Many people in the USA feel strongly the need to live a life close to Christ and they seek sources of a true spiritual life. Within the Orthodox Church such sources are traditionally found in monastics. This is the reason that Elder Ephraim answered a call for spiritual help and moved to North America. Slowly he founded 19 Orthodox monasteries, male and female, in different places of the USA but also of Canada: New York, Texas, Florida, Washington, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Michigan, Montreal and Toronto. The very first monastery, St. Antony’s, was founded in 1995 in the desert of Arizona about an hour south of Phoenix. Their work was extremely difficult as they had no water and were surrounded by cactuses, snakes, scorpions, and jackals. Today this monastery is a true oasis with flowers, trees, and springs everywhere. It is actually the second place after the Grand Canyon in the number of visitors per year in the state of Arizona. Elder Ephraim still lives in the monastery and provides spiritual guidance to many people from Arizona and the entire world.
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