Northwest Pilgrimage Sites
This site is under construction: Beware of debris! (As this site is being updated old, or inaccurate information will be updated. The information being posted is accurate as far the editor has learned but is willing to update as new information becomes avail. )
Northwest Pilgrimage Sites
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matt. 25:40
Our first and greatest pilgrimage site is our neighbor. Those surrounding us. Which we often fail to treat as we should wish to be treated. Κύριε ἐλέησον, Κύριε ἐλέησον,Κύριε ἐλέησον.
Despite the above, in the struggle of life we need to be uplifted, inspired and renewed. Sometimes we simply need a change of scenery. And so we have places of pilgrimage.
Every parish is of course a place consecrated to God and an outpost of the Kingdom of Heaven. And I wish I could list all parishes here. On a personal level I am inspired visiting other parishes and seeing the same faith expressed uniquely. Also I like to meet different people, hear different choirs and types of music and yes sample different cuisines after! But this page is dedicated to specific sites that stand out for various reasons, uniquely beautiful, historic, monastic, or Holy in a unique way. If your parish is not included please do not take offense. You may contact me and explain why I have been grossly ignorant not to have included your parish. : )
While we do not have nearly the number of opportunities of pilgrimage that Orthodox Christians have in the “old countries.” We do have some historic, beautiful and Holy sites well worth visiting. The first site listed is the oldest Church in the NW and a Church all Orthodox can call their own equally. I have included St Spiridons next as it also is a very old historic founding parish. Both of these parishes were established when all Orthodox looked to the same Bishop as their own.* Both of these parishes have similar history and could argue over who is the oldest. The other sites will be listed in alphabetical order so as not to appear biased.
This site is a work in progress beware of falling debris.
Holy Trinity in Wilkeson, Washington
Historic Holy Trinity in Wilkeson, Washington the “Mother Church” in the NW. This Church is the oldest Orthodox Church building in the NW and had a multi ethnic start. Established 1900. This Church celebrates its Feast on Pentecost. This Church is truly a home for all Orthodox Christians in the Northwest.
Holy Trinity Wilkeson, WA. This parish was visited and partially founded by Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich. “In 1900 Saint Tikhon preached a sermon in which he described our first parishioners as “Arabs, Greeks and Slavs,” together with “Uniates [Byzantine Rite Catholics] who had reunited and were living in Wilkeson.” “(from the OCA website) A more complete history of the parish can be found here on the OCA website. If your going there “watch for the cupola in the small neighborhood to your left as you enter Wilkeson. Wilkeson is located five miles south of Buckley, via State Rt 165. Buckley lies between Bonney Lake and Enumclaw on Highway 410.”(OCA website) Pentecost is the Parish Feast and generally the Feast is served there. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Orthodox from around the area would make a pilgrimage there for Pentecost and serve together?!
“Holy Trinity Church is listed on both national and state historical registers. It continues to serve the community on special occasions and feast days, as regular services are now held at the larger Holy Resurrection Church.
Founded in 1896, the parish ministered to the coal mining community in the Cascade Mountain foothills of southeast Pierce County, approximately 45 miles southeast of Seattle. Built in 1900, Holy Trinity Church was consecrated in 1902 by Bishop Saint TIkhon [Belavin] of the Aleutians and North America, who later returned to Russia where in 1917 he was elected Patriarch of Moscow. In 1925, he died as a confessor of the faith, a victim of the Soviet government’s anti-Church policies.
To assist in financing the restoration and maintenance of historic Holy Trinity Church, post cards depicting the church in 2011 and the 1910-20 era and icon cards of Saint Tikhon are available at $1.00 each. Please send check or money order to Holy Resurrection Church, PO Box 1332, Puyallup, WA 98371.
For additional information please visit www.orthodoxtacoma.com. ” From the OCA website click photo for full article
St Spiridon’s Cathedral is one of the oldest Orthodox Church Congregations in the US. It’s original building has not survived. But the congregation has. It is truly a multiethnic, and historic congregation to this day. I have included a few quotes from the Parish history on their website. It is truly an interesting history and well worth a visit and a read.
