Back by popular demand are Fr. Damian's Icon Retreats for the New Year.  Below is all the pertinent information.  See you soon!


Feb. 3 - 7:           Holy Transfiguration Monastery Call 707-485-8959 ** (Please arrive before 430PM for Vespers)

Feb. 17 - 21        St. Gertrude's Monastery, Cottonwood, ID Call Krista Green @ 208-962-2004

Mar. 17 - 20        Basilian Spirituality Center, Fox Chase Manor, PA Call Sean McLaughlin @ 215-780-1227

Apr. 29 - May 2   The Oratory Rock Hill, SC Contact Judy Gritzmier @ 803-327-2097

May 4 - 8             Holy Transfiguration Monastery (with Raymond Vincent) Call 707-485-8959 **

Jun. 1 - 5             Holy Transfiguration Monastery (with Fr. Damian) Call 707-485-8959 ** (Please arrive before 430PM for Vespers)

Jun. 22 - 26         St. Josaphat's Cathedral, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA Call Fr. Peter Babej @ 780-993-8037 or 780-422-3181   

Jul. 27 - 31          St. Francis Springs Prayer Center, Stoneville, NC Call 336-573-3751

Aug. 17 - 22        Holy Theophany Monastery, Olympia, WA Call the Sisters @ 360-491-8233

Aug. 23 - 27        St. Placid's Priory, Lacey, WA Call 360-438-1771                           

                            **The cost for this retreat is $600 for the week for 'boarders' and $350 for daily commuters


Most recent icon by Abbot Damian Higgins

The icon of St. Michael the Archangel for St. John the Evangelist Church in Wisconsin.



Students of iconography often find it difficult to translate the icons they see and want to paint into usable prototype drawings. Iconographer Raymond Vincent will tackle this challenging aspect of iconography by offering a two-day workshop on iconographic composition and prototype drawing.

Areas that will be covered:

· How to produce line drawings from existing images

· Basics principles of composition

· Finished prototype drawings

· Cartoons (transfer drawings)


Friday November 2nd, beginning with vespers 5:30 pm, ending on Saturday 3rd with Vespers at 5:30pm.

$225 fee (which covers all materials) and $30 for overnight accommodations.

To register, please email Raymond @

When Fr. Damian came to the monastery in 1988, he sought to enter into the wonderful rhythm of monastic life he had experienced at Mt. Tabor. 
As with any novice or someone being initiated into a new way of life, he came with preconceived notions and expectations.  One of these was that
a new model of living would replace everything that had taken priority in his life up to this point (i.e., family, religious life, professional work).  When in fact
he came to the realization that all that had transpired before was a prerequisite for this life.

One area of interest that then-Br. Damian never took the opportunity to pursue was art.  His grandmother and uncle painted but with insufficient time to
devote to this discipline, he had only dabbled in watercolor...but that would soon change.  Afternoons in the monastery (beginning at 2:30PM, which seems
to be the low ebb of energy for most of us) always included some sort of class/lecture in history, liturgy, music or art, but no matter the proficiency of the instructor,
our Br. Damian began to nod off at this untimely--if not ungodly--hour.  To remedy the situation, he dedicated himself to writing notes--furiously--and when this didn't improve his level of consciousness, he graduated--or capitulated to--doodling.  Elaborate doo-dads filled his notes...Slavic domes, Byzantine crosses, intricate floral patterns and even some basic sketches of...wait for it...icons!  

The Novitiate had a room filled with icons supplies that had been abandoned by previous novices who had left to serve at our Ukrainian Cathedral in Chicago, and so Father's Boniface and Michael determined that Br. Damian, who was now greatly accomplished at drawing nothing, should devote himself to something a bit more salvific.  With 4-5 days to spare before heading off to the Mother Teresa's Brothers in Tijuana, Dominic Parrish, a quasi-hermit/idiorythmic monk of the Tenderloin in San Francisco, offered to come teach Br. Damian the iconography discipline he had learned from a Russian Orthodox woman in the City.  Brother Parrish had no time for "un-teaching a trained artist but was willing to work with the ignorant," so a great partnership was born as Br. Damian fit this bill perfectly.

Dominic prepared a board and then proceeded to paint 15 small icons of Our Lady of Kazan--each in a different phase--so that rather than telling
his pupil about icons and how to paint them, he helped the young monk to SEE...