Metropolitan Arseni of Kuopio and Karelia installed on Sunday the new abbot at Finland’s Valaam Monastery of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Archim. Mikael Nummela has studied Economics and Theology and speaks, in addition to Finnish, 10 other languages.
The new Abbott, Archim. Mikael Nummela, was elected by the monastery synaxis on January 4, after his predecessor, Archim. Sergei Rayapolvi, was ordained Bishop of Hamina.
Archim. Mikael Nummela is 47, has been in the monastery since 2013 and says the wish to become a monk must have been born when he was only eight and first visited the monastery.
Valaam is the only Orthodox monastery in Finland, while in its proximity, at Lintula, is the only Orthodox convent in the country. Both are located in Heinävesi Province, Eastern Finland, and are part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The holy place was established in 1940, when the monks from Valaam Monastery in today’s Russian Karelia took refuge from Soviet troops. That is why the Finnish monastery is also called “New Valaam”.
Valaam Monastery of Finland has 11 novices and monks with an average age much under 50. The youngest is 23.
Approximately 160,000 tourists visit the monastery every summer.