A clergy retreat is held by the Canadian Diocese

The Pastoral Retreat of the Canadian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, as well as the accompanying fraternal meeting of clergy, took place from April 8-10, 2024, at the Church of Blessed Xenia of St Petersburg (Rector: Archpriest Oleg Mironov) in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, ON, under the chairmanship of His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada. It should be noted here that it is thanks to his efforts that these retreats have been held invariably for more than two decades.

In his opening remarks, His Eminence touched upon the history of the Canadian Diocese, which has had to endure many difficulties in the present 21st century. But it is precisely in recent years, when the earthly world has been touched by the pandemic and the bloody wars that continue to this day and hour, when hatred between brothers is multiplying, that the number of parishes and communities in the Canadian Diocese has increased, and those who have found themselves outside it are returning to the bosom of the Church.

Since the 2023 retreat alone, new communities have sprung up in Vancouver, Alberta, and Quebec City. This fall, on October 27, the 75th anniversary of the largest parish of the Canadian Diocese will be celebrated at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto. At the same time, the 50th anniversary of the service of its rector, Mitred Archpriest Vladimir Malchenko, Dean for Eastern Canada, will be celebrated.

"I thank everyone who was able to come today to share in our fraternity this year," Vladyka Gabriel concluded. He also recalled that by God's mercy and with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the holy relics of the Holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth and her cell-attendant Nun Barbara visited the Canadian Diocese, and during the days of the Pastoral Retreat they remained at the Church of Blessed Xenia. The first day of the meeting ended with Great Compline.

The second day, April 9, began with a report by Archpriest Serafim Gan, Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops, Secretary of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Rector of St Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff, NY, a guest of honor and participant in the retreat. Fr Serafim's lecture was devoted to the instructive story of the second translation of the relics of the Venerable Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and her cell-attendant Nun Barbara.

The lecture was based on archival documents, which the overwhelming majority of the audience learned about for the first time, and Fr Serafim's story was listened to with truly great interest.

Next was the report of the Diocesan Treasurer, Priest Mark Lumes, followed by a long conversation and the accounts of the rectors about the course of local parish affairs. The day ended with matins and confession.

On Wednesday, April 10, His Eminence officiated at the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, co-served by a host of diocesan clergy with two protodeacons and four deacons. The service was held with special solemnity and reverence. After a fraternal meal and prayer, participants departed.

Canadian Diocese


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