“In the late 1800’s, composed overwhelmingly of young men in their mid-twenties, many of whom were emigrants from Greece, Russia, Serbia and the Near East, mostly loggers, fishermen, cooks and waiters, Saint Spiridon’s Cathedral was the heir to both the longing for the faith and culture of the members’ countries of origin and an amazing missionary strategy on the part of Russian churchmen half a world away.
Life was relatively bleak for many of the first Orthodox in these parts and they jumped at the chance to form a church when it was offered to them by the Russian bishop in San Francisco via an itinerant missionary, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich, a multi-talented Serbian-American priest-monk fluent in English, Russian and Greek. A building was hastily constructed by young men whose eager piety exceeded their engineering skills….”
Since a large proportion of the congregation spoke Greek as their native language, the Russian mission saw to it that most of the early rectors were proficient in that language as well as Russian and English. One of the resources open to the Russian Church was the number of priests who came from Greek-Russian families in the Crimea.
…and it is not surprising that when this much-loved priest left in 1916, the rapidly-growing Greek community of St. Spiridon’s set about making plans to form their own parish. Indeed, the number Greek-Americans in Seattle had swollen during Fr. Michael’s tenure, to number around 2,000 by 1915 and were mostly young men under the age of 25. In 1918 they got the use of an Episcopal church at the corner of Yale Avenue N. and John Street, and in 1921 St. Demetrios’ Church was completed on the corner of Yale and Thomas at the then enormous cost of $50,000. Old timers remember that the parting of the two congregations was an occasion for rejoicing, not sorrow, because “now there were enough Orthodox in Seattle for two churches.” (from the St Spiridon’s Website)
All Merciful Saviour Monastery Vashon Island,Washington fb The Seattle area is blessed with its own monastery. This monastery is located on beautiful Vashon Island a short Ferry trip from Seattle. The Monastery’s Abbot is a well known speaker and popular for his inspiring and down to earth messages. He has a blog “The Morning Offering” and a book The Morning Offering When visiting the monastery remember it is best to call ahead and verify that they will be able to accomodate you. Editor
“The Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Saviour was established in 1986 by Archimandrite Dimitry (Egoroff) of blessed memory. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Rt. Rev. Bishop Theodosy of Seattle, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The Very Rev. Igumen Tryphon is the abbot of the monastery.” More information can be found on their website or for daily inspiration The Morning Offering mentioned above.
The above is an excerpt from a new CD the Brotherhood is working on.
British Columbia is Blessed with a Monastery that is well known for its outreach to all ethnic groups. I hope to get more photos in the future.
Sunday of All Saints of North America The Theotokos “Joy of Canada” – On Second Sunday of August
This small Byzantine revival structure building is over 100 years old. The interior Apse is lovely from photos and captures the look of many Churches of this time period. It was reconsecrated in….
Definitely a small Church I would like to stop in my travels in southern Idaho.
In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity; in thy dormition thou didst not forsake the world, O Theotokos. Thou wast translated unto life, since thou art the Mother of Life, and by thine intercessions doest thou deliver our souls from death.
“The Pocatello Hellenic Orthodox Church is a one-story structure designed in a Byzantine Revival style with a gable roof, apsidal floor plan, and red brick exterior set off by stone accents. The west (front) facade is topped by a square bell tower and round-arched gable front. The central main entrance is flanked by two round-arched, stained glass windows…
The church and its intact interior provide an excellent example of Byzantine Revival architecture and since its construction in 1915 has served as the educational, religious, and social focal point of the immigrant Greek community in Pocatello….
The Pocatello Hellenic Orthodox church was consecrated Sunday, August 15, 1915. Because of his status as one of the major donors to the church building fund, Alex Katsilometes, a Greek immigrant who came to the United States in 1907 at the age of 17, was given the honor of being church godfather….” (Excerpts from the Church Website please click to learn more about this Church congregation)
This small but informative museum is dedicated to the Greek history in the NW. It is located on the grounds of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Portland.
” To gather, preserve, and share knowledge of the Hellenic (Greek)
American experience in Oregon and SW Washington, starting with
the earliest immigrants and continuing into the future.
To celebrate the rich cultural traditions brought to this region by
Hellenes, and to honor the activities and accomplishments of
To establish a physical cultural center comprising at least a
museum, research and lending library, bookstore, facilities for
dance and singing activities, lecture and exhibit facilities, and a
gathering place… ( from the mission statement click here to learn more)
This parish per the website was built between 1938-1940.
