SOCA Saint Herman of Alaska Serbian Orthodox Monastery (Platina CA)

Saint Herman of Alaska Serbian Orthodox Monastery
Saint Herman of Alaska Serbian Orthodox Monastery

Saint Herman of Alaska Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Platina, California, currently belongs to the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America (SOCA), Western American Diocese. The monastery was founded by Father Herman Podmoshensky and Father Seraphim Rose under the auspices of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

After Rose’s death, serious moral charges were brought against Podmoshensky, who served as the monastery’s abbot, and he was suspended from the priesthood. Podmoshensky continued to serve during his suspension, and ROCOR deposed him for disobedience in 1988.

However, because Podmoshensky held title to the property in his own name, he joined the uncanonical Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis and took his monastery with him. Most of the monks and nuns affiliated with the Saint Herman of Alaska Brotherhood elected to stay with ROCOR. A small number, including Father Gerasim Eliel and Hieromonk Damascene Christensen, followed Podmoshensky into Vasiloupolis.

In 1999, the criminal conviction for child sexual abuse of the head of Vasiloupolis, Metropolitan Pangratios Vrionis, was publicized on the internet and on a new website, Pokrov.org. The following year the monastery rejoined canonical Orthodoxy with its reception into the SOCA, after Podmoshensky was removed from his position as abbot.

Podmoshensky was succeeded as abbot by Eliel. In 2009 Eliel relinquished this position, joined the Orthodox Church in America, and entered seminary.