in Mohawk, New York. It is located adjacent to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville. It is named in honor of St. Elizabeth the New Martyr.

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In 1984, the widowed professor Natalia Sergeevna Markov was invited by Archbishop Laurus (Škurla) of Syracuse and Holy Trinity to teach Russian language and history at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York. After many talks with her father-in-law, Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, she decided to enter the monastic life. Abp. Laurus gave for her disposal a small house down the road from the monastery, and invited a young woman by the name of Maria Czwikla to join her. On the eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, 1984, both women were made novices.

Two years later, Abp. Laurus tonsured them rassaphore nuns gave them a larger house next door to use as a dormitory. Nun Natalia decided to name the community after the Russian New Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth, and the sisters' spiritual father, Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), painted an icon of her for them. A chapel was built on the second floor for daily prayer services, and blessed by Abp. Laurus to have the Divine Liturgy served occasionally. On the eve of the Feast of the Kursk Root Icon in 1993, Nun Natalia was tonsured into the Little Schema and given the name Ioanna in memory of the resposed Abp. John of San Fransisco.

The first Divine Liturgy was served in the chapel on the Feast of St. Elizabeth in 1993. In April of 2010, the community was finally granted the status of skete by the Synod of Bishops. Mother Ioanna fell asleep in the Lord on the Feast of Theophany in 2011, after Matins for the Synaxis of the Baptist. The twenty-fifth anniversary of the skete was celebrated with a Divine Liturgy officiated by Archbishop Gabriel (Chemodakov) of Montreal on the Feast of St. Elizabeth, during which Nun Elisabeth was elevated to abbess.

The skete now occupies four buildings on its property and is remodeling the chapel. On December 14, 2012, the expanded chapel was blessed and on the Feast of St. Nicholas five days later, Archimandrite Luke with Archpriest Vladimir Tsurikov served the first Divine Liturgy there.


St. Elizabeth Skete has a small studio with two iconographers: Nun Theodora (Livchitz) and Nun Sophronia (Hofstead). Icons are painted the traditional way with egg tempera on wooden boards.


St. Elizabeth Skete runs a small store, in which it sells incense, beeswax candles, herbal tea, skin cream, face cream, lip balm, solid perfume, and herbal salts. All produces are hand-made by the sisters.

Daily Life

  • 5:00 am - Midnight Office
  • 6:00 am - Divine Liturgy (at Holy Trinity Monastery unless otherwise stated)
  • 12:00 pm - Lunch
  • 6:00 pm - Vespers and Compline
    • Akathist to St. Nicholas on Wednesdays after Vespers
    • Akathist to the Mother of God on Fridays after Vespers and Compline
    • Akathist to the New Martyr Elizabeth on Sundays after Vespers