In 1972, a small piece of land was purchased in the Mojave desert in Newbery Springs, CA. In November 1973, the first Divine Liturgy was prayed on this newly acquired property. The late fathers, Fr. Arsanious Aziz and Fr. Kerelos Farah, celebrated the Liturgy. Also serving in the Liturgy were Magdi Saad who later became Bishop Tadros of Port Said, as well as Atef Isak who later became Bishop Dioscorus. Bishop Dioscorus was consecrated as a monk of Saint Anthony’s Monastery at the Red Sea yet spent some time in our Monastery.
In 1989, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III sent 4 monks to establish the Monastic Life in America. These monks were: Fr. Karas El Anba Bishoy, Fr. Polycarpos El Anba Bishoy, Fr. Benyameen El Baramosy, and Fr. Shenouda El Antony.
In 1992, Fr Shenouda El Antony was ordained Bishop Yostos, Bishop and Abbot of Saint Anthony Monastery at the Red Sea. The Monastery has enjoyed continued growth under his leadership. Fr. Polycarpos left Saint Antony’s Monastery and served at the Archdiocese in Cedar Grove, N.J. and Fr. Pavlos El Anba Bishoy moved to our Monastery.
On Saturday 28th of Bashans 1709 A.M., the 6th of June 1993, the Holy Synod recognized the Monastery at its meeting at the Papal Residence. Saint Antony Monastery was the first recognized Coptic Monastery outside of Egypt. Moreover, the Monastery was blessed by the ordination of Hegumen Fr. Karas El Anba Bishoy as Bishop and Abbot for the Monastery of Saint Antony in California and was given the name Bishop Karas. Under His Grace’s leadership, the Monastery prospered and was blessed by the consecration of many monks. Bishop Karas departed this world in January 2002, after a battle with cancer.
After His Grace’s departure, Fr. Benyameen El-Baramosy became the general executive of the monastery, reporting to His Holiness. Fr. Benyameen’s stewardship started in April 2002 and ended in April 2006, at which point Father Anastasi Saint Antony, a spiritual son and disciple of H.G. Bishop Karas, was ordained a Hegumen and became the spiritual and administrative leader of the Monastery, also reporting to H.H. Pope Shenouda III.
The Monastery's facilities include a U-shaped main building with Saint Antony's Church, four cells and a refectory for the monks. This building was built in 1986. St. Moses' Church, which is beautifully decorated in accordance with traditional Coptic Architecture and can accommodate large numbers of visitors, was completed in 2012. The Monastery also has a church in the name of Saint Mina and Saint Abanoub for the monks. Saint Antony Monastery purchased a former Byzantine Catholic Monastery located 15 minutes away, also located in Newberry Springs, CA. This 30 acre property serves as a retreat center for groups, families and women.