Name of Church Sacred Heart Maronite Monastery

Address 2308 Delameter Road, Castle Rock WA 98611 (One hour north of Portland on I-5)

Phone number (503) 690-4425

Website www.maronitemonastery.org

Divine Mysteries (Mass) times The Maronite Monks of Jesus, Mary and Joseph currently live in a home in Beaverton, Oregon.  Visitors are not allowed in the monks’ home, but are welcome to attend public events at the monastery site in Castle Rock.  Mass is currently being held in a barn converted to a church at the Castle Rock site.  During Divine Mysteries or devotions such as the rosary or chaplet, visitors can come, sit in

chairs in the back of the church, and follow along with prayer books which are provided.  To learn about upcoming events, click on the events tab at www.maronitemonastery.org or email [email protected].  The Divine Mysteries in their Maronite rite make use of the Syriac language, a form of Aramaic which Jesus spoke.  Priests also wear different vestments from the Latin rite.  The Divine Mysteries place a great emphasis on the Trinity and the Holy Spirit.

Names of priests Abouna (Father) Jonathan Decker heads the community.  There are currently five monks, one other of whom is a priest.  Abouna Jonathan is the only older member, at age 66.  He was ordained in 1977, and lived for a time

as a hermit.  He has served as a parish priest elsewhere, including as pastor of St. Sharbel Maronite Church in Portland, Oregon.  He has been a sought-out spiritual director by his fellow priests and young men discerning the priesthood.

Fellow parishioners The monks are part of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles.  The Eastern rite eparchy (diocese) serves 50,000 registered Maronite Catholics (and more unregistered) in 42 churches and missions around  the western United States, is under the authority of Bishop Elias Zaidan and is in union with Rome.  The monastery is the only one of its kind in the eparchy.

Parking Ample parking.

Additional observations  The Maronite Monks of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were founded in 2011.  In 2014, the monks purchased their 65-acre site in Southwestern Washington state.  The community seeks to raise $3 million to build the monastery, which, once complete, will be home to up to 20 monks.  The monks follow a strict schedule, including rising at 3 a.m. to pray, Divine Mysteries at 6:30 a.m. and periods of work and community prayer.  They wear a black habit and belt (iskeem), a crucifix around the neck, and a beard.  They operate under the authority and with the support of Bishop Zaidan.  The community survives on donations, and has a particular need to raise funds for their monastery (see the website for information on how to donate).  Eventually, the monks hope to pay their expenses by farming.  The monks accept prayer intentions; email them at [email protected].  The monks do greet people at special events, but are cloistered and typically stay away from the public.  Volunteer lay people help the monks working on the grounds or maintaining their website.