A Review

The second installment of The Orthodox West has been released.

The film follows Fr. Patrick Cardine on a visit to the Benedictine Fellowship of St. Laurence, an American Orthodox monastery in the Western Rite. His visit is in part due to one of his parishioners moving to the area; as a dedicated priest, he wanted to investigate in order to give his blessing.

During his trip, Fr. Patrick meets a few individuals at the monastery who in turn tell their stories.

  1. Mother Olga came to monastic life later on in her life. She became Orthodox and found herself unmarried with grown children. After serving in the Eastern Rite for 15 years, she came to the monastery in Colorado and felt home in the Western Rite.
  2. Brother Lazarus was a religious wanderer through the occult. As an artist, he was introduced to iconography through the Catholic Church and felt called to be a monk. After 8 years at his first monastery, he became Orthodox, found comfort in the Western Rite, and was once again became a Monk.
  3. Michael is an inquirer into monasticism. He explored Orthodox parishes in his area and was directed by his priest to visit a monastery. At the time of filming, he had been at Ladyminster for a week.
  4. Mother Sophia is a former Episcopalian and a widow who became a nun after her husband died. She cheerfully describes her interaction with some locals and how life as a nun has changed the way people view her.
  5. Prior Theodore became a monk and arrived at Ladyminster as a “refugee”. He reflects upon the Benedictine rule and some of the basics of Western Rite monasticism in general and Ladyminster in particular.

Between interviews, the daily routine of the monastery is presented. The various services are beautiful, and this documentary is well done. I’d encourage everyone to take a look.



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