While other Christian traditions either lack it entirely or find it dying off rapidly in our modern age, the Eastern Orthodox monastic tradition continues strongly, and faithful men and women of the Church are still called to this unique form of life. The three types of eremitic - to live as a hermit (from the Greek (and later Latin) “of the desert”), cenobitic - to live in a monastic community, i.e., a monastery (from the Greek “common life”), and finally a form unique to Orthodoxy - the skete - a form that allows for relative isolation, but communal services (from the Scetis valley in Egypt where many such began). As Holy Archangels Greek Monastery is the nearest to us and the one with which we have the closest relationship, we’ll here discuss the cenobitic variety.
Orthodoxy doesn’t have religious orders in the same sense as the Roman Church, e.g, Dominicans, Franciscans, etc., but our monks and nuns still live according to a religious rule or order of precepts - the Rule of St. Basil. Our monks and nuns are centrally important to the Church because they have removed themselves from the world to pray for those of us who must remain in it for various reasons. Because of this, we need to pray fervently for our monastics, and for continued monastic vocations in our parish and the larger Church. We have books about monasticism available at the parish, but the best way to understand it better is to visit the monastery and see for yourself!