On Tuesday, March 29, clergy from across the Eastern American Diocese flocked to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY for the start of the annual Lenten Clergy Retreat. The clergy, donned in winter riassas, braved the freezing temperatures and snow of Central New York State to be warmed by the affectionate greeting of their brother clergy, many seeing each other for the first time in three years.
Greeting the attendees was His Grace Nicholas, Bishop of Manhattan, relaying the blessing and well wishes of the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad and ruling bishop of the Diocese, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York. Monastery abbot Bishop Luke of Syracuse likewise greeted the assembled clergy, welcoming them to the Diasporan Lavra.
The day’s keynote speaker was Protodeacon Andrei Psarev, who presented a detailed lecture on the historical foundation of the Russian Church Abroad.
After a filling lunch in the monastery refectory, the clergy again heard reports on the activities from the administration of Holy Trinity Seminary and the progress the various programs are making, as well as how to further support future generations of clergymen.
The priests and deacons then were invited to an informal discussion with the hierarchs, during which they were able to converse and inquire about various topics affecting life in the parishes.
In their free time, attendees were able to walk the monastery grounds, visit the graves of departed hierarchs and clergy, purchase spiritual literature, and interact with one another.
In the evening, lenten Vespers was served in the cathedral, sung antiphonally by the seminary choir. In the apses of the cathedral, the clerics were able to make their confession. A quiet lenten dinner was served, then once again all gathered for Great Compline before retiring for the night spiritually uplifted from the day’s activities.