During the Second Week of Great Lent the clergy of the Western American Diocese gathered together for a retreat of prayer, lectures and spiritual fellowship from Monday the 10th to Wednesday the 12th of this year.
The clergy observed the full cycle of Lenten Divine Services, including the prayers of St. Ephraim the Syrian, as the fathers took turns both reading and chanting on kliros, and conducting the the Divine Services from the Ambo. As usual, there was an opportunity for all the clergy to confess their sins before the Lord to their respective father confessors and on Wednesday all the clergy concelebrated the Litirgy of Pre-sanctified Gifts with His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill and His Grace Bishop Theodosy.
Lectures were dedicated to the "Two Wings of Great Lent," prayer and fasting. Archimandrite Irenei (Steenberg) spoke on prayer and Priest Sergei Sveshnikov spoke on "Fasting for Non-monastics." The lecture on fasting can be obtained in its entirety through Father Sergei's blog.
As usual these gatherings give opportunity for the clergy to ask questions petaining to the spiritaul life, pastoral issues and the contemporary life of the Church. The fathers draw upon their collective experience in offering answers, and also look to our archpastor for guidence and support.
The Old Cathedral of the Holy Virgin provided a welcome venue for the clergy retreat. It was a first to hold the gathering in her "hallowed halls." All participants offer their thanks to our host Hieromonk James (Corazza) and his community for providing warm hospitality.