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About Gateway to Heaven Saint John the Baptist and St. Arsema Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Monastery in California

Gateway to Heaven Saint John the Baptist and Saint Arsema Monastery is now established within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) Archdiocese of  Northern California, Nevada, and Arizona!


The EOTC is one of the most ancient, universal, and above all Apostolic Oriental Orthodox Christian Church with an over 2000 years long history. A history that even dates back to the Old Testament. The EOTC is a Church governed by her Apostolic Canon law and unique traditions deeply engraved in the lives of her followers. As globalization spread and people travel from their home land to other part of the world, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christians are also finding themselves in various parts of the world. The EOTC who realized the need to reach her faithful followers has been making every effort to increase her presence around the world for the past 50 years. It is this effort that has made it possible for the establishment of many EOTC churches in several countries around the world.


Monasticism is an integral part of the EOTC tradition. A tradition deeply valued and respected by many. Monastic life was first introduced to EOTC followers by a group of missionaries known as The Nine Saints that were fleeing the anti-Monophysitism prosecution during the Byzantine Empire in the late 5th Century. The invaluable work the Nine Saints did during their time in Ethiopia, left a deeply rooted and greatly revered Monastic tradition. It is this invaluable work by the Nine Saints that has now made it impossible to imagine EOTC without Monasticism.


Monastic traditions have been shown to not only have spiritual benefits but also benefits to society. With this understanding, the EOTC Archdiocese of Northern California, Nevada, and Arizona has been working tirelessly to bring this missing vital part of our Church to EOTC faith followers in North America for over 2 years now. The Archdioceses has been working on making this dream of establishing an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Monastery (EOTM) through the Archdioceses Planning and Development Department. The Department established a Technical Committee consisting of 10 subcommittees and over 40 members that has been overseeing this process. After lots of prayer and hard work involving careful thoughts and planning, the Will and Grace of God the Almighty has made this dream come true!


The consecration of Gateway to Heaven St. John the Baptist and St. Arsema Monastery in Northern California, Nevada, and Arizona Archdiocese is well in sight. There are still several works that need to be done but as Nehemiah said “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build” (Nehemiah 2:20). We hope you will continue to join and support us in seeing through the establishment of the first Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Monastery (EOTM) in Northern California, Nevada, and Arizona Archdiocese. Glory be to God, Now and Forever, Amen!

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