On Tuesday, March 21, clergymen of the Eastern American Diocese flocked to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY for the start of the Northern Great Lenten Clergy Retreat. The priests and deacons, braving the brisk wind and snow blanketing the fields of Central New York, embraced each other – some who have serving in the Diocese for decades and some attending for the first time since their ordination.
After a delicious Lenten breakfast in the seminary hall, the attendees welcomed the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York. Metropolitan Nicholas greeted monastery abbot Bishop Luke of Syracuse and the clergy. In his opening remarks, His Eminence touched on the number of commemorative dates that fall during the retreat this year – the spring feast of the Kursk Root Icon, the first clergy retreat since the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral; +2022), the 15th anniversary of the repose of Metropolitan Laurus (Škurla; +2008 ‒ the week prior), the repose of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko; +1960), and the namesday of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (+2018). "Memory Eternal" was then intoned by the monastery archdeacon.
The first lecture was a presentation by Archpriest Paul Kang, chief of the Korean Mission of the Russian Church Abroad. Fr. Paul spoke on the various challenges and goals for bringing the Holy Orthodox Faith to South Korea. Archpriest Victor Potapov (dean of the Capital Region) presented on the missionary work being done in his deanery and parish. Archpriest Alexandre Antchoutine (dean of New York City & Long Island and acting dean of Florida) presented on the growth of missions and parishes in Florida.
A lunch was held in the monastery refectory, after which the clergy were able to interact with one another, pray at the brotherhood cemetery, and explore the monastery grounds. In the second half of the day, Bishop Luke gave a presentation on the life of the monastery and its various improvement projects. Holy Trinity Theological Seminary dean Dr. Nicolas Schidlovsky presented on the accolades of the seminary in the past year and preparations for the 75th anniversary jubilee celebrations to be held in September. Michael Perekrestov (curator of the Russian History Museum) talked about the historical items housed there.
A lively discussion period ensued, with questions touching on pastoral, ecclesiastical, and contemporary issues.
In the evening, Vespers and later Grand Compline were served in Holy Trinity Cathedral during which the clerics were able to confess their sins in preparation for the next day’s Divine Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.
Jordanville, NY: Northern Lenten Clergy Retreat opens in Holy Trinity Monastery - 03/21/23
Photos: Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese - G. Konyev