Serbian Orthodox Church Links
NEWS AND EVENTS - Friday, December 4, 2009
FIRST EVER PAN-ORTHODOX CLERGY RETREAT IN THE WEST
Dunlap, CA - In April of 2007, His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH invited His Eminence,
Metropolitan GERASIMOS, His Grace, Bishop MAXIM and His Grace, Bishop
BENJAMIN for the First Ever Meeting of the Canonical Hierarchs on the
West Coast. During that meeting, the Hierarchs had a vision of
gathering the clergy from the different jurisdictions in a retreat to
get to know each other and work toward bringing unity among the
Orthodox Christians in the West.
During the week of December
1-3, 2009, that vision was realized when more than 100 priests and
deacons from various jurisdictions gathered together with the Canonical
Bishops in the West for the First Ever Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat in
West at St. Nicholas Ranch in Dunlap, California.
The theme for
the week was “The Parish Priest as a Spiritual Father,” and the
Hierarchs and Clergy listened to three excellent sessions by the
Retreat Master, His Grace, Bishop ILIA of the Albanian Diocese of
America. Having once been a married priest, His Grace shared with the
clergy a unique perspective of one who has done the ministry both as a
married priest and then as a celibate priest and bishop. His talks
provided the clergy with many topics to discuss in their small groups
which were each led by one of the hierarchs.
The clergy attended
and served the services at the Holy Monastery of the Theotokos,
Life-Giving Spring, just a short walk from the Ranch. On Tuesday
evening, His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS presided over Vespers
which was celebrated by a priest of the Greek Archdiocese and sung by
the nuns of the Monastery. On Wednesday morning, His Grace, Bishop
MAXIM, assisted by the Southern California Cathedral Deans, celebrated
the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. At the conclusion of the Divine
Liturgy, the hierarchs all celebrated a Trisagion Service for His
Holiness, Patriarch PAVLE of thrice-blessed memory, who fell asleep in
the Lord on November 15, 2009. On Wednesday evening, His Grace, Bishop
JOSEPH presided over Vespers which was celebrated by a priest and sung
by clergy from the Antiochian Archdiocese. On Thursday morning, His
Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN presided over Orthros which was celebrated by a
priest and sung by clergy from the Orthodox Church in America.
During the closing remarks, many of the clergy expressed their appreciation to the hierarchs for their vision, leadership and for making this retreat possible. The clergy expressed their desire that this retreat not be a historical event because it happened only once, but that it be historic in that it will be the first of many such retreats!
Source: Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles and the West
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