ORDER OF THE HOLY REDEEMER
For 22 years Holy Redeemer Monastery was the center for contemplative monastic life in the Evangelical Orthodox Church, first in Ladoga, IN, and then in Bloomfield, IN. Beginning in 2009 the vision and focus have changed to more active ministry for our communion of churches, and we are now the Order of the Holy Redeemer. The base for the Order is in Greenwood, IN, within the St. Paul the Apostle parish.
Mother Pilar Callen and Mother Paula Seiple, founders of the monastery, remain as part of the Order. This geographic shift is the opportunity to manifest a shift to separate ministries. Mother Pilar is undertaking work in missions and charitable projects, as well as the running of the Greenwood house. Mother Paula continues her spiritual direction with women and the administrative tasks of the non-profit corporate framework required for the Order. Both are available for sharing with groups on aspects of Christian spirituality. Intercessory prayer continues as an important part of their lives, and prayer requests are taken by phone or e-mail. They see their years of formation through the common life as preparation for this time of exercising their separate skills and strengths more effectively for the Kingdom.
Holy Redeemer Monastery was founded in 1986 by Sr. Pilar Callen and Sr. Paula Seiple as the first monastic community in the Evangelical Orthodox Church. The monastery was the residence for those women of the EOC called by God to live the monastic vows of chastity, obedience, poverty, and stability.
For the first years the monastery was located on rented property in central Indiana an hour west of Indianapolis. Manual labor included sheep production and baking while a retreat environment was created for visitors. In 1992 property was purchased in southern Indiana's Greene County. Saints from many of the EOC parishes worked for nearly two years to build the convent and barn, and the nuns moved onto their farm acreage in 1995. Within a few years an adjoining property with a house was added so that a guest house (Shepherd's House) could be available for overnight guests and retreatants. As an outgrowth of their pursuit of God, the nuns shared the monastic experience and environment by extending hospitality to all and enabling others to use the monastery as a place of retreat. Tools common to monasticism were shared with those who have visited: prayer, silence, solitude, fasting, simplicity, study, and contemplation.
Looking toward future possibilities for ministry, the farm portion of the monastery grounds was sold in 2006, and the Mothers moved into Shepherd's House until the move to Greenwood in 2008.
The Order remains based on Apostolic teachings of the early Church as taught in the Scriptures and the Church Fathers. As an expression of the EOC communion, their theology reflects that of the Eastern Orthodox Church expressed in a contemporary American manner. The Mothers continue to dress in a habit consisting of a plain dress of a somber color (black for winter, gray for summer) to reflect self-control, simplicity, and sobriety of life. The dress is girded with a leather belt to symbolize the ascetic life of self-sacrifice and chastity. A veil is worn as a reminder that all of life is a prayer offered up to God, and that the nun is under His care and His authority.
There is now the possibility for others not under religious vows (both resident and non-resident) to join the Order and take advantage of ministry opportunities that present themselves in the Evangelical Orthodox Church. The Order is supported by charitable gifts (tax-deductible) and the labor of its members. We are incorporated in Indiana as a not-for-profit corporation, and business affairs are overseen by a Board of Directors and the oversight of the Presiding Bishop.