This is the oldest Parish in Montana and for many years was the only parish in Montana. This Church sits prominently on a hill and is landmark. It is frescoed from top to bottom which has an even bigger impact being in such an isolated area, from other Orthodox. The Church is active in supporting missions in Montana. Hopefully history to follow.
“Our vibrant Orthodox community has members with various ethnic backgrounds, Serbian, Greek, Irish, Scottish, German, etc. Holy Trinity parish is pan-Orthodox and welcomes everyone seeking the fullness of the Christian faith revealed by Jesus Christ, confirmed by Holy Scripture, preached by the Apostles, and lived victoriously throughout the centuries by countless holy women, men, and children.
We encourage you to visit our vibrant and growing parish. May our Loving Lord be your guide, protection, and salvation!” (from the Church website)
Maryhill Museum is included because of the Exhibit dedicated to Marie Queen of Romania, who visited the Museum in 1926. This includes a throne, gowns, crown etc… They also have an Icon collection which she also donated to the museum. The collections are not large, but the drive, the view and the architecture make for a memorable visit. Also Stonehenge is nearby. And of course one can grab some Baklava and Greek coffee from the nuns coffeeshop in Goldendale, and attend hopefully Vespers at the end of the day. A truly beautiful prayer service with the nuns.
Old Believer Communities in Woodburn, Oregon:
The Old Believers “(Russian: старове́ры or старообря́дцы-per Orthodoxwiki) sometimes called Old Ritualists were a split during the time of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow in 1666-1667. The history is a fascinating and sad account of a schism that probably was very avoidable. As in any split there were mistakes and failings on both sides. But the government and official Church did persecute the Old Believers for simply maintaining Russian Orthodox traditions. Thankfully today the anathemas have been lifted, and relations are much better than probably any time in the past. My point is not to point out sins and failings but to emphasize our mutual faith in the One saving Lord. The Old believers did not have any Bishops join their resistance and became Priestless for many years. It is only in the last century or so that they have “regained an espicopate” from Bishops that were once part of the Orthodox Church.
The Old Believers do not wish to be bothered, and prefer to live apart to maintain their traditions. But if you are in the area the Churches are of interest. Regarding attending services I am not sure how it would work. But like a non Orthodox on Athos you would not be allowed in the nave and only the narthex at best is my understanding.
For those interested in learning more I will include some links. Another interesting fact is that there are Old Believer Parishes in full communion with the Russian Orthodox Church and Erie, PA has a parish that joined ROCOR years ago.
I was hoping to include a museum to the Old Believers that was started by a Benedictine Monk at Mt Angels, Abbey and Seminary in Oregon in this section. But it appears to no longer exist at the Abbey although they have a museum there of other items, art, Liturgical and non and natural history. This monk was very sympathetic to the Old Believers and assisted them. And there was a Catholic outreach to them. The museum was small, quaint, and worth a visit for its unique subject and the lovely surroundings. It was quite harsh in its judgement of the Russian Church. I have included a link with a virtual tour. If I can find out more I will include it.
Church of the Nativity Erie, PA is an excellent starting point for history on the Old Rite.
This is I believe the oldest Orthodox Congregation in British Columbia. The Congregation served the first Liturgy on Sept 24, 1924 in a YMCA hall. Per the OCA website.
St Demetrios is included as it was the first Greek Parish in Seattle that was once part of St Spiridon’s above. Its initial founding was not seen as a split but as a cause of rejoicing that the Orthodox could have another parish in Seattle and the Greeks a place to fully celebrate according to their traditions. Today St Demetrios is a beautiful and active parish, very involved in charity, missions and outreach besides its well known and appreciated Greek Festival.
“We welcome all resident and non-resident Orthodox and non-Orthodox faithful to our church and invite you to join us for altar services, educational programs and events.
St. Demetrios Mission Statement
“To proclaim the Gospel of Christ in the Orthodox Christian Tradition while creating a vibrant, loving, compassionate and supportive community.
A Simple Prayer from Fr. Zacharies
“Oh Lord my God, I am so ungrateful, yet I am thankful that You are merciful to me!” (as shared by Fr. Photios in his December 3rd sermon) ” ( from the parish website )
History and more info hopefully to follow. Editor
Verily, the inhabited world found thee a great succor in tribulations and a vanquisher of nations, O fight-bearing one. Wherefore, as thou didst demolish the arrogance of Lahosh, and on the battle-field didst hearten Nestor, beseech, O Saint, Christ God to grant us the Great Mercy.
