Concerning Monastery Press

Monastery Press was the name of the publication house of the Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev which came to Canada under His Eminence Metropolitan Vitaly (then Bishop of Western Canada). Having first settled in the Province of Alberta, after emigrating from Brazil in the 1950’s, the Brotherhood soon moved to Montreal, Quebec, when Vladika Vitaly was made ruling bishop of All Canada. From their Montreal headquarters, Monastery Press published many works in both Russian and English and also service books in Slavonic. They also developed a candle works.

After many years of active printing, by the mid-1990’s the Brotherhood was no longer printing. Today the Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev continues its large candle works and still has some previous titles for sale.

In 1997, during a Lenten visit to the St. Vladimir Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Metropolitan Vitaly told Fr. Andrew Kencis that he wanted to give him two AB Dick presses and that he should print. Vladika told Fr. Andrew that he blessed him to use the Monastery Press name and its logo as his own, but beyond this he would be entirely on his own and independant.

In the fall of that same year, Fr. Andrew rented a cube van. Together with a number of his parishioners (three men and their sons) and a male parishioner from the Calgary parish (who did not make the whole trip), Fr. Andrew made a trip across country to pick up the presses and bring them back to a small print shop on the property where he lived west of Wildwood, Alberta. This is at Dormition Skete, the original property personally purchased by Vladika Vitaly when he first arrived in Canada.

Because the roads are better and have more services in the States, the travelling troupe drove only part way in Canada as far east as Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they made a brief stop at the Rectory of the Church of the Resurrection where Hieromonk Raphael lives and serves. From there they headed south and crossed the border to the States, traveled eastward by the Great Lakes to New York state, then headed north to Montreal to the Podvoria. The presses had to be hauled out of the basement to the cube van. The larger press took eight hours to move, it was so heavy! The smaller press seemed easy in comparison. Once the presses were in the cube van, the travelers were left with very little space to rest or for the few belongings they brought.

Fr. Andrew wanted his parishioners to see the large and beautiful Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. None of them had ever seen it and most had never visited any monastery. While there, Fr. Andrew got a “crash course” in printing from one of the brothers ( R. Monk Boris) in the print shop.

On the return trip home, the same route was taken—from Montreal, south to Jordanville, NY, west to the Plains States, then north across the border to Manitoba and westward to Alberta.

The press's name was registered in January 1998, and so began Monastery Press in Alberta, linked in spirit to the original Monastery Press, but now a separate enterprise, having no financial or legal ties with, the now defunct, Monastery Press in Quebec Province. With blessing from Metropolitan Vitaly, Fr. Andrew’s first publication in early Spring 1998, was a hardbound, clergyman’s service book for the Liturgy of St. Basil, in English, translated by R. Monk Laurence of Holy Trinity Monastery. Fr. Andrew discussed future publications with Metropolitan Vitaly and received a blessing to print them in the course of time. We hope to accomplish this publication list.

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Working to Preserve and Disseminate the Savour of Traditional Christianity.

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