From April 1–3, the Eastern American Diocese sponsored a Northern Lenten Retreat at Holy Trinity Monastery. Clergy from both the diocese and the Moscow Patriarchate parishes participated in the retreat. His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (HTS 1972) and His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield (HTS 1980) came for the conference, and there were over eighty attendees.
Monday was a travel day. In the evening, the clergy gathered in the monastery cathedral for Great Compline. Metropolitan Hilarion formally greeted the relics of St. Luke of Simferopol, who was a 20th century confessor of the Russian Church, an archbishop, and a surgeon. With the blessing of Archbishop Justinian, the administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, St. Luke’s relics were touring the East Coast, and were in the monastery during the retreat.
Tuesday morning was the first official day of the retreat. All came early in the morning to the monastery cathedral for the Lenten services. Around eight o’clock, the clergy left to have breakfast, and then went to the seminary hall for the presentations. The lectures were moderated by Archpriest Serge Lukianov (HTS 1981). Archpriest Victor Potapov (HTS 1972) gave a talk on St. Luke of Simferopol. Then Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (HTS 1975) gave two talks on Archbishops Averky and Nikon. He could not attend due to illness, so his talks were recorded by the Eastern American Diocese Media Office and shown at the conference. Then the retreat adjourned for lunch. After lunch, Priest Peter Jackson talked about the Orthodox Mission in Guatemala, where 50,000 people, mostly of Mayan extraction, converted to Orthodoxy. He and his Matushka Styliana, both of whom speak fluent Spanish, are plan to live in Guatemala to serve in the mission there. Finally, Archpriest Gregory Naumenko (HTS 1983) led a discussion with the seminarians and clergy which focused on questions submitted by the seminarians. That evening, all gathered in the cathedral once again for a slightly modified liturgical schedule beginning with Matins and followed by dinner and Great Compline. Confessions for the clergy and faithful were heard by Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop George, HTS rector Archimandrite Luke, and EAD clergymen including Priest Stephanos Shagoury.
Wednesday morning began as usual with Midnight Office followed by the Lenten hours, Typica, and a hierarchical Presanctified Liturgy, presided by Metropolitan Hilarion and Bishop George. Over sixty priests and deacons served. At the end of the Presanctified Liturgy, a group photo was taken followed by the final common meal in the monastery trapeza.