NEWS AND EVENTS - Wednesday, December 14, 2016
CLERGY SEMINAR IN THE MIDWEST DIOCESE
With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Longin of the Midwest Diocese, we had an amazing clergy seminar around the holy days of Saint Mardarije of Libertyville and Saint Andrew the First called.
It all started with the Divine Liturgy at Saint Sava Monastery in Libertyville Illinois on Monday December 12th 2016. This experience was unique in many ways and for many reasons. Five great bishops of the great church: Amfilohije, Longin, Sava, Irinej and Kirilo serving the Divine Liturgy with many Priests, Monastics, Deacon's, Seminarian's and the faithful. Following liturgy, prayers were said over the relics of the recently canonized saint Mardarije - everyone departed the church with joy and in peace, heading over to the other Monastery of New Gracanica where a delicious meal of love was served (as throughout this gathering), thanks to the organization of Priest Petar Sailovic. Fed well spiritually and physically, the faithful departed, but the clergy started preparing for Vespers and the clergy seminar.
Following vespers, introduced by Abbot Serafim, the Bishop of the Midwest Diocese opened up a seminar with pastoral advice and encouragement, which was followed by an excellent introduction of our guest speaker Metropolitan of Crna Gora, introduced by Priest Aleksandar Novakovic. The theme which he so well (from the deepest part of his heart and mind) spoke on, was The Great Council in Crete which happened this past year and he was part of.
The icing on the cake was the segment where our bishop was answering previously submitted questions regarding: pastoral, social, administrative, spiritual and educational issues. This part was orchestrated by Prota Milos Vesin and priest Mile Subotic. The day ended with prayer and blessing.
The day started with the Divine Liturgy for Saint Andrew the First Called, followed by a series of lectures. One presentation "Arm Yourselves" was on spiritual and personal challenges offered by Fr. Alexei, announced by Prota Rade Obsenica ; The other was on "the psychological state of one person from birth to death" by Dr. Snezana Cakarmis, announced by Priest Nikolaj Kostur; third presentation was by Abbot Serafim on privacy and modern technology, introduced by Prota Srdjan Veselinovic.
This was followed by another segment where several more experienced priests were sharing some of their experiences, moderated by Priest Aleksandar Petrovic and previously prepared by Prota Aleksndar Bugarin. Some of it was humorous and the rest of it was educational, but altogether miraculous and very interesting.
The bishop spoke at last thanking all the priests, deacons and monastics who made an effort to come and be at this much-needed seminar. He also expressed gratitude to all the parishes supporting their clergy in this endeavor, making sure that priests are always part of gatherings for continuous education.
Last but certainly not least, Priest Ilija Balac who is by profession an architect, together with Priest Nikolaj Kostur gave a wonderful brief presentation on the renovation of the Saint Sava monastery complex – stay tuned for more information.
While departing and singing the hymn to the Most Holy Mother of God, each of the priests came to get a blessing from bishop Longin and receive a very special gift – a beautiful blessing cross with a very nice and practical case. Everyone is looking forward to the next retreat, with Gods help.
By Dragan Petrovic - priest
(2016 seminar coordinator)