Hermitage of St. Brendan the Navigator

Brotherhood of St. Brendan

Point Mackenzie, Alaska

Thank you...

for visiting our site. We pray that this may be of help to you. So, a little about who we are.

First what is the difference between a hermitage and a monastery? A hermitage is the home of a hermit. They live alone and support themselves however they can. While there may be a few hermits living by one another each is responsible for themselves. In a monastery, monks (cénobites) do everything as a community. The monks pray, eat and work together to support the monastery. A hermit is a monk but a monk isn't necessary a hermit.

Our patron, St. Brendan the Navigator, was born in Ciarraighe Luachra, near the present city of Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, in 484; he died at Enachduin, now Annaghdown, in 577. He was baptized at Tubrid, near Ardfert, by Bishop Erc. For five years he was educated under St. Ita, "the Brigid of Munster", and he completed his studies under St. Erc, who ordained him priest in 512. Between the years 512 and 530 St. Brendan built monastic cells at Ardfert, and at Shanakeel or Baalynevinoorach, at the foot of Brandon Hill. His most celebrated foundation was Clonfert, in 557, over which he appointed St. Moinenn as Prior and Head Master. St. Brendan was interred in Clonfert.

We are hermits living alone yet come together once a week for worship and a communal meal. Our days are full of prayer, work and silence. Following the dogma of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) we continue the traditional testimonies of pacifism, social equality, integrity, and simplicity. We also use St. Francis of Assisi's Rule for Hermitages as a guide.

Here at the Hermitage we worship in what is known as un-programmed. We gather in silence and worship begins when the first person enters the room and takes a seat. This means that if you are entering a room where people have begun to gather, you are entering a meeting for worship that is already in progress. During worship people may stand and speak at the moving of the Holy Spirit. This isn't a time to think about anything else but being open to God. At the close of worship, someone will signal the end by shaking hands with a neighbor. Then everyone shakes hands with those around them. All are welcome to join us for worship and the communion meal after.

Our founder, Br. David, was an Orthodox priest and monk for 19 years. He serves as our leader whom we look to for guidance and who speaks on behalf of the Brotherhood. The Hermitage is located near Point Mackenzie, Alaska in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough about 20 miles Southwest of Wasilla.

Our Frequently Asked Questions page may help you learn more about us. If you still have questions please email us.