New Founder

  • Known in the world, Symeon Davidsen Kilmer. Before that, David Simon Kilmer.
  • born of Anglo-Italian of American father & Anglo-Irish & Scandinavia American mother in town of Auburn, NY
  • Adopted by kin in a closed adoption; raised Roman Catholic in Syracuse, NY
  • Age of 12 experienced the holy Spirit in a form of angel during attendance at Papist Mass. The angel’s message: “Forsake the Papacy; forsake not My Church” 10 years later this was realized when converting to the Orthodox Church.
  • Completed elementary and secondary Catholic education. Considered joining the Order of Friars Minor; instead attended state community college.
  • Served as Lay Eucharistic Minister & was tonsured a Lay Franciscan.
  • October 28. 1978 Married a Sicilian-American woman in a Papist nuptial Mass.
  • Left employment at General Electric for a career in mental health. Worked at State Hospital R. H. Hutchings Psychiatric Center on March 1979
  • Converted, with wife, to the Orthodox Faith via “Orthodox Church in America” (OCA) on 23 September 1979.
  • For the next ten years would attend workshops, seminars, college courses in areas of Mental Health, Conflict Resolution, Adoption Studies, Jewish Studies, Orthodox Christian Psychology & Therapy, APPC-certified Pastoral Care Specialist training. During these years did his own therapy work due to adoption & abuse.
  • Suffered first of several injuries related to his work at the psychiatric center in 1980.
  • Was trained and certified in 1992 as Community Mediator specializing in Family Conflict. Volunteered as Mediator locally. Had been second in consideration for role of Director for one of two local mediation centers. Discontinued in 1995 from New Justice Dispute Resolution Center.
  • Reunited with biological family in 1996. Civil Divorce proceedings initiated by wife in 1997.
  • Spring 1998: Divorce finalized. Received B.P.S. degree in Orthodox Pastoral Counseling & Care (SUNY). Symeon traveled to the Abbey of the Holy Name to meet Archbishop John (LoBue) and learned more about the authentic pre-Schism Orthodox Western Rite. Tonsured into ranks of minor orders.
  • July 2, 1999 founded the Kellion of St. John the Divine in Syracuse NY. August ordained Deacon. Nov. 23, tonsured Stavrophore-monk with the name of Saint Symeon of Syracuse (June 1 os).
  • July 30 (17th o.s.) 2000 Feast of St Kenelm Child-Royal Martyr of England: ordained to holy priesthood.
  • Played major role in increasing exposure of this small TOC jurisdiction with the only authentic Orthodox Western Liturgical observances. Was named Central New York Dean by Abp. John in 2001. In Fr Symeon’s perception, with only 2 bishops in America and no viable candidates the speed of his own ecclesial ordination and appointments became “frightening”.
  • With a crisis of faith in 2002 with the present jurisdiction, he left his ministries, self-laitized & “adopted” a Serbian emigrant family (mother & children).
  • Returned to same TOC Metropolia under repentance in 2007.
  • The TOC Metropolia was given autocephaly in 2011. Archbishop now Metropolitan. One year later, Fr Symeon had concern that the canonical moderate jurisdiction was transforming into one of rigidity.
  • Early part of year 2013: Began study of eremitic life and St Romuald of Ravenna. Began living the Romualdian eremitic life. December 14, 2014, was received into ROCOR Western Rite Community as a simple monk of the Hermitage of St John the Theologian.
  • Controversy at its peak due to the actions of a novice of the Hermitage (a former convict); in addition to Fr. Symeon’s very public and unrelenting criticisms towards the WR in both ROCOR & AWRV for its use of Papists & Anglican heterodox rites instead of authentic pre-1054 services out of Orthodox England. In July 2017, he was removed from ROCOR.
  • Returned, again in repentance in September 2018, to his spiritual father, Metropolitan, +John as simple monk. Renamed Hermitage: TOC Hermitage of St Michael, Archangel; unofficially & informally referred to as Novi Kloštar Pustinija.
  • Papa Symeon suffers Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc Disease, Neuropathy, Arthritis, Apnea, Enlarge Aorta, among others.

New Founder?

20180917_110630.jpgYes. It has been Papa Symeon’s spiritual desire to renew the Romualdian Life where in the same community there are both cenobitic (communal life) and eremitic (hermit life). They live and work separately while they worship and fellowship together. Particular to the Romualdian Life is the balance of the Threefold Goodness: community, solitary, martyrdom. So Papa Symeon would be the new founder after our original and ancient founder St Romuald of Ravenna; who we consider to be a great Hesychast in the Western Church of her Orthodox millennium.

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