+Troparion, Tone 3
Photos pending… I hope…
St Nicholas Cathedral Seattle, Washington fb This parish is significant historically in that it is the parish where St John of Shanghai and San Francisco reposed in the Lord. It is still an active parish, with a lovely choir, and a very prayerful atmosphere. Well worth a visit. And do not forget to stay for the wonderful luncheon put on by the Sisterhood. Not to be missed. For those who have never attended a Russian Vigil on Saturday night or a Feast this parish or St Spiridon’s would be an excellent choice to experience the prayerful atmosphere. Editor
“Saint Nicholas Cathedral is one of the oldest parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in the United States.
The St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church, as it was then called, was founded in 1932 by Russian immigrants, many of whom were naval officers under the tsar, who fled the scourge of Bolshevism. With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Tikhon of San Francisco and Western American, they formed a Russian Orthodox community, bought land and built a church.
The community was first served by visiting priests from San Francisco and Los Angeles and later by the first rector Very Reverend Archpriest Michael Nikolaevsky. After the untimely death of Fr. Michael, the Very Reverend Archpriest Michael Danilchik was appointed as rector. It was during the tenure of Fr. Michael Danilchik that the church was built.
The newly constructed church was consecrated by Archbishop Tikhon of Western America on December 19, 1937, dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia and designated as a memorial to the martyred Tsar Nicholas II, his Royal Family and all the Russian soldiers and people who died defending their faith, tsar and country… ” (from the Parish website just click to learn more!)
Troparion to St. John, Tone 5
Lo, Thy care for thy flock in its sojourn prefigured the supplication which thou dost ever offer up for the whole world. Thus do we believe, having come to know thy love, O holy hierarch and wonderworker John. Wholly sanctified by God through the ministry of the all-pure Mysteries and thyself ever strengthened thereby, thou didst hasten to the suffering, O most gladsome healer, hasten now also to the aid of us who honor thee with all our heart.
St John of Shanghai of Shanghai and San Francisco reposed in the Lord July 2nd 1966 Gregorian after Celebrating the Divine Liturgy and praying after. In his office/room at the Parish Hall. This small Chapel is very prayerful and has some vestments worn by St John. The parish does have a regular English Liturgy here also. Editor
Kontakion to St. John, Tone 4
Thy heart hath gone out to all who entreat thee with love, O holy hierarch John, and who remember the struggle of thy whole industrious life, and thy painless and easy repose, O faithful servant of the all-pure Directress.
St Peter’s Monastery is not yet a functioning monastery but the grounds have been blessed and the foundations laid. They also feature summer work parties a great chance for youth and adults to do something inspirational in the summer!
“Please pray with us that God will provide a way for West of the Moon ranch to become St. Peter’s Monastery, a sequestered home for the prayer and worship of monastics and a source of spiritual strength and healing for faithful pilgrims and visitors…
On April 19, 2012 Archbishop Benjamin, attended by Abbot Meletios of St. John Monastery in Manton, California, conducted a moleban service, blessing the land designated for the future site of St. Peter’s Monastery…
“Monasteries are small embassies, if you will, of the Eternal Kingdom of God on this earth. They offer us a window into the unending liturgy which surrounds the throne of God. In the heavens the angelic host cry the Thrice Holy Hymn unceasingly and on earth the monastics, like earthly angels, pray day and night, not just for their own salvation, but for that of the entire world. Planted in the midst of a diocese, a monastic community is a sign of the spiritual health of the Church in a given place.”
– His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin, Diocese of the West (excerpts from St Peter’s webpage please click here to learn more about this monastery!)
This Page is still under underconstruction
- I am aware of the confusing and complicated history of Orthodoxy in the US. But it does seem to be a general truism that a majority of Orthodox did recognize the Russian Orthodox’s Church soverignity over the US. In the NW based on early history of which I do not claim to be an expert it appears Orthodox all looked to the Russian Bishop as their defacto leader. It is the hope of this editor that we can all once again look to one Bishop, which will shine forth our Faith regardless of our ethnic